Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

Amidst all the chocolate and peanut butter and pecans and raspberry and apricot, we needed a fresh, bright, citrusy, spring cookie for the wedding cookie table.

This light, delicate Lemon Crinkle Cookie is just the ticket!

A tangy zip of lemon juice and zest in a small little puff rolled in powdered sugar and “crinkled” will make a lovely  contrast in flavor and color.

It’s wedding week, and we are so excited!

Hope you will give this lovely cookie a try.

And while we are talking about cookies…. my friend Sherrie told me a joke this week that I thought would be fun to share given all the cookie recipes I’ve been sharing lately….

Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

……………………………………………………………………………….Because it was feeling crummy! ūüėĚūüėĚūüėĚūüć™

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (2 large lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from same 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • A couple drops of yellow food coloring
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 ups flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (to roll cookies in before baking)

Directions:

In the mixing bowl of electric stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth.  Beat in sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and lemon extract, food coloring and salt.  Mix until well combined, light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg yolk and beat for 1-2 minutes on medium until creamy and light.

Gradually add in baking powder and flour on low speed until just incorporated.  Dough will be quite sticky.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1 inch round balls and then roll in powdered sugar.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies puff and crinkle.  Do not overbake.  Cookies should not brown.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Cookies are wonderful when frozen or refrigerated for a “cool” taste. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Poppy Seed Cake.

If you know me at all, you know Poppy Seed Cake is my favorite of all cakes.

Unusual to most I’m guessing, but most significant to me because my Grandma always made it for my birthday (New Year’s Eve) since everyone is just about over it with sweets by then after the holidays.

I had some fresh strawberries that were on the verge of going bad and lemon on the brain from a cookie I was making for the wedding cookie table, so I decided to whip up and “zip” up a poppy seed cake for Easter Sunday.

A bit of tart and sweet lemon zest in the batter along with chunks of juicy red-ripe strawberries and a thin lemon glaze really “Spring”ed up my usual wintertime poppy seed cake craving.

Hubby loved his with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an extra handful of fresh strawberries on top.

If you are looking for a fresh, not too sweet, but yummy Spring cake to serve, give this one a try.  It is truly delightful!

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Poppy Seed Cake*

  • Servings: 1 marvelous cake
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 ¬†cup poppy seeds
  • Glaze:
    • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 Tbsp milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a fluted cake pan or your favorite.

In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest.  Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating.  Add milk, yogurt and vanilla next.  Stir in dry ingredients until combined.  Gently stir in strawberries and poppy seeds.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake test inserted comes out clean.

Prepare glaze by mixing lemon juice and powdered sugar until sugar is completely dissolved, then stir in milk until smooth.   Set aside.

Cool cake for at least 20 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

Serve with additional fresh strawberries and ice cream, if desired.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Adapted from a recipe found on BakerbyNature.com

Buckeye Balls

Buckeye Balls.

Calling all chocolate and peanut butter lovers! ¬†Another must-have “staple” at any Pittsburgh wedding cookie table is the Buckeye Ball!

These delectable little creamy peanut butter delights coated in dark chocolate are called Buckeye Balls because they look like Buckeye nuts and originated in Ohio – the Buckeye state.

Simple, but absolutely delish, this is cookie #9 on my wedding cookie table list.   The freezer is filling up fast, and the wedding date is closing in on us!  Cookie baking continues.

Here’s the recipe. ¬†Hope you will give them a try.

Buckeye Balls

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lb. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Mix peanut butter and butter in a bowl with wooden spoon until creamy.  Blend in vanilla.  Add powdered sugar, and stir until incorporated and a stiff mixture forms.

Roll teaspoon-sized pieces into balls, and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet or cutting board.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Melt chocolate in narrow deep container in microwave for 1 minute and then at 30 second intervals until smooth.  Using a wooden skewer, dip balls into chocolate all but for a bit at top.  Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.  Allow to cool completely and chocolate to harden.  Smooth over hole created by skewer with a small spatula or your clean finger.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Wedding Cookie List Baking so far:

  1. Jodi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Hershey Kiss Brownie Bites
  3. Pecan Tassies
  4. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
  5. Pecan Sandies
  6. Carrot Cake Thumbprints
  7. Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
  8. Apricot Kolaches
  9. Buckeye Balls

 

 

 

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

Is anything more divine than tart, sweet raspberry and velvety, dark chocolate?

Then combine it with a flaky, buttery shortbread cookie?!

Heaven in a bite – right?!

