Happiness Project#70: Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting!

bbfrosting

Being a Mom, with physical and mental limitations, is rough sometimes. So many of my friends see me as such an easy going, cheerful person, but within myself, I’m much more serious than most know. Particularly when I’m sick. Which seems to be ALL the time. Which isn’t any real surprise. I’ve battled illness since the day I was born, 3 months premature, so I’m not sure why I thought that once I became a Mother, I wouldn’t struggle with constant illness. I must have been a tad delusional.

The hardship with being consistently ill, is that I am NOT a good patient. And can be super hard on myself because of it. More often than not, I rely on my Mom to help me be with my toddler, and it’s still a near daily struggle to be…accepting of this. Accepting that I’m not like the “normal” self sufficient Mother of this generation. That canceling playdates and outings to the playground or bookstore or local zoo, is “my” norm. And that I’m not a failure as a Mom because of it. See? Self-deprecation at it’s worse.

Unfortunately, this past week has been another of my “bad” weeks. And today I wanted to scream out to the Universe how frustrating it is. But I didn’t. And opted instead to pour out these feelings through black words on a keyboard. Because blogging isn’t just about entertainment for me, it’s also about therapy. Therapy through sweet, yummy, drool worthy things. Thanks be for this therapeutic little world of mine. Something that I’ve found that I can always turn to. No matter my good or bad days.

Today’s little bright spot of mine? This lovely, fragrant blueberry cream-cheese frosting! That anyone can whip up and LOVE. Anyone. Trust me.

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

8oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature

pinch of kosher salt

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Firstly, the blueberries. Rinse and pat dry. Using either a blender or food processor, pulverize the blueberries until smooth and creamy (no lumps). Pour out into a small bowl and set aside.

On a stand (or hand held) mixer, drop the softened butter and cream cheese into the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed, until fully mixed. Drop the mixer down to a slower speed and add in the 4 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Once fully incorporated, add in the pinch of salt. Bump up the speed to medium and add in the cup of blueberries. Mix until fully incorporated. Lastly, add in up to 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, to create volume.

AND frost! Cookies. Or cupcakes. Or bagels. Or use this fruity frosting as a fruit dip! Because not only does this smell DIVINE but the frosting in and of itself, is kinda (just kinda) pretty too! Right?

Advertisements

Happiness Project Recipe #60: Anniversary Cookie Bars & Snickerdoodle Frosting Dip!

snickerc1

snickerc2

10 years. May 15th was an incredibly special day for my Husband & I. Because May 15th represented an entire 10 years of being together. An entire decade. Of facing more challenges than many would face in their entire lifetime, more or less 10 years. A story most of you know very well. Because being expressive about all the ups, downs and most beautiful things and people in my life thus far, is who I am. Most especially in regards to my Husband. Who I knew I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, 10 years ago, on our 3rd date, on a darkened beach in Santa Cruz. 10 years of happiness, joy, tears, & pain, but most importantly, love. Real love. Grown up, every day, loving-this-one-person-through-everything-kind-of Love. A Love that has journeyed through fire & back yet come out better and brighter, in the best of ways. This Love between this one man and I. A Love like no other. Real Love.

So to honor this most beautiful day, I gave this Man of mine another little a piece of my Heart. Through a whisk and a spoon. A little bit of cinnamon and a whole lot of sugar. Because this is one of the most significant ways that I give to those I hold so dearly within my Heart. This gift of myself through my kitchen.

Hence his favorite dessert flavor of all time. Snickerdoodles. With a side of cookies. In the yummiest form ever: cookie bars! Which are perfect, seriously perfect, for dunking.

From my Heart to your Kitchen, may you enjoy this special treat just as much as my Husband does.

Cookies:

1 cup salted butter

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly spray one 8×10 inch glass baking dish. Line the sprayed dish with parchment paper, leaving just enough excess on each side to create an overhang.

