I like to think of myself as a pretty darn creative person, one who can look at something and go, "I can do something with that" this extends to everything in my life except cooking.
Now, don't get me wrong, I can cook but I am not that creative. If you give me nuts, chicken, some spices and pasta I am more likely to think, "what the heck am I going to do with this?" I am not an out of the box thinker with food but I am getting better. Now I do OK most of the time, thanks to some friends, the internet and several cook books. I'm not the person who could be on 'America's worst cooks' or anything but I'm not the person that could be on 'Best cooks in America' either. I do OK. No one in my house is starving, though we do eat a lot of salads....
My mother is a decent cook, though she tends to overcook things till they are leather or mush and I like thinks that taste like the thing it is. But she never taught me how to cook, no really. She was more of a, 'get out of kitchen and let me cook' type of person. I like to cook but still don't know what kind of spices should go together or with what kind of food. My husband will tell you that sometimes my experiments go quite bad. But I keep trying. I've shared some recipes here that have been winners, a whole chicken in a crock pot and pasta with chicken and bacon are some. If you've never tried a whole chicken in a crock pot you should...
One thing I have found that I am good at in the kitchen is baking. At high altitude it is a bit tricky but I seem to be pretty darn good at it. I really seem to think outside the box when baking. Like the recipe I'm sharing today. Sugar cookie bars. It is a family favorite. Please note, this recipe isn't adjusted for high altitude. You can make it as is if you are below 6800 feet, otherwise you will need to adjust.
Sugar cookie bars.
You will need:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter - softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Begin by lining a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil - grease the foil with cooking spray (I find the foil just makes it easier to get the cookies out of the pan).
Preheat your oven to 375
In a large bowl sift the following: flour, baking powder and salt - set aside
I use a stand mixer for this recipe but you can mix it by hand or with a good hand held mixer.
In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy - 3 minutes med. speed with a mixer.Next incorporate the egg, sour cream and vanilla. Blend well.
Finally with the mixer on low, or if by hand go slowly - mix in the flour mixture a bit at a time until it is all mixed together.
Spread evenly in the baking pan and bake at 375 for 14-17 minutes or until the edges become slightly golden. Let cool completely before icing.
1 stick of unsalted butter softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup either half and half or whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
food coloring ( you could also add sprinkles or colored sugar etc.)
To create the icing: cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners sugar. You will alternate between the half and half or milk and the sugar until you have reached the desired consistency. Go slow, be patient it will come together! Then add the vanilla, almond extract and salt. Finally you can add the food coloring. (For me this makes a lot of icing).
Once the bars are cool, icing them and enjoy! They are good.
I put some sprinkles on these before the icing was too dry. To get the two different colors I cut the icing in half and created one orange and one pink.
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