I Am Baker I Am Baker

Thanksgiving Blessings

 

The first time I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, I had made the incorrect assumption that their celebration would be the same as my family’s.

I expected Turkey.  And pumpkin pie.  And football.  Well, there was football.  But no turkey!

Hubby’s family has a wonderfully diverse and sophisticated palette, and that year there was a plethora of other fantastic foods to choose from.  (It was delicious!)

But as the day drew on, I realized that it wasnt just the absence of the turkey that was affecting me.

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In my family at every Thanksgiving dinner, we would go around the table and say one thing we were thankful for.

Truthfully, up until that first Thanksgiving away from my family, I had rolled my eyes in dread each time it was my turn.  Stopping and giving thanks was the last thing I wanted to do when I had a gorgeous golden brown turkey glistening before me.

Planning out our Thanksgiving this year it occurred to me that there was a way to incorporate my beloved tradition of giving thanks and still honor the gentle humbleness of my husband’s family.

I made “thankful” cookies.

 

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The idea is simple… I place out a tray of blank cookies, and every family member can write one thing they are thankful for on their cookie.  People can do this throughout the afternoon in their own time.

They can do it anonymously or sign their name.

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The nice thing about these cookies is that it’s a win-win.  Even if people don’t want to participate, we still have a lovely treat to munch on through our weekend!

So what family traditions do you have at Thanksgiving?

I highly recommend using my favorite sugar cookie recipe and glaze icing recipe.  :)

I Am Baker

Don’t Let This Happen To You.

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Its ok, its ok, I know.

I have been there.  When I was first married I did not even know how to turn on the oven.  But a little youtube and hunger go a long way in the teaching department.

So, in honor of everyone out there who burns toast and forgets at add cheese to lasagna and says that scrambled eggs are their favorite only because that’s the only way they can make them… this is for you.

I want YOU to shine this holiday season.

I am going to share my favorite sugar cookie recipes of all time.  I have made lots.  I know what works and trust me on this one, this is by far the best sugar cookie recipe ever.

If you make this, people will be asking you for your recipe and they will be trying to sneak just one more.

I will also share my no fail sugar cookie icing recipe.

BONUS: I am also going to give you a secret tip in how to make beautifully decorated cookies.

Amazing Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1-½ cup Butter (I Use Unsalted)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 whole Eggs Yolks
  • 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Almond Extract
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Instructions

  1. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined.
  3. Add in vanilla and almond extract; mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine. You can use a mixer or not, just depends on how strong you are. ;)
  5. I usually just mix ingredients until they are combined, as I have heard that if you over-mix this dough it will get tough.
  6. Put dough in some Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out, cut out cookies, and bake for 6-8 minutes.
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Awesome Cookie Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Confectioners Sugar (powder Sugar)
  • 1-3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 drop Lemon Juice (fresh Or Processed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine powder sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. ******This next step is important!******
  3. If you need a thicker frosting, say for outlining your cookies, add LESS milk.
  4. Just a drop at a time. If you have already outlined your cookies and need a to fill in or ’spill’ your cookies, you can add more milk (as much as you would need) to make your frosting very runny.
  5. If you are using food coloring, be sure to use LESS milk. Most food colorings are liquid and can make your frosting more runny. If you are using a gel food coloring, your milk quantity can remain the same.
  6. If you want to add different flavors, you can add drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon, etc. to flavor your frosting.
  7. If you want more SHINE, use more corn syrup and less milk. This frosting will stay good for days in the fridge.
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Now… would you like to do this?

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or this?

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Its easy.

(please say the next sentence in your head without pausing just to get the full effect) Really and truly I cannot tell a lie I promise you from the bottom of my heart you can do this and you can do this well it really is easy.

Its just dots.

Get a zip lock bag, put some icing into it, cut off the tiniest tip possible from the corner of the bag and just put some dots on your cookie.

Do any design you want… I promise it will look good.  Do a cross or a tree or a word or just outline the cookie in dots.

