Monday, February 15, 2010


There is a section in my recipe box titled "Misc." There are several rather wacky family recipes (or science experiments) and Maggie is a great age to start trying them. Maggie's playdough was dried out when we went to use it today, so we whipped up some of my mom's recipe. She picked two colors (blue and white) and I made 1/4 batch, or about 3/4 cup of each.
2 c. flour
1 c. salt
4 t. cream of tartar.
Combine in a saucepan. Add 2 c. colored water and 4 t. oil. Stir quickly and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until it forms a ball. Turn out and knead. cool. Store at room temperature in Tupperware.
I made 1/4 batch at a time because you add the color when you first mix it, not afterward. It was fast and easy, only about 5 minutes per batch.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sugar Cookies and Buttercream Frosting

This is the recipe my Mom used for Christmas cookies to decorate every year. I mixed it up by using almond flavoring in the frosting for Valentine's Day. One batch of each makes about 2 dozen medium rolled-out cookies. I am very good at saving money and time by leaving out ingredients. I used to make the cookies without the lemon rind, but I recently discovered they are much better with it. So don't leave it out!

Sugar Cookies
Blend together:
1/2 c. butter
1 t. grated lemon rind
1 c. sugar

Beat in:
1 egg
2 T. orange juice

Stir in:
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. nutmeg

Chill for a while to ease handling. Roll to 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 400 7-9 minutes. We rotate the dough in the freezer so it stays cool and easy to roll. Also, if you don't roll the dough thin enough, the cookies will spread and ruin your cookie cutter shape. And, if you keep the cookies in a sealed container, they will stay nice and soft. Just layer wax paper in between.

Buttercream Frosting (James Beard Cookbook)
1/3 c. butter
3-4 T. heavy cream
3 c. powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar and beat in the cream. Flavor with 1 t. vanilla, almond, or lemon extract. For chocolate frosting, add 1/2 c. dark cocoa sifted with the sugar.