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Sugar Free Cupcake Recipes

sugar free cupcake recipes

Sugar Free Cupcakes For Diabetics

With obesity hitting an all time record high in America, it's no wonder Diabetes is on the rise as well. It's a universal disease that affects all ages, races, and religions.

I am a huge believer in the southern philosophy that food can feed the soul. Just because a person suffers from Diabetes doesn't mean that they cannot dip their hand into the cookie jar every now and then.

The sugar free cupcakes below are just a few of the yummy sugar free desserts that diabetics can consume (sparingly) and still keep their insulin levels in check.

Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes

sugar free chocolate cupcake

Image by wenday on Flickr

Double Chocolate Diabetic Cupcakes

This recipe is courtesy of Cook's Recipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend for Baking
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Combine cocoa and boiling water, whisking until blended. Set aside.

Combine flour, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend for Baking, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. (This procedure may be done with a mixer at the lowest speed. Cover mixing bowl with a clean tea towel to prevent spattering).

Combine eggs, milk, cocoa mixture and vanilla in a small mixing bowl; add 1/3 of the egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Repeat procedure 2 times.

Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tins.

Bake 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar or frost with Rich Chocolate Frosting.

Makes 18 servings.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving: Calories: 180; Calories from Fat: 80; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 45mg; Sodium: 160mg; Total Carbs: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 2g;

Nutella Swirl Cupcakes

nutella swirl cupcake

Image by stephycupcake on Flickr

Sugar Free Marble Cupcakes

This recipe is courtesy of Healthy Indulgences.

'Not-Tella' Chocolate Spread

  • 1/2 cup (heaped) fresh hazelnuts
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 1-3.5 oz Lindt 70% cacao content bar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (scant) of good-tasting pure stevia extract
  • 4 tablespoons powdered milk (I used Organic Valley)
  • Pinch sea salt

Preparation:

Toast hazelnuts in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Dump hot hazelnuts into a clean dish towel and rub vigorously for a few moments to remove some of the skins. Don't worry if some of the skins are still left on. Chop up nuts well (unless you have a really powerful blender). Pour oil into blender or Magic Bullet cup. Add nuts. Blend for a minute or two until nuts are ground as smooth as you can get them. Make sure your hands are dry, and break or chop up chocolate bar into pieces and microwave for 30 seconds, then for 15 seconds, or until it can be stirred smooth. Stir in powdered milk (sifted, if it has lumps), stevia, and sea salt. Store tightly in a glass jar for 24 hours to let the flavors meld. Reheat cold Nutella to make it spreadable, as it will harden in the fridge.

Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oil (I used 1/4 cup extra virgin olive and 1/4 cup coconut)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic half and half or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup erythritol
  • 1/4 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease muffin pans with non-hydrogenated shortening, or line with paper cups. Spray paper liners with cooking spray if using. Stir together oils, vanilla, and half and half. Mix together coconut flour, erythritol, stevia, baking powder, and salt. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then whisk in egg yolks. In a separate, meticulously clean bowl using clean beaters, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Stir a bit of the whites into the yolk batter to lighten it up, then proceed to fold in the rest of the whites. Don't worry the batter has streaks or a few chunks of foam. Spoon batter into greased pans, leaving a little room at the top (do NOT overfill or cupcakes can sink in the middle).

To get the swirl...

Use a teaspoon to drop chocolate spread onto the top of cupcakes, and swirl in with a toothpick, pulling batter up and over the filling. Bake mini muffins for 20-25 minutes, and regular muffins for 25-30 minutes. Cupcakes may became very browned in some spots on the top, but they will not dry out. Remove when the top of the cupcakes spring back. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then invert onto a clean towel or wire rack. Store at room temperature for a couple of days, then refrigerate.

Sugar Free Banana Cupcakes

banana cupcakes

Image by Jarretdeporc.net on Flickr

This recipe is courtesy of Can Eat!

Ingredients

  • 100g Xylitol
  • 6 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
  • 1tsp Almond or Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Ripe Banana
  • 150g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Water

Directions

1. Beat together Xylitol, Oil and Almond or Vanilla Extract.

2. Peel and Mash half a Banana and then beat into sugar mixture.

3. Add Flour and Water and Mix well.

4. Spoon into cupcake cases.

5. Bake in a preheated oven (Gas Mark 5) for 20-25 mins until cupcakes are golden and spring back when gently pressed.

6. Leave to cool then dust with icing sugar or frost.

These cupcakes are best served fresh as they have a tendency to dry out.

Looking For A Gift For A Diabetic Loved One?

It can be very difficult to find great sugar free or diabetic gifts that contain food so I thought I'd pass along a couple resources that I've had luck with in the past. The sugar free cookies from Gourmet Cookie Bouquets are always a hit.

You can find cookie arrangements for any occasion like birthday, get well, and just to say that you are thinking about them. They cover the cookies in cellophane and then artfully arrange them in a container to create a floral-like cookie bouquet. Beautiful and delicious!