That is one of my favorite tricks!  Dots.  Lots and lots of dots.

Find more cookie ideas or inspiration!

Go forth and conquer!

I Am Baker

I Had Four Pieces of Pumpkin Pie. Just Sayin.

Hi all!  Hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and weekend!

I cant wait to read about all the amazing food people had and the fantastic deals people got black Friday shopping.

Me?  I ate. I baked. I slept.

I bought not ONE SINGLE THING.

(insert really pathetic sad face here)

But we did get to donate cookies to a wonderful charity in Fargo. (we made over 200!)

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See more about these here.

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If you want the recipe for the amazing, delectable, mouth watering, absolutely addicting monster cookies, head on over to my baking blog!

We also got to spend some time with my sister, hubby,  and her sweet little Inga!

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Dang she has straight white teeth.  And bright eyes.  And skin that tans.  And blond hair.

Seriously.  We look NOTHING alike.

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Thanks for sharing some of your favorite twittee's… I still have to go through all of them! 

I actually sent a 'twit' from hubbys phone as we were heading to grandma's house on Thursday.  It was weird!  I have never been 'mobile' with my twitting before.

I know.  Its like I have my head in a hole or something.  I'm guessing I'm still about 5 years behind in technology. (and fashion, and parenting techniques, and celebrity gossip) I'm making progress.  Slowly making progress.

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Has anyone put up their Christmas decorations yet?  You better be blogging about it… I LOVE looking at Christmas decorations!! (I am obsessed with Christmas.  There, I said it.  I feel better.)

I have some great things coming up that I cant wait to tell you about!  Some stuff for me to share, some stuff for you to have, some projects for cheap and easy Christmas gifts, some stuff that you have to know about if you have cute kids!   Be sure to check back this week and get the scoop!

I Am Baker

Anything For You Sweetheart

So when my dear husband asked me if I would make some cookies for a silent auction at his work, my response was, "Of course!"

I have another big project this week, and would not have said yes to just anyone.  But he is my hubby, and I would rather drop the other project then say no to him.

So he wanted about a dozen (easy) with his company logo (easy) to be ready for Wednesday (easy).

So here is the logo.

Ka 

Look easy enough right?  Three colors.  Two letters.  One shield.

So I figured I would go along and outline the shield, the letters, then go back and fill in with red and black.

It seemed the easiest way. (can you sense the foreshadowing here?)

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Well.  Outlining those letters took hours.  I did not plan for hours to be spent on this.

Then.  To make matter worse, all the attention to detail, getting every straight line and curved line right…well, it was all for nothing.

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Sorry for the blur.  I might have been shaking slightly as my hand has lost all motor function skills from hours of detailed piping work.

When I went back to fill in, the black and red (the two most unforgiving colors in all the land) totally filled over all my detail.

After I did 3/4 of the cookies I finally decided this insanity had to stop and I changed my method. 

Just make the shield.

Fill in the color. 

Go back and write the letters.

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 Da.

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Be on the lookout for some big changes here at "i am mommy".

There might be fun, there might be prizes, there might be some free food for you… there might even be a dream fulfilled…

or not.

You'll have to wait and see! :)

I Am Baker

The Sybil Cake

A very sweet blogging friend graciously offered to let me make cakes for her kids' birthdays this month.  I am SO excited… but also really nervous.  

Cakes are sorta… well.. complicated!  

So I started brainstorming. Its not till the end of the month… but I want to be prepared.

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I wanted to make a cake with cookies surrounding it.

It seemed perfect in theory!

In reality… not so much.

I feel compelled to warn you right now…

I have never been more schizophrenic in my whole life then when making this cake. 

So anywho, I decided I should stay away from color. 

Cause, ya know, I sorta make a lot of stuff with color.

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These are the cookies.  Just sugar cookies with black and white frosting…

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…and I don't like them.

So I make ANOTHER set of cookies with a font I like. 

