Donut Sugar Cookies

Well, hello there!

Since the last time we were both here I have done a few things. Since it has been over a year I’ll just give the highlights….I got my degree in Geography/Environmental Science from UCLA, got engaged to my amazing boyfriend WB, moved from Los Angeles to Miami for WB’s new job, and will soon be Mrs. WB (51 days…woah). Just one of those things in a year would be plenty, but 2014 decided to be a bigger year then I had expected!


Now that life is completely different then back in 2012 when this blog started, my priorities have shifted back and forth. Don’t worry – there was LOTS of baking that happened this past year…I just either A. Ate it too fast to document or B. Our friends ate it too fast to document.

One of the big changes in the past few months has been that I am now in charge of cooking dinner. In the past, it was an unspoken rule that WB did the cooking and I did the baking. Those days are long gone – but for better! I am getting a lot better a cooking non-sugar enhanced food and it has been really fun! So don’t be surprised if a post pops up without sugar listed in the ingredients!

So here I am, dipping my feet back in the water to see how it goes. What better way to ease back into it then with the almighty decorated sugar cookie…that looks like a donut! Yes.


I started with my favorite sugar cookie dough recipe from Annie’s Eats. I think the key is the almond extract – gets me every time.


We just got these awesome new rolling pin guideline things from Crate & Barrel (wedding registry for the win!) and the most adorable rolling pin from my sugar-supporter Libby. The rolling pin rings come in different increments and will help you roll out your dough to the exact thickness the recipe says. Because honestly who can get their dough to a 1/4″ even thickness. Not me.

IMG_5975_e It says HELLO THERE! Too cute, too cute.

IMG_5977_eTo get the basic donut circle shape, I used a 3″ biscuit cutter


Then I searched around the kitchen and found a cap that was about an inch in diameter to make the donut hole.

IMG_5989_eSomehow I magically got exactly 24 donut cookies – beautiful.

IMG_6017_e1For the icing, I use meringue powder instead of egg whites. I find that it is much easier, and yields a better product. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the raw egg element. For this icing, I added a drop of pink food coloring to get a light tint of color. For the design, I start with making an outline with the icing, and then I let it sit for a few minutes to harden up. Then I thin out the remaining icing, put it in a squeeze bottle and fill in the design. Give plenty of time for that to dry before even thinking about stacking these guys on top of each other.



Hello from Butchie!


Until next time!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday night, the music was up loud, the kitchen was warm from the long hot day, and there I was…dancing and singing into a cookie scoop. Part of me wishes that I had a video blog just so I could share a glimpse of how hilarious it was…but then I think about a camera following me around the kitchen and I’m like….no thanks!

Everyone is always surprised to hear that I get shy when it comes to public speaking and being on camera. Probably because I’m very loud and chatty (in the most elegant way of course) when I am with my friends. Every time I imagine being on camera, all I can think about is making an instructional video on how to make a quesadilla in spanish for a class. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have no idea what happened to that video, but the memories are definitely still there. It was bad. And not even in that, oh look at those cute girls making a quesadilla…it was more of a oh god look at those girls speaking in valley girl spanish. Baaaaaad.

As for the public speaking bit…I’m in a speech class right now, and let me tell you, I feel like I’m going to pass out every time I go up there and speak. After my 5 minutes of torture are up I go and sit down and I literally could not tell you what I had just said. It’s like I black out, give a speech, and then come back to life. And I know what you’re thinking “the more you get up there the easier it will get.”

My response to that? I don’t believe you. It’s painful every time I go up there.

So until I get over my irrational fears of public speaking and being on camera, you’re stuck with me here folks!

In honor of trying new things, I branched out from my usual peanut butter cookie recipe and tried out Joanne Chang’s recipe from her amazing cookbook Flour. What I like about this recipe is that is just a straight up peanut butter cookie. The ingredients are wholesome and simple…ie: no extra trip to the store. My other recipe uses half butter and half shortening…I know, shortening, yuck – but trust me they’re pretty damn tasty too.

Why did I chose such a weird looking cookie to take a picture of? To show you guys how a real cookie should look, like a human made it. When I see perfect cookies it just makes me question what the heck they’re doing in their kitchen, because I use a cookie scoop and I still get gems like this guy. Either they are robots or I’m really sloppy. (Don’t answer that)

It’s rustic. That’s a thing, I swear.

Also, with the amount of peanut butter in this recipe, I will allow this an acceptable form of breakfast. I mean seriously, if you think about it the amount of protein you’re getting…it’s probably better for you than the cereal you’re eating! Okay, maybe not, but cookies for breakfast!!



