Sugar Cookie Pizza with Strawberry Icing

Okay college friends, who's excited? I cracked the code on cookie pizzas. Whether it was someones birthday, finals week, a sisterhood event or sometimes just because, these cookie pizzas used to always make an appearance during my time at OU.

A little shop just east of campus called Cookies and Cards, is responsible for crafting up these cookie pizzas. They had all different flavors such as chocolate chip, M&M, red velvet, lemon, but everyone knows the sugar cookie with fresh strawberry icing was the best. 

I ate too many cookie pizzas to count during my four years at OU. Since graduating I still think about them often. They weren't just a cookie cake, they were a cookie pizza. Very important fact.

My new job has me working in Norman sometimes. It was my Maddie girl's birthday last week and I thought how fun it would be to surprise her with one of these coveted cookie pizzas. Work didn't pull me to Norman last week and I was too lazy to make the drive, so I thought why not make my own cookie pizza? 

Taking on this task involved a few requirements. The cookie needed to be slightly un-done and the fresh strawberry icing had to be spot on. You knew you got a good cookie pizza when it was basically dough in the center, and when you gpt one still warm, it was game over. The strawberry icing is what makes the sugar cookie flavor. This means puréeing fresh strawberries to achieve it.

Good news Normanites, I think I did it. Several friends came over to celebrate Maddie's birthday and several went to OU. They all got a bite and agreed it was delicious and fulfilled the Cookies and Cards' cookie pizza shoes!

Sugar Cookie Pizza with Strawberry Icing

1/2 cup butter, softned
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup puréed strawberries (about 4-5 strawberries)
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large mixing bowl or round object, about 10 inches in diameter, trace a circle on the parchment paper. Flip the parchment paper over so you don't get any pencil or pen marks when you spread out the dough.

Cream butter, oil and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and both extracts. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and mix on low until the dough comes together.

With clean hands spread the dough out on the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the dough out, filling the circle shape you drew. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Start on the low end. The key to yumminess in this cookie pizza is for it to be slightly underdone! You want to take it out just before it starts to brown. Let it cool completely.

While the pizza cools, purée your strawberries in a food processor or high powered blender. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, whisk purée, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla on low until fully mixed. It should be the consistency of a thick glaze. Using a spatula, spread the icing over the cookie pizza leaving about a half inch border around the edges.

Cut with a pizza cutter and enjoy!


Bites of My Life

From the looks of it I took a few too many bites last week. Reality is my food was just really pretty. I was scrolling through my camera roll for today's bites post and it was food, only food. Except for one puppy visitor we had at work last week!
I got bit by the fall bug this weekend. With our glimpse of cooler temps, I was immediately off to the store to by fall flowers for my porch and pumpkin puree for new recipes. I'll admit that I even went all basic white girl and got a PSL on Saturday. Let's just accept it and move on. Fall is here and I'm crushing on this season change. 
-Tried recreating my pitaya bowl I had in Newport. Not bad but needs some tweaking before I share the recipe.

-Unveiled my secret signature sugar cookie recipe last week. This recipe is so special to me and y'all are just special enough for it to be shared with!
-Tricky Tuesday! I disguised my morning green smoothie as a chocolate shake with spinach, almond butter, coconut water, strawberries, bananas and cocoa powder.
-Has anyone tried Hello Fresh? If not I highly recommend it! We tried out the 3-box meal for 2 people and fell in love. First night we made the Spice Rubbed Chicken with roasted figs and onions over basmati rice and green beans. 
-Night two was surprisingly our favorite. An interesting mix of freekah, brussels and crisp apples. 
-Our last night was seared salmon over farro and roasted beets, topped with a horseradish beet dill salsa. Each night we looked forward to putting together our meal. We felt like we were playing a game, putting together the puzzle pieces to create each recipe. 
-With one of my co-workers fostering puppies, we get occasional visits from his baby furry friends. Say hello to Winston Carlise!
-On a soft boiled egg grind after my breakfast at Zinc in Newport. 
-Tried creating my own pumpkin zucchini bread recipe. Tried to make it a little too healthy and it failed. It looked really pretty but more recipe testing is in my future.
-Fresh vine ripe tomatoes and figs are the star ingredients of a new lunch recipe coming up this week.
-Recreated another Newport recipe for dinner Sunday night. Panko crusted fish tacos inspired by Bear Flag Fish Co.
-And because every week should end on a sweet note, a little froyo acted as the cherry on top. We felt a little better about it knowing our dessert was benefiting No Kid Hungry with Orange Leaf's limited edition cups!

The Recipe That Defines Me

Today is big. Today is very big. I'm sharing my top secret recipe for my signature sugar cookies. These cookies are the first thing I can remember fully making from start to finish on my own. I've been baking them up since I was 7! The recipe has evolved a bit over the years but the flavor remains true. 

I've made these for school parties, for friends, every year for santa, for sorority recruitment, and most recently for game day! My favorite memory is when I made them for my 4th grade Valentine's Day party in Mrs. Rains class. I spent probably 5 hours making them, but I refused to have any help. I proudly went to school with my sprinkle covered heart shape cookies with my hands completely died red and pink from the food coloring! 

