Wedding Shortbread Cookie Recipe

This is a big week for me: Monday was my 30th birthday and today is my wedding anniversary! I am so very blessed to have spent the last 8 years married to this handsome man:

Our Wedding 0593

Our wedding was a simple affair–it kind of had to be since we were broke and young and Pinterest hadn’t been invented yet. We held the ceremony and reception in a waterfront park in our college town (again, we kind of had to–we graduated 2 days before our wedding and didn’t have time to get out of town). Our family and friends did all of the grunt work and hard labor when it came time for us to walk down the aisle–and that, of course, meant that they handled the food. If you know me at all, you know that food is, shall we say, a dominant force in my life. So the food had to be good. REALLY good.

Now, good doesn’t have to mean elaborate or fussy or over the top (because our wedding was none of those things). It really just has to taste amazing. One of my favorite treats that we had at our wedding was an arrangement of shortbread cookies made by my dear friend Vickie. They are similar to sugar cookies, but a bit smoother and flakier than your traditional Christmas sugar cookie. These cookies only have 5 ingredients, and they come together in minutes–super simple. What could be better than a simple, delicious, elegant cookie? Not much, really. So, in honor of our anniversary today, I hope you enjoy this little treat from our wedding. Cheers!

Wedding Shortbread Cookies

1 pound butter
1 Cup powdered sugar
3 Cups flour
3/4 Cups corn starch
sugar for topping (plain or colored decorating sugar work equally well)

1. Stir powdered sugar, flour and corn starch together in a large bowl.
2. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter. Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter. Keep mixing until a soft dough forms.
3. Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll each part into a ball. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Take out one ball dough at a time. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface and use cookie cutters or an upside down cup to cut out shapes (our cookies were heart-shaped).
5. Bake cookies at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the edges of cookies turn golden.

Our Family Recipe For The Most Amazing Cheesecake

This Sunday will be Easter, and that means we’ll be eating an Easter feast. And there’s no better way to end an Easter feast than with the perfect cheesecake. Luckily, I have the recipe for Perfect Cheesecake. This recipe really is incredible, and it’s traveled a long way to get on this blog. We got the recipe from–ready?–my husband’s college roommate’s dad’s campus pastor. You know that it’s gotta be good if it’s been passed down through that many layers.

Most cheesecakes I’ve had are rich and dense, making it difficult to consume vast quantities of the dessert after polishing off your Easter Feast. And I always want room for dessert! This cheesecake is different. It’s smooth and not too heavy, perfectly sweet without being overpowering. Over the years we’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe (OK, they were actually mistakes, but they ended up tasting really great so we left them in!). This is a great recipe for making a day ahead if you’re pressed for time on Easter morning. You may want to make a few of these cheesecakes–one to share, and one for yourself!

Raspberry Cream Cheesecake

1 recipe for Graham Cracker pie crust or 1 store-bought Graham Cracker pie crust
3 eggs
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (brought to room temperature)
3/4 cups white sugar
A few dashes of vanilla
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries (you can use whatever berry you like, fresh or frozen, but this is our preference)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make your pie crust and set aside. Combine the eggs, cream cheese, sugar and a dash of vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend until creamy. Pour the cream cheese mixture into your prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool (the puffy browned top will fall and create a depression). Whip together the sour cream, sugar, another dash of vanilla and your berries. Spread the berry mixture over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for another 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days (if you can manage to keep a cheesecake in your house that long without eating it!).

Our Family Recipe For The Best Darn Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat!

Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Last week was one of those weeks. Jon and I were both sick with bronchitis and ear infections (not sure how we both got the same two unusual ailments). Between caring for our own illnesses and trying to take care of the boys, we were pretty wiped out. But, what’s that I hear?! Duh-duh-duh-duh! Grandma to the rescue!

Jon’s mom was kind enough to come over last week and help us out a bit. She helped take care of the boys while I took a shower (all by myself, no munchkins at my feet!) and attempted (but failed) to actually take a nap. She also made us dinner before she left–such a welcome treat to this tired mama. One of the things grandma made for us was while she was visiting was our family recipe for dinner rolls. They are one of my absolute favorite foods–there’s nothing better than the smell of warm bread baking in your oven. Well, there’s actually one thing that’s better. Turning those dinner rolls into cinnamon rolls.

A number of years ago my mother-in-law figured out how to use the dinner roll recipe to make cinnamon rolls, and they are the best cinnamon rolls you’ll ever taste. Better than Cinnabon. They’re ooey-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, close-your-eyes-and-sigh delicious. They take a bit of time and effort but, trust me, they’re worth it. You may gain 10 pounds after making this recipe (because you’ll want to eat the whole batch) but, again, it’s worth it! So, with no further ado, our cinnamon roll recipe.

Attachment-1

Peterson Family Cinnamon Rolls (AKA The Best Darn Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat)
Makes about 30 rolls

2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, plus an additional 1-2 cups (2-4 sticks) of softened butter
3 cups flour, plus an additional 3-5 cups flour (can be white, wheat, or a combination of flours–this time I used half white and half whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages rapid rise yeast
2 eggs
2 pounds brown sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon
1 recipe for frosting or glaze (we like this one)

  • Heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees (use a thermometer to ensure accuracy–too hot and you’ll kill the yeast, too cool and the yeast won’t grow)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine, 3 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast.
  • Lightly mix the flour mixture (I use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, but you could do this by hand), then add the heated milk/butter
  • After slightly blended, add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each egg.
  • Slowly add 3-41/2 cups flour to form a dough that holds together well but does not stick to the mixer. This part you just have to go by feel–not too dry, not too sticky.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead the dough into a soft smooth ball.
  • Lightly grease a clean mixing bowl, put dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and let your dough rise (follow the instructions on your yeast packet for how long the first rising should be, usually about an hour if you’re using rapid rise).
  • During the first rising, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon (use a fork and/or your fingers and make sure there are no lumps in the mix)
  • After the first rising, divide the dough in half. Cover half of the dough. Roll out the other half of the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch (it should make about a 12″ x 18″ rectangle).
  • Spread with 1-2 sticks of softened butter
  • Sprinkle with about half of the cinnamon sugar mix; pat the mixture into the dough
  • Roll the dough tightly, then pinch tightly along the seam to keep it sealed
  • Slice into 1 1/2 inch thick rounds and place in a lightly greased pan
  • Repeat the roll out/butter/cinnamon sugar/slicing steps with the second half of the dough
  • Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • After baking, flip rolls upside down onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and scrape all of the extra cinnamon goo on top. Then, flip the cinnamon rolls with the wax paper right-side up onto a cooling rack.
  • Let rolls cool, then top with icing. (I usually can’t wait for them to cool before I eat about half the batch, but if you have the self-control to wait, kudos to you)
  • Eat, eat, eat!