There are many new things happening with the Cookie Thing. The Holiday Season was just the best and I want to thank all that helped make it so successful.
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End of Summer Fun - Cookie Thing Give Away
This is a guest blog post from Victoria that appeared on parentplace.com. To view the original post, go here.
Cookies are a constant love in my household. We have five children, we homeschool, and I am beyond frugal. I rarely purchase store bought cookies because those expensive tiny packages go too quickly to justify the cost. One thing my children LOVE is making roll-out sugar cookies. They enjoy the entire process – rolling them out, cutting/designing them, and decorating! They are the most versatile cookie ever! Jackie recently made Dolphin cookies for her last Teacher of the Day. No cookie cutter needed. She just cut the shape using pizza cutters and a dull fillet knife! They were wonderful and went along nicely with her Winter, Dolphin Tale, project.
When I received the information on the Cookie Thing, I had to see what it was. I knew my family had to have one… even before I knew what it was we had to have.
The Cookie Thing is made with solid maple and comes with a roller and four varieties of measuring boards. Boards measure in depths of 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″.
I was very excited to see our Cookie Thing arrive. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The packaging was so lovely I dreaded taking it apart. I just wanted to stare at it “in awe” for a while.
Upon inspection of the craftsmanship I was impressed. It was so smooth and felt amazing running across my hands. The shape is perfect, no dimples or imperfections. These are the most perfect cuts of wood – I am still in amazement.
I call the boards “guide boards” because with them, you don’t have to measure your thickness. If your recipe calls for your dough to be a certain thickness, you can easily pick out the correct boards and roll it out – perfectly even on the first try without the need to measure it! How amazing is that?
I remember watching a cooking show a few years back that talked about the best type of rolling pin. (Who knew someone could devote an entire television episode to the perfect rolling pin – but they did!) On that show the host talked about the various types, weight, handles or no handles, and even went on to recommend purchasing shims from the local hardware store to use as a guide for your thickness. The cookie thing is like that.. the perfect rolling pin for cookies with the guide boards – just much more sophisticated and food friendly. Honestly, how does one get perfectly smooth shims from the hardware store? I haven’t been able to find any – have you?
We tried our Cookie Thing this weekend by making a few batches for ourselves and a family friend. At first we didn’t use our noggin very well and placed our guides too close to our dough. After a few runs, I realized I should be spacing them out further. I probably should have paid attention to the instructions…
I didn’t use wax paper and I chilled my dough before I rolled it out. I used a traditional method with powdered sugar… nonetheless, the rolling was smooth and easy. Our cookies all turned out uniform and perfect. Because the thickness was even, the cookies also cooked evenly. I don’t think I have ever had that happen before.
Washing and Care:
It is recommended to wash with a damp cloth and not to soak in water. I quickly rinsed mine with water and used my hands to remove any dough. If you use it with wax paper, per the instructions, a damp cloth should be sufficient.
I plan to try our Cookie Thing out the next time we have taco night. We make our own flour tortillas and we often struggle with the appropriate thickness.
I have never had the nerve to make my own pie crust… I do now!
I don’t know how I have ever gone without it. The Cookie Thing made roll-out cookies quick, easy, and perfect. I would love to have received this as a Christmas Gift. I am a baking junkie, who’s favorite stores all sell kitchen products. If you know someone like me – they will love it as much as I did.
In these past few months, I have encountered many people in demonstrating the Cookie Thing and find people wonderfully kind and fascinating. There are all sorts of bakers out there, from the eager, wanting to take-it-all-in type, to the tried-that but it didn’t turn out, to the experts. But th...
A recipe can build a thread of love inside our hearts that is stronger than we understand. My Aunt Blanche was an influence in my life for the love of cooking, and her laughter could make your heart fill up with a joy to never be denied over and over again. My childhood memories of Thanksgivings at her home were all about the incredible feast she would prepare so effortlessly and enthusiastically for everyone to enjoy. She poured her love into you with food and happy laughs and lots of focus interest in how your life was going. I wish every child could have an Aunt Blanche to learn from!
I took up the idea of baking and cooking at a pretty young age and would always be eager to write down a recipe from someone I loved that baked or cooked something special I enjoyed and admired. So it became the lifetime tradition for me for Aunt Blanche’s Sand Tarts to be served at my home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a tradition as solid as they get. We never took much effort in jotting down recipes, just the ingredients and the verbal discussion of method memorized and branded for good inside the heart and brain. I can still remember sitting with her and writing down some of the old recipes from her. She would rattle them off from memory sometimes. Amazing.
Several years ago, I came home from work and decided to pull out the recipes for Thanksgiving and make my lists to prepare the meal. I love making Thanksgiving dinner for my loved one. At the time my son Andy, was still very small and we had a caretaker as I have always worked outside of the home. I felt frustrations at times with the arrangement, it is not easy being a stay-at-home mother, and it is not easy being a career mom either. Both have their challenges. Caretakers can move things around in your home, like recipe cards. Like recipe cards that are sacred and not for anyone to touch but me. Challenges. I went to my little wooden box and dug around and dug around and could not find my Aunt Blanche’s Sand Tart recipe. I felt this thick feeling in my chest and throat, sitting at the kitchen table I pulled out every single recipe thinking it must be misplaced. It must have been the caretaker and she just didn’t know where to put it back. I could not find it. My loss was overwhelming for many reasons.
