Classic Sugar Cookies

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Just in time for the holidays – I have decided to start back on my forgotten blog about my love for cooking. I will start with the ever-amazing classic sugar cookie.

This recipe is so simple and it cuts out my least favorite part of the whole cookie process – the long wait time to let the dough set in the fridge before you can make anything!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

– Soften the butter & add to a large mixing bowl. Add in the shortening and mix on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

– Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix until combined – scraping the sides occasionally.

– Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

– Beat in flour until completely combined.

– Spread the dough out on a floured surface and roll out into 1/4 inch thin dough (you want these on the thin side as they do puff up). Use cookie cutters for shapes or normal biscuit cutters for circles.

– Put on un-greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes (do not let edges brown).

**Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition: 88 cals, 4 g fat, 47 mg sodium, 12 carbs, 1 g. protein — per cookie

 

Don’t forget to use icing!

Summer Berries

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So, recently I discovered an awesome U-pick berry farm in Rock Ranch, Georgia (named The Rock Ranch). This is my second visit and the berries were beyond perfect. I mean just look at these beauties. I got 30 pounds of raspberries and blackberries!! 

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I immediately came home and attempted to figure out what to make first and I decided that I MUST have a raspberry pie. After tweaking a previously used pie crust recipe (my Mom’s), I came up with the best pie crust I have ever tasted. Seriously, you have to try it at least once! 

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My recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2-3 tbs. COLD water (PUT ICE IN THE CUP)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • About a cup of fruit (depending on size of pie)
  • Sugar (to sprinkle on top of pie before baking – you can use bigger coarse sugar, but I like the smaller grains)
  • Additional Flour (to mix in with berries for pie filling – maybe a tablespoon)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Things to Note:

  • This recipe can make one 9-inch (regular size) pie or 2 mini covered crust pies.
  • Make the crust 45 min. ahead of time and have the fruit mixture and beaten egg ready in bowls to the side. 
  • Can be easily doubled if you need to make more mini pies.

For a normal sized 9-Inch Pie:

  • In medium bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in shortening using pastry blender or 2 knives until particles are pea size. Sprinkle in cold water 1 tbs. at a time, tossing with fork until flour is moistened.
  • Gather pastry into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes (If refrigerated longer, let it soften slightly before rolling).
  • Roll pastry onto lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin into a circle. Put in the pie pan (un-greased) and press into pan to make it form to the pan.

For a Mini-Pie:

  • In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening using pastry blender or 2 knives until particles are pea size. Sprinkle in cold water 1 tbs. at a time, tossing with fork until flour is moistened.
  • Gather pastry into two balls and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes (If refrigerated longer, let it soften slightly before rolling).
  • Roll pastry onto lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin into a circle. Put in the pie pan (un-greased) and press into pan to make it form to the pan. Repeat for the cover of the pie. 

For the Filling:

  • Take whatever fruit you are using (raspberry, blackberry, etc.) and mix it with a small amount of flour and sugar. Drain/strain the rest to get rid of the excess (I just used a pasta strainer). After the pie is conformed to the pan, put the fruit mixture in it. Dust with some more sugar on top (in case most of the sugar got dusted off). 
  • Put the pie cover on and take off the excess from the edges. Press the sides together all the way around the pie to get the bottom crust to firm with the top crust. Using a fork, press down along the side of the pie on all edges to seal. Cut some lines into the top of the crust to allow for heat removal (as you can see in the pictures below, I did this in a circular pattern, but feel free to put lines in any order). Take the beaten egg and lightly spread over the pie crust (I used a basting brush and it works perfectly for this sort of thing!) and top with coarse (or normal sugar).
  • Bake for 20 minutes (watch for a browned crust). 
  • You can allow to cool before eating, but chances are you will not be able to wait that long! 

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Don’t forget to dust with powdered sugar for that perfect finishing touch! 

* Be sure to complete this dish with homemade whipped cream 🙂 My simple recipe for that will soon follow so check back! 

Welcome!

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Hello everyone! As this is my first blog entry, I wanted to introduce myself quickly.

My name is Nicole Coppola and I have recently discovered my passion for cooking (specifically baking). Unfortunately, I was never taught how to cook by my parents and have never received any formal training, so I am pretty much on my own. I have created this blog as a way to share my new found love for cooking and the recipes that come out of it to anyone and everyone who wishes to utilize them.

Feel free to reach out and thank you for reading 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

 

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