Showing posts with label Cool Whip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cool Whip. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lemon Cookies for Easter

What's more springlike than lemon cookies? Light, fluffy, delicious, and they look so pretty on the table!

I was planning to post a simple lemon cookie recipe here, but... if you've been reading this blog for very long, you know I like to experiment. So I did.

Let me give you the end of this story first:

I decided to look online for a different lemon cookie recipe because I'd heard about one that's been around for years using cake mix and Cool Whip. A quick scan on the Internet and I'd found at least a dozen posts claiming that these cookies were the best lemon cookies ever.

Umm.... not so much.

Let me take you through the process:

I made two batches of cookies. One with my original recipe, one with the Cool Whip version. Maybe it was me. Maybe I made some huge mistake. Maybe I didn't let them cook long enough. Whatever the problem, the Cool Whip recipe did not work for me.

Here's the recipe to follow (color commentary appears below):

Original Lemon Cookie recipe

1 package of lemon cake mix

1 tsp lemon extract

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour cake mix into large bowl. Add oil. Beat eggs slightly and add lemon extract before adding eggs to bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Roll dough into quarter-sized balls and then roll these in powdered sugar. Place on parchment paper.

Bake for 8 – 9 minutes, but remove from oven before they turn brown.

And here's the link to a printable version of the original lemon cookie recipe.

The Cool Whip recipe sounded deceptively simple. And you know what they say about "if it sounds too good to be true..." right?

Here's what the batter looked like --->

There was no way to form this glop into little balls, so I wound up using the two-teaspoon method of dropping batter into powdered sugar.

But wait, it gets worse!

Among the many helpful hints I found online was one that suggested rolling the balls (ha! blobs is more like it) into Kool-Aid. Not straight Kool-Aid (and Wyler's), but mixed with powdered sugar. Several people claimed it not only made the cookies pretty (ooh all the different colors) but added a little zing of flavor.

A zing?
You know me. I like to play with my food. This option was a no-brainer (as it turned out, in more ways than one)
<--- I came up with these options.

Oh the joy. I couldn't wait to sample the promised delicious, light, and airy lemon cookies with a hint of black cherry, blue berry, and extra lemon...

Ummm.... remember when I said "not so much"?

These look pretty, but yikes. They were *bad* - like bad, bad. Gooey and flat. The consistency of chewing gum rather than cookies. I'm sure I did something wrong. And those extra flavors? That promised zing? More like a ZOING!!!! I thought my husband's mouth would pucker permanently after he sampled the first one.

For the record, the original recipe cookies came out fine. Fluffy. Crisp outside, soft inside. I tried the flavor/color option with these as well. Not so bad. Probably because there's more cookie substance to cut the zing. But in the future I'll stick with the original recipe, thank you very much.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

The next time I see you, I may not be here. I'm leaving the family to their own cooking for a few days while I attend Malice Domestic (where 3 of our contributers here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen are up for an Agatha Award! Go Avery, MJ, and Sheila!) and participate in the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA. If you're anywhere near the festival I hope you stop by to say hello to Avery, MJ, Sheila, Wendy, and me! (Did I forget anyone??)

Best always
Don't forget, GRACE INTERRUPTED comes out June 7th!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Dessert - Ice Cream Cake

As I prepared to write this blog post, I was faced with a pressing question:

What is the best possible thing to make for Valentine's Day?

The answer is - without a doubt:

Next Sunday is Valentine's Day and my sweetie and I will probably try to squeeze in a quick dinner out somewhere nearby. Next weekend promises to be a busy one, so we'll have to take a pass on long, lingering gazes over candlelight and opt instead for a quick meal at one of our favorite local places. Add a glass of red wine to the mix and I'll be content.

But if we were hosting a party, or if all three of our daughters were home for the big day, I'd be sure to prepare something festive, sweet, and - most likely - pink.

As it happened, all three of our daughters *were* home this past weekend. Although we hadn't expected a full house, we were nonetheless delighted to hang out as a family. Lucky me and lucky them -- I had a dessert to prepare for this blog. And so I adapted one of their all-time favorites for Valentine's Day.

When the girls were little, none of them liked traditional bakery cakes. They still don't. Ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins, however, were (and are) universally loved around here, but they can be expensive. Back when the kids were little, I decided to make my own ice cream cakes. I experimented with box cakes but found the consistency of the cake part too weak to hold up the ice cream. So I changed to brownies. I prefer Betty Crocker and I always add an extra egg (to make it a bit more fluffy and less gooey).

For the girls' birthdays we always used Chocolate Chip Mint (which they insist is properly termed Mint Chocolate Chip) but for Valentine's Day we needed something pink. None of us cares much for strawberry ice cream, so I searched high and low and finally found raspberry (not sherbet).

Here's my super easy, delicious and fit-for-a-crowd Ice Cream Cake

1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies
1/2 gallon ice cream - your choice of flavor (some now come in 1.75 quarts. That's fine, too)
1 12 oz tub of Cool Whip Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed according to package directions (this takes several hours, so be sure to take this out of the freezer and relocate it to the fridge the day before, if possible)

Remove ice cream from freezer to allow it to soften/melt a bit.
Prepare brownies according to package directions, adding a third egg if desired for a more cake-like consistency. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan, again according to package directions.
Allow brownies to cool for about a half hour, then pour softened/melted ice cream on top of brownies. Spread it out and smooth. Cover with foil and freeze until the ice cream solidifies (several hours).

Remove from freezer and spread the Cool Whip over the top. I don't always use the entire tub, but I use more than half, which is why I buy the 12 oz size.
Return to freezer.

The ice cream cake will be ready to be cut and served in an hour or two. Delicious and pretty, too!

author of Eggsecutive Orders, third in the White House Chef Mystery series

Don't forget Jenn's contest!

cupcakes? Love mysteries? Remember to enter your suggestion for the name of a fictional cupcake and have your name and cupcake written into the mystery novel BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF! (The sequel to SPRINKLE WITH MURDER, which just
received a *Starrred Review* fromPublishers Weekly!). Send proof of your pre-order of SPRINKLE WITH MURDER, along with your name and cupcake name to Jenn at LET’S GET THE PARTY STARTED!
Julie here again...
Speaking of cupcake fun, my daughter and I were goofing around before the season opener of LOST last week. We made silly cupcakes.
We created islands, planes, smoke monsters, numbered cupcakes... you get the picture. Most were pretty amateurish, and not worthy of posting here (especially with a cupcake-master present) but my daughter did make one that I thought was particularly fun. It's the comic book character, Jughead. For those of you LOST fans -- get it?

LASTLY -- We've been awarded another blog award!
This one from Ingrid of The Conscious Cat

The Over the Top Blog Award

The rules state that we must complete the questions with one word answers! This is fun...

Your Hair? – Highlighted
Your Favorite Food? – Chocolate
Your Hobby? – Reading
Your Fear? – Pinecones
Something You Aren’t? – Athletic
Where Did You Grow Up? – Chicago
Your Life? – Wonderful
Your Mood? – Optimistic
Your Favorite Color? – Yellow