National Cookie Month!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love cookies. I love to bake them. I love to make them for people I love. I love love love to eat them!
My husband laughs at me because one of the highlights for me at any wedding, is the cookie table 馃檪
So, when I found out that October is National Cookie Month, I knew I needed to celebrate in the ways that I love the best! I thought I would share what I have been baking up in the kitchen over the last year or so. Some of these have been for my own kids birthdays, some have been for nieces and nephews birthdays, and some have been actual cookie orders!
I love taking new orders and working on custom ideas, so if you see something that you like, or have a party theme you would love cookies to coordinate with, just message Colleen at sugaraunts.gmail.com 
Check out this cookie picture overload….
Circus theme party, I wrote about here
Snowman cookies 
Snowman snow globe cookies
Manger scene and stars cookies
Cars Party cookies
Baby Girl Baptism cookies
Baby Boy Baptism cookies
Fish party cookies
Minnie Mouse party cookies
Sesame Street Party cookies
Cars and Candyland Party cookies, see it all here
Butterfly party cookies
Sports and Dress-Up party cookies
We had a busy day with TWO birthday parties (a certain superhero-obsessed nephew turned 3, and a sweet little friend of ours turned 4) but I’ve had an original cookie recipe on my mind I am hoping to try out (and share if it tastes ok…) in the next few days. Think: pudding/cream cheese/fudge cakeballs with a surprise coating….I’ll let ya know how it goes!
~Colleen

Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes

Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes

With summer coming to an end, I decided to bake something to remind me of the hot days- what could be more summery than raspberry lemonade? These little minis were such a hit at my work bake-sale. People bought them two for a dollar!

I went the easy way and bought a lemon cake mix- whipped these up and baked them according to to the box.  I watched them a little closer making sure not to over bake since they are minis.
I found some cute cupcake liners with little lemons on the bottom of them.  They were on sale which made them even better!

 Voila!

The icing recipe was a buttercream that I added a few drops of red food coloring and a teaspoon of Raspberry Extract instead of vanilla.

 I didn’t have a pastry bag so I used a Ziploc and cut off a corner…this made a big mess.  This works in a pinch, but next time I will make sure I have a pastry bag handy. 

These little yummies were so fun to decorate.
Aren’t they so cute?

 Here they are all dressed up!
   The fresh raspberry on top really added a nice pop of flavor.
Delicious!

~Leanne

Healthy Double Chocolate Chip Banana muffins

This recipe is one I have made so many times for my kids. They LOVE banana muffins, especially when they are mini versions. The original recipe is from here. I have made this so many times and modified it to what I think is the best banana muffins. It can’t get much healthier than this. There is so much protein in these little buggers, you won’t feel bad about grabbing two (or four). My kids love them with breakfast, lunch, or as a snack. I make a double batch and freeze most of them, pulling out a dozen or so when we need them. Baby Girl even loves them frozen (feels great on teething gums). 
We had a rainy day on Friday and certain wild children needed to do something (besides jump off of couches). We decided to make some of these banana muffins, with a few extras added in. They LOVE to help me in the kitchen.  
They love to scoop, stir, spill… 

I added flax seed, wheat germ, and a scoop of protein powder to make these double chocolate muffins. We were out of chocolate chips but I found some Hershey kisses and chopped them up into big chunks.

 I usually use apple sauce instead of oil, but was out of apple sauce. I looked through the fridge and found yogurt. That works! Plain Greek yogurt would be even better.  What else do these muffins need?

Peanut Butter!

Healthy Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
4 Ripe bananas
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple sauce (or plain Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp light butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
12 chopped Hershey kisses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter with sugar and peanut better. Add egg and beat lightly. Add mashed bananas, vanilla, and yogurt. Then add all dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon into lined mini muffin tins. Bake 10 minutes. Enjoy!
~Posted by Colleen

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
 If you like mint chocolate chip ice cream, you need to try these! 
I signed up to bake something at a bake sale at work and I wanted to try something different.  I usually make chocolate chip cookies but others had already signed up to make those. I had an idea…what about mint chocolate chip cupcake?  I used a box mix for the chocolate cake and added some chocolate chips to them before baking.  The icing was super simple…mint flavored butter cream icing with chopped up chocolate chips. 
I made the cake according to the directions on the box.  I usually like to make chocolate cake from scratch with the recipe on the back of Hershey’s Cocoa power (sooo good and so easy) but I just used the box to make it easier.
I sprinkled chocolate chips on top.
Once these were cool, I worked on the icing.  I found a package of mint flavor that you just mix into any frosting you want to make (I made a butter cream). 
This tasted good, but I wanted to add a little something…chopped up chocolate chips (YUM)!

I piped the icing onto the cooled cupcake.  I didn’t have a pastry bag so I scooped the icing into a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner.  Once they were decorated with the icing, I added a few chocolate chips on the top just to make them look pretty!
Here is the butter cream icing I made.  So simple yet so good.
Buttercream Icing:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.               
Now onto my next creation….Lemon Raspberry Mini Cupcakes!
~Posted by Leanne

Homemade Noodles for Haluski + Sausage

My oldest sister, and fellow blogger Colleen, has three little kiddos of her own.  But on top of that, she babysits my Baby Boy two days a week while I’m at work.  


Taking care of four kids at once?  Corralling two, walking, get-into-everything 11 month olds?  Toting all four to play-dates and libraries and everything in between?  How does she find the energy???  

