Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookies

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been on a real decorating kick since the summer and I have seemingly craving to amp up my decorating skills. I don’t know why the sudden push has come upon me, maybe it’s just time and I’m excited to see how I improve and grow. This cookie has been an unused pan in my cupboard for about three years now and this Christmas I’m feeling extra inspired to expand my decorating skills.

Yield/Serving: 3 elves &amp & 6 assorted sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 15 min. per cookie
Difficulty level is: Easy to bake, Medium-Hard for decorating & very time consuming

• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 2 tsp red, green & white nonpareils
• 1 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• Food colouring, to desired colour

Sugar Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Beat egg, vanilla extract and almond extract into mixture.
5. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt together and combine with butter mixture.
6. Beat until well incorporated.
7. Separate mixture out into 3 equal portions.
8. Press the plain sugar cookie mixture (1/3 of the dough) into the pan filled ¼” deep and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are light brown.
9. Meanwhile add nonpareils to the second portion of sugar cookies and incorporate and then set aside.
10. Finally add the cocoa powder to the finally portion of dough, incorporate and set aside.
11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
12. Spray non-stick cooking spray over the cookie pan again and add one portion of the dough, cook for 15 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.
13. Repeat step 12 again with the cocoa powder portion of the dough.
14. Let all the cookies cool completely and then decorate.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a very time consuming task. It was zen like and yet stressful all at the same time as I decorated it. Mind you this was my second attempt at properly decorating a cookie; so in that regard I am very pleased with my outcome. I’m a little mad that I didn’t realize I don’t have Caucasian coloured food colouring or brown food colouring in the house as the other day I grabbed a whole bunch of gel colourings. I had to opt for a pale yellow skin and black hair and I’m ok with that but not really as it’s the perfectionist in me saying do better. I realized my cheeks were a touch too rosey; but again it’s my second try and I need to give myself a break. This isn’t a skill I’m going to acquire in two attempts late at night after putting in ten plus hours at work. On a plus at the last minutes I thought to split the dough three ways and I’m glad I did as I can experiment in one shot and see the outcomes. The nonpareils cookie turned out the best as it was very festive and the sugar cookie as well. The cocoa sugar cookie was a drier mixture as another dry ingredient was added after the fact. I would suggest adding a little milk or water to just slightly moisten it up. As you can see the cocoa cookie didn’t stay together the best. I was still able to decorate it; but it definitely needed a touch more moisture. These will be given to a co-worker the plain cookies for her and her hubby to split and the nonpareils for the kids. I was worried this recipe had too much sugar; but I was told this was the right amount of sugar and I need to just stop worrying about so much sugar as this is a sugar cookie.

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Diaries: Yummy Stuff

Cupcake Diaries: Yummy Stuff Bakery - Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Diaries: Yummy Stuff Bakery – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 1660 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, 416-531-9732

When I can hit a few quest shops in one trip is always a good day for me. When I visited Gloryhole Doughnuts; half a block away was Yummy Stuff and I couldn’t have been happier to visit.

Since it was the week of my birthday I choose a few selections: Pecan Lace Cookies, Raspberry Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream, Gingerbread Cookie and a Sugar Cookie that said “Happy Birthday” on it. The Pecan Lace Sandwhich Cookie was light and airy and didn’t taste like a dessert to me, even with the buttercream in the middle. The Gingerbread and Sugar cookies were quite tasty and my favourite items from the bakery. Mr. C. had the cupcake and he wasn’t really that impressed as the cupcake fell apart in his hands. It seems that the only thing keeping the cupcake together was the baking liner. As for the buttercream he felt the same way, it was just ok and nothing special. For these four items it came to about $20 with tax; which I found to be a tad pricy.

I went here specifically for the cupcakes, but that in my opinion isn’t the best thing on their menu. I visited based on an article of the Best Cupcakes in Toronto, but somehow I think some other bakeries and shops have come up in the meantime to eclipse these cupcakes, including my own on a good day. Go for the cookies, lemon bars, and brownies and other treats I say.

Cookie Diaries: Moo Milk Bar

Moo Milk Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

One hot Saturday afternoon after a workshop I was in the area of Moo Milk Bar; according to Google maps and I decided to Explore Queen Street East. Well Google maps lied to me again and the travel time was off. I was told a 30 minute walk which was fine, but when I’ve been walking for one hour I get a little peeved, as I’m not a slow walker at all. I would have turned around and tried another day but I ventured on as I have a long quest list and I need to start tackling it.