Customizing the font means I have no cookie cutter… so I have to create one, cut that template out, then trace that outline onto the cookie dough.

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I wanted color but not rainbow color.  I like how these turned out! 

I have renewed hope in my cake/cookie project!

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And…. yeah.  Not so much.  I think this looks weird.

Hey!  I can try it with the original cookies!

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Um….yeah.  Still looks weird.

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But I do like something about the black and white….

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How about a combination of the two!!

Nope.

Still don't like it.

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I give up.  I am just going to make cookies.   I can do cookies.  Cookies are my friend. 

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And these cookies are goooooooooood too.  Extra thick chewy cookies and lots of sweet, sweet frosting.

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So it wasn't a total loss.

Except.

I just can't walk away!!  I have to try and make this idea work!

How about I make it a one tier cake. 

And change the color.

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Nope.

Still doesn't work.

I just can't make those cookies work on this cake!

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But maybe…

…maybe I just go back to basics.

Cookies.  Cake.


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Yeah.  I think I'm… what the cake said.

Especially since these did come in handy.

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I Am Baker

Welcome To Amanda’s Diner

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I'm serving up a few tasty treats for you today!

The first specialty of the house is our new favorite way to have breakfast.

Rainbow Pancakes

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Yes, that is pancake batter.  Now.  There is no need to silently nod to yourself in victorious gloating satisfaction because (hanging head)… you were right.  I am obsessed with food coloring.

Food coloring and making my kids happy.

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Now that's one happy short stack.

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My kids have never eaten so many pancakes in one sitting before.  They were loving it!  Seriously… if you want to start out your day with the most gloriously happy children, just try these yummy rainbow pancakes.

I used a version of  this recipe, and added food coloring, flax seed, and love. 

Don't forget the love.

Sorry.  I couldn't help myself.  I am corny like that.

*Do you want to see some more fun baked stuff?  Check out i am baker!

*Click here to see how I reply to Rainbow Pancake Haters.

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Well, in addition to serving pancakes to our very special guests today (thats you!), I am also offering the specialty of the house.

Some magic cookies.

Because, if all goes well, they will magically help one exceptional blogger friend sell her house!

That's right… I made my very sweet friend Kami 'Open House' cookies! 

Each cookie has their address written on it.  How smart is that??  Wish I had thought of it.

 

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You can bet that everyone who goes to their open house will remember these address cookies!

Did I mention what a great idea this is???

I think Kami might be on to something.

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And yes, our menu would not be complete without some sweet, sweet honey.

As in the Winnie the Pooh variety.

I recently visited the local thrift store… and had a blast finding a bunch of stuff that I didn't even know I needed!

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Have I told you I am obsessed with Classic Pooh?  No?  I'm surprised it doesn't come up in conversation more often. 

I came across this poor pitiful book that is in such terrible condition.

I love it.

It was first published in 1926.  This copy is from 1957.

It is perfection.

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Wonderfully colorful and detailed illustrations.

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Sweet tales and songs that can keep even the most fidgety child interested.

I even got some cookbooks!  I think it was $4.50 for these.

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I might have bought the Country Desserts book just for this recipe.

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Butterscotch Sauce.  Does it really need to go on anything? 

Isn't it sorta like a sweeter version of milk and should be consumed on a daily basis for its vitamins and nutrients?

Yeah.  I'm going with that.

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And to top off a wonderful shopping experience, I even got this gem for FOUR DOLLARS!!!

I know!

Oh… not the baby.  The bowl

Its huge!  Perfect for big cakes and big orders of sugar cookies.

Well, I don't know about you, but my sugar buzz is almost wearing off!  Maybe I should stop by CF Mama's house and have a piece of cake

If anyone else attempts one of the crazy recipes I put on my blog, be sure to let me know!  I just may feature you!

I Am Baker

Precious Purple Pixie Princess

The very first thing I did when I met Hilary was gravitate to her gorgeous belly.  I wanted to touch it so bad… it was the most perfect little round bump of 'babyness' I had every seen.

