Friday, December 2, 2011

Let the Baking Begin!

Lots of cookie decorating to do today. Sugar Cookies for the holiday season & gingerbread cookies are baking today and keeping us busy! I had to scrape the ice off my windshield this morning in Pittsburgh, so I thought I'd show some of our mitten cookies. Wish I had a pair of mittens on this morning while I was scraping away at 6 am, but now the sun is shining and it should warm up today.
 We're baking Black & Gold gingerbread cookies this year for our local Pittsburgh fans. For those of you not from the Burgh, these are our favorite colors around Pittsburgh, especially when the Steelers and Penquins are playing! Sports are BIG around this city. I wonder about introducing Black and Gold into the Holiday season as I am mostly a Christmas traditionalist but well, they are only cookies! And they really are cute.

 Red & white are so bright and festive during the Holiday Season. These candy cane brownies are made from a deep dish chocolate brownie with chunks of Belgian white chocolate. After the brownie is baked and cooled, we then melt more white chocolate, drizzle it on the brownies and then add the perfect touch with crushed peppermint candy canes. Decorated Sugar Cookies in the shapes of candy canes are also included in the Holiday Cookie Box along with an assortment of homemade cookies from Chocolate Chip to Peanut Butter and Cranberry White Chocolate.
And finally to remind us all of what is coming...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Cookie Greetings

We have to start planning the Christmas Holiday Season at our bakery, Country Cupboard Cookies in August every year. To be honest, I start thinking about the next year's Holiday season during December while we are still baking and packing for that year. I know that sounds confusing, but the Christmas Season is our bread and butter for the whole year. I wish it weren't, I wish we could bake more consistently throughout the year, but the reality is that is that those 3 weeks of December is when we ship 30% of our gifts for the entire year! If we didn't have the holiday gift season each year, we wouldn't be in business.

 BUT.....I love Thanksgiving and I don't want to miss a chance to bake with all the wonderful flavors of fall. Oatmeal Walnut Raisin cookies, Toffee chip cookies, deep dish fudge brownies, Snickerdoodles rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and Cranberry Orange Pecan cookies all make our bakery smell so fantastic this time of year. We 're hoping that we can send out lots of thank you cookie gifts this Thanksgiving! Take some time to bake something this fall, it's one of the best times of the year to enjoy fresh baked goods.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Gingerbread & Sugar Cookies

 We've started decorating Gingerbread Cookies for the Holiday Christmas Season, but got distracted by Halloween. Red & Green colors started to look all the same, so we mixed up some orange and Black & yellow. Pumpkin head gingerbreads, dogs with orange and black bandanas, then Danielle got the idea to do gingerbread dressed in Halloween costumes. We ended up with pirates, dracula, mummy ( my favorite ) , bats, jack-o-lanterns, bats, etc. Lots of laughs with this production!
 We're shipping our Halloween decorated sugar cookies next week. What a cute way to say Trick or Treat!

We will continue to think red & green next week for our line of gourmet holiday cookies, but this was a nice break. These Trick or Treat Cookie boxes include both fresh baked assorted cookies such as Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, but also 2 of the decorated halloween sugar cookies. A great choice for a Cookie Delivery and we do ship Nationwide.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take a peek at Christmas Cookie Gifts!

We've been designing and creating new Holiday sugar Cookies  for the 2011 Holiday Season. Of course, our delectable gingerbread cookies are back this year with their happy smiles and festive colors. We are also decorating Christmas Sugar Tree Cookies, Ornaments, Stockings, Christmas Cupcake Cookies, candycane cookies and so much more.

I really like these candy cane and peppermint candy circle cookies. These particular hand decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies are included in our Holiday Sweets Cookie Gift Box, a gift designed for a sweet lover on your Christmas shopping List. Each selection of 12 cookies are wrapped individually and packed in a cute natural kraft gift box with holiday twines and raffias. The gift boxes ship beautifully anywhere in the U.S. and make a wonderful Holiday Cookie Delivery!

Our bakery has the aroma of Christmas spices already with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. We're looking forward to the cookie baking this Holiday season! Take a moment and visit us online today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Decorated Sugar Cookies for Fall!

