Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to make red velvet treats…if you feel like you need a reason. I’m happy to eat red velvet 365 days a year. These Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars are a great variation on the flavor!

Red Velvet Bars:
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 T red food coloring (I like to use a little less and I love Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion from Lorann Professional Kitchen. It will change your life.)
3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready. Line the pan aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup butter softened and sugar until light and creamy. About 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until combined.

Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting.

To make the cream cheese frosting, Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Frost the top of the bars and enjoy! You can use sanding sugar or a few cookie crumbs to garnish.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Hello Friends. It has been way too long.

The last few months of 2014 were crazy. There were lots of yummy treats (I used appoximatley 10 pounds of butter in one month) and baked at least a dozen batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies from September to December. Friends and family assure me they never grow tired of these cookies, so I thought I would kick off 2015 with this classic recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 4 dozen

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs lightly beaten

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 – 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda and salt together and set aside. Combine shortening, sugars and vanilla; beat until creamy. Add beaten eggs and flour mixture, alternating between the two. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. If you have time, chill the dough for an hour in the refrigerator, this will help the cookies from becoming too flat. You can skip this step and the cookies will still be wonderful! Roll into balls (I like to use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop) and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake. It is actually best to underbake your cookies, then let them continue baking on the cookie sheet as they cool. This will make your cookies soft and perfect! All ovens are different, so it may take a couple of test batches to get the perfect cookie! Once they have set on the cookie shoot for 5-8 minutes, place on a cooling rack.

Nora loves these cookies so much, she came over to ‘help me’ photograph them. Can you believe how big she is? She quickly ate a cookie and drank the milk, I’m just glad I was able to get a few shots in before she offered her assistance.

Happy Baking in 2015 Friends!

Nora Cookies 2

Ean’s Fifth Birthday Camp Out

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Ean turned five in September (He is a cheeseball…see above photo). He is growing up so fast! We celebrated with his cousins and a couple friends with a Boys Camp Out in the backyard. Most of the items for his party we had on hand…or my mom did. I love the green percolator, it was a wedding gift for my parents and it was the perfect touch. The boys had hot dogs, gummy worms, s’mores, campfire cake & hot cocoa…and a lot of fun. I am sure our neighbors loved it!

Perfect Pancakes

pancakes

Pancakes are a weekly occurrence in our household. I am pretty sure my kids could eat them for breakfast 365 days a year. My favorite part of the recipe is the Sprite you add at the very end. Growing up my grandma always told me, ‘J just add a little Sprite or 7Up to your pancakes to make them fluffy.’ You can make this recipe without the Sprite and they are still delicious, but the Sprite makes for a fluffier pancake…and for some sweet memories of my grandma. 

Perfect Pancakes makes 16 pancakes

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups flour

4 Tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons Sprite or 7 Up  (I never really measure this)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs, vanilla and butter into buttermilk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone. Add Sprite until combined. You can add any add ins at this point. E & Nor love mini chocolate chips or blueberries.

Heat a large griddle over low to medium heat, and coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. 

 

Pineapple Whip Disney Style

Pineapple Whip We had the opportunity to go to Disney World a few weeks ago for vacation. We had a really amazing time and even got to vacation with friends. After Disney, we spent a few days at Pennsacola Beach with my parents…much needed relaxation after all of the Disney goodness. You can see a few photos from our trip below. My absolute favorite treat from our vacation was Disney’s Pineapple Whip. Before we left for the trip, I had seen a few knock off recipes pinned on Pinterest. I ended up finding one that is pretty much from scratch and will satisfy any Disney Pineapple Whip craving…at least until you can get back to Disney World.

Pineapple Whip

from Highheels & Grills Ice Cream 2 cans (20 oz. each) crushed pineapple 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 2 Tbsp lime juice 1/3 cup sugar 1-1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped.

Juice

Pineapple juice {As much or little as you want} Sugar, to taste Drain crushed pineapple and reserve 2 Tbsp. Set aside. Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a gallon zipped freezer bag and store flat in freezer until it becomes a slushy consistency. About 1-1/2 hours.

In a large bowl, gently fold pineapple mixture into whipped cream until blended. Return to freezer until completely frozen. About 1 hour. For the Juice: Add enough sugar to your pineapple juice to make it sweet enough to your liking. Scoop ice cream into a cup and fill the rest of the way with your juice. Enjoy!

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One Crazy Month And A Half

 

 

 

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It has been one crazy month and a half, friends! I feel like I have spent the last week catching my breath…just before the next round of crazy hits! I also thought I would catch you up…just a little bit.

The last weekend in March I ran my first half marathon. It had been a goal of mine for a while and over the winter I just decided to start training. I loved it, possibly more than a normal person should and I made my goal time! 13.1! Yay!!!

The following weekend there was a shower for some dear friends who were expecting a baby girl, who is already here now…and absolutely adorable. Congrats Matt & Em! Easter (which seems like an eternity ago) was in there along with a solid two weeks of the Campbell family being sick (This is really the only negative part of the craziness).

Nora is now 2 you guys. I’m not sure how that is possible. We had a couple small family parties for her the weekend before her birthday. The girl LOVES Minnie, so a Minnie party is what she got.

The weekend of Nora’s actual birthday I had the opportunity to help throw a couple major events for Springhill because (long story short) we are getting a new pastor and I am getting a new boss. Flowers, decorations, desserts. I loved every minute of it…although it was slightly stressful at times, I had some amazing help! I’m really excited for what is ahead.

The weekend of Mother’s Day was so relaxing because we didn’t have much going on and I got to hang out with my littles.

Bring on the next round of crazy!!!