Sugar cookies are completely underrated in my opinion. If someone were to ask me what my favorite kind of cookie was I'd say sugar cookies. If someone were to ask me to what my favorite thing to bake was, I'd say these sugar cookies. They are oh so special to me and my favorite things in the world! I posted about them when I first started blogging, but I wasn't ready to give away the recipe. I've matured since then and realized all good things should be shared. And not to mention my old post is so tragic it's embarrassing and had to be re-done.  

What makes these cookies so good are two secret ingredients. Are you ready? A little orange zest in the cookies and almond extract in the icing is what sends them over the edge. Follow below for some detailed instructions on how to make these perfect sugar cookies. 

Signature Sugar Cookies
yields 2 dozen cut out cookies
prep 15 minutes, cool 1 hour, decorate 30 minutes

Cookie Ingredients:
3 cups of flour
3/4 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange zest
powdered sugar for rolling out

Icing Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsps. meringue powder
10 Tbsps. warm water
1 tsp. almond extract
food coloring and sprinkles to decorate

Directions for the cookies:
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt then set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar until a light pale color. Add the egg, milk, vanilla and orange zest and beat to combine. Place your mixer on low and gradually add your dry ingredients until the dough forms. Divide the dough in half, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Or for the impatient, place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease with cooking spray. Sprinkle your work space and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Using one wrapped package of dough at a time, begin to roll out into about 1/4-1/2 thick. Occasionally move the dough around to make sure it's not sticking. Cut out desired shapes and bake for 6-8 minutes or until just lightly brown around the edges. Let sit and cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before you transfer them to a cooling wrack. Cookies must be completely cool before you ice them. I often stick them in the freezer to really firm them up!

Directions for icing and decorating:
To make your icing, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, almond extract and warm water in your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 8 minutes on low, scraping the sides occasionally. Your icing should be the consistency of glue. Divide into small bowls and add desired food coloring. 

Using the back of a regular table spoon, spread a little bit of icing just to the edges of each cookie. It's important not to use too much to where it spreads over the edges. To add decoration I love using little plastic squeeze bottles. The icing is the perfect texture to write and draw with, without being too runny. Let one layer dry before you use another color to decorate with. The royal icing will dry quickly. That being said, if you are using sprinkles, sprinkle them on quickly before the icing dries.



Bites of My Life

The past two weeks have been filled with lots of blue, sorority songs, catching up with friends, getting settled, and celebrating the few days between recruitment and school starting. 
I personally don't mind school starting. I like having a routine to stick to and reasons to be organized. I love things the school season brings. Football games, sweater weather and in the words of Kathleen Kelly, bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.
-Got to escape a few hours of work week to make my favorite sugar cookies.
-Kappa cookies for treats during our alumni/skit night!
-Pistachio, almond butter, white chocolate and orange liqueur rice crispy treat! Yes that is all packed into to one treat and sis brought it back for me all the way from San Diego!
-When a friend offered to buy all the ingredients for omelets as long as I showed her how to make one, I quickly obliged. 
-Loved getting to do my last recruitment week with the best PC around! Go Kappa!
-Cutie cups for the new house! 
-Loved exploring around the new West Elm in Classen Curve. Way to go OKC, now if we could just get a Trader Joe's, Zara and H&M....wishful thinking.
-A fresh coat of paint for my new room. Full bedroom tour to come!
-Can't wait for more breakfasts like this. Love having roomies who also enjoy things like coffee, breakfast foods, sriracha and smoothies. 
-A day of laying out and dinner at my dear friend's parent's house!
-Only good things went into this Saturday night salad. Avocado, dried figs, red onion, prosciutto and basil.
-To rap up my two weeks of bites; a back to school dinner with my Kappa family! Parmesan baked chicken with arugala salad, sautéed summer squash and watermelon feta salad!
Today is my last first day of school, hello senior year!

Old Fashion Sugar Cookies

If you didn't already know, sugar cookies are my favorite kind of cookies. I know that may seem bland or boring, but I love them. I've posted a few times about my signature iced sugar cookies, but today I'm giving you a new recipe!

They are a simple cookie but packed with flavor. The combination of almond and vanilla extract makes them mouth watering! They are friend and family tested and approved so you need to make these and try them for yourself!

My laptop is one of the most important tools when I bake.

The dough is crumbly, but bakes up perfectly.

The cross fork technique gives them rustic look and creates little crevasses for the sugar to sit in.

Old Fashion Sugar Cookies adapted from Eat, Live, Run
yields 3 dozen

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups all purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine the two sugars, then add the vegetable oil, extracts, salt, eggs and baking soda. Whisk well to combine. Add the flour and stir to combine. The dough will seem crumbly and dry (I had to get my hands in there to finishing combining). Use a cookie scoop or roll out ping pong size balls of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Make a cross with the bottom of a fork then sprinkle with sugar or colored sprinkles. Bake for 8 minutes.