Circus Animal Cookies

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What’s better than a cookie within a cookie? Not a whole lot. This nostalgic treat is sure to bring back memories of your childhood. I incorporated the Mother’s Circus Animal cookies I enjoyed as a kid into a basic sugar cookie to create this pretty, pink cookie. They would make for a festive Valentine’s Day sweet (I know I’m a little late on this one…) or for a girls’ baby shower.
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Circus Animal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 14 oz. bag Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies, crushed (leave some larger chunks)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour mixture and stir until dough forms. Using a spatula or wood spoon, mix in the animal cookie chunks and crumbs until fully incorporated. Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on ungreased cooking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 8 or 9 minutes, until edges are set. Be careful not to over bake, even if they don’t look done, because they will harden as the cool (it took me a few batches to figure out this trick). Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire rack. Make sure to try some fresh out of the oven, too. Delicious!

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Raspberry Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

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Spread the love with these heart-shaped raspberry sea salt shortbread cookies this Valentine’s Day. The raspberry sea salt creates a sweet and salty treat that your special someone is sure to love! I think it would also be fun to sprinkle it on some chocolates or caramels to add a pretty, pink touch!

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Ingredients

{For cookies}

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

{For raspberry filling}

  • 2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh raspberry puree (blend 1/2 cup of raspberries until smooth)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. whipping cream

{For raspberry sea salt}

  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. raspberry puree

Directions

{For the cookies}

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
  3. Place dough on a floured surface and use floured rolling pin to roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into hearts by using small hear-shaped cookie cutter with scalloped edges. Place hearts on cookie sheet and chill in fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
  4. Bake for 17 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. Let cool before frosting.

{For raspberry filling}

  1. Place white chocolate in microwaveable bowl and melt in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add raspberry puree and vanilla and continue to beat. Slowly add melted chocolate and powdered sugar. Add in the whipping cream to create a lighter consistency. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Place filling in a piping bag (or Ziploc bag). Cut off the tip and use to fill the cookies.
{For raspberry sea salt}
  1. Place sea salt and raspberry puree in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix them together, until salt turns pink and there are no clumps. Sprinkle a small amount on each cookie.

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Tuesday Trends

Happy Trendy Tuesday! From fashion to fishtails, below are five of my favorite trends right now.tag

We all know how important first impressions are, so the wrapping on a gift can be just as memorable as the present itself. These printable gift tags from Anna and Blue Paperie definitely dress to impress. The basic brown paper with the pale pink ribbon and black and white string creates a fun look that is almost too cute to open!

fishtail

This is why I wish I had long, thick hair. The undone fishtail braid that transitions to a normal braid looks both effortless and stylish.

dresser

It’s not news that chevron is popular right now, but I love the rustic look of this DIY dresser from Shanelle Marie. I’ve been staining and painting a lot of our furniture lately and I want to give this design a try on my next piece. It’s modern, yet has the country charm I am hoping to fill my house with.

pink

I love this cozy, feminine outfit. The pastel pink contrasts with the studded details and metal accessories to create a girly, yet edgy look. The winter white jeans complete the sweet, “sugar plum fairy” ensemble.

antler

I’ve been loving antler accessories, whether it’s home decor or jewelry. This necklace from MADE in Jackson Hole, Wyo. would be a great everyday necklace because it would go with anything. They sell other unique, handmade items as well.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I’ll admit it. I cheated. But I couldn’t resist this cupcake mix from Williams-Sonoma! My friends know that I love cupcakes, baking and pumpkin, so this was one of the best birthday presents that I received last year! I finally got around to making them (51 weeks later…), but it was worth the wait! These cupcakes taste homemade, which is the ultimate compliment for a boxed mix. The moist and fluffy cupcakes are so flavorful and pair perfectly with the suggested recipe for cream cheese frosting. The classic fall flavor can’t be beat.

20131014-204315.jpgI also found these adorable cupcake liners at Home Goods, which are cute and functional! What’s really cool about them is that they are sturdy enough to fill with batter and cook on a cookie sheet instead of a muffin pan, which can be messy and overflow making it hard to get the cupcakes out. Plus the pink chevron and scalloped edges are so fun – looks like a sweet treat from a retro bakery!

Below is the recipe for cream cheese frosting from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.