Sweet Baby Blues
Inspired by our beautiful blue skies and the aqua water of our coastline, these delicate cookies are perfect to serve during this most wonderful time of the year. These sweet baby blues will lend your special gathering a unique seaside ambiance, whether you choose to serve them in petite vessels, adhere them to seasonal gift boxes, or position them down the center of your holiday table.
Brown Sugar Cookies
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, with additional on hand
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until creamy.
Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until well blended.
Remove dough from bowl, shape into a ball and cut it in half. On a well-floured surface, roll out one portion until it is 1/8 of an inch thick and cut out desired shapes using floured cookie cutters. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake on prepared cookie sheets for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
4 cups powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
4 cups miniature marshmallows
2 Tbsp. water • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring, optional
Shortening or butter
Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar.
Place marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 1 minute, or until marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
Using a rubber spatula, stir the marshmallows until they are fully blended together. If any lumps remain, return to the microwave and heat for another 30 to 45 seconds or until the surface of the mixture is entirely smooth. Add in vanilla extract.
Squeeze several drops of food coloring into the mix, if desired, and stir until thoroughly blended. Add powdered sugar and combine with the spatula until the sugar begins to incorporate and the mixture becomes impossible to stir.
Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface, noting that it is normal for the blended ingredients to be sticky and to contain many unincorporated lumps of sugar. Rub your hands with shortening or butter, and then begin kneading the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow by hand. Add small amounts of additional sugar if needed, but take care not to use too much, as the mixture will stiffen. Continue kneading the fondant until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be rolled out, shaped, or securely wrapped in plastic for later. If the fondant is stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, it will need to be kneaded until supple before use.
Before decorating your cookies, dust your work surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch. Roll the fondant out until it is 1/4-inch thick, and then cut out shapes using the same cutters for forming the cookies. Transfer patterns by gently pressing clean stencils onto the fondant or create your own design. To adhere to the cookie, lightly brush a slight amount of water on the back of the fondant and apply it to the cookie’s surface. If you have already designed a pattern, gently press down around the edges of the fondant, as the design can otherwise fade. Enhance, if desired, by using icing as glue to affix sugar beads.
A Parade of Cookies
Centerpieces become the focal point of beautiful tablescapes, and we have found a way to add some edible flair to their design. Create a procession of cookies on both sides of your centerpiece for a bit of coastal chic.
Celebrating the Blues
A touch of silver pearls and a sprinkle of blue candy stars top the pure sweetness of peppermint cream cheese frosting. Presented on an aqua-hued plate and paired with candy canes, this scrumptious cupcake is a chic dessert perfect for a coastal holiday celebration!
White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
2 oz. white chocolate
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line one standard 12-cup muffin pan with decorative paper or foil cupcake liners.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on medium power for 2 minutes, stopping to stir at 30-second intervals until chocolate has just melted. Do not overheat, as chocolate may burn. Set aside to cool slightly.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk together until blended. Set aside.
Pour milk, and vanilla and peppermint extracts into a cup. Stir together, and then set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg white, beating until thoroughly mixed. Reduce speed to low, put in the prepared dry ingredients and the milk mixture, alternating after each addition, ending with the flour and stirring just until blended.
Remove the bowl from mixer. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the melted and cooled white chocolate into the batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each of the prepared muffin cups with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tooth-pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
After removing cupcakes from the oven, leave in pan for 2 minutes, and then transfer onto wire rack to cool completely before decorating with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until blended. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, and mix on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until mixture begins to get fluffy. Pour in peppermint and vanilla extracts. Slowly incorporate the heavy cream. Beat for 1 minute or until mixture becomes fluffy.
To decorate, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and, starting from the outer edge, squeeze frosting out in a circular motion toward the center until the entire cupcake is covered. If desired, sprinkle with your favorite sugar beads or candy confetti.
Rather than pop a holiday bow on your hostess gift,
top it with a beautiful sample of what's inside the box!
Silver pearls are for decorative purposes only.
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