In a stand mixture, cream the butter, sugar and eggs at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in each egg, one at a time, until well mixed. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, adding the heavy cream as needed, until throughly combined. This dough should be a stiff not soft texture. If it’s too soft to handle, cover and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Break out that pastry board (marble is always preferred over wooden) and rolling pin. Quick tip, one of the most valuable things I learned while in Pastry School is that rolling pins are NOT all created equal. The most efficient rolling pin for cookie dough? The classic wooden pin with no handles.

Once the cookie dough is stiff enough to roll into a large ball, lightly flour your pastry board AND rolling pin (so that the dough doesn’t stick to either surface while being rolled out). Roll out the dough to about 1 inch thick. Now gently and loosely transfer the rolled out dough into the prepared baking dish. Once transferred, using another piece of parchment paper, gently but firmly press the dough into the full baking dish.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pan cookie is firm to the touch and slightly browned on the very edges of the dish. Let cool in the dish for 10-15 minutes. Now before you go on removing the giant cookie with the overhang of parchment paper, use a small pairing knife to cut that giant cookie into cookie strips (or bars). Then remove the entire cookie from the dish with the parchment paper. Set aside to cool throughly.

Next up: the Frosting Dip!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/2 tablespoon fresh ground cinnamon

On your stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

Drop the mixer speed down to low and gradually add in the 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until fully incorporated.

Switch your mixture speed back up to a higher setting and add in the kosher salt, followed by the heavy whipping cream. Whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting has nearly doubled in size.

Lastly, but most importantly, add in that ground cinnamon. Which kinda MAKES this frosting, in my Husband’s opinion.

AND spread onto those cooled cookie bars! Or use as a cookie dip. Which is even more FUN!

Happiness Project: #53: My Baby Girl’s Favorite Strawberry Frosting!

strwbrfrst

It’s official! My sassy, determined, brave, loving, beautiful Baby Girl is now TWO years old! TWO! Hence I have tears of pure joy streaming down my cheeks, as I attempt to write my heart out. Which is not always an easy thing to do, when your heart feels like it’s exploding within your chest and tears are blinding your very sight. But write I shall! Because writing, to me, is truly THAT important. For therapy, sanity and love. Most especially, for love.

Love that began with my Husband, nearly 10 years ago, and was multiplied with the Miracle of my Baby Girl. This Miracle that I reflect on and am immensely grateful for, every morning that I rise, with her smile shining down upon me, and every evening when I close my eyes, with those soft brown Toddler curls dusting my pillow. But how, how do you truly explain this type of forever Love? A love so empowering and so depthless that it becomes the very air that you breathe and beat of ones heart? In all actuality, you can’t. This kind of Love, the Love that only a Mother has, is indescribable. And like no other, in this wide, brimming world of ours. But not necessarily one that I haven’t found a way to express. With words. And recipes. Especially, in recipes.

So to honor the birth of my beautiful Daughter, two years ago, on March 8th at 10:36am, I present to you a frosting that I’ve been working on for over an entire year. This frosting that embodies so much of the beauty, sweetness and uniqueness of my mischievous two year old. My Baby Girl’s Favorite Strawberry Frosting! Who’s ready for some Love??

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 cup pureed fresh strawberries, washed, cored & diced before being pureed

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

On a stand mixer, on medium speed, whip up the softened butter for a few minutes until smooth and shiny.

Dropping the mixer speed down to a lower setting, slowly add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully blended.

With the mixer still blending, add in the 1/4 cup of freshly pureed strawberries, mixing until just incorporated.

Add in up to 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, depending on how thin or thick you like the texture of your frosting and beat on high speed for a few minutes, until whipped and nearly doubled in size.

And FROST. On cookies or cupcakes. Or pop in a cup or so of this yummy treat into the fridge (covered) for 15 or so minutes until cooled enough to use as a fruit dip. Yes, I DID just say that you can use this lovely, sweet frosting as a fruit dip! Because strawberries, my friends! Strawberries!

From my Heart to your kitchen & the many tummies of those you love, enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: