Chandelier Valentine Cookies

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Nordic roll-out Cookies

2 sticks unsalted  butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1  teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add agave and combine.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add zest and vanilla to and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients but do not over mix or cookies will be tough.
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Divide dough in half and llay dough on plastic wrap; refrigerate at once. Can be in fridge for a number of days.

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I use these great cookie spacers on my rolling pin to ensure the same thickness each time.

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I would highly suggest placing your rolled out shapes in the freezer for 10 minutes.

When ready roll out to desired thickness and cook at 350 for 9 to 12 minutes.

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Now it’s time to let them cool.

If you have a recipe you favor please use your favorite one.  Royal Icing is hard to work with and I use what works for me.

Royal Icing

  • 2 Tablespoons Crisco
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
  • 7 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Flavoring of your choice
  • Color of your choice

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There are a couple icing methods you can use.  one is free flow with bottles.

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The other is taking your icing and placing it in a shallow plate with a dowel/skewer attached to the end with a rubber band.

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Then drag  your cookies excess icing across the dowel/skewer.

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Both are time consuming.  Icing cookies is not as easy as it looks.  You need time and patience to do these.  Sorry I’m sure there are others out there that will say it’s easy but if you aren’t creative and don’t have time then you will become frustrated.

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However if you do have a creative side and enjoy hands on crafts and baking this is for you!

For the final step I simply used a stencil to make these gorgeous Chandelier cookies for my sons special girl….

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes for your Valentine

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Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar ( please make your own brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

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Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla.

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Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, I used decorator cups but any cupcake wrapper will do.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes before cutting a hole in the top.

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Salted Caramel goo:

  • 1/2 raw cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

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Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce.Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

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Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Salted Caramel Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together raw sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

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In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

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Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).

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Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

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I have to confess I’m not much of a Caramel girl; I love Chocolate.  These cupcakes may make me change my mind.  They are really creamy with a great deal of depth.  I had mine with a large glass of ice cold milk but Coffee would be excellent as well.

Ziplock Storage Solution

We’ve all been there..  Way too many ziplock boxes and doesn’t it always seem you pull the size you don’t need and want to kick it across the room once it falls on the floor.  Maybe that’s only our house.  I tried to find storage organization solutions for them and then my husband said ” let’s just tape then together”  I cannot tell you how well this works.  What a difference it has made.  First of all I no longer wish to kick boxes across the room.  That in itself is a huge bonus.  Now we just pull on the handle and decide which bag size we need.  When we run out of one size we simply refill the empty area.

What you will need

  • Packaging Tape
  • Wrapping paper of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Regular Tape
  • Pipe cleaner or Rope ( I used a pipe cleaner but any rope would work just as well)

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First you will take your ziplock boxes together with packaging tape.  My boxes were different sizes perhaps you will only need 3 types of boxes in your house.  We use snack, sandwich, quart and gallon all of the time.

Now that you’ve taped the boxes together you will wrap them the best you can. You will have to get creative with your scotch tape here if your boxes are different sizes like mine. I think butcher paper would have been nice but this is all I had on hand.

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Now you simply take a sharp object and picture the side that you wish to pull your boxes our from.  Then I simply ran a pipe cleaner through the hole and tied a knot in it so it wouldn’t slip through.  Then I punctured the 2nd hole and did repeated the step above.

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That was simple.  This project takes about 10 minutes and will save you hours of searching for the right size ziplock.