These little gems are the most recent cookie baking project for the wedding cookie table.

I think you might want to make some of these too!

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 16 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy with electric mixer.  Gradually add flour and combine until dough forms.

Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into 3/4″ balls. ¬†Place on baking stone¬†about an inch apart. ¬†Press small indentation in center of dough with your finger. ¬†Place a 1/4 tsp. raspberry jam in indentation.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned on edges.  Let cool 5-10 minutes on baking stone, the remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, melt chocolate and spoon into plastic bag.  Snip corner and drizzle on top of cookies.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies.

Wedding Cookie Table baking continues as we approach the last few weeks until the wedding!

I couldn’t resist trying a Pecan Sandie Shortbread Cookie to add to the selection given that I overbought pecans for the Pecan Tassie recipe.

And Oh How Gloriously Buttery, Nutty Deliciouso these turned out!  Be still my nut-loving shortbread heart!  (Oh Rob Рyou are going to LOVE these!)

Anyone who loves Keebler’s Pecan Sandies, you are in for SUCH a TREAT with this recipe! ¬†Can I get an Hallelujah? ¬†Can I get an Amen!

Hope you will give this simple, yet extraordinary recipe a try!

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups toasted pecans (Coarsely chop 3 cups and reserve 1/2 cup whole)

Directions:

In a large electric mixer bowl, combine softened butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  Continue beating at high speed until light and fluffy.

Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until combined.  Add four one cup at a time and slowly combine.  Remove from mixer, and fold in 3 cups chopped toasted pecans.

Place dough in Ziploc bag in refrigerator and chill for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll top half of ball with sugar, flatten slightly, and add a pecan half to center.

Place on baking stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Do not overbake.  Remove to cooling rack to cool.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Pecan Tassies: Wedding Cookies

Pecan Tassies:  Wedding Cookies

If I were standing at a wedding cookie table and was told I could only choose ONE cookie from all the varieties on the table…

every single time…. I would choose a Pecan Tassie.

That’s just me. ¬†Now I know my friend Mary would pick the Hershey Kiss Brownie Bite. ¬†Nick would pick the Chocolate Chip. ¬†My friend Wayne would go for the Carrot Cake Thumbprint. ¬†Jake would likely take the Peanut Butter Cup Cookie. ¬†Hubby – he always goes for the Apricot Kolache…. ¬†Always – anything apricot.

So this week, as I continue to bake cookies for the wedding cookie table, I made my faves, and I happily continue to bake.

If you could only pick one cookie from the cookie table, which would yours be?

Pecan Tassie Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Cookie Crust
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cups flour
  • Pecan Filling
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions:

Prepare cookie crust by blending cream cheese and butter.  Stir in flour and work with your hands to form a ball of dough.   Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Divide dough into 48 balls and place into mini muffin pans.  Press balls in with Mini Tart Shaper (the most genius baking invention ever!) to form shell for filling.

Combine brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and chopped nuts.  Scoop into mini tarts filling 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake 12-18 minutes – depending on your oven – until lightly browned.

Cool and gently remove from pans.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

The wedding cookie table baking continues with another classic.

Most everyone loves a little cookie cup with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in it – right?

So many wonderful little treats you can bake in mini muffin pans!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp. milk or half & half
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 70-80 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Mix in salt and baking soda, and finally flour just until incorporated.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place in ungreased nonstick mini muffin pan.  Bake 7-8 minutes.

Remove from oven, and immediately press a miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup into each ball. ¬†Cool ¬†and carefully remove from pan.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies.

I tried a new cookie recipe this weekend to add to the wedding cookie table.

And OMG – if you ever dreamed you could have your cake and eat it in a cookie too – well – your dream has come true with this recipe. ¬†Seriously… carrot cake delightfulness in a cookie!

The frosting filling alone…… well…. all I can say is it makes me think of what a cloud might taste like in heaven…. ¬†sweet creamy, buttery, cream cheesey delight with a swirl of apricot. ¬†Can you even imagine?!

A nutty, crunchy, shortbread-like cookie with a delightful apricot cream cheese filling.  If you are looking for a beautiful, sweet treat for a special occasion like perhaps Рa wedding cookie table Рthese lovely little morsels are just the ticket!

Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 sticks butter, melted, plus 2 sticks, room temperature, for frosting
  • 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots or golden raisins
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 6 tsp. apricot jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat melted butter, sugars, and egg yolks until light and creamy.  Blend in ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  gradually beat in flour.  Mix in oats, carrots, and chopped apricots or raisins.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Roll into chopped nuts.  Place on baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, and quickly press an indentation into center of each cookie ball.  Return to oven and bake for 8 more minutes until lightly golden brown.