And this is not the norm for me.  I do NOT touch belly's.  Being a fat girl curvy girl I have never wanted to have that uncomfortable moment of realizing that I am touching someones belly bulge and not a baby.

(shudder)

That happened to me once.  She was my boss. 

(double shudder)

Anywho, long before (and when I say long before I mean about 10 minutes) I found out that Hilary was related to Jennifer, I knew I liked her.

So when the opportunity came up for me to make her some cookies for her new arrival… I was beyond thrilled I could.

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One of their favorite colors is purple… which I loved using as I have not made any purple cookies yet!

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Since I had to 'do some business' in the area, I was lucky enough to be able to deliver these myself.  And wow!  What a treat to meet little Raven and see that gorgeous hair and soft skin and delicate little fingers… she is truly breathtaking!

And one more thing Miss Hilary.  You are NOT allowed to be that beautiful after giving birth.  Seriously. 

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Oh and (in the immortal words of Gilly) ahhhhh… thanks for the snack.

I Am Baker

Cookies For Liz

I was asked a while back if I would be willing to donate some cookies to the Liz Logelin Foundation Gala.  My response was, "Yes!  Of course.  But really?  Cookies?  Who wants to bid on cookies?" 

Well.  Most likely no one.  But that's ok!  I am just thankful that I was allowed to contribute in a small way.

So that was the end of that.

Until I read about Jo walking in the Liz Logelin 5K.

How neat is that??  Well, yesterday I had this really neat idea for cookies that I wanted to try out.  SO I threw up a little plea on my blog asking if anyone had an occasion in which I could make them some cookies?!  Jo responded, and I knew immediately that I had to make her some Liz Longelin cookies.

I couldn't resist sharing, as they are kinda cute! (And no, this was not my *neat idea for cookies.  I still have to do that…)

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*when I say neat I just mean that it sounds cool in my head but will most likely be a disaster of gigantic proportions.  Just sayin.

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I used this picture for inspiration.

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I didn't have the same font… and sorta decided to make these on the spur of the moment so I didn't have time (or should I say, didn't make it a priority) to make letter templates by hand.

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Just to change things up a bit.  I sorta liked the stacked one better. 

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I know letter cookies look easy… but I actually made at least two of each letter needed just in case.  I tend to break them.  And mess up on frosting them.  And get colors wrong. 

So maybe in fact they are easy to do, and this is just a classic case of operator error.  Huh.

I still gotta do about a dozen more.  Haven't quite figured that out yet.  But I am seeing more pink in my future.

I Am Baker

I’m Hoping to Avoid Being Sued For This

It started a few months ago.

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I started brainstorming and sketching and generally freaking out because someone wanted my cookies…at their wedding.

 Weddings are sorta a big deal.  Like, if something went wrong and my cookies looked terrible, the bride would remember it forever and I might even end up on Judge Judy being sued for her pain and suffering.
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Even in the midst of my generally constant state of panic, ideas started to form… and I got a vision in my head of what I thought the bride might like. 

So after some trial runs and some lost nights sleep… this is the final product.

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I had never made cookies in mass quantity before… it was a pretty humbling experience.

Hubby wandered over to my perch while I was decorating late one night.  I was talking about how I just can't make them all match and it wasn't looking right and I was horrified about handing these terrible cookies to the bride and that if I called my neighbor Jessica and begged her to take the day off of work to watch my kids I could start all over from scratch and if I worked for 24 hours straight I could make a new design that might look better. 

To which he said… "Your doing quantity not quality right?"

choke, cough, choke him…cough some more

We both had a laugh over that one.

Even though I was really disappointed in the quality, I think the overall product ended up being ok.  And I learned a few lessons.  And I am just grateful that it was mostly family eating them and they have to love me anyway.

Well. 

They have to at least pretend too.  :)

Thanks Elizabeth and Ryan for letting us be a part of your special day!