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Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies

11 Feb

Well folks, it’s that time of year. Stores cover their windows with hot-pink hearts. Candy of all fillings show up on every shelf. And everyone seems a little happier (or angrier if you’re the anti-love type). It’s Valentine’s Day.

This year I’ll be spending Valentine’s day without a male special someone. Not unlike most of my Valentine’s day. But just because I don’t have a boy doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the day and shower my loved ones with something sweet.

Since I love to bake (and my friends love to eat my baked goods), I decided to whip up a few sweet treats for those special people in my life.  Tonight I tackled the heart-shaped sugar cookie, a classic holiday treat.

I’ve made this recipe many times, so this time I wanted to try something new. I made two versions of the dough. The first is the original and the second is a healthier version. I recently had to write an article about healthy ingredient substitutions (shameless plug), and decided to give them a try.

So let’s see how it went.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Dough Recipe One

The magic behind the first cookie dough.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

Dough Recipe Two 

The pieces of cookie dough two.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup mashed bananas (roughly 2 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

After the dough is made, the preparation is the same.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cover surface with flour (to avoid dough sticking to the table)
  3. Separate the dough into four sections.
  4. Roll section from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Cut out cookies using any type of cookie cutter.
  6. Place cookies, 1-inch apart, on baking sheet (sprayed with Pam)
  7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cook completely before icing and adding other decoration.

But before loading these treats up with frosting and sprinkles, take a look at the nutritional info per cookie.

Dough 1: 110 calories, 5g fat

Dough 2: 86 calories, 4g fat

Ok, so not a huge calorie difference in the long run. But if you plan on piling on the extras and eating more than one, you’d be better off with a low-calorie base.

Aside from nutritional info, there are a few other tiny differences. The second dough doesn’t hold its shape as well when baked. It also rises a bit more than the typical sugar dough, so you may want to roll the dough a little thinner. As far as taste, the second dough isn’t as sweet, which is great if you want to avoid going into a sugar coma.

Dough One(L) vs. Dough Two (R)

But when it comes down to it, both are amazing cookies that your special someone will love!

What’s your go-to cookie recipe?

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Red and Green Oatmeal Christmas Cookies

4 Dec

There are three distinct Christmas scents: evergreen, peppermint, and cookies!

Truth be told, my mom makes the best Christmas cookies. Some seem fancy while others are simpler, and they are all delicious. Unfortunately, given the variety of cookies and the amount of them, these treats take about two days to mix, bake, and decorate.

So after scouring the internet and making a few minor adjustments, I settled on Red and Green Oatmeal Cookies. They’re festive and, as an added bonus, low in calories (only 75 a cookie!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Quaker Oats
  • 1 cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter, sugars, and apple sauce together until smooth.
  3. Add the egg whites and the vanilla extract, and continue mixing.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  5. Slowly add the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the M&Ms and combine well.
  7. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart from each other.
  8. Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes. Yields about 24 cookies.

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Share the recipe below!

Sweet Things In Life: Call Cookie Monster, Maybe

10 Jul

Every day, we see something that grabs our attention. Maybe it’s a Bill Cosby look-a-like or two squirrels gettin’ it on. Whatever the phenomena, we take out our fancy phones and snap a picture (or five). Sweet Things In Life is a special blog posting dedicated to those moments in my dessert obsessed life. 

sanseverything.wordpress.com

If you haven’t heard the catchy (and kind of annoying) “Call Me Maybe” at least once, then I highly suggest you crawl out from under that rock. The pop song from Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen has been a staple and birthday parties, ball parks, and even bars this summer. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have covered the tune, from Justin Bieber to the Harvard University baseball team.

While these parodies have been pretty funny, none have been as amazing as Cookie Monster’s cover, “Share It Maybe.” After all, this blue Muppet managed to change the lyrics AND reference cookies. Any song that does that lifts my two thumbs up.

Oreo: The Cookie of Love

26 Jun

Not since Animal Crackers has a cookie caused so much controversy.

Following Sunday’s Pride Parade in New York, Kraft posted an image of a rainbow-creme Oreo on it’s Facebook page. In an interview with Mashable, an Oreo representative said the image was part of Oreo’s 100th Birthday Celebration campaign, which “bring to life trending topics, pop-culture news, milestones, or celebrations using images of the iconic cookie and milk.” In honor of LGBT Pride Month, this image symbolizes the change in society, and the company’s support for gay rights and, above all things, love.