Transfer to a cooking rack and cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, beat remaining 2 sticks of softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. ¬†Beat in cream cheese. ¬†Gently swirl in apricot jam.

Place frosting in large Ziploc bag.  Snip corner and pipe into each cooled cookie.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Adapted from Martha Stewart

 

Hershey’s Kiss Brownie Bites

Hershey’s Kiss Brownie Bites
might just be the ultimate  little treat
for the inner chocoholic in
all of us (well – 99.999999% of us… Hard as it is to believe – there is an itsy bitsy, teeny tiny ¬†population of people on this earth who do not like chocolate!)

But for the rest of us….
Imagine a bite-sized scoop of Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix
baked to perfection of fudgy center with slightly hardened and cracked outside
in a mini muffin baking pan¬†(be sure to line) and topped off with a smooth, creamy milk chocolate Hershey’s Kiss.

Not only are they sheer decadent delight, they are about as easy to make as desserts come.

I have started baking for my son’s wedding next month. ¬†We have a unique tradition in our little part of the world that requires an overflowing cookie table at weddings. ¬†The cookies are eaten for appetizers, dessert (along with wedding cake), and supplied to take home in to-go boxes. ¬†I’m happily in charge of the cookie table for the wedding, so a baking I will go.

I started with these little brownie bites and will be stocking the freezer with chocolate chips and apricot kolaches and lots more in the coming weeks!

Wedding cookie table or not, you are going to want to try these. ¬†Your friends and family will thank you, and you won’t be sorry!

Hershey's Kiss Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line mini-muffin baking pan with foil mini-muffin liners.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions by combining mix, water, oil, and egg.  Scoop batter into foil liners to 3/4 full.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes. ¬†While brownie bites are baking, unwrap Hershey’s kisses. ¬†Remove from oven and immediately insert a Hershey’s kiss into the center of each brownie bite. ¬†Press gently. ¬†Allow to cool. ¬†The kisses take a while to set, so be careful.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Chocolate Kisses,
Jodi

A Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I had the joy and privilege of hosting a Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower for my bright and bubbly daughter-in-law to be this past weekend.

I had fun decorating and preparing for our girly party!

Thanks to Matron of Honor and beautiful sister, Laura, and loving, gentle mom, Pat for co-hosting with me.

(And a super special thanks to my BFF Jill for taking all of these photos as well as helping with anything else needed while I was busy hosting.)

Liz was surrounded by the love of her Mom and three sisters…

and there is another beautiful girl on the way to add to this gang!

First things first – the Bubbly!

and a toast to the bride-to-be.

Friends and family attended.

Families mingled meeting and getting to know each other…

and several generations shared in the joy and love.

New moms and great grandmoms…

and moms with babies on the way,

and moms who get to share ‚̧ .

Then there was brunch.

Where we served a buffet of Chicken ¬†Salad on Sliced Crostini, Crispy Veggies with Hummus, Fresh Fruit and Honey Walnut Brie, along with…

Mini BLTs served on Heart-shaped biscuits,

Loaded Deviled Eggs,

and a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Candied Pecans.

Aunt Kathy made the MOST amazing cupcakes I’ve every tasted! ¬†Strawberry Lemon with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting,

My friend, Pam who makes the most amazingly beautiful sugar cookiedoodles, made these gorgeous and delicious treats that we served along with my cookie pops.

The guests brought and shared amazing gifts for our newlyweds to be.

We played a few games. ¬†Pretty simple ones really… Like guess the number of corks and gave away prizes when a timer went off during gift opening.

Some sweet and funny stories were shared when guests filled out a “Mad Lib” story…

and then chose to share with the group.

And then the groom-to-be (my son, Nick) arrived with flowers, smiles, and a tight hug.

Favors of Homemade Lavender Sugar Scrub were given to guests as a thank you before leaving.

A kiss and an “I love you” at the end of the day, but the beginning of a lifetime. ¬†(with a little bit of sweet granddaughter drool on my shoulder)

It was a great day to celebrate a great young lady!

Love you Liz!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks Jill!

Party Supplies:
Toasting Flutes for Mimosa Bar
Juice Carafes for Mimosa Bar
Tissue Paper Tassel Garland
Tissue Paper Pom Poms
Tissue Paper Honeycomb Balls