#50 Snickerdoodles

Ideal Me is sitting at her desk, listening to some calm yet productively upbeat music while working on those soul sucking college essays for transfer apps.

Actual Me is sitting on the couch watching Top Chef: Texas while looking at pictures of food that I made, but sadly do not have any more. Why don’t I have this food, because it gets eaten so damn fast now! I make a batch of cookies and POOF!

Even my brother, who has a diet that consists of mostly pasta and anything easy (he’s a law student), makes these cookies! Clearly, they’re good cookies if even he is making them. I love you…:)

The name of this cookie is just so silly I cant get over it. Who even thought of that? Why aren’t they called Cinnamon Sugar Cookies? It’s just out of control.

Aside from the ridiculous name, the cookies are amazing. I’m such a chocolate lover, and it is so obvious, but snickerdoodles hold a place in my sweet little heart. I can never just have one snickerdoodle, but then again I can never really just have one of any cookie..can you?

The Snickerdoodle recipe that my mother always used was the Betty Crocker one, and it was the one I always used too. I decided to look online and see what other people were using and found this recipe that got over 3,000 reviews averaging with 4 1/2 stars. Crazy, I know. The funny thing is that the only difference between the two recipes is that this one has vanilla extract, where as Betty’s doesn’t. Next time I think I might do half vanilla and half almond extract. Hmmmm, the possibilities




I’ve got to start figuring out what to make for Thanksgiving! Eek!



#47 Ghost and Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I apologize for the delay in posts the past week, lots has been going on work, school and personal life wise. I want you all to know that I appreciate the support and love that I get from you guys. When I started this blog, all I knew was that I loved baking and I wanted to show my friends and family the things that I made. I hope all of you go after the things that make you happy like I did. It may just seem like a little blog about dessert to you, but to me its so much more than that. Thanks for the support :).

I needed to study this past Sunday for a test on Tuesday. I hadn’t baked anything in days and it was starting to make me a little stressed. Is it weird that I was more stressed about not baking something than I was my test? The solution: put computer with the slides for my test next to me while I baked a double batch of sugar cookies.

This right here is the most amazing thing you will ever own if you ever roll out dough. In the past before we had this lovely invention I would attempt to roll out dough on a wooden cutting board that was way too small for the job. The solution to all my problems (in terms of cookie making) is a circular piece of wood covered in canvas – tada! It’s main purpose is for rolling out the dough for Lefse, which is a Norweigen flat bread made from potatoes. My mom makes it every year, maybe we’ll get a post out of it this year! It’s so good!

TIP: When rolling out dough, put a sheet of plastic wrap on top of it. I use the one that I wrapped the dough in while it was chilling in the fridge – reusing things = less waste = happy environment (PSA from your friendly environment lover). It comes out perfectly smooth with no flaws, and the rolling pin wont stick to it! This way you just need to put a little flour on the bottom, and not all over the dough, which can dry it out. It’s little things like this that make this process so much easier.

Pipe an outline, let it dry for 30 minutes

The thing about gorgeous sugar cookies, like the ones you see on Bake @ 350, is that no body tells you how long this process is! I kid you not, I spent probably a combined 5 hours chilling, baking, cooling, piping, decorating these damn cookies! Oh and don’t forget the massive clean up. In the end I like to think its worth it, but man is it just an exhausting process!

Torey shows up during decorating to say hello and take random pictures
Finally done! 

I hope you all have a fun, crazy, but safe, halloween!

Sugar Cookies 


1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields about 40 cookies.

I’ve tried a bunch of different frostings for sugar cookies and the most traditional way is Royal Icing which uses egg whites, but I find that this recipe with Meringue powder is a million times easier, and tastes better in my opinion.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder (Found at specialty food stores like Sur La Table or the craft store Michael’s)
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  If you would like to add color, I suggest using gel and not liquid because it changes the consistency of the icing.

To flood cookies: Thin out the icing so that it is about the consistency of thick honey. Some people use squeeze bottles, which is the best way of doing it, but if you don’t have any you can just spoon it onto the cookie. Use a toothpick to push the icing into all the spaces. Let sit for a few hours to completely set up. Do not put into air-tight container until frosting is completely hardened.