We brought out the fall colors today and they put a smile on our faces! Fall is our favorite time to bake cookies. The weather is starting to cool and it's before the crazy and hectic Holiday Baking Season. We look forward to baking our decorated gingerbread cookies for Christmas gifts, but for right now, fall leaves and acorns are on the menu. We baked these decorated fall cookies using our favorite sugar cookie recipe which is so easy to roll and is made with butter, sugar, eggs , flour and pure vanilla. If you want a touch of spice for your fall cookies, just add a teaspoon of cinnamon or 1/2 tsp of ginger when mixing your batter. Also, after baking and decorating, a sprinkle of colored sugar will give a nice crunch and we find cover any minor mistakes with decorating!

Love the tie dye look of these fall maple leaves! We used the technique of 2 colors of flood icing ( your thinner icing) applied to the cookie then allow the icing to run together using a icing spatula or toothpick to swirl nicely. Another technique is to flood the cookie with your main color, the orange in this case, then add a few drops of yellow flood right away. Use a toothpick to swirl. If you use this technique for tie-dye, be careful to add a little less flood on the first color than usual or your cookie will overflow.

 We may be using this wonderful and colorful Baker's Twine from The Twinery this year for packaging some of our Cookie Gifts for Fall and the upcoming Holiday Season. I received this sample pack from the company and I just adore the homespun look. They offer so many gorgeous colors and we find the twine easy to work with. I think it makes our cookies look Simply delicious!
Lots of birthdays will occur this fall season and so we've decided to add some of our specialty Birthday Cookie Gifts with fall colors. Our acorn cookies need some work in the design, but we will be working on that, it's only September! Hope everyone enjoys the fall as much as we do here in Pennsylvania and happy baking!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taking a break from Cookies

Baking is my passion in the kitchen. And baking cookies is my favorite. Farmhouse style, wholesome cookies made from scratch and filled with nuts, chocolate, fruits and spices. But sometimes, I still bake a pie or attempt cupcakes. Cupcakes and cakes are difficult for me, I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm so tuned in to creaming and mixing cookie batters that I just don't make the transition to cakes well.

I'm better at baking bread than baking cute cupcakes however. I love to get up in the morning and decide to bake a loaf of bread. I've baked all types of bread from Italian white to wholewheat to potato bread. I've baked sourdough breads, homemade pizzas and yummy rolls. I've done my share of kneading and also used a bread machine for years. This summer, I discovered the refrigerator bread or " bread in 5 minutes" This bread recipe has been around for awhile, I'm not sure how I missed it, maybe I was too busy kneading and rising bread. And I'm not going to give up all my bread recipes that require half a day to complete either. But when you want a super easy, quick idea for artisan bread, this recipe is amazing. I like to mix up a batch for 4 loaves, and bake one every other day. The bread dough will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

There is something about fresh bread coming out of the oven that is hard to resist. I have tried 2 recipes, both the white and also the whole wheat. I know there is a cookbook available, which I would love to try or this website is wonderful also. I still can't believe I took so long to find these recipes. So if you need a break from chocolate chip cookies this summer, I think baking bread is a great adventure. Here's a link to the recipe, Bread Recipe in 5 minutes with fantastic instructions and photos. Enjoy!

And now on to baking up a batch of  Cowboy Cookies, mixed with oatmeal, chocolate chips, pecans & M&M candies. Yum!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Red, White & Blue Cookies

The Fourth of July summer holiday is coming soon so I thought I'd post some a few of our stars and stripes decorated sugar cookies. The colors of red, white and blue always remind me of summer, the colors just seem right for a hot summer's day. I like the simplicity of these decorated sugar cookies in shapes of stars. We are baking the stars in different sizes, frosting with royal icing and then rimming with sanding sugars. These cookies can be made easily at  home, star cookie cutters are easy to find and if you don't want to bother with royal icing, just use a simple buttercream icing and add some sprinkles. The buttercream frosting we use here is so easy!

Easy Buttercream Frosting
2 LB Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick ) melted Butter
1/2 cup Water ( approximate)
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla

Mix the melted butter in a bowl with the sugar. Just mix until the butter is coating the sugar. Add the water slowly and beat until you like the consistency for frosting. Beat for 1-2 min  for a creamy mixture. Add vanilla or any other flavoring you may like. This frosting is so easy to spread and sets up nicely at room temperature, but you can also place the cookies in the refrigerator to help set your icing. The key to this recipe is the amount of water you add, add slowly and if you add too much, you can always add more sugar.

