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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe that has been handed down from my great grandmother. It is not Christmas in our family until these cookies are baking in the oven. My best memories of these cookies are their required presence the day our family decorated the Christmas tree. The Christmas album would be queued up, cups of hot chocolate prepared, and a plate of these cookies.

This tradition I have carried on with my own family. The copy of the recipe I have in my recipe box calls for margarine sticks. We use unsalted butter. Feel free to make which ever way you prefer. The results are much the same. The butter version requires re-chilling before going in the oven to maintain shape and reduce the spreading from the oven.

The recipe yield is entirely approximated. Much dough sampling and cookie sampling happens before I have the chance to determine how many cookies are made each time. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy with these. Just try to save a few for Santa.

Hope you get a chance to make these soon. We would love to see the results. Share on social media and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

Yields 7-8 dozen

Melt in your mouth cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ½ cups flour

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the first 5 ingredients together. Then add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour 1 cup at a time.
  2. Chill in refrigerator and then roll into ball and roll in sugar and then press out with a fancy glass bottom. Refrigerate 5 minutes before baking so cookies keep their shape.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.

Notes

Crisp sugar cookie with a slightly tender inside. Each bite melts in the mouth. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Just be sure to save a few for Santa.

7.6.5
73
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/15/melt-in-your-mouth-sugar-cookies/

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Spice Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Earl Grey Curd

I have a spicy confession to make. Are you ready for it?

Cardamom spice is my new love. It has been added to most of the baked goods I’ve made the last few months.

Anyhow…the weather has been so hot and humid lately that today’s moderate weather felt surprising. We also spotted some fallen leaves this afternoon. Gasp. I cannot believe that summer has so quickly neared the end.

This is the first year we are prepping back to school things for our oldest’s first day of school. Another kind of turn in seasons. It seems like crazy talk when one’s babies are little and other parents say, “it goes so fast.” With little ones, each day seems an eternity. Now I understand “the days are long, but the years are short.”

Because I am not ready for this change in seasons, I am sharing a blooming cookie recipe with you. These spiced shortbreads with earl grey cream were one of those happy kitchen accidents. I tossed some spice in my cookies. While prepping the cookies I was savoring a spoon of lemon earl grey cream.

The flavors were perfect together, these cookies were born and I am urging to make a batch this weekend. In fact, don’t even wait till the weekend. Drop everything and run to the kitchen now. Then be sure to drop me a line and share your results on social media with MamaSparrow tagged.

Happy Baking!

Spice Shortbread with Lemon Cream Spice Shortbread with Lemon Cream

 

Spice Shortbread with Lemon Cream Spice Shortbread with Lemon Cream Flowers Close - Watermarked

Spice Shortbread Cookies

Peppery butter cookies with cardamom deepened flavor - hint of honeyed floral.

10 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tbs granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 ⅛ cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract, black pepper, and cardamom. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Use hands to form dough into a log shape. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Once dough has chilled you can either cut cookie rounds directly from the cookie log or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter.
  3. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes just until they set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.

Notes

Tips for Cutting Cookies Log cut: if dough is firm enough, simply cut with a butter knife creating 1/4 inch thick cookie rounds. If dough is on the softer side, use a 6 inch piece of plain dental floss to cut the rounds. Slide the floss under the log about 1/4 inch in from the end. Grip each end of the floss. Cross your hands in opposite directions over the dough to create a "cut." Repeat until all dough has been cut into cookie discs.

7.6.5
62
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/08/16/spice-shortbread-cookies-with-lemon-earl-grey-curd/

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Vegan Fruit Pizza

Have you ever had one of those kitchen fails that so derailed your day that you shirked all other responsibilities and watched a stupid movie? That happened to me this week. My first batch of coconut cream must have had some residual liquid so it did not whip. I tried to save it by adding a plethora of things – cornstarch, powdered sugar, greek yogurt. It remained a stubbornly liquid cream that was offensively overly sweetened. Dinner was also cooking in the process. Unfortunately the pan of cooked potatoes missed the colander and all went down the sink. To top it off my nap striking toddler was writhing and howling at my feet as all existence had become objectionable to him.

