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I am so excited to share this book review!!  I've been following GirlDefined for a few years now and have enjoyed every book they have published and have grown and been encouraged so much by their ministry.  I signed up to be apart of their launch team for their new devotional and was so beyond excited to be chosen!  This journey has been so exciting and fun and I'm so glad I got a chance to be a part of it! I love Kristin and Bethany’s heart for the Lord.   They’re desire to put Him above all else in their lives and to share and encourage girls and young women to do the same.   The thing that first stood out to me as I began to read their Shine Bright Devotional was this line in their intro- “just keep in mind that this devotional isn’t intended to replace time in God’s word each day; it’s meant to supplement it.” I think this is so important to realize as we start each new devotional or christian book.   We are meant to read God’s word and be in daily fellowship with Him.   T
I have baked two new cookies and thought I would post the recipe and some pictures. 
 

Tender Italian Sugar Cookies:

     Ingredients:
             3/4 cup shortening
             3/4 cup sugar
             3 eggs
             1 tsp. vanilla extract
             3 cups all-purpose flour
             3 tsp. salt
 
       Icing:
             1/4 cup milk
             2 tsp. butter, melted
             1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
             2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
             Food coloring and colored sugar, optional
    
 Directions:  
 
 -In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. -Shape dough into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool.         -For icing, in a small bowl, combine milk, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Dip tops of cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. 
                                                
                                                    The finished product:
 
 
 

Frosted Poppy Seed Cookies:


Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup poppy seeds

Frosting:
    3 tbs. butter, softened
    1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 to 3 tbs. milk
    Colored sprinkles and/or colored sugar, optional

Directions:
    In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Stir in poppy seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or until easy to handle.                            
    On a heavily floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
    Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
    For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Lightly frost centers of cookies; sprinkle with colored sprinkles or colored sugar if desired. Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen




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