Today is Valentine's Day and it's a special day for so many reasons. Sure it's about flowers, candy and cards and we all look forward to sharing those things with the people we love but it's also a day to feel grateful and pay it forward. Do something you might not usually do. There are so many things to be happy about and so many little ways to show people you care. Whether it's your family, a friend or even better, a stranger you've never met. Take the time to do something special. Put a smile on someone's face. Do someone a favor. It will make the day that much better! My little Valentine to you is a simple recipe for sugar cookies that I have actually shared before. It's not just a recipe, it's a tradition. I have been making these cookies for special holidays since my kids were tiny. My mother made them for me and my sisters. It's the tradition that's special, not the recipe (although it's a really good one!). Happy Friday! Happy Valentine's Day! Have a fabulous weekend!
We officially kicked off the summer season yesterday and for most of us that means picnics, parties and lots of warm weather fun ahead! I love this time of year and in our family, there are so many things happening in the next few weeks, I can hardly contain myself. Life will be busy but I'm looking forward to getting together with some of my favorite people. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to host some informal gatherings in our home. Whether it's dinner or dessert, I love bringing people together. Today I'm sharing two dessert recipes with you. One is a recipe for homemade sorbet. It's a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time and is refreshing in warm weather. The second is my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I'm including it simply because I like the idea of serving cookies with sorbet. Both are great to have on hand all summer.
I used a blend of fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries to make sorbet.
I used my food processor to blend the ingredients but an immersion blender would work too.
Simple syrup and a pinch of salt were added to the fresh berries as they were pureed in the food processor.
I like the texture of the whole fruit in this sorbet so once it was blended, I didn't strain the puree. If you prefer a smoother texture you can pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer after it's blended.
I covered the mixture and placed it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.
While the sorbet was in the refrigerator I made the sugar cookies. I rolled the dough into a log shape so I could slice and bake the cookies instead of rolling and cutting them.
I sprinkled some colored sugar on the cookies to dress them up.
Once the puree chilled for a few hours I poured it into my Ice Cream Maker to make the sorbet. If you don't have an ice cream maker you can put the puree in the freezer until it's firm. Either way works fine! Another trick if you like softer sorbet but don't have an ice cream maker is to freeze the puree until it's firm and then put it back in the blender before serving to break it up and make it smooth again.
After about 10 minutes in the Ice Cream Maker the mixture started to thicken.
In about 20 - 25 minutes the sorbet was finished. The consistency was soft and creamy but could be eaten right away. If you like a firmer consistency you can freeze your sorbet for a few hours before serving. Serve sorbet with sugar cookies.
Author: Leslie Reese
Serves: about 12 1/2 cup servings
5 cups of fresh mixed berries (I used strawberries, raspberries & blueberries)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of table salt
Prepare simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook mixture until sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow simple syrup to cool for a few minutes.
Place berries, salt and simple syrup in an immersion blender or food processor and blend until mixture is smooth.
Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. *pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer first if a seedless sorbet is preferred.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and mix until thickened (according to machine instructions) 15-20 minutes. Sorbet will be a soft consistency. Pour sorbet into airtight container and place in freezer for 1 to 2 hours for a firmer consistency. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Author: Leslie Reese
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix until creamy.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together until combined.
Roll dough into a ball or log for slicing, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll and cut cookie dough with cookie cutters or slice and place on baking sheets.