Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: frosting

Carmella’s Cookies

When I was a little girl we sometimes went over to Carmella’s house to visit.  Carmella was the sister of my mother’s friend.  Whenever we visited, Carmella always had these cookies on a covered plate on her dining room table.  I would wait patiently for her to grab the plate and ask me, “Would you like one?”  The answer was always yes, and I’m sure she knew it always would be. 

These cookies probably have a hundred different names, but no matter what you call them they are delicious.  I don’t make them often because to me they are a special cookie.  In fact, it’s been a few years since I have made them.  They are cake-like, light yet rich, not too sweet, and just perfect.  Not to mention they are so simple to make, and one recipe yields a ton of these little suckers. 

Start by mixing up your dough.  I use the Kitchen Aid mixer and not the hand-held for this one.  It’s a stiff dough to mix up, and the power of the Kitchen Aid handles it best.

Once the dough is mixed it will be stretchy, not sticky.  Begin grabbing teaspoon sized pieces of dough and rolling them into approximately 1″ size balls.  Place them on an un-greased cookie sheet.  You can space these pretty close together since they are not going to spread, but they will puff up.  I got about 20 of them on this cookie sheet.

 Place them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and watch them.  These took me about 10 to 12 minutes to finish.  You want them still light-colored  on the top and a light golden brown on the bottom.  These are perfect.  Don’t mind the cracks.  That’s normal for these cookies, and when you glaze them, you are not going to see it anyway.

Set the cookies out on wire racks to cool.  Once cool mix up your glaze.  Your are looking for a consistency like thick, warm syrup.  Dip each cookie into the glaze and swirl it around. 

After dipping, place the cookies on a wire rack with some aluminum foil or wax paper underneath to catch any drips.  Before the icing dries, shake on some sprinkles.  Even if I made these for Christmas, I always use the rainbow-colored nonpareils.  Just call me weird. 

Let them dry and then place them in an airtight container.  Then try not to eat ten of them in one sitting, and yell at your children and their friends when they come over and start stealing your cookies!

CARMELLA’S COOKIES:

  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 4 tsps. Anise, Vanilla OR Almond Extract
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour Sifted
  • 6 tsps. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

GLAZE:

  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract **Optional**

Wait until you are just ready to glaze the cookies before mixing up the glaze ingredients.  Begin with your powdered sugar in a large bowl and add in 2 Tbsp. of milk.  Stir well.  You are looking for a thick and warm syrup consistency.  If you need to add milk, do so by adding it in 1/2 Tbsp. increments until you reach the desired thickness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  After well blended, add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the extract of your choice.   In a large bowl mix together by hand the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.  Begin adding this to the egg mixture one cup at a time, blending well before adding the next cup. 

Once your dough is completely mixed together, begin pulling off teaspoon size amounts and rolling them into balls.  Place each ball on an ungreased cookie sheet.  You only need about an 1 1/2″ between each cookie.   They won’t really spread, but they will puff up higher.  I am able to get 20 on a standard size cookie sheet.

Bake for anywhere between 10 – 12 minutes, watching cookies closely once you get to the 8 minute mark.   The tops will remain light-colored, but you are looking for a light golden color on the bottoms.

Allow to cool and then mix up your glaze.  Line your surface with some aluminum foil or wax paper, and place your cooling racks on top.  Dip each cookie into the glaze, swirling as you lift it out.  Place each cookie on the wire rack for the icing to cool and harden.  Before glaze hardens, top with sprinkles or colored sugars.   Allow to fully cool and place in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

NOTES:  This original recipe called for 6 egg whites.  Years ago I decided I was going to try these with 6 whole eggs.  The result was EXACTLY the same.  Poor Carmella probably had to find other ways to use those 6 egg yolks all those years, when she could have just been throwing in the whole egg.

The original recipe called for Anise flavoring, but I’m not a real fan of  Anise.  Although, even in these cookies I like them.  But I’ve used Vanilla and Almond extracts since then, and they always come out great.

Don’t be concerned with the tops of the cookies cracking once they are baked.  That’s normal and won’t effect the cookie at all.

Recipe will yield 60 – 70 cookies.

 

 

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Fairy Princess Cooking

I work nights and my three-year-old daughter hates that.  I hate not getting any sleep.  Most days after returning home from work I do get to catch some z’s, but it all depends on having someone to watch the kids to do that.  If my husband is home, normally I get to catch up on my sleep.  Or if I have my parents babysitting for me.  But sometimes sleep has to wait a few hours.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I hate those days when sleep has to wait.  In my 20’s I could stay up all night and make it through the next day.  In my 40’s, that doesn’t happen too much.  In fact, it rarely happens at all.  I need sleep, and I need it as soon as I walk in the door. 