Place: Moo Milk Bar
Location: 1918 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4L 1H5
Phone: 647-343-4272
Hours: Monday Closed; Tuesday -Saturday 11:00 am – 7 pm; Sunday 12 pm-6 pm

My Selections:

Toffee Bit & Vanilla Ice Cream Sammie – $3.10 – This was sweet but delicious, and the ice cream was the perfect consistency, it was firm and didn’t melt out of the cookie as I ate it. I have cut a significant amount of sugar from my diet in the last few months and I think everything is too sugary now. Granted I have had their cookies twice before from Petite & Sweet Bakes before I cut my sugar content and I didn’t find it to be sugary..

Peanut Butter Coconut Cookie – $1.90 – I’m going to say that this is their healthiest cookie looking at the menu. There is a natural sweetness to this cookies and I could taste the coconut. It felt less like a dessert cookie to me.

Cookies & Cream Cookie – $1.90 – The hubby said this tasted like cookies & cream, which is one of his favourite flavours.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough – $9.50 for a 6 pack –I selected these as a dough batch because I have tried this flavour a couple of times at Petite & Sweet Bakes. Following the directions given these tasted exactly like the store bought, which made me very happy. I can now purchase the dough when I am in the area and save them for a later date.

Vanilla Bean Milk – $3.33 -355ml – I could see vanilla bean flecks in the milk and it only tasted a tad bit like vanilla flavored milk. I am comparing this to the best vanilla milk I have ever had in Barbados. In Barbados Vanilla flavoured milk comes in the litre cartons and taste amazing and are packed with the vanilla flavour.

Banana Chocolate Milk – $3.33 -355ml – Mr. C. said “I can taste the banana.” I grabbed this as this is also one of his favourite flavour combo’s, but I get the feeling it was just okay for him.

When I visit again I will stick to the sammie’s, cookies and give the bars a try perhaps.

Moo Milk Bar - Toffee Bit Sammie - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Toffee Bit Sammie – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Toffee Bit Sammie - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Toffee Bit Sammie – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Cookie Dough - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Cookie Dough – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Red Velvet Cookies - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Red Velvet Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron & Cookie Diaries – Petite & Sweet Bakes

Petite & Sweet - Candy Coated Culinista

Petite & Sweet – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Petite & Sweet Bakes
Location: 718 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4M 2H5 (647-748-7704)
Hours: Monday: Closed; Tuesday- Thursday: 11am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10pm; Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Website: http://www.petiteandsweet.ca
Prices: Macarons: $2.50 each; Cookies: $2.75 each.

I was on the way to the gym and I took a different streetcar which forced me to start walking from Broadview & Queen or wait for the next streetcar. It was a nice evening so I decided to take a walk. I made it all of 10 steps from the corner when I was greeted by Macarons. Needless to say my next few steps found me in the Petite & Sweet Bakes shop. This tiny storefront is done up in a luxe, upscale motif, with little tiny & adorable decorations throughout with pops of colours with a high gloss shine. I went to the case and saw the offerings: French Macarons, Cake Pops, Mini Cupcakes, Truffles, Turkish Delights, Brownies, Meringues, Cakes, Cookies and finally Speciality Coffee’s. When I was looking through I noticed some of the cookies I was eyeing looked strangely familiar. You see, even though I have never had the pleasure of tasting one of these cookies before, I knew them from their distinct look. “They are selling Moo Milk Bar Cookies!” Moo Milk Bar is on my Quest list to go visit but getting out to Queen Street East & Woodbine Avenue is a little much when it is not spring or summer. I plan to get out there for sure in the summer with Mr. C as I must try their flavoured milks and more of their cookie flavours. Today I ordered the passion fruit macaron & cowgirl cookie (espresso powder, pretzels, toffee bits, semi-sweet chocolate chips & oats) for Mr. C., and for myself I got the peppermint macaron and the red velvet cookie (a hint of cocoa with white chocolate chips).
After finishing up my post I realized I know this logo from somewhere, but where. I watched a show on Food Network Canada called Sugar Stars about the ups and downs of an events planning company, which is the other half of Petite & Sweets Bakes.

We both loved our treats. Mr. C. didn’t have much of a comment but he finished them. I thought the macaron was sweet, refreshing & cooling, a perfect treat in the winter season. I found it was a little sweet as my sweet tooth acted up, but I still enjoyed it. The red velvet cookie was so good, it was crunchy, chewy, thin & sweet and the first words after I ate it were mmmmmm so good.

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