Loving Pink Hearts, the perfect expression of love for your Valentine! It’s not too late to bake a batch!
Growing up in Louisiana, we baked the Plain Roll-Out Cookies in the Cook’s Tour of Shreveport. For every holiday and in between, we made triple batches of cookie dough and went on week-long cookie decorating binges. Billie Apple said, “There was blue icing on the ceiling!” It was everywhere, but my mom loved to see her girls baking in her kitchen.
In all of my years of baking cookies, I have never found a better plain roll-out cookie recipe!
Here’s what you will need for Loving Pink Hearts . . .
Sailing around the British Virgin Islands turned out to be our favorite trip of all! It didn’t take long to settle into relaxing days filled with sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, whale watching, touring The Baths & the islands, viewing the beautiful white, sandy beaches & turquoise-blue ocean.
In addition to sailing our yacht and guiding our island tours, the Playtime captains cooked delicious breakfasts, lunches, appetizers, and dinners. What a treat!
On Christmas Eve, we docked in a bay of Virgin Gorda and settled in for a delicious, Scallop dinner followed by family-game night.
Christmas morning, we awoke to find one of the Playtime captains, Kelsey baking Playtime Blueberry Muffins. She served them with granola-topped yogurt, fresh fruit, orange juice, and cranberry/mint flavored water for a festive Christmas breakfast. The meal and especially, the Playtime Blueberry Muffins were delicious!
For a lifetime, I have baked Blueberry Muffins. But none compare to Playtime Blueberry Muffins. Could it be Kelsey’s secret blueberry muffin recipe?!!
I requested her recipe. Much to my surprise, within minutes it arrived in email box! Kelsey included a couple of her baking tips too. Secretly, I wondered if my batch of blueberry muffins would compare to Kelsey’s Playtime Blueberry Muffins?
Kelsey’s Baking Tips:
*Frozen blueberries will chill the batter and won’t sink while baking.
*Bob’s gluten-free baking 1 : 1 flour is a great substitute for all-purpose flour.
Testing The Recipe:
Back in Dallas, I am baking Playtime Blueberry Muffins. I follow Kelsey’s directions. So far, they are looking great . . . creaming the butter and sugar, adding the dry ingredients alternating with milk, and stirring in the Wyman’s frozen blueberries. In no time at all, I scoop the batter into the muffin tins and put them in the oven. After about 25 minutes they are lightly browned. While they are cooling on a rack, I cannot resist. I sneak a piping-hot blueberry muffin, slice it open, slather on some soft butter and bite into it. Juicy blueberries mixed into a moist cake-like muffin. They taste 95% as good as Kelsey’s blueberry muffins. Success!
When my children when they were toddlers, I started decorating gingerbread houses with them. That’s another way of saying that I have 20 + years experience in decorating gingerbread houses. So I am passing along my tips and tested recipes. Hoping they will save you some time and money.
Building with Royal Icing – the secret to building gingerbread houses is the Royal Icing. The Royal Icing recipe’s powdered sugar/egg white ratio needs to be just right!I’m sharing 25+ years experience of decorating and planning gingerbread house parties! With these tips you will be ready to host the most spectacular holiday party!
Back when my children were toddlers, we started our holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses. In the beginning, the gingerbread houses’ walls would not stay together. So we supported them with soup cans until the Royal Icing set. That’s when I started testing Royal Icing recipes.
After years of trial and error, I discovered the perfect Royal Icing! So without further ado, here’s my tried and true Royal Icing recipe . . .
Build it and they will come – just like Iowa farmer Ray(Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice in the cornfield saying “If you build it, he will come” in the movie, Field of Dreams. Build it(the gingerbread houses) and he(friends & family) will come to decorate and celebrate!
Weeks before the holiday party, be sure to start baking the gingerbread houses. The gingerbread dough is easy to make and they are easy to build. However, they take a little bit of time. No need to worry if the gingerbread houses will keep. They will keep for weeks, even a couple of months.
If baking the gingerbread houses seems too ambitious, buying gingerbread house kits is a great option. Either way, be sure to bake some gingerbread chimneys. When it’s time to decorate the gingerbread houses, top off the chimneys with cotton candy for the ‘smoke!’
This is a great recipe for gingerbread houses and gingerbread boys. It's easy to work with, never crumbles and the cookies turn out perfect each time!
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1T. ground cinnamon
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients.
Beat the ingredients until well mixed.
Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in wax paper. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350º.
On a lightly floured Silpat® baking mat, roll out half of the dough tp 1/4" thickness. With the gingerbread house cookie cutters, cut out each section - 2 roofs, 2 sides, front, back and chimney pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Slide the Silpatº baking mat with the cut out house pieces directly onto a flat cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 - 24 minutes until firm but not too browned.
Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack for cooling. Immediately, recut with the house pieces with the cookie cutters. This provides very straight edges!
After the house pieces set a bit, 4-5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and place directly on the wire racks to cool completely.