Facebook.com

Unfortunately, the statement was not met with the love that it encouraged. Hundreds of users spammed the page with hateful, homophobic comments. Some even went as far as to say they would boycott the cookie and company.

Well haters are always gonna hate. Luckily, there are more lovers out there. Over 100,000 users “Liked” the image while another 45,000 shared it.

Kraft is not the first company to come out in support of gay rights. Earlier this year Ben & Jerry’s released Apple-y Ever After. The flavor, placed in carton that features a gay couple atop a wedding cake that’s decorated with rainbows, launched in the UK after the country legalized gay marriage.

Seeing multi-billion dollar industries support this cause shows that the times are changing. Hopefully the change in time will soon result in a change in law.

 

How do you feel about the Oreo pride? Do you think companies should show support for a cause, or stay neutral? Let us know in the comments!

Quick Fix: Cookie in a Cup

14 Jun

Last night, as I curled up on the couch to watch some TV, my stomach started to rumble, a tell tale sign that I need some food. But this was speical sort of a rumble, as it was begging for a certain sweet.

Coooooooookies!” it screamed. 

Now I’m a big believer in eating what you want, when you want it (in moderation of course). Cookies, however, aren’t something you can whip up with in a few seconds. At least, that’s what I thought.

After a little experimenting, and a little help from the internet, I managed to bake a sweet and satisfying cookie in under five minutes. Don’t believe me? Give it a go.

Cookie In a Cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. brow sugar, packed
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Melt butter in the microwave.
  2. Mix sugars, salt, and extract with the butter.
  3. Add egg yolk and beat well.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Microwave for 45 – 60 seconds.
  7. Let cool (this is still a cookie after all) and enjoy!

Not only is this a simple recipe, but it’s one that you can easily change up. Try butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips. Throw in some peanut butter. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make cookie in a cup your way and let The Sweet Treat know how it turns out.

Girl Scout Candy Bars In the Works

9 May

Hello loyal Sweet Treat fans.

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I recently got a promotion at work (woo-hoo!) which means longer hours and a little more work (boo-hoo!). Because of this I’ve had less time to experiment in the kitchen and brink you breaking dessert news. Forgive me? I knew you would.

What better way to come back with the most amazing news in the world. Ok, maybe only the most amazing for Girl Scout cookie aficionados like myself. Jezebel reported today that the beloved Girl Scout cookies will soon be sold as candy bars. Great, right?

Photo courtesy of Jezebel.com.

According to the article, Nestle will release three Girl Scout candy bars this June. For a limited time only, you can enjoy bite-sized versions of your favorite two bite-sized cookies. Flavors will include Peanut Butter Creme (based off of Tag-A-Longs), Caramel Coconut (based of Samoas), and Thin Mints.

 

Sound too good to wait? Well you’re in luck because  a pre-sale will occur today at 3 p.m. EST on the company’s Facebook page . Will you be buying these tasty treats?

 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

1 Apr

April always lifts my spirit. I don’t know whether it’s the extra sunshine or the added color from flowers, but this month makes me happy. Why not celebrate with a seasonal sweet treat? When the weather gets warmer, however, I prefer to eat lighter treats. Less triple-layer chocolate cake, and more strawberry shortcake. So when I came across a recipe for lemon ricotta cookies, I couldn’t resists.

I admit, I hesitated at first. When my aunt makes her famous ricotta cookies, they have the texture of an Italian dough cookie or Russian tea cakes. But after seeing pictures of these thin cookies, I could tell they’d be a lighter fair. Once I bit into one, I knew I made the right choice. Taking a bite into this citrus cookie was like biting into cotton candy, without the sugar rush.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 15 ounce whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar.
  4. Add eggs, and blend.
  5. Add ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and blend.
  6. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients.
  7. Using a melon baller, place drops of the dough onto baking sheet.
  8. Place in oven and bake from 12 to 15 minutes (when the cookies turn a golden brown).

NOTE: Not a lemon person? Try using a different type of citrus. For some reason I think grapefruit would be amazing.

Like the whoopie pie dough, the dough for lemon ricotta cookies is extremely sticky. Since I was without a melon baller, I decided to use a piping bag to make the cookie dough drops. The sizes of the cookies varied because of this, but the taste didn’t.