A more successful second attempt at dinner and a few deep breaths helped to power through bed time for the little ones. Then we enjoyed a stupid movie and an improvised dessert. Instead of coconut cream, we slathered slabs of sugar cookie crust with honey sweetened yogurt and fresh berries. It was good. If you do not use this recipe with coconut cream, I hope you go with the yogurt topped route.

The coconut cream is what makes this fruit pizza really special.The sugar cookie crust is reminiscent  of Potbelly’s sugar cookies – chewy and vanilla forward. Top that with honey sweetened coconut cream and fresh berries. We have a dessert pizza that will please a crowd and is vegan to boot. If you happen to have left overs because you make extra, I won’t judge you for eating it for breakfast.

Hope you get an opportunity to make this and enjoy a safe, fun weekend!

Fruit Pizza Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

Serves 1 slice

Vegan Fruit Pizza

A Potbelly reminiscent sugar cookie crust topped with whipped coconut cream and fresh berries. Beautiful enough to work for an occasion and tasty enough that the whole crowd will love them.

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cookie Crust
  • 1 ⅔ cups flour, all purpose
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ Tb coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 ⅛ cup sugar, white or cane
  • 3 Tb greek yogurt, can use non-dairy
  • 3 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1 Tb cornstarch
  • 1 Tb milk; I used flax milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • 1 can of full fat coconut cream*
  • ⅛ cup honey, or agave nectar for strict vegan
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of red and blue berries; raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together - flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the sugar into the room temperature coconut oil. Add in the yogurt, vegetable oil, cornstarch, milk and vanilla mixing thoroughly.
  4. Add in dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine into a dough. If the dough is a little on the dry side add a tiny splash more milk. Form the dough into a disk, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll or press dough out onto a 12 inch pizza pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-14 minutes - just until browning on the edges. Cool cookie completely.
  6. Whip the coconut cream in a stand mixer or by hand until it creates peaks. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract.
  7. Spread the whipped coconut cream on the cooled cookie. Decorate with berries.

Notes

*Refrigerate the can of cream overnight. Open can from the bottom side and carefully remove the solids. Save the liquids for a smoothie or other later use.

7.6.5
63
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/07/02/vegan-fruit-pizza/

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Spring Flower Spritz Cookies

The first flower sightings of spring are cause for celebration. This week we have been fortunate enough to have great weather to make trips to the part for the boys pleasant. On our walks we have spotted spring flowers in bloom. We stop every time to admire the simple beauty. These are a few of the blooms we have seen this week. Our flower sightings have been inspiration to our recent baking creations.
Spring Flowers Yellow Spring Flowers Violet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spritz cookies were a staple of the holiday dessert table in my childhood. I remember varieties with red and green dye. Some with colored sugar, sprinkles, or those little red hot candies. Scandinavian cookies capitalize on the flavor aspects of butter, nuts, and spices. This flavor profile has been a source of interest and inspiration for my baking…perhaps this explains the ongoing obsession with shortbread cookies. Anyhow, I was thinking of ways to use up the batches of lemon curd I made recently and was inspired by the appearance of spring flowers.

Spring Flower Spritz Cookies Spring Flower Spritz Cookies

Spring Flower Spritz Cookies & Lemon Curd

Yields 3 - 4 dozen

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Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, sprinkles, decorative sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a small bowl sift the flour and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the dry mix in two parts allowing it to combine completely until dough forms together. Mix in food coloring if desired.
  4. Press the dough into a cookie press fitted with the flower cookie plate. Press the cookies out onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 5 minutes until the cookies are set, but not browned yet.
  5. Place 4-5 TB of lemon curd into a diy parchment paper cone, ziploc bag, or pastry bag. Pipe a small amount of lemon cream into the center of the cookie to complete the flower look. Place back in the oven for 2 additional minutes. Cool cookies on a cooling rack.
  6. Keep the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer till serving.