Recipe from Annie’s Eats



#46 “Black and Orange” Cookies

My father has worked in video games since I was young, so I’ve always had video games around me. Even with that video game noise of my brother playing Final Fantasy and Zelda in the background of my life, I never was really that interested in it all. (Except for the Karaoke games and Little Big Planet because that sock puppet is just too damn cute). Recently, my parents have been playing Bejeweled on their iPad’s, non-stop. They compete with each other to see who can get a higher score, and I’ve been making fun of them for the past few months. Well, finally after all of that poking, I decided I should give it a try to see what they’re so obsessed with. I’ve been sucked in. It’s disgusting really. The worst part about it is that my parents are BETTER than me, a lot better than me. I think that is what is fueling this problem. My name is Madeline, and I have a bejeweled problem. I tell you this in hopes that it will fix my problem through pure embarrassment.

Now that I have that dirty little secret off my chest, lets get to the food.

It’s mid-october, which obviously means black and orange halloween things are going to be shoved down your throat for the next few weeks. You could try and hide from it, and act like you don’t like it, but lets just own up to the fact that themed holidays are just THE BEST.

I want to make everything black and orange, and I think I successfully-ish did so with these cookies. My only problem is that I didn’t have Dutch Processed Cocoa which produces are much darker chocolate side of the cookie. That is what gives it the true “black” in black and white cookies. So if you don’t have Dutch Processed Cocoa, its completely acceptable to use normal cocoa, it just wont be as dark.

I have loved Black and White cookies since I first made them a few months back. So since it is the Halloween season I needed to change it up a bit and died the white side to orange. I know, its blowing your mind right now.

You should be expecting lots more halloween themed desserts for the rest of this month…just a heads up. 🙂

from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Black and White Icings (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes,scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add whole eggs and egg yolk, one at a time; beat until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the cream. Beat until just combined.

Use an ice cream scooper to scoop dough 3 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the edges just begin to turn golden and the centers are cakey and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack (turn them upside down) to cool for 10 minutes.

On the flat side (bottom) of each cookie, use a small offset spatula (or a spoon) to spread cholocalte icing over one half of the cookie, creating a line straight down the center. Spread white frosting on the other half. Set cookies back on wire rack until icing is set, about 30 minutes.

Black and Orange Icing

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I only had limes but it still tastes good)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
Orange food dye (I used gel dye, but you can use liquid too)

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until smooth. Add more water, if needed, until mixture is slightly thicker than honey. Set aside half of sugar mixture and add a few drops of orange food dye. Stir cocoa into remaining sugar mixture to combine (for black icing); thin with water if needed. Use immediately.




#43 Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Back to food…

It’s funny how your tastes for things can change so quickly. I find myself craving things I used to hate, despise really. For example, guacamole. I hated guacamole. I can’t even explain to you how bothersome it was to me when I would go and get tacos, which happens often, and they would put a giant glob of guacamole on it. It kept happening, and I would be all disappointed each time. Then I found my stomach craving it, but my head being like “Do not go and get guacamole. You don’t like it! Remember?” That silly little voice is far, far away now and I find myself ordering a side of guacamole when I go to Chipotle now. I know, its embarrassing.

The reason I say all of this is because I had the same issue with White Chocolate. First of all, its not even chocolate! Did you know that? According to the FDA (who knew chocolate was so official?), to be considered chocolate it has to contain cocoa solids, which are what makes up chocolate liquor, which is in milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I felt like white chocolate was the weird traitor of the chocolate family and I refused to enjoy it. Then, once again, white chocolate appeared in things like cookies and on top of cakes and now I can’t help but like it!

These cookies are amazing. They are now on my Top 5 Cookie list. They were originally supposed to be White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies but man are Macadamia nuts expensive! So I switched them out for Pecans, who doesn’t love Pecans? (If you feel like shelling out the big bucks for some Macadamia nuts, it would be the same recipe just swap them out.) Obviously my family liked these too because the cookies were devoured in less than 24 hours. Made them at 6pm in the evening and they were gone by 11am the next day.

It was really hard to control ourselves (Torey and I) from eating this batter.

I use too large soup spoons for dishing out cookies, and an ice cream scoop for cupcakes.

Set all your ingredients out 30 minutes before you start baking. I’m sure you’ve heard this 5 million times as you creep through the food blogosphere, and trust me I thought it was stupid before too, but it makes a difference! Your butter will cream effortlessly and everything just comes together beautifully. It’s easy, really. Take everything out, put it on the counter, watch an episode of The Office (or if you’re bad Teen Mom/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s okay I don’t judge), and then come back and get to it!

Vivi came to visit for a sleepover. Pure happiness.

