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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strawberry Pie

Spring and early summer is time for berries.  I believe I have, on several occasions, on this here blog  thoroughly established my position on berries and pihhh and how the two just go together like peas and carrots.  Or like berries and pihhh, I suppose.

Here is just one more example.

I give you the Strawberry Pie.

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie topped with whipped cream

Strawberry Pie topped with whipped cream

Strawberry Pie topped with whipped cream

Strawberry Pie topped with whipped cream

It’s a treat we have enjoyed in my family as long as I can remember.  When my Nana would make a Pecan Pie for my dad, knowing that I didn’t like pecans, she’d almost always make me a Strawberry Pie. 

Nice and cool straight out of the fridge, it’s perfect in these warm spring and summer months.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother’s Day at The Ballpark

If you follow me on the Twitters or have read this blog for a while, you might have noticed over the last couple of years that we’re pretty big Texas Rangers fans around here.  So it should be no big surprise that we chose to spend Mother’s Day out at The Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington (my favorite sports venue other than those located in College Station) watching our Texas Rangers take on the Angels of Anaheim.

Now, as much as we’re Rangers fans, we also have a bit of a soft spot for a particular Angels left fielder who is a Texan, Vernon Wells.  So this is how we looked on Sunday evening…

IMG_2591

Apparently, we like #10… regardless of the team. :)

What a fun evening it was watching a resounding Rangers win with Nelson Cruz hitting a Grand Slam and even getting to see Vernon Wells hit one out as well.  I’d like to think that we were his lucky charm. 

I hope you had a nice Mothers’ Day as well.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cookies for an Eagle Scout Court of Honor

My oldest nephew received his Eagle Scout rank a couple of days before Christmas this last December.  Just a couple of weeks ago, we attended his court of honor as his troop leaders awarded him his pin and he, in turn, gave both of his parents a pin and also a special “Mentor Pin” to his grandfather (his mom’s and my dad).  It was an incredibly moving moment and I cried like a baby.

My sister has 4 boys and has resigned herself to the fact that she will never have the opportunity to plan a wedding for a daughter.  She decided that the reception following my nephew’s Court of Honor was about as close as she’d ever get.  It would, after all, include cake and punch. 

In addition to the cake, she wanted to have some cookies using the Boy Scout Fleur-De-Lis shape and she asked me to make them.  She had the cookie cutter, she just needed me to get them done.

Boy Scout Fleur De Lis cookie cutter

So I spent a cold and rainy Saturday when we didn’t have anywhere to be making cookies.

IMG_1564

Rather than traditional royal icing on the top, my sister requested that I use a glaze and then maybe just outline them with icing.  I think she somehow thought that this would be easier.  Personally, I think outlining and flooding with royal icing would have been just as easy, but I wanted to do what my sister wanted.  So I did a little research and this is what I found for a glaze…

Sugar Cookie Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
10 drops food coloring (if desired)

Sift confectioner’s sugar.  Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and water until it makes a smooth and thin paste.  Add coloring if desired. 

One tip I have read is that you should stir the glaze before each dipping, especially if using color. Otherwise it may dry with a mottled look instead of a solid color.

Sugar cookie glaze

In theory you’re supposed to be able to dip the cookies in the glaze and set them aside to dry…

IMG_1587 IMG_1588 IMG_1589 IMG_1590

I found that dipping these particular cookies did not work well because they broke easily at some of their weaker points in the dipping process.  After just a few cookies, I loaded up one of my squeeze bottles and glazed them that way.

IMG_1591 Glazed sugar cookie

Then, using the #15-17 tips, I did a simple outline of the Fleur-De-Lis in both red and blue.  I was very pleased with the result.

Eagle Scout Fleur De Lis sugar cookies

Eagle Scout sugar cookies

My family was not sorry that I’d had such a problem with breakage.  Not sorry at all.

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Can you tell where the weakest point was in these cookies?

And just a word of advice…. if you decide to use a glaze on your cookies and you put them on wire cooling racks so that the excess glaze can drip off, don’t use paper towels under them to keep your counter top clean.  It doesn’t work.  Instead you get paper towel and sugar cement on your counter that you have to scrape off with a bench scraper.

IMG_1602 I’m thinking wax paper might have been a better choice here.

Since she figured that this was as close as she’d ever get to planning a wedding reception, she decided that the event required a “bride’s cake” and a “groom’s cake". 

She decorated the more formal “bride’s cake” Eagle Scout cake.

Eagle Scout sheet cake 
She had a friend decorate the “groom’s cake”.  You see, they have a lot of armadillos in their neighborhood and my nephew has a thing about shooting them.  So clearly, the other cake had to be nothing other than this…

Armadillo Cake
And yes, of course it was red velvet.