Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing

Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing tree

You may recognize these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing as my Halloween Sugar Cookies and you’re right. They’re exactly the same. But somehow, when I was looking at the page to make our Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing to give to friends, it simply didn’t feel right. I figured that if I was having a hard time using Halloween pictures to make Christmas cookies, well, probably you were having a hard time, too. Or even worse, not using Dirty Laundry Kitchen to make your Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing at all. Imagine my horror. Today, might have been my favorite time to date making these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing, because my daughter and her daycare class all helped me out in the kitchen. Each child stamped out their own cookie, waited patiently as they baked, and then tromped back to school where these (unfrosted) cookies were the afternoon snack. Meanwhile I decorated the rest of these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing. Since I forgot how intense the gel food coloring I use is, I ended up with some seriously intense colors this year. But I really like them. And … Continue reading

Homemade Marshmallows for Smores

Homemade Marshmallows for Smores

I definitely didn’t recreate the wheel when it came time to learn how to make Homemade Marshmallows for Smores, rather I looked to David Lebovitz, for a recipe, and it turned out that he went with a know entity as well, so my citation should also note that The Great Book of Chocolate was his original source. That said, I’m glad I started with David Lebovitz’ recipe, because it came out perfectly on the very first try. I was thrilled with both the vanilla and almond Homemade Marshmallows for Smores that I made, but going forward, I liked the almond so much that I’ll always make them with the hint of almond extract. One fun part of making Homemade Marshmallows for Smores is that you can control the texture of the marshmallows a little bit. Mine were soft and pillowy and light as clouds, but if you like them more firm, then a slightly hotter syrup will yield those results. Aside from the awesome marshmallows, of course, my friend Susan is way too smart to only buy standard hershey’s chocolate bars and instead bought the mini hershey’s candy assortment bag, so we had twix, snickers, peanut butter cups, milky ways, and of course plain hershey’s. … Continue reading

Ginger Snap Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwich

ginger snap eggnog icecream sandwich

Part of keeping my house well-stocked with things like the ingredients for Ginger Snap Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwich is about my serious love for house guests. I can invite people over at the last second with confidence knowing there will be the makings of a delicious meal somewhere in the depths of my pantry. Last weekend, it was Ginger Snap Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwiches. If you haven’t had Jeni’s ice cream, well, be on the lookout, because this stuff is seriously good. This year for her holiday flavors, she made Middle West Whiskey Eggnog. I just found the last of it in the freezer over the weekend. And fortunately, I also had a few gingersnap cookies lying around as well. Needless to say, this Ginger Snap Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwich made for one of the easiest and best desserts ever to be made at the very last minute. The guests were impressed and it took me no time at all. Ginger Snaps Eggnog Ice cream Let the ice cream soften for a minute or two. Scoop a generous ball onto a cookie. Top with another cookie. Voila! You can have guests assemble their own, or make them ahead and store them … Continue reading

Cherry Lime Scones, Heart-shaped for Valentine’s

cherry lime scone for valentine's

Cherry Lime Scones, Heart-shaped for Valentine’s are a big deal in our house. I’m not the earliest of risers, and Marc eats breakfast immediately upon waking, so cooking brunch or breakfast for him is a rare thing. It’s really a guests thing. Complicating matters, Marc’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast. So, the best Valentine’s gift I give Marc is usually a labor of love in the form of breakfast- bright and early, just the way he likes it. This is my favorite scone recipe. It comes out perfectly every time, and it offers lots of room for changing up the flavors. And variety is the spice of life you know. My favorite combination is cherry and Meyer lemon, but who wants the same flavor every time? Be bold and experiment so you can state your favorite with confidence as well. When you’re pairing the dried fruit and citrus, as a rule of thumb, think about pairing a more tart with a more sweet. Cranberry with orange, cherry with lemon. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Blueberry with tangerine is awesome. And I haven’t even tried a grapefruit pairing yet. But today, since I was making them … Continue reading