Word on the street is she’s Super Mom.  But even Super Moms deserve a break and a big THANK YOU every once in a while.  That was my thought when I decided to make a dinner for her and her family. 

I needed a yummy recipe.  Something that would be easy for her to reheat – something in one pot would be great.  Haluski and Sausage hit the mark, and I knew just what to do to make it extra delish – make the noodles from scratch!

Noodle Ingredients: (This will make more than enough noodles for your dish. If you’d like, you can save some and use them in soups or other pasta dishes for the week.)
  • 2 cups flour (and some extra for rolling out the dough)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
Haluski Ingredients:
  • One large onion
  • One head cabbage
  • One stick butter (more/less depending on how buttery you like your haluski)
  • Sausage or Kielbasa (I used Turkey Sausage)

Directions for Noodles:

First put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.  Create a well in the center of the flour.  Crack the eggs into the well. Add the oil and water to the well.


Break each egg, and gently mix the wet ingredients together.  Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix until well incorporated.  If your dough is sticking to the bowl, add more flour until it can form a ball.  


Let your dough sit in the bowl, covered with a paper towel, for 10 minutes.


Generously flour the table. Dust the dough with flour also.  Kneed the dough until it is still soft but no longer sticks to the table.  (You can add more flour during this process if it’s too sticky.)

Flour the table and dough again so that it doesn’t stick while rolling it out.  Roll the dough to your desired thickness.  These noodles plump up a little when you boil them, so roll it a bit thinner than desired.



Roll the dough, jelly-roll style.  Make sure you do not roll it too tightly – you don’t want it to stick together.



Cut the rolled dough into 1/4 pieces.  Unwrap the noodles as you go so that the dough doesn’t stick to itself.  Lay the noodles out on your floured table.

You can cook your noodles right away, or you can let them sit until dried.  Cut your noodles to desired length before cooking.  If you dried them, you can break them by hand.

Cook them in boiling water, just like you would egg noodles.  You know they are done when they start floating to the top of the water.


Directions for Haluski:



While the noodles were boiling, I chopped the onion and melted the butter.  Saute the onions in the butter until they are tender.


Chop the cabbage into 1/4 inch slices. If the slices are long, feel free to chop them in half.


Add the cabbage to the butter/onion mixture.  I had so much cabbage that I ended up transferring it all to a large pot.  Cover the pot and cook the cabbage until it is tender; about 15 minutes, stirring often.


Slice up the sausage or kielbasa and cook it in a skillet until browned.  

When noodles are floating, cabbage is tender, and sausage is browned, mix all together into one delicious dish.


Eat it for dinner tonight or deliver it to a Super Mom!

-Posted by Erin




Breakfast Strata

Breakfast Strata
This is an easy breakfast meal that can be made the day ahead and baked in the morning. I love it because it is a major time saver, everyone else loves it because it tastes delicious!  I have made this on Christmas Eve last year and popped it in the oven on Christmas morning, so simple. 
Most of the ingredients I always have on hand…which makes it even better!  You can substitute any of the veggies and meat for what you have on hand or what you like best.
10 slices of white bread cubed
1cup mushrooms chopped
1 small green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 ham steak cubed
8 eggs
2 cups milk
Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick spray
Place half of the cubed bread on the bottom of the pan
sprinkle with the veggies and then top with half of the cheese
Next, layer bread and ham and top with the remainder of the cheese.

Mix the milk and eggs, make sure to whisk well.  I was in a hurry when I made this one and didn’t mix them as well as I should have. You can see in the final picture the white on top…that is egg white.


 

Pour the egg mixture over the cheese.  You can cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bake  covered  350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. I like to uncover and turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes.  Smells like an omelet!
I didn’t get to taste the final product as my hubby took it to a football tailgate party for everyone to enjoy.  He said it was a hit! 
I got to stay home with the baby and enjoy some snuggles…and some yard sales with my sister.
 I won’t complain!
Hope you enjoy!
~Posted by Leanne

Pizza Dip

Delicious Pizza Dip
I made this dip for a Labor Day party and it was AMAZING!  I will be adding this to my recipe book and making it again. It smells like someone just baked a pizza in the kitchen…it is hot and bubbly and tastes like a warm gooey pizza.  You gotta try this!  Scoop it up with some bruchetta bread or crackers.
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded/grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded/grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese shredded/grated
2 ounces pepperoni, chopped slices
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
1/2 tsp italian seasonings
Directions
  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the cheese cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. 
~Posted by Leanne

Homemade Star Candy

I had a bunch of royal icing left over from making cookies and had an idea…

CANDY!!!


Baby Girl is having a First Birthday soon, with a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star party.  I thought I could use these candies for decorating the cake. This was so easy, I made these cute little star candies during regularly scheduled “quiet time/nap time”.
(I quote this because usually there are other activities going on during quiet time/nap time…like a little someone sitting at the top of the steps, kicking the wall…)
Any way, no walls were being pummeled by little feet today, so little stars it was!



the goods:
 I love Wilton gel food colors. It only takes the smallest little bit of color and a jar will last me forever.

 Cover your cookie sheet with wax paper. You could put the wax paper right on the counter-top, but putting on a cookie sheet makes it easy to move the whole thing out of little-arms-reach…Fill your icing bag royal icing, and go crazy drawing stars!

 Let them dry for a few hours and then pop em right off the wax paper. Store them in a sealed bag or container and they will keep up to 6 months.

I’m thinking a cake with blue icing and covered with little candy stars!
~Posted by Colleen