I really like the look of white icing with colored sprinkles, but you could also use food dye to add some color to your frosting, just allow for the added liquid. Food dyes will thin your icing somewhat.

We will be shipping our 4th of July Cookies next week. You can place your order online now and we'll ship the cookies when baked. This is a festive gift for a fourth of July summer picnic or to ship to friends and family. Visit our website for more ideas for your holiday gift giving today! We bake our cookies fresh daily and ship Nationwide!
Enjoy your summer get-to-gethers and cook outs! This is one tradition that seems to have remained in our lives despite our everyday "I'm so busy" schedules. Everyone enjoys a backyard cook out and getting together with friends and families. I love when everyone brings a favorite dish or dessert. You know people will prepare a dish that is one of their best, so the food is always great! Hope you can add some new recipes to your file this summer, I  know I've already picked up a few, starting with the great 5 bean salad I enjoyed yesterday at my niece's grad party!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Father's Day Cookie Delivery

Father's Day is June 19th, Sunday this year, 2011. We are starting to make our boxes and plan our baking for next week when we start to ship cookies for this special day. Cookies and brownies are a perfect gourmet treat to send for a Happy Father's Day message. If you have time, mix up a batch of cookies, most men love classic chocolate chip cookies, what could be easier. A plate of homemade cookies would go well with any other gifts or card you may want to give the special guy in your life. My dad loves Oatmeal Raisin, I know I'll be taking him a batch when I go to visit!

           If you are creative and want to try your skill at cookie decorating, shirts with #1 Dad on them would be fun especially for children to design. We used a "onesie" cookie cutter, then just cut off the bottoms with a knife prior to baking for these cute shirt decorated sugar cookies. We will be decorating them daily during this week and next so we'll have lots of variety to add to our Father's Day cookie gifts.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Cookie Delivery that says Thank you from your pet!

I grew up on a farm in Southwestern PA where dogs and cats ran around outside with the horses chickens and pigs. Dogs and Cats did NOT come into the house and though we loved them, they were just another part of the farm animals family. Move ahead to 2011. Now our pets are living right next to us inside the house and yes, they are part of our family. We take photos of them with us, buy their favorite pet treats and include their names on certain gift cards. Although my parents still living on that farm have a Newfoundland dog that they adore and he lives outside with the horses and does not like entering the house.
He's way too large anyways.
 On to the point of this post today. We noticed at our Cookie Bakery that customers were including their pets names on their gift cards, thanking their Vet for excellent care, sending thank you cookies to friends who watched their pet while they were on vacation, etc. We designed this box for those kind of occasions, a PET LOVERS BOX complete with a natural eco-friendly box and matching ribbon with paw prints.

The decorated sugar cookies are cut-outs made with butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and flour. In other words, people cookies. These cookies are not meant for pets to eat, though I think that may be a fun business to run. We can even personalize one of the cookies with your pet's name!

We are now offering a CAT pet lovers box and a DOG pet lovers box. We also add an assortment of our gourmet cookies too such as chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter. Enough cuteness and good taste for anyone to enjoy! We will start shipping these adorable cookie gifts  in early June. I think they could be a unique thank you gift for your pet sitter this summer!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Festive Happy Birthday Cookies & More

Still raining in Pittsburgh with not much sunshine yet for the first week of May, but I'm thinking summer colors! I really like these new colors of lime green, aqua blue, creamsicle orange and fuchsia pink. The Birthday cakes are very popular with our Cookie Gifts as they can be added to any homemade cookie assortment. Add a decorated Birthday Sugar Cookie to a box of freshly baked Chocolate Chip cookies and you've got a winner for any Birthday celebration. I also like the simplicity of the Daisy Cookies for the spring and summer!

We're shipping sweet  Mother's Day Gifts today so I took one more photo of these adorable shoes and purse cookies. The combination of Pink and chocolate brown is nice too. I think we may add some other colors this summer for this line of decorated cookies. Maybe some chocolate brown with turquoise blue? Black is nice for handbags and shoes but not for cookies so I'm not sure about that combination.  The problem with black is a lot of food dye is required for the frosting to attain the perfect black shade. So I think we will stay with more neutral colors. Maybe a tan and blue??

