Glazed and Embroidered Sugar Cookies

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I've made a lot of sugar cookies over the years, but these might be my favorite! I made these ahead of time for my Galentine's Day party, freezing the glazed cookies, and then decorated them with buttercream frosting before the party. I used this sugar cookie recipe which is my favorite because it is so light and airy. I rolled the dough out to a 1/4 of an inch cut them out using a 3-inch fluted cutter, but you could do any shape you want--squares, rectangles, hearts, stars, etc. After the cookies cooled completely I glazed them with a light pink glaze, dipping them in the icing by hand before letting them drip-dry on a cooling rack lined with parchment below for easy clean up. 

Pink Glaze 

  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder 
  • gel food coloring 

To make the glaze, combine wet ingredients in bowl. Slowly sift in powdered sugar and meringue powder, whisking by hand or using a hand mixer on low speed. Add food coloring last for desired shade. Use immediately. Let cookies dry 1 hour, until they appear slightly matte can be touched without disturbing the glaze. You can freeze them, separating each cookie with a small piece of parchment so they don't stick, or you can decorate them. If you freeze them, take allow them to come to room temperature for 2 hours before decorating. The glaze will look very wet when you first defrost them, but it will dry out and your cookies will look like you just frosted them!

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For the buttercream, the consistency should be very stiff. Combine powdered sugar and butter in a 3:1 ratio (I did 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup softened butter). Add 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla flavoring. Divide white frosting into bowls and and dye with gel food coloring to desired shades--I did 3 pink shades and reserved some for white. Transfer to piping bags each with a different tip--I did 3 star tips, some open and some closed, and a round tip for the white. 

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The key with these cookies is to not have them look "too" perfect. Play around with the amount of each color, and the spacing of the dots. It looks best when the are all slightly different in my opinion! To make frosting them all easier, I went in rapid succession with each color, as seen below. To finish, I took silver nonpareils and placed one on top of each white dot for a little extra bling. 

Overall these were delicious and tasted like that Valentine's Day sugar cookie you remember from grade school as a kid! I can't wait to try different color variations for different holidays! I think red, white, and blue would be super cute for the 4th! 

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Chocolate Pound Cake with Blood Orange Frosting

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Another pink post, are you sensing a theme? 

But in all seriousness I had 4 blood oranges leftover from this tart that I had to use before they became too squishy. I also love a good pound cake/loaf cake, and am totally guilty of splurging on Starbucks lemon loaf and pumpkin bread at the hospital way too often. This recipe, adapted from King Arthur Flour, is a cinch to whip up, bakes up beautifully, and easily comes out of the pan (insert praise hands emoji here). I made it yesterday afternoon when I was done work early and then brought it the next morning to the School of Medicine to share with a couple of my classmates. It's fourth year...interview season is over...it's time to eat cake for breakfast. 

Chocolate pound cake (adapted from king arthur flour)

  • 8 tablespoons butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cocoa  
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk

Blood Orange cream cheese Frosting

  • Juice from 1 blood orange, strained
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • small pinch salt 
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • sprinkles and orange slices for garnishing (optional) 
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Start by combining sugar, baking powder, cocoa, butter, and vanilla. It's easiest to do this with your hands so that you don't have cocoa powder flying everywhere. It should become a crumbly mixture. Add in eggs 1 at a time and beat on medium speed until well incorporated before adding the next. 

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After all 3 eggs are added the batter should look thick, as seen below. 

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Add milk and flour, alternating in 3 batches and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. The mixture will finally look like thick cake batter. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees fah for 60 minutes, checking with a knife or cake tester to make sure it comes out clean. Cool cake COMPLETELY before frosting.  

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When thinking about how to decorate the cake I was inspired by this post by one of my favorite food blogs. The only problem was that I didn't have orange or red sanding sugar. Luckily, you can make your own pretty easily with clear sparkling sugar and gel food coloring. Just pour about 1 tablespoon of sprinkles into a bowl, and add a *very* small drop of food coloring. Mix with clean fingers until the color is well distributed in the sugar. You can combine colors to get the exact shade you want, just remember a tiny but of color goes a long way here. 

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To make this sandy pink coral shade I used a combination of "Dusy Rose" and "Terracotta" colors from Americolor food coloring. 

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For the frosting, cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon blood orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on medium speed. 

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Add strained blood orange juice and mix on medium speed. 

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Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 spoonful at a time until your mixture is thick. It should be spreadable, but not runny. Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge until you are ready to frost. 

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orange slices for garnishing 

orange slices for garnishing 

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To assemble cake spread a generous layer of frosting over cooled cake, and use an offset spatula to make a back-and-forth "wave" pattern on the surface. Sprinkle with colored sugar and place orange slices on top. 

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Ta Da! 

Cake can be eaten immediately or chilled in the fridge for 3 days in glass or plastic tupperware. 

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