My mother and father were both deceased on this day. My very dearly loved-more-than- I-can-express, Aunt Tommye (Aunt Blanche’s sister) was deceased. I had nobody to call to get my recipe back. I could not remember it. I sat at my kitchen table late that afternoon, weary from work, angry at the caretaker, sad at my dilemma, and cried. I sat there and cried and cried and cried and felt so sorry for myself. What would my Thanksgivings be from this day on without my Aunt Blanche’s Sand Tarts? I knew someone out there might have a resemblance to it –but mine was dictated to me by her at her kitchen table and I needed it back in my hands and my heart. I ached for that little tattered card with my notes from Aunt Blanche.
Dusting myself off, and facing the dread of what was to come, I made myself pull out the cookie sheets and work on something else. Aunt Blanche’s Sand Tart recipe that I had caringly placed in a plastic envelope was stuck to the back of the cookie sheet. The caregiver did not see it when she put it away. I love happy endings. I have since that day copied it at least a million times. I’m hoping you will try the recipe and it magically becomes your tradition. That would make the ending even better. Happy baking to all of you and wishes for fulfilling traditions!
...or "How to be popular at the Football parties!"
These cheese crackers are “melt-in-your-mouth”. It is difficult to eat only one and they are very good for entertaining guests for all sorts of occasions. I made a batch with a pumpkin cookie cutter, and there are of course, multitudes of cute cookie cutters for many occasions. These are easy to make and I added the little extra taste of cream cheese blended with jalapenos on the top. These are very delicious and delicate, I hope you will try this recipe and let me know what you think!
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want them spicier)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks butter) – room temperature (I love Elle & Vire!)
½ lb. (2 cups) sharp Cheddar cheese shredded/room temperature
Combine all dry ingredients well and set aside. Blend your softened butter and grated cheese well in a stand mixer.Add the dry ingredients and blend very well for at least 5 minutes. This is the part of the recipe that makes them light and delicate.
Roll out the dough between sheets of wax paper using the Cookie Thing to ¼” or 3/8” thickness and refrigerate until completely chilled –at least three hours. Place dough on floured board and cut out and then place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, refrigerate again for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Optional: In a blender, mix together an 8 ounce package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and 4 large slices of pickled jalapenos. Blend in blender until pieces of pepper are chopped real small. Pipe onto crackers.
A new season is here and the favorite foods of cooler weather are on my mind.
Last night reading over many recipes I have wanted to test, one that kept showing up was this piecrust recipe that calls for an egg and vinegar. So it seemed perfect for the start of a new season. My ways of baking can be wasteful as I sometimes try things without following the recipes. This morning’s test worked out very nice, so I’m sharing what I did.Please forgive me for not giving exact measurements for this apple pie recipe as I was experimenting.
I took a big pot and placed about 1 cup of white sugar and then guessed at the amount on cinnamon, probably 2 tablespoons. Then I added about one fourth cup of flour and peeled and cut up all sorts of apples from my refrigerator.Please don’t ask what kind—some were green and some were red, maybe 8 total. Sorry. Then I stirred and added about a cup of yellow raisins that I had on hand, and then I added about 2 cups of chopped pecans. It was starting to really smell nice, and reminded me of the pecan store, so I added about two tablespoons of vanilla and about three tablespoons of light corn syrup. Okay, so now it really smells good. I cooked it for about 20 minutes and then turned off the heat and let it cool. Last thing I added was the zest of one lemon. While that was cooling, I made the piecrust. I made two helpings of this recipe (separately) because this piecrust recipe is for an 8” pie and I wanted one bigger. I will have some left over, which is always nice.
2 cups of flour
2 cup of shortening
2 tablespoons cold water
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Mix your salt with your flour and then blend in your shortening. Mix your egg with the water and vinegar and then pour that over the blended flour mixture. Press it all together and let this sit for a few minutes. Take about ¾ of one of the crust recipes and roll out with the Cookie Thing 1/8” thick between wax paper. Repeat with second crust recipe and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After chilled, take out and position one in the bottom of pie dish, fill with the apples that have now cooled. Taking second recipe, place on top and seal and crimp the edge then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. This crust does drip, so I put a flat cookie sheet on the rack below the one the pie is on to catch the drippings.I was very pleased, it sort of surprised me at how good it tasted. I will definitely use this recipe again and hope you will give it a try.
All the best to you with your baking adventures! - Susan
I love to bake delicious cookies as well as decorate them beautifully. As far as taste and texture goes, the butter cream icing has always been my favorite over the royal icing. There are differences in applying both icings and I will do a piece on royal icing in the near future
For the sake of limited time and simplicity, I like to pipe the butter cream icing on the rolled out cookie and then use a variety of colorful cupcake liners for decorating a plate, dish or gift package of cookies. I find it to be appealing to the eye and the taste of the icing is very nice.
I hope you come back to visit our website often. Would love to hear about your favorite recipe or how you have found the Cookie Thing to be helpful to you. You can send me your thoughts, pictures and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have visited us at Williams-Sonoma and tasted a sample cookie and would like to know more about it or the recipe, just send me a note. Will be posting more recipes and ideas soon. Enjoy your baking! - Susan