baby elephants.

Last week some friends of ours had one of the cutest baby boys I’ve ever seen. That deserved some cute cookies.

I get my sugar cookie recipe from Bake at 350, a great blog full of amazing treats and tips.

I’m usually not a fan of icing cookies with royal icing, but this cookie recipe is so good, that I now do it pretty often. Plus, royal icing just looks pretty and dries so that you can stack the cookies on top of each other.

Here’s the recipe, straight from Bake at 350!

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar (I use sugar that I’ve stored vanilla beans in)
 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
 1 egg
 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

And now for the icing (head over to Bridget’s post to see a great in depth tutorial)….

Royal Icing
(This will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies in 2 colors; I usually double this recipe.)

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)

Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

(You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

Yesterday, I got a message with this picture:

When I sent those books, they didn’t look nearly so big!

Welcome to the world, Miles!

bridal shower.

last summer, my lovely friend harmony moved to portland with her fiance, javier. this past weekend she came back to new york for a visit before they get married, so we had a small surprise shower for her with her friends in new york.

we were hoping to have it outside on my friend annie’s awesome patio, but the torrential downpours we experienced here in nyc on saturday brought the party inside. harmony’s wedding colors are yellow and grey with fushia accents. 

i was in charge of cupcakes and party favors.

these are margarita cupcakes. yes, they have tequila in them. the recipe is at the end of this post. make them for a margarita loving friend, they’ll love you forever.

for the favors, i made iced sugar cookies in the shape of scrabble pieces. they were all put into plastic bags so that they’d have to be arranged to figure out what they said. i got the idea and recipes from one of my favorite sites, bake at 350.

to make the squares, i measure with a ruler and cut with my pastry scraper. a pizza roller would have worked too.

baked and ready to be iced.

prepped icing!

stage 1.

stage 2.

stage 3.


for the margarita cupcake recipe, read more!

Read More