Candy Corn Swirl Cookies

Candy corn cookies

I love complicated and elaborate desserts. Something that really makes people say “Wow!” But sometimes, I don’t have the time (or energy) to put together such a dessert. Or sometimes I’m putting together multiple desserts and they just can’t all be “wowers” (hey, a girl’s gotta have a life outside of baking too!). It’s times like those, that I turn to simple cookies, like a candy corn-inspired swirl cookie!

Candy Corn Swirl Cookies
Yields about two dozen cookies

2 sticks (226 grams) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Food coloring in yellow and orange

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Cupcake Cookies

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One of the things I’ve been doing since returning to the US for my summer vacation is to stock up on all possible baking supplies. It’s not that we don’t have these things in Norway (we do), it’s just that they’re harder to come by and often require either placing an online order and waiting (not my strongest virtue), or traveling to a larger and more distant city. So my annual vacation to the US is the perfect time to stock up on such items. And so it was perusing the baking isle of yet another store, that I stumbled across a cupcake shaped cookie cutter. I couldn’t resist and snatched it up on the spot (for only 99 cents, who could say no?!)! I bought it, trekked home, and insisted my Mum help me in the creation of a delightfully adorable cupcake cookie.

Cupcake Cookies
Yields about 2 dozen decorated cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
1 sticks (113 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the royal icing:
4 tbsp. meringue powder OR egg white powder
1/2 cup luke warm water
1 lb. (500 grams) powdered sugar
Food coloring gel in pink and yellow

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Brushed Rose Cookies

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Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday, and we all know what that means: baked goodies! Well, at least that’s one of the things it means in this family. And since my mother-in-law doesn’t particularly enjoy baking (although she’s really a lot better than she gives herself credit for), I offered to pick up the task in honor of her big day. Several weeks earlier we’d stumbled across a recipe for a Troika cake (Troika is a Norwegian candy bar layered with chocolate, marzipan, and raspberry jelly) that she said she’d really like to try, but I decided I couldn’t stop there. Oh no, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find an excuse to bake and decorate some cookies too.

Brushed Rose Cookies
Yields approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
1 stick (113 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups all purpose flours

For the royal icing:
4 tbsp. meringue or egg white powder
1/2 cup luke-warm water
500 grams (just over 1 lb.) powdered sugar
Red food gel

For the brush work:
A small, clean, round tip brush
A small glass of warm water
A paper towel for blotting the brush

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Simply Sugar Cookies

cookies

In the space of about a month/month and a half I went from having no idea how to decorate sugar cookies, to  feeling a need to decorate ALL cookies. So much so  that my feelings could only be adequately expressed by taking a well known meme and making it about cookies (and if you haven’t visited the blog this meme original comes from, it’s amazing!!). Seriously, I’ve spent most of my “baking brain-storming” time pondering new sugar cookie designs. And the fact that I seriously need to expand my cookie cutter collection (you know, beyond one cookie cutter). However, I noticed most of my posts about sugar cookies are rather lengthy because I explain every step of the process, from cookie baking to the finishing touches. So rather than writing a short novel every time, I thought I’d streamline the process by creating a separate post for my (current) favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Simply Sugar Cookies
Yields approximately 2 dozen sugar cookies

Ingredients:

2 stick (226 grams) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

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Spring M&M Cookies

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There are many things I love about Norway. The natural landscape, for example, is breathtaking! On a clear day, we have a gorgeous view overlooking a fjord, and with just a 15 minute walk we’re within view of Norway’s third largest glacier. The candy selection, however, is not so impressive. Most of it is just chocolate bars (plain or with nuts) or marzipan. There are some gummy sorts of treats, but my experience has been that the vast majority are very tough and hard to chew. On weekends, my husband and I like to have movie nights and treat ourselves to some sort of sweet for the occasion. Standing in the candy isle for what seemed like the billionth time, my husband was yet again chiding me over how picky I was being. “Aren’t there any candies you could eat? There must be something you’d like here,” he was saying for the umpteenth time. My appeal to just get a soda and call it good for my part wasn’t working. You see, I’m pretty particular when it comes to candy. I like chocolate and mint, Kit-Kat bars, M&Ms… any one of a number of things we don’t seem to have here. And that’s when I saw it: a bag called “Nonstops” with a picture of what looked almost exactly like M&Ms on the front. We bought it, took it home, and I tentatively tried one hoping there would be no marzipan “surprise” in the center (sorry, I’m just not a fan of marzipan). To my surprise, I had finally discovered a Norwegian candy I liked, the M&Ms of Norway no less, and couldn’t help but make some delicious cookies to celebrate.

Spring M&M Cookies
Yields approximately 20 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup M&Ms

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