My poor, poor blog. I’ve been neglecting her a lot lately [yes, my blog has a gender, and is a “she”]… I have been back in the U.S. from my Germany adventures, so I don’t have much of an excuse. Shit happens, I guess.
Anyway. June and July seem to be months of change for me. I fell off the bandwagon with my original New Years’ resolutions – big surprise there, huh? Leave it to me to get behind then try to catch up in the middle of the year. Ha! Better late than never, though. Right? Right.
I have had a lot going on and as usual, I’ve been over-thinking everything lately. As I said, I’m working on making some changes. I’m working on improving myself in many ways, and I’m looking forward to continuously evolving as a human being. It’s not always easy to work on self-improvement; sometimes that means we have to drop certain people/things/activities in order to move forward. That can be painful, as I’ve recently discovered.
On the flip side – even though it’s important to continuously adapt and grow – it’s also important to remember where you come from. It’s good to forget the past mistakes, and learn to forgive yourself. However, it’s perhaps equally important to also recall where you’ve been and where you’re from. This blog post is a tribute to that balance. The balance of recognizing how far you’ve come, and appreciating where you’re from – while simultaneously trying to continuously move forward and grow.
I made these small batch, crunchy sugar cookies with a simple frosting as a tribute to where I’m from. I grew up in a small – and what some might call shitty – town in central Illinois. Would I ever move back there? Hell no. I’ve become quite accustomed to the city life, and I couldn’t move back to such a small town, especially with my IT career. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate where I was raised. Danville wasn’t a bad place to grow up, and I’ll forever cherish all the memories I have. Since I basically lived there from birth to the age of 21, it obviously had a huge impact on who I am now.
So… To the lovely town of Danville, Illinois: Here are some Illinois-shaped cookies, topped with heart-shaped sprinkles to rep my hood. They’re super cute, and tasty too. Here’s to never forgetting where I came from, even if I never live there again!
Note: I got my Illinois cookie cutter from Etsy. You can find any of the state-shaped cookie cutters on Etsy, and most likely on Amazon, as well. I’m going to purchase a Missouri cutter to dedicate some cookies to my new home in St. Louis, and a Tennessee cutter to rep my parents’ new life outside of Nashville. Stay tuned for more state-shaped cookies!
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Small Batch Iced Sugar Cookies.
Yield: Approximately one dozen, depending on the size of your cutters and the thickness of your dough.
For the cookies:
– ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
– ½ tsp. baking powder
– Pinch of salt
– ¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter, softened
– ¼ cup granulated sugar
– 1 large egg yolk
– ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
– ⅛ tsp. almond extract
– 1½ cups powdered sugar
– 3-5 tsp. milk
– A few drops of vanilla
– Heart sprinkles (Optional, if you want to make some state cookies!)
2. In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer: the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and extracts, and mix until well incorporated.
3. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and beat until no streaks of flour remain. Be careful to not over-mix
4. On a lightly floured surface, dump the dough out, and press into a two-inch thick round disk. Flour your rolling pin, then roll out the dough thick enough to cut out your shapes. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll to cut out more shapes as needed.
5. Place the shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then place in the freezer for about five minutes while preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies have just started to turn brown. Allow them to sit for a few minutes, then, move to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. When the cookies are completely cool, make the icing. Whisk together all of the ingredients, and add more milk as necessary to achieve your desired consistency.
– Recipe via Dessert for Two.