Notes

*Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks. They use pea protein in place of soy.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/03/23/spring-flower-spritz-cookies-lemon-curd/

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Chocolate Drizzled Shortbread Cookies

 

My preschooler has been very excited for “Love Day.” He has enthusiastically cut out and decorated many heart cookies with me. it is fun to have this kind of energy in generally, but it is especially helpful when trying many new recipes.

These cutie cookies are a breeze to make. They are my traditional shortbread cookie recipe dyed with beet water instead of red food dye. They are dusted with rose cardamom sugar essence and drizzled with chocolate.

I keep a jar of rose cardamom sugar essence on hand. It is easy to make up. Perhaps you don’t have edible rose petals on hand, just cardamom sugar essence would be very pleasant too. The chocolate drizzle is chocolate chips melted and mixed with a bit of oil for drizzling. I prefer coconut oil, but you could use whatever cooking oil you have on hand.

Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads

Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads

My little taste testers show their approval.

Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads

Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads Chocolate Drizzled Shortbreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a bit of leftover chocolate. I threw together a few chocolates with with caramel sauce in the middle and topped with course sea salt. Yummy little surprises!

Leftover Chocolate Candies

Chocolate Drizzled Shortbread Cookies

Buttery cookies dusted with a hint of sweet spice from rose cardamom essence and drizzled with chocolate.

17 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1 stick butter*
  • 3 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp beet water “red food dye”
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • Rose Cardamom Essence
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp edible rose petals, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • Chocolate Drizzle
  • 3 oz baking chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 Tb coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract and “red food dye”. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Press dough out flat. I put all my dough in a gallon ziplock storage bag. Working against the counter surface, I smoothed the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325F. Place the remaining lemon zest and the reserved 1 TB of sugar in a small bowl. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.
  3. Once dough has chilled you can use a cookie cutter of your choice to make nice shapes. I used a cutter that was just under 2 inches and one that was about 2.5 inches.
  4. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar spice essence over the cut cookies before placing in the oven. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes just until they set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.
  5. Prepare the chocolate drizzle using a double boiler method. Fill a medium size saucepan a third of the way with water. Bring the water to a simmer. Place a stainless steel mixing bowl over the saucepan. Add in the chocolate chips and melted coconut oil. Stir just until melted. Remove from heat and drizzle directly over the cookies.
  6. Place the cookies in the freezer for 15-30 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Cookies can be store in an airtight container on the counter for 1 week or the freezer for 1 month.

Notes

*Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks. Replace the chocolate chips with Enjoy Life "Chocolate chips" they a re dairy, nut, soy, and gluten free.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/02/13/chocolate-drizzled-shortbread-cookies/

 

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Plated-Red RSideI am going to say it now. Sorry, if you are not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I urge you not to click out of this post if you do like cute heart things or the color pink. I can at least offer you that.

Holidays are a wonderful excuse to celebrate, decorate, and be generally festive. I welcome the chance to string seasonal garlands, use fun shaped cookie cutters, and make a big deal with the children about an approaching celebration.
This Valentine’s day I was looking for a way to avoid red food dye. That journey led me to discovering what foods are naturally red and in season. Beets have made their way into my recent kitchen experiments. My littlest did not like beets as a baby food purée, so all the more reason to find other fun uses.
Beet Prep
 The first time I prepared beets, I tossed out the water in which they were boiled. The moment I saw that beautiful red water swirling down the drain, I knew it was a mistake. I now save the water and reduce it to half in a simmer. The reduced beet water gets bottled up and refrigerated for future “food coloring.”
To get the fun heart shaped pattern cookies, make one batch beet shortbread cookies and another batch of traditional shortbreads. Roll each batch of dough out into a rectangle before chilling in the refrigerator. Chill the cookies at least 1 hour.  Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut a heart into each cookie and swap out with the opposite colored dough. Proceed to baking as usual and serve you adorable heart cookies with your choice of beverage. I love these with a cup of hot tea.