Ginger. Ginger! Ginger!! Cookies with White Chocolate

Ginger Ginger Ginger Cookies with White Chocolate aerial

It’s colder than molasses in February, which triggers a happy cold weather memory for me and these Ginger. Ginger! Ginger!! Cookies with White Chocolate. In college, my friend Molly and I developed an obsession with these soft, chewy cookies that were sold at the sandwich shop across the street from my apartment. They were seasonal and it had to be pretty miserable out before you could buy these cookies. Every now and then, we’d share a cookie (usually we just bought two, but hey, good behavior now and then is important) and Molly was always in charge of dividing it. She’s really precise about food. I’m pretty sure she grew up in one a one kid divides the treat and the other kid picks first families. When we graduated and moved away from Evanston, I missed these cookies almost as much as I missed Molly and her careful division. I’ve made many versions over the years trying to get them just right. Molly, this one’s for you. I think I’ve finally nailed it. It turns out the secret was ginger, ginger, and more ginger for these Ginger. Ginger! Ginger!! Cookies with White Chocolate. While they were giant cookies originally, I … Continue reading

Happy New Year Party

plum sparkler New Year's Eve cocktail

Happy New Year! Dirty Laundry Kitchen is now about a year old. I want to take a moment to thank you all so much for reading the blog and sharing 2013 with me. There’s no place I’d rather be than in my home, cooking and sharing my passion for life with friends and family. This blog is all about that passion. You’ve all made that possible. So thanks. A new year calls for reflection and celebration. And lots and lots of sparkles. You can see how I decorated for New Year’s Eve below, and check out my Happy New Year Party. Here’s a closeup of the glittered pom poms and holly leaves next to the gold candles with silver candlesticks. I think they came out great. Here you can see that I put glue all over some of the leaves, but others I painted just the edges. This way there was lots of contrast on the leaves.  The glittered holly leaves looked amazing.Using skewers and styrofoam balls, I made the glittery pom poms. I just dipped them in glue and rolled them in glitter. It was really fun, but I totally forgot how messy glitter is! I wrapped some of … Continue reading

Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars

swedish orange cardamom stars iced

These Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars provide a festive and light dessert that will pair nicely with the cocktail and further our theme of glitter and sparkles for New Year’s. You can make the dough ahead a couple of days and store in the refrigerator, but baking ahead isn’t the best. These are definitely a cookie that’s best fresh. Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars also make great tea cookies though, as they’re almost crisp-like. 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup powdered sugar ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon ground cardamom ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup almond paste, crumbled 1 tablespoon butter, chilled 1/3 cup orange juice concentrate (thawed) 3 tablespoons canola oil Icing: 2 cups powdered sugar 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate (thawed) Combine flour, 1 cup powdered sugar, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a food processor; process until blended. Add almond paste and butter; process until blended. Add juice and oil. Process until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. Press into a two disks and wrap with plastic. Chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Working with 1 disk at a time roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies out with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Place … Continue reading

Danish Puffs

Danish Puff

The second almond dessert of the week, as promised: Danish Puffs. The flaky crust, the custardy egg puff that is pâte à choux, the buttery sweet almond frosting, the crunchy almonds… such an amazing complement. My mom, sister and I used to make these on Christmas Eve and then we frosted them Christmas morning, while we made coffee, sliced fruit and watched my brother make eggs or savory bread pudding. My dad was outside feeding the birds so we could watch the cardinals, goldfinches and chickadees enjoy their winter feast, and hopefully, it would snow. While I’m not always in Wisconsin to complete the ritual, baking this breakfast pastry brings back all of the wonderful memories. Make Danish Puffs part of your Holiday tradition now. This recipe makes two puffs, and they freeze rather well. ½ cup cold butter ¾ cup room temperature butter; divided 2 cups flour; divided 1 cup + 2 tablespoon water; divided 2 teaspoons almond extract; divided 3 eggs 2 cups powdered sugar 2 tablespoons milk sliced almonds Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix as if you’re making a pie crust (for me, that’s in a food processor) ½ cup cold butter and one cup … Continue reading

