Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Sugar Cookies @ the Dille House

"Oh Christmas Cookies, Oh Christmas Cookies, how lovely that you taste!"

Every year at Christmas time we make LOADS and LOADS of Christmas goodies with a majority of them being Sugar Cookies.  The recipe we use is from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook and the recipe is called "Ethel's Sugar Cookies".  Its the recipe we have used ever since I was little. 
I'm not going to lie...I eat a LOT of this raw.

We always makes tons of batches of these cookies as obviously one batch would not be enough.  I believe we made about 6 batches this year and then ended up making an extra batch because we felt like we didn't have enough.  I am not really sure how this happened as you can tell by the pictures, we had PLENTY. 
This was about half way through....
We also use some really old school cookies cutters, along with a few new ones I pick up every year.  This year we went out of the box and added 2 Batman cookies cutters and 1 Superman cookie cutter.  I had bought these for Carlos' birthday in September this year.
Most of our cookie cutters....

Each of us girls take a big tin to work to share with our friends and coworkers and we also took a bunch to Dad's Dialysis Nurses as well.  They loved them also.  A few years ago I also started making everyone use piping bags to decorate the cookies rather than just slathering the icing on with a knife.  Mom of course, has always fought this.  This year she used her first piping bag and then said "that's it, we cant go back to using a knife, these are just too pretty". 

It got a bit hectic....

So, I guess that means I need to stock up on more #2 tips since that was the one used the most.  Below is the recipe that we use for the sugar cookies and the icing.  We don't use royal icing but may use it next year as an experiment. 

My Mom and my sister Sara (the socks and tree department).

My brother-in-law Carlos (the mostly superhero and a few bells department).

I was the "Snowflakes, Gingerbread Men and Snowmen" department.

We have ALWAYS used this icing recipe so I don't really see us changing it but because you cant "flood" the cookies, we might use royal icing next year. 

Sara's finished Christmas Trees

Did you make Christmas cookies? What all do you make? We also made Monster Cookies, Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Fudge, Snickerdoodles and more pies (Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake, Cherry Cheesecake) and cakes (Angel Food, Watergate, Pumpkin Logs) than any one family could actually consume.   Let me know if you want the recipes for anything else and I will try to get them for you.
Soooooo many cookies!!! (That's my Rudolph)

Ethel's Sugar Cookies

3/4 Cup Shortening (part butter)
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

Mix well the shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring.  Measure flour by dip-level-pour method or by sifting.  Blend flour, baking powder, and salt; stir in.  Chill at least 1 hour.  Heat oven to 400F.  Roll 1/8" thick on floured surface, cut out with about a 3" cookie cutter.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 6 to 8 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen.
My Dad is a real jokester.....
Carlos, Me and Dad

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

I don't know about you....but I LOOOOVE ANYTHING pumpkin. 

What you are making...

I wanted a slightly healthier pumpkin cupcake and found a recipe online and then made a few changes to make it my own.  These were extremely soft and moist cupcakes with a lovely cinnamon buttercream that isn't too sweet.  Hope you like it!! Let me know if you make it and what you think.  I would still classify this recipe as in the testing phase but thought I would go ahead and share it.

Cupcake Ingredients:

1/4 Cup - Butter, Softened
3/4 Cup - Unsweetened Applesauce (I used Mott's)
1 Cup - Granulated White Sugar
3/4 Cup - Packed Brown  Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup - Milk
1 1/2 t - Vanilla Extract
15 oz - Pure Pumpkin (canned)
2 1/3 Cups - All Purpose Flour
1 T - Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 t - Ground Cinnamon
1 t - Baking Powder
3/4 t - Salt
1/2 t - Baking Soda
1/2 t - Ground Ginger


  • Cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients: Flour, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Salt, Baking Soda and Ground Ginger.  Stir with fork to combine or sift if flour is lumpy.
  • To your butter and sugar mixture, add the eggs (one at a time) and stir until just combined.  Add your applesauce, milk, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until combined. 
  • Add your dry ingredients by large spoonful, mixing between and scraping down the edges and bottom of your bowl. 

I believe I got these as a set with the sprinkles and toppers from WalMart.

  • Line cupcake pans with cupcakes cases and spoon mixture into each cup filling about 2/3 full.  This should make about 24 cupcakes. 
  • Bake your cupcakes at 350F for about 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove from cupcake pans and onto a wire rack for cooling.  Cool cupcakes completely before icing.


Cinnamon Buttercream Ingredients:
2 Sticks of butter, softened
4 Cups - Powdered Sugar
2 T - Milk
1 T - Vanilla Extract
2 t - Ground Cinnamon (or more depending on how spicy you want it, or you can additionally add some pumpkin pie spice)
Little flecks of yummy cinnamon!

Piped using one of the flower tips, inside to outside pattern.

  • Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until the butter is pale yellow in color and fluffy.  
  • Add the powdered sugar, slowly, a spoonful at a time and mix on stir speed (unless you want a facial of powdered sugar) until all sugar is combined.
  • Add your milk, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until fluffy and combined.  Add more milk if it seems too stiff. 
  • Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.