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cookies for Mom

 I do not wear high heels because I am more concerned about my comfort than how I look, but I do love to look at them and appreciate how really special they can make an outfit. The longer you go without wearing a shoe with a heel, the more pain you are in when and if you do. So that said, these gourmet cookies are just so cute!! I do enjoy a nice handbag, no pain there.
We are baking these for Mother's Day this year. What a nice gift for that special lady in your life! Each box will also include 8 assorted classic homemade cookies such as Decadent Triple chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip and Cranberry White Chocolate. Yummmmm. I also love the chocolate brown and pink and white colors for this gift box. And a nice option with this Mothers Day Gift is you can personalize one of the cookies with Mom, Nana,Grandma, etc.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're Busy decorating Easter Eggs ...Cookies, that is!

 No matter how busy I am each spring, I always find time to decorate eggs for Easter. Sometimes I'm in my kitchen late at night with 12 hard-boiled eggs and food dyes wondering why I keep this up when my daughters are adults now and my husband is more into carving pumpkins at Halloween than sharing this old family tradition with me! But each year, I find it relaxing and nostalgic and I do enjoy Egg Salad in the days after Easter! Here at our cookie bakery, we are busy decorating Easter Sugar Cookies in beautiful spring colors. The Easter Bunny Cookies are so cute also, and we're adding jelly beans to some of our Easter Gifts this year.

 Chocolate Bunnies, and the myriad of Easter candy available, I'm sure are the popular items for Easter Baskets, but homemade baked goods I think are a close second. Fresh Baked Cookies, Brownies and Shortbreads have a place at any Easter Table. I'm planning on baking poppyseed rolls and homemade cake doughnuts for my family's Easter Dinner. I'm hoping my sister brings her pickled eggs and maybe potato salad. Of course, we will enjoy my Mom's famous baked ham along with kielbassi that my Dad enjoys preparing. Yum.
Fresh Baked Easter Goodies can be delivered Nationwide from our Cookie Bakery in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Visit our website if you are interested in a Cookie Delivery today. Enjoy your Easter Weekend coming up soon. It's such a nice time to enjoy time with your family and celebrate!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Polka Dot Easter Bunny Cookies

Decorated Easter Bunny Cookies for your Basket!
These decorated Easter cookies are both delicious and fun to make. I love the spring colors and the simplicity of all white polka dots. We mix our hand-rolled sugar cookie dough and after baking the bunny shapes, pipe the outlines of the cookies followed by a flooding in the same color. The next step is to add the polka dots with white flooding. We then package the cookies after drying in clear cello bags and gift box them in chocolate brown boxes tied with sheer polka dot ribbon in purple, blue, pink and brown.  We also have many other ideas on our website for Easter Cookie Baskets 
Happy Spring! Happy Easter! Order some-bunny special a  Cookie delivery for Easter with these homemade cut-out sugar cookies from Country Cupboard Cookies !  Or maybe you'd like to try your own. We used the following recipe for these cookies. This sugar cookie recipe is so easy, does not require chilling, and is so easy to roll!

Cut-out Sugar cookies
1 pound softened Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 eggs
1 TBL pure Vanilla
4 to 4 1/2 cups Flour
1 TBL Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs & vanilla & mix well. Add dry ingredients gradually and mix until soft dough forms. You may find that you need to use more or less flour depending on humidity of day, etc. Roll out and cut out with desired cookie cutter. Use only enough flour to avoid sticking to table or to rolling pin. Bake 8-10 minutes in 325- 350 degree oven. Avoid overbaking. Bake only until very light browned around edges. Frost and decorate with your favorite icing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    My new favorite cookie: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk: Chocolatey, Chewy and Salty. We'll have these baking next week for the month of April in our bakery. I think they would make a wonderful cookie gift for someone who likes a little old-fashioned and a little gourmet in their cookies.