Special thanks to Torey who was the official taste tester and took the baking action shots! 🙂

Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the pecans and white chocolate.
3. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Adapted from




#37 Madeleines

This dessert is special to me in a sense, but only because of its name. Madeleines are delicious when you’re having a nice cup of coffee, sitting outside enjoying the day. Part of me was challenged from within to make these again because my last attempt, about 5 years ago, did not turn out well. First off, it was a different recipe and I must say I do like this new one much better. After I made them the first time, I instantly tried one after it came out of the oven, like any normal person would do. They tasted odd…just plain not very good. I ended up throwing out one of the pans of the Madeleines and continued baking the rest of the batter hoping it would be different. I put them in a container and then had one the next day…delicious! I dont know what it was but fresh out of the oven they really were not very good.

This time was very different. I had one right out of the oven and it was just as delicious as it was the next morning dipped in my coffee. Madeleines are little French tea cakes that have a sponge cake feel to them. They really do taste best when you are drinking tea or coffee, but of course these could be enjoyed on their own.

The recipe says to butter and then flour the Madeleine pans

I also did two pans in sugar

The pans buttered with sugar turned out with a little bit of a crystalized shell which was nice to compliment the soft spongey inside. I think for future Madeleine baking I will do sugar instead of flour. The sugar also ads another level of flavor, where as the ones coated with flour had a bit of a dull taste when you first bit into it.

Careful to not fill them up too much!

My unevenly heated mini me cookies


My oven has been having some issues with unevenly heating so I tried using the Convection setting, but I really dont think that did anything for me. If anything it just made them cook faster but they still came out unevenly golden. Anyone have any suggestions?


So delicious

These are the best served with coffee

You can also try dipping them in chocolate. Just melt some chocolate and dip them on in!



The two Madelines

This is definitely something I would make a batch of and then put into little bags and give to my friends and co workers. Even if you’re not a big dessert person, its just something to munch on with your coffee in the morning. If you don’t have a Madeleine pan, which most people probably don’t, you can pick one up from any cooking store or Bed Bath and Beyond (bring a 20% off coupon and its only about $10).

On a completely different note, I love listening to music while I bake. If you walk in on me in the kitchen, 9 times out of 10 I will be dancing around while whisking and singing to myself. I thought I would share what I was listening to while I baked these Madeleines. On this bake day, I was listening to Little Dragon’s new album Ritual Union. Check it out here and let me know what you think!


From Bon Appetit Magazine

Printer Friendly Version


2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Pinch of salt

1 cup all purpose flour

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly


Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour pan for madeleines (found at Bed Bath and Beyond). Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.

Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and the edges are light brown, about 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch.

Dust cookies with powdered sugar.



#13 Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

After posting a picture of what I wanted to make this week, it was pointed out that I have a thing for oreos. I dont know if its just that they are just amazing, or maybe the fact that I ate a pack of Double Stuf’d Oreo’s every 3 days when I was back at UCR, whatever the reason is…..I need to cool it down a bit. No more Oreo recipes for a while.

On that note, this recipe was definitely a good one to bow out with. It showed up on my friend’s Facebook and I knew it was meant to be. I knew it was a bit outrageous, but hey..I’m trying to gain a few lbs anyways!

I made them this morning in about 45 minutes before heading into work & picking up my brother/sister in law/the munchkin up from the airport. Great way to start the day…if you’d like it to end with a mini sugar heart attack. 🙂

Double Stuf - No other way.

I got to use the Silpat that my brother/sister in law got my for Christmas. Its amazing! I can't believe I didn't have one before!

Fresh out of the oven.

They're really intense-obviously- so I cut them in half before I brought them into work for my guinea pigs

I read through the comments that some people left on the blog that I got this recipe from, BeckyBakes, and some people were complaining that it was too “floury” but I don’t agree. It’s a great, enormous, cookie. Really, the ultimate cookie.

I have about 10 left, so if you’re in the area and want to test it out let me know 🙂
Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 sticks butter (Softened)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

1 pkg. Oreo cookies (Double Stuf)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Form a ball of cookie dough, big enough to fit over the oreo. Then take another ball of cookie dough, slightly smaller, and fit it on the bottom of the oreo, to completely cover the oreo in cookie dough. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat (highly recommend the silpat. It’s environmentally friendly and works great) lined baking sheet and bake cookies 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Note: Cookies might need a little more time depending on how your oven heats. I put mine in for more towards 13/14 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE cookies.


Happy Weekend!