Norwegian Almond Bars

Norwegian Bars

Close in time to making these Norwegian Almond Bars, my sister asked me to rank pistachios, cashews, peanuts and almonds in order of preference. I told her it was impossible, except that I knew peanuts were always last. Which is not to say I don’t like peanuts, I just like them less than the others. It’s impossible for me, because I like to use different nuts for different things. But the honest truth is that an almond shortage would probably hit me the hardest. So perhaps I have to admit I like almonds the most- maybe not when eating a simple snack- but definitely when it comes to cooking. The first step is always admitting you have a problem. And you already know all about mine. Almond desserts. So this week you’re getting two more, just in time for Christmas. For whatever reason, MANY Scandinavian desserts are all about almonds. I set out to do a little research, but I couldn’t find anything worth reporting as to why that is. Instead, I’ll just index some of my favorites, as evidence that I’m right: Princess cake (which is covered in marzipan), Almond cake, these Norwegian Almond Bars, and Danish Puffs. And … Continue reading

Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies

mice cookies in front of tree

While it’s true that there are lots and lots of cookies already hanging around in offices and lounges everywhere, I promise you’re going to need to make one more recipe, these Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies. Because they are the cutest cookies EVER. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also really delicious. It’s a fun cookie to bake ahead and then bring to a party unassembled. People get into working together to build the cookies. It’s fun to make an assembly line as the jobs naturally divide up. There’s a froster, a cherry dipper, a kiss placer, an ear maker and then of course, we all get to be the eaters. And if you’re so inclined, word on the street is that Santa really likes these Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies. Makes around 60 mice (I’ve subdivided the ingredients by element, so make sure you read the whole thing before you make your shopping list). Pecan shortbread cookies: 1 cup unsalted butter ½ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 ¼ cups flour ¾ cup pecan pieces ½ teaspoon salt Beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Beat in salt and powdered sugar. Add in vanilla. Add in flour until fully incorporated. Finally … Continue reading

Grasshopper Brownies

grasshopper brownies in front of christmas tree

Holiday sweets are on the menu here at Dirty Laundry Kitchen including Grasshopper Brownies, a family favorite. I know we all have lots of parties this month, which means hostess gifts, cookie shares, school cookies, and of course, cookies for Santa, if your family is into that sort of thing. Grasshopper Brownies is one of those recipes that my mom used to make when I was little, and of course we helped. Looking back, that is probably one of the many reasons that we made them almost every year. It’s a great cookie to include your kids in the making and decorating process, because Grasshopper Brownies are very straightforward, easy to make, and include simple decorations that come out well no matter who is in charge. The brownie recipe is plenty dense and chewy and as long as you keep the Grasshopper Brownies well-wrapped, they seem to age very well. The top layer of creamy mint frosting and chocolate glaze seal the moisture inside the brownies. Aside from storing well, you can make them in stages and do a little of the work each day, which also make this a great recipe for the busy holiday season. And gorgeous, have I … Continue reading

Cocktail Cookies Four Ways

four types of cocktail cookies

apricot tarragon chocolate cayenne with smoked maldon rosemary parmesan salty black and white sesame This Cocktail Cookies Four Ways post is a little bit of a teaser. See, I make these for private events, so I’m not posting the recipe here. I make lots of other flavors too. Salt-cured olives, orange rosemary, goat gouda and thyme. It’s always fun to invent new ones for special events. They pair well with wine and cocktails because they’re basically savory shortbread cookies. A little sweet but mostly salty butter goodness. They were an amazing little knosh for guests and cooks alike for Thanksgiving 2012 that were so good they became part of the Dirty Laundry Kitchen repertoire. … Continue reading