Yesterday was the opening day of hunting season and that means one thing.  My husband is going hunting, and whether or not I have been up all night and not had any sleep does not matter.  Hunting season is very important around here, so something as trivial as sleep is not going to postpone it from occurring.   Not that my husband is some barbaric man who doesn’t understand my need to sleep.  He is actually very good about giving me that time I need.  But, as I said, opening day of hunting tends to take over all other things.  I knew this as I was heading home from work yesterday morning and I wanted to cry as I drove home.  My bed was calling to me and it was calling loudly!   But I knew my sleep would have to wait.  I called out to my bed and told it I would visit later.  “Wait for me…stay fluffy and comfy…I will return to you!”

I was sadistically tempted to call my husband on my way home and tell him that I had gotten stuck at work.  Just for fun.  But I couldn’t be that mean. I knew he would be ready and waiting to bolt out the door the minute I walked in so I decided against my cruel joke.  And as I expected, I walked in and he left.  Luckily my daughter was still sleeping so I was able to lay on the couch for an hour and sleep.  It was a very short hour.  I woke to a little person standing next to me and staring at me with her big brown eyes.  Here is all I can remember from that conversation.

 “Mommy!  Can you get me juice?” 

“Mmhmmm”, I mumbled.

A few minutes passed. 

“Mommy!  Can you get me  juice!”

I dragged myself from the couch, filled a sippy cup that looked somewhat clean and returned to the living room.  Thinking she was now content, I snuggled myself back into the couch. 

“Mommy.  Can you get me something to eat?”

I hauled myself back into the kitchen, fixed her a plate of toast with peanut butter and returned  to my cushions.   She couldn’t want anything else.  She had gone to the bathroom, her favorite show was on, she had her juice and toast.  All would be wonderful and I could lay in comfortable bliss for a while.

I felt a presence hovering over me but chose to ignore it.  Has anyone ever told you it is impossible to ignore a three-year-old?  If they haven’t, let me tell  you now that you can’t.   She had found her brothers whistle straw and was happily making music with it while sitting perched on my torso.  I knew if I kept my eyes closed it would stop.  The sound would go away and I could return to my dazed, semi-dozing state.

“Mama?  We make dupcakes?”

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

“MAMA!  We make dupcakes, peas?”

For the love of all that’s good I knew it was over.  There would be no blissful sleep.  Not even a little semi-dozing sleepless state either. This wouldn’t end and I had to acknowledge that.

“Okay.  We’ll make cupcakes.”

Within moments we were in the kitchen playing Betty Crocker and whipping up some cupcakes.

“Pink ones.” She advised me.

Of course.  Pinkalicious is her new favorite book to have read to her.  If  you have young girls and have not found this book yet you are missing out.  It’s adorable.  It’s pink til you puke cute.

I scrounged in the cabinet and luckily found some red food die.  We whipped a few drops of it into the frosting and away we went. 

We let the cupcakes cool and frosted them with pink fluffy frosting. 

Then we ate all twenty-four of them.  That’s a lie. She ate one and I ate two.

Shortly after I cleaned up the kitchen my husband and sons returned from hunting.  I cried from the sheer happiness.  I could sleep now.  So off I headed to my bed that was still calling lovingly to me.

When I woke up a few hours later I figured there would be no cupcakes left.  But I was amazed to find more than half of them there.  I didn’t understand this, especially since my youngest son is a cupcake eating fool.  When I asked him if he had eaten any he said, “Yes.”

I asked how many and he said, “Two.” 

Wow!  Only two!  He further explained the reason he held back on eating more.

“Um…I didn’t want to turn pink so I only ate two.”

You will understand this statement if you have read Pinkerella.  If you haven’t then I’m sorry, I just can’t explain it to you now.

There is no recipe for these cupcakes.  Well there is, but Berry Crocker owns it because it came out of a box.  As for the frosting, Wilton owns that recipe.  I hate buttercream icing. I have searched for years for a fluffy buttercream that does not taste disgustingly sweet and that leaves that nasty buttery residue on the inside of your gums after eating it.  I’m still on the quest for the perfect frosting recipe that is light and delicious yet still holds up well for decorating.  Until I find it, I will continue to use Wilton’s Whipped Frosting.  It holds up well, tastes great, and is super easy to mix up and color.

The good news is there are still a few cupcakes left.  Nobody has turned pink, including me, who has eaten more of them than I  should have, and I still have some frosting left.

I’m undecided on what to do with this little bit of frosting.  Save it in the fridge?  It’s not enough to frost another twenty-four cupcakes with.  Or maybe just stick a spoon in it and finish it off.  I’m thinking that last suggestion may win out.

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