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Horizontal Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-PrebakedJPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Plated-White-Side

Valentine Beet Shortbreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies

Skip the red food dye. These cookies incorporate the natural coloring from beets. A healthier festively colored cookie. 

10 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter*
  • 4 Tbs granulated sugar; reserve 1 Tb
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs beet puree**
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract, and beet puree. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Use hands to form dough into a log shape. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325F. 
  3. Once dough has chilled you can either cut cookie rounds directly from the cookie log or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter. 
  4. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on an un greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs of granulated sugar over the cut cookies before placing in the oven. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes just until they set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.

Notes

*Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks. **Beet puree: Wash and peel the beet. Diced into cubes. Place in saucepan and just cover the beet with water. Bring the water with beets to boil. Turn down to a soft, gentle boil. Boil for 10 - 15 minutes until the beet is tender. Drain the water, reserving the cooking water. Run the beets under cold water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking. Place the cubes of beets in a food processor or blender and puree.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/02/07/red-beet-shortbread-cookies/

Traditional Shortbread Cookies

Read on for a word of caution to the sweet tooth readers and lovers of all things decadent. These cookies are more a butter rich than sweet cookie option. These cookies beg to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. It you need a sweeter version, they could be sweetened with a glaze or dipped in a chocolate/candy coating.

Traditional Shortbread Cookies

A butter rich cookie that declares it be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

10 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter*

  • 4 Tbs granulated sugar; reserve 1 Tb

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour


Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Use hands to form dough into a log shape. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  2. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. Once dough has chilled you can either cut cookie rounds directly from the cookie log or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter.

  4. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the cut cookies before placing in the oven. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes just until they set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.


Notes

*Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks.

7.6.5
32
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/02/06/traditional-shortbread-cookies/

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

 Lemon Rose Cover-Watermarked-w1500px


It has been awhile since last writing. Life keeps right on going. We moved neighborhoods and have been enjoying the changing of seasons.

My next post was going to be shortbread cookies. I have been obsessively making shortbreads for the last several months. Let’s just say it is my favorite kind of cookie to enjoy with a cup of tea after the children’s bedtime. This recipe is a nice small batch size for a quick little treat to share or a mommy only stash.

This whole shortbread cookie trend started for me a couple of months ago when I had an overwhelming urge to have earl grey tea and lavender shortbreads. The first cookie recipe I settled into were these lemon rose shortbreads. the rose has a calming effect and the lemon zest promotes sunny thoughts. I hope you enjoy these.

 Lemon Rose Aerial-Watermarked-w1500px

 

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

Therapeutic shortbread cookies - soothing, calm rose essence with sunny mood flavors of lemon zest. These cookies are sure to calm and ease your mood.

10 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter*
  • 4 Tbs granulated sugar; reserve 1 Tb
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 Tb edible rose petals, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon's worth zest, divided in half
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract, rose water, chopped rose petals and half of the lemon zest. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Use hands to form dough into a log shape. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325F. Place the remaining lemon zest and the reserved 1 TB of sugar in a small bowl. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.
  3. Once dough has chilled you can either cut cookie rounds directly from the cookie log or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter.
  4. Place cookie 1-2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the cut cookies before placing in the oven. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until they are set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.

Notes

Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks. They use pea protein rather than soy.

7.6.5
12
https://mamasparrow.com/2015/11/13/lemon-rose-shortbread-cookies/

Tips for Cutting Cookies

Log cut: If dough is firm enough, simply cut with a butter knife creating 1/4 inch thick cookie rounds. If dough is on the softer side, use a 6 inch piece of plain dental floss to cut the rounds. Slide the floss under the log about 1/4 inch in from the end. Grip each end of the floss. Cross your hands in opposite directions over the dough to create a “cut.” Repeat until all dough has been cut into cookie discs.

Roll out: Use rolling pin to spread dough out to 1/4 inch think. Cut dough into cookie shapes with knife or cookie cutter.