Self Doubt (through Sugar Cookies)

Do you remember last fall when I discussed the Sugar Cookie Challenge? It might have even been late last summer. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was going well… and then it wasn’t. I knew it was kind of a long shot to do 300 dozen cookies, but I was willing to give it a shot. I think I actually forgot to blog a few of the different batches. I’ll go back and make sure, and if I didn’t, I’ll add them. It may not be that important but it is so fun to look back at the years on this blog and see things. Things I had otherwise forgotten… like the post on wedding dress shopping.

So where does the title fall in? Easy… When you are going along, selling dozens of cookies and then all at once BAM! cookie sales stop. You begin to wonder what happened. Then when you very seldom have repeat customers, you begin to question things again.

Were the cookies not good? I did create my own recipe. Did they not meet or exceed people’s expectations? I’m not sure. Do I just suck? Maybe. So much self-doubt creeps in. It is enough to make a person question everything. I mentioned the other day that I used to be the total optimist just like Sue Heck (the character from The Middle), but after being put down and called naive your whole life, it starts to wear on you.

New Sugar Cookies

The week before Easter I decided I was going to make some sugar cookies. It really stemmed from this whole blog. Explain? I’m glad you asked! Well, I was looking back through Easter posts on the blog looking for recipes we had used in years past. I stumbled across a post where Tbug and I decorated sugar cookies way back when. It was actually a kit I bought from the good ol’ Walmart store. The cookies were hard. Who knows how long the icing had been in the package. But it was super easy and super fun!

I decided I needed to do something like that with Abug. But the Walmart store didn’t have those kits the day I went there. So that meant I needed to make my own sugar cookies to decorate. (more…)

French Macarons

I attempted French Macarons… again. The first time I did them, like how many years ago, they were okay. At that time I wasn’t sure what they were supposed to taste like. The recipe turned out okay I would say. I didn’t feel like filling them because I didn’t want to make a filling so we used some strawberry jam I had in the fridge. Other than that… meh. These are kind of time-consuming cookies really.

So a couple months ago I decided to try again, but this time I planned on making them Coffee French Macarons. Holy cow, they didn’t work. They didn’t bake. They were awful. I threw them all away. It was sad. Also, I didn’t have any heavy whipping cream so I tried to thicken half and half to make the ganache. My Friend Google told me I could. He lied. It was just a nightmare.

At that point, I thought I had given up… But then I ran across a blog called Bigger Bolder Baking. Gemma is Irish. She does/has a YouTube channel and listening to her accent is fun. So I decided to see if she’d made French Macarons. By golly, she had. I watched both videos she made and then I got the urge again.

Now, I was ahead of the game a little. One thing you need to do is have egg whites at room temperature and aged 24-48 hours. Over the weekend I made Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie. After we went to the Merchantile, everyone was raving about it. I had a bite but really don’t remember it. We had a family game night over the weekend and I made dessert. You guessed it… Chocolate Pie. It uses egg yolks so I had egg whites sitting in a bowl. I guess you could say I was already preparing to try French Macarons again before I came across Gemma’s recipe. Guilty.

French Macarons

Gemma said that these are temperamental cookies. She’s not lying. And truthfully it is not difficult, you just have to be precise. This is where the scale I got for Christmas comes in handy. Especially because she said you had to measure in metric measurements. Hello Grams. Thank goodness my scale measures in those…. whew! Saved by the scale.

She also recommended using a hand mixer, so I dug it out and did. So you want to whisk your egg whites, 55grams to be exact, until soft peaks form. Then you add sugar, turn the mixer to high and let it form stiff peaks. (more…)

Camo Sugar Cookies

The same day I had Where the Wild Things Are Sugar cookies due, I also had an order for Camo Sugar cookies. 2 dozen to be exact. They were for a joint birthday party. We discussed how to do them. At first, Jody wanted pink and then green and then suggested doing something in green with names in orange and pink. She really wasn’t sure and let me kind of have free reign.

(more…)

Where the Wild Things Are Sugar Cookies

The next round of cookies are made. One minute I think I’m totally happy and the next minute I feel like I totally screwed them up. Gosh. I may be hard on myself, I don’t know… We’ll see. Oh wait, they’ve already been delivered and eaten. These were made in the middle of the month for a friend’s daughter’s baby shower.

Today I was walking through TJ Maxx and saw this book. Then I realized I actually knew this book. When I was initially hit up about doing these cookies I had no clue what the book was. Isn’t that funny how things like that work out?

Earlier this year I made up my own sugar cookie recipe. So far, I’m still digging it. They hold their shape, they are sweet but not too sweet, and truthfully I love them. I sure hope other people do…

And this blog post is all over the place. How many did I make? 2 dozen. Where does that put me on the challenge? Good question…. 26 out of 300 dozen… Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing (for Spiced Sugar Cookies)

Rolling out fall spiced sugar cookie dough

The other day I ran across a recipe for spiced cookies. I thought… mmmmm those sound good. Problem was, they called for 3/4 of a cup of butter. I hate when recipes make me cut a stick of butter up like that and don’t finish it off. Silly I know, but true no less.

So I continued on my day and ran across another recipe for spiced cookies, this time it used 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups). Okay, so that’s better. But truth be told, I prefer to use my butter in even numbers. I’m totally weird.

All day for 2 days I’d randomly look back at these recipes thinking, boy they sound good but the butter amounts are bugging me. Finally, I decided to make the batch that used 1-1/2 cups butter, but possibly use the seasonings in the smaller batch. They were different after all. So I pulled 3 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Then I went back to staring at the recipes at hand. Both of them. That’s when it hit me… It’s just a sugar cookie recipe that they are doctoring up with spices… why not use the sugar cookie recipe that is my own unique one?

(more…)