I've been craving these cookies for awhile now. I love chocolate, I love sweets, I love salt. I know salt does not have a healthy sound to it with all the talk of "too much salt is bad for your blood pressure" but I do love salt. Combine salt with my OTHER favorite flavor of Sugar and then add chocolate and something chewy ( caramel ) well, you've just tasted one of my new favorite cookies. I recently said that the blueberry cobbler cookies we were baking at Country Cupboard Cookies in March was my favorite, but well, it's a new month and this cookie, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk is my Favorite.

We baked this cookie using our original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, everyone has a favorite, just be sure to use butter and the best chocolate you have. We use Barry Callebaut chocolate chunks, a nice semi-sweet chocolate here in our bakery, but any high quality chocolate will work. Then we added bits of Caramel. We used caramel bits from CK products, but you could caramel bits from the grocery store. One thing I learned is not to use large sizes of caramel, you want small pieces, no larger than a chocolate chip. This way the chewiness is not over-whelming and you won't spend all your time chewing and not enjoying the rest of the cookie! Press down the cookie slightly before baking and then sprinkle a nice Sea Salt over the cookie. Bake as usual. I found that a lot of the salt does dissolve when you bake so I added a very slight sprinkle after they came out of the oven. Don't overdo the salt, just a surprise flavor while you are enjoying the caramel and chocolate!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mini-Sugar Cookies for Spring & Easter

Spring this year brings our new Mini Sugar Cookies!

We are very excited about this line of sugar cookies. The size is small, 1.5 inches to 2 inches, perfect bite-size cookies. Everyone who sees them starts with "oh how cute!" or "So sweet! " The details are simple but for such small cookies, they really make a statement. We've chosen pretty spring colors, but I'm already thinking that later this summer we could decorate some of these sugar cookies in bright hot colors of orange, fuchsia and teal. The sugar cookies are made with a simple sugar cookie recipe, hand-rolled then cut with mini cookie cutters. We've flooded some of them and piped others with royal icing, also in springtime colors. Adding a sprinkle of sanding sugar gives a sparkly touch and a slightly crunchy texture to the cookies. They really do melt in your mouth!
The mini-sugar cookies in shapes of hearts and flowers are packaged in clear favor bags and tied with colorful raffias. Then the bags of 12 cookies each are gift boxed, ready to ship out for any occasion from Happy Birthday to Get Well soon!

An array of mini-sugar flowers in different sizes. So fun to decorate.
          Can't wait to start baking these mini-eggs, bunnies, flowers and chicks for Easter this year. These favor bags would make a great addition to any Easter Goodie Basket. Yummmm!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pretty Decorated Heart Cookies for Valentine's Day

 We introduced beautiful new colors this year for some of our Decorated Heart Sugar Cookies in shades of sky blue, lavender, pretty pink and minty green. The orange reminds me of creamsicles.
                        Happy Valentine's Day!
 Conversation Heart Cookies popular again this year for a cute Valentines Day Gift

We are finishing baking today for shipment of Valentine's Day Cookie orders. I loved the selection this year.Red & white designs with pink are classic Valentine but this year the new softer colors of blue, lavender, orange and green reminded me that spring is on it's way! It's been cold here in Pittsburgh lately and combine that with the Pittsburgh Steelers losing the Super Bowl , Spring will be an especially welcome event this year.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black & Gold Cookies for Pittsburgh!

     We just finished a batch of  Freshly Baked Sugar Cookies in Black and Gold for the Steelers Game coming up next weekend! I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers Fan and my husband is a Green Bay Packer fan. Well, we've been waiting for this game for years!! Why are all the cookies all black and gold? I'm the baker.

Gingerbread Cookies decorated in Pittsburgh Black & Gold colors

Sunday's Win in Pittsburgh got me thinking about the Black and Gold Gingerbread Cookies we shipped this past Christmas. We are baking some sugar cookies today in our town's black and gold colors, we should have them online by tomorrow, Wednesday. Steelers football fans everywhere will be able to send a box to their family and friends!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies make great gifts for Everyone

These may be my new favorites this year for Valentine's Day, Chocolate decorated Hearts. We bake our all natural sugar cookies, hand roll and cut out with heart cookie cutters. The cookies are baked in our convection oven, then hand decorated with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting and then detailed with royal icing and sprinkles. After they set up overnight, we package them and add them to a gift box ready to ship.Yes, they may be my new favorites. But then there are the adorable conversation heart cookies...


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