Friday, March 22, 2013

The BEST Sugar Cookies Ever!

I'm not kidding when I named this blog post. I promise these will be the best sugar cookies you will ever eat. They're are soft and thick and just the right sweetness.

It all started a few weeks ago when I started thinking about sugar cookies again. See, the thing is I've never really liked sugar cookies. They're always too done and never tasted that great to me. Then I started thinking...there has GOT to be a recipe out there that tastes as good as it looks. Actually, the looks were the main reason for my cookie quest. There are tons of pretty sugar cookies on Pinterest and it's a look you can't really get with any other dessert. 

As it turns out there was a good recipe out there! I can't claim to have come up with it came from Peppermint Plum. But I can claim to have tested it out quite and few times and it is delicious I promise!

Sugar Cookie Recipe
(Download the printable recipe here!)


-1 cup butter
-2 cups sugar
-2 eggs
-3 teaspoons vanilla
-1 cup sour cream
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-5 1/2 coups flour


-Preheat over to 375
-Cream butter and sugar together then add eggs and vanilla. Add sour cream. Combine salt, soda, and flour then add to mixture

-Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/3" thick

-Use a spatula to place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. They should not be browned on the edges and will not look "done". They might look slightly puffy but will flatten out as they cool

-Wait 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack


-If the cookie dough is too sticky when you try to roll it out, work a little flour into it

-If the dough is too warm, wrap it in saran wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes

Royal Icing Recipe
(Download the printable recipe here!)

-3 egg whites
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-4 cups powdered sugar


-Combine egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add powdered sugar gradually and mix on low until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny

-Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (5-7 minutes)


-You can play with the consistency of the icing before frosting the cookies. For areas that will be "flooded" with icing, add a little water to the icing

Icing the Cookies

This is something that would probably require a bit more detailed of a post so instead of writing my own I'm just going to link up. This is a great resource to look at before icing! I use throw away piping bags when I frost because then I don't have to clean more than I have to. You cut a opening in the tip of the bag then put a icing tip in the bag. I've found that a thinner consistency makes the icing look a lot more smooth. But the thicker consistency is good for the details on top. Oh and on that subject, make sure to let the icing completely dry before layering and transporting. Also, if you want a quick way to decorate the cookies, try an edible pen! You can literally draw on the hardened icing instead of creating the design with more icing!

For the sake of transparency, this cookie process is pretty labor intensive. I usually bake the cookies one night or in the morning then wait till the next day or later that night to frost to make sure the cookies are completely cool. I also let the cookies sit overnight to let the icing completely harden before transporting them. Also, the cookies keep FOREVER (especially if you keep them wrapped up). Actually we didn't keep the Pantone cookies covered for a week and they were STILL good stale! 

Let me know if you make them! I hope you enjoy them us much as I have :)

P.S. Here are a few behind the scenes pictures from out "photo shoot" aka Abigail and me trying to quickly take pictures outside while everyone else was rushing around setting up for the engagement party!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Be Grateful for an Extraordinary Life

(from the Courier Journal)
All these pictures are the "little things" in my life 

Have you ever gotten something stuck in your head and you can't get it out? (and for once I don't mean that super catchy 90s n*sync song) I've had one phrase stuck in my much so that I'm writing a blog post at 1am so I can get it out.

Summer concerts

It all started when I was sitting in our new relaxing room the other day, writing a letter. In my letter I was complaining about how things were...situations I wasn't happy about. In retrospect, it's funny because the whole time the newspaper was sitting next to be and I didn't look at it until I was almost finished. When I did look over I noticed that one of the headlines said "Be grateful for an extraordinary life".

JJ "Snow" Angels

Do you ever have those God moments? Where God seems to literally speak to you and tell you exactly what you need to hear? That was it for me. I almost scratched out my whole letter and started over. Why was I sitting there complaining when I should have been writing about all the extraordinary things in my life?

Wine tasting

The other funny thing is that that sentence seemed to be the words I had been searching for since I got back from Italy. When I was there I constantly said I lived in Never Never Land and was never coming home. I read later too, where someone that wrote that they felt like Dorothy after she left Oz. How interesting...have you ever thought about how Dorothy would have felt after seeing everything in Oz then just going back to Kansas?? If she was anything like me then maybe thankful to be home to what is comfortable but at sporadic times "homesick" for that temporary home where everything seemed to be magical.

Sword fights with cardboard tubes

It's been hard last semester and this semester for me to stick it out in school. Somehow I have "senioritius" and I'm not even about to graduate. Work wise, last semester was hard, really hard. I just constantly wanted to go back to Louisville because I had spent so much time away in the summer. And this semester is hard in a different classes are so much easier, but I don't like a single one. Sometimes it's easy to wish away time, especially when you're looking forward to something like I am this summer.

Karaoke in the studio

But as hard as it may be, I have to constantly remind myself (as a very smart friend put it) to enjoy the season I'm in. Which brings me back full circle to my point: be grateful for an extraordinary life. I brought up Italy because it was easy to think of life as extraordinary while I was there. I was doing something completely different than what everyone was doing so obviously my life wasn't ordinary. But here's the life is still extraordinary every day, even when I'm not abroad. The question is whether I choose to look it at that way or not.

Impromptu bourbon tastings

I am blessed in more ways than I can count. Incredible family and friends, good health, talents, and every advantage in the world. And as I think about what makes every day special, it's the people I'm around that are constantly keeping me on my toes, building me up, and just keeping my life amusing. Did you know you're supposed to spend a minimum of 6 hours around other people every day? Crazy.

Having little visitors in class

There are so many little things that happen every day to be thankful for. And it's all the little things that add up to an extraordinary life. I want my life to be an adventure but it's never going to be one unless I make sure that's what my mindset is. If I take the time to enjoy all the little things every day instead of just waiting for big, exciting things to happen then I realize how truly exceptional life can be.