Star Spangled Sandwich Cookies…

The 4th of July is almost upon us! Yippee! What a great holiday – a whole day spent with family and friends out grilling, swimming, eating, watching fireworks…all the best things! Growing up, my family had a lakehouse (built from the ground-up by my Grandaddy), and we’d spend every 4th of July there. Swimming in the lake, eating watermelon, and watching the fireworks from the boat dock. Happy, happy times!

I love making fun 4th of July desserts every year (like these cute cupcakes) and this year was extra fun! What’s better than sweet, fluffy buttercream sandwiched between soft, chewy sugar cookies studded with red, white, and blue sprinkles?! FUN, I tell you!

Star Spangled Sandwich Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Red, white, and blue sprinkles
white sanding sugar

For the buttercream:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
pinch salt
splash milk (optional)
blue food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated. Slowly stir in the red, white, and blue sprinkles.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out the dough, roll into balls, and place on the baking sheets; press down gently to flatten slightly. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar before baking.

Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Cool completely.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until desired consistency is reached (it should be fairly think, but easily spread or piped.). Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. If icing is too thick, stir in a little milk. Gently stir in as much food coloring as you want to make it the desired color of blue.

Pipe or spread the buttercream on half of the cookies; place other half of the cookies on top to make sandwiches. Makes approximately 20-24 cookies.

Recipe source: cookie recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan; buttercream is a Sing For Your Supper original

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Yep, that’s right! After months of grumbling about how everyone’s on Instagram and I’m not going to conform….well, here I am. It’s kinda fun, actually.

All those filters are pretty cool.

And I’m still trying to get it all figured out (yeah, I know…it’s not rocket science, Amy….)

But if you want to follow me, I’m Sing4YourSupper (just like on Twitter). So, YAY, I’m on Instagram! (as if the world didn’t have enough self-centered people taking self portraits and plastering them all over the internet…)

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Baby Blueberry Pies…

It’s a dreary, rainy day and there’s not much going on. What do you do? You get in the kitchen and bake baby blueberry pies!

But baking baby blueberry pies isn’t nearly as much fun without a special helper…

Sure, she may only sit there and drool, but she’s excellent company in the kitchen! I couldn’t have made these without her! ;)

Technically, these aren’t really ‘pies’ at all. I used my favorite tart crust from Dorie Greenspan (more like a shortbread… Mmm!) instead of a standard pie crust. The combination of those tart, juicy blueberries with the crumbly, salty-sweet crust is outstanding! These were knock-out! If you’re looking for the perfect bite-sized dessert for your 4th of July get-together, I highly recommend these! Kids and adults alike are SURE to love ‘em!

Baby Blueberry Pies

For the Filling:
1 1/2 pints blueberries, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Toss the blueberries with the sugar, lemon, salt, flour and cornstarch. Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.  Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely – you’ll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces.  Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.  When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead very gently, just to incorporate any dry ingredients that didn’t quite mix in.

Press the dough into the cups of 2 mini muffin pans (24 muffin cups total). Prick with a fork and bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

Place some of the blueberry filling in each muffin cup (about 5-6 blueberries in each) and crumble any leftover dough over the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crusts are light brown. Makes 24 baby pies.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original (crust from Dorie Greenspan)

And for good measure, here’s one more of my sweet little helper… :)

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Blue Cheese Mushroom Burgers…

Summertime = grilling. Period. There’s nothing better than spending all day out by the pool, drinking, snacking and grilling up juicy burgers! Joel and I have been trying new and different burger recipes lately (speaking of which, I can’t wait to try these bad boys), and these are our favorites so far. Some of my very favorite flavors are sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and blue cheese…so why not put them all together on a burger? YUM! We gobbled these up and couldn’t wait for leftovers the next day! Grilling is one of the best parts about summer…especially awesome burgers like these!

Blue Cheese Mushroom Burgers

4 beef patties, 1/4-1/3 pound each
4 hamburger buns
1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
2 ounces blue cheese
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
salt
peper
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
splash red wine
dijon mustard

Preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the patties to desired doneness (about 5 minutes on each side).
Add a little olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onions for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 1/4 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent and caramelized. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, red wine, and pepper until mushrooms are softened.

To assemble: Spread the burger buns with the dijon mustard. Place the patties on the buns and top with onions, mushrooms and a generous sprinkling of blue cheese. Serves 4.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper

**Keep a lookout- I’ll be guest blogging this recipe over at Oven Love soon!

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The BEST Chocolate Pie Ever…

Dear Mommy,

Don’t be mad at me, but this is my new favorite chocolate pie. I’m very sorry.

Love, Amy

P.S. Please still make my birthday cake next weekend. A big, pretty pink one. Thank you.

If you’re looking for the ultimate chocolate meringue pie- this one is it. It’s IT, I tell you! Gooey, creamy, chocolaty filling topped with a fluffy, marshmallowy meringue. It’s pretty much exactly like my mom’s (which has always been my favorite, and the best), except made better by a hint of coffee and a little extra butter. You. Must. Make. This.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

For the Filling:
4 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
2 tablespoons butter

For the Meringue:
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons of sugar

1 9-inch pie crust (your favorite recipe or store-bought)

In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, coffee powder, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk.
Cook while stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about 8-10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook until it’s as thick as you want it.)

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter. Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 18-20 minutes.

Beat the egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy, gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and spread the beaten egg whites on top in an even layer. Bake it until the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Serves 8.

Recipe source: adapted from Homesick Texan

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