Another fun gift option is a diabetic gift which you can find at several online gift shops including All About Gifts & Baskets. They have a wide variety of gift baskets that feature sugar free candy, cookies, popcorn and more.

You can find gifts for just about any occasion. The get well baskets may contain sugar free foods in addition to a puzzle book or cards to keep them entertained while they are on the mend.

 

Low Fat Cookie Recipes

low fat cookie recipes

Have Your Cookies & Eat Them Too

What could be better than a warm, fresh-from-the-oven, homemade cookie? Cookies are one of our favorite desserts and snacks, but as much as we love them, they don't always love us back. They can be a terrible temptation for those who are trying to lose weight or who have to adhere to low fat diets.

When you cut fat, do you have to cut the gourmet cookies? No! The good news is that you can have your favorites; you just need to modify them a bit.

Why Go Low-Fat?

I Love Cookies!

I absolutely love cookies. I could probably sit and eat them all day long if it wouldn't end up making me obese! Having a calorie-filled cookie is okay every now and then, but what about when you want to have a treat without all the guilt? I know this feeling well. That's why I now opt for a healthier version of my vices. This includes sugar free cookies, or cookies made with healthy ingredients like oatmeal.

You might even be surprised when I tell you that sugar free chocolate chip cookies taste so close to regular chocolate chip cookies, that some can't even tell the difference. Give that a try sometime. In the meantime, try one of the recipes below!

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, you read that right. Low fat chocolate chip cookies; America's most popular cookie goes on a diet with this recipe from SkinnyTaste.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter - melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the white and brown sugar, butter, egg white, applesauce, and vanilla until fluffy.
  4. Whisk half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend. Whisk the other half in and blend. (Tip: If your batter looks crumbly, add a drop of water at a time until it is smoother.)
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake as you normally would.
  7. Enjoy your unbeatable, low-fat cookies!

Delicious Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies Tutorial

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Image by dizznbonn on Flickr

Oatmeal raisin is another of our favorites; this recipe from GoodHouseKeeping cuts calories down to a relatively slim 115 calories and just 3 grams of fat (no saturated fat).

Image by justbecause on Flickr

Ingredients

  • ½ cup low fat corn-oil spread (60 to 70% fat)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats - uncooked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix corn-oil spread and brown sugar with mixer at low speed.
  3. Increase speed to high and beat until sugar and spread are combined.
  4. Lower the speed and add egg whites, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  5. Stir in flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and raisins with a spoon.
  6. Drop dough by the tablespoon and flatten into 3-inch rounds. (Tip: if the dough sticks to your hand, slightly wet your hands.)
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until golden.

Low Fat Oatmeal Cookies - Healthy Vegan Recipes

Yogurt Cookies

By replacing some butter with nonfat yogurt, you cut fat without cutting taste. This great recipe is courtesy of Cooks.com.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter - softened
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plain or lemon-flavored yogurt (nonfat)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and get your cookie sheets ready.
  2. Combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add yogurt, egg whites, lemon peel, and vanilla and blend well.
  4. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except powdered sugar).
  5. Gradually add this mixture to the sugar/butter/yogurt mixture.
  6. Cover and chill dough for 1 to 3 hours.
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, put on your cookie sheet, and press into inch-thick rounds. (Tip: If the dough sticks, lightly flour your hands.)
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  9. Cool for about two minutes and then sift powdered sugar over them.
  10. Cool completely.

You don't have to give up the treats you love; there are countless low fat cookie recipes online and in cookbooks. Low fat never tasted so good!

Chocolate Lollipop Recipes

Chocolate lollipop recipes

Everything You Need To Make Chocolate Lollipops

Chocolate lollipops are perfect for party favors, and little gifts for any other special event. They can be made in an endless array of colors and designs. From Halloween lollipops to Christmas lollipops, chocolate lollipops can be made to serve all year round. This article will show you how to make chocolate lollipops and show you all of the supplies involved.

Have fun making these delicious chocolate lollipops with your family!

Basic Chocolate Lollipop Recipe

How To Make Chocolate Lollipops

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, tempered
  • 16 ounces white chocolate, tempered
  • 16 ounces milk chocolate, tempered

Directions

To make the lollipop: Pour any of the tempered chocolates directly into the molds, filling them to the top. Tap the molds against the work surface to release the air bubbles. Set the sticks in place by inserting them just far enough to be secure within the mold you are using. Set the molds aside to allow the chocolate to set. When set, simply pop out the lollipops.

After popping them from the molds, you can use ribbon and cellophane bags to wrap and create modern lollipop favors like the one shown in the photo.

How To Melt Chocolate

Melting chocolate for candy

melted chocolate

Melting In The Microwave

This is one of the most common ways to melt chocolate. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high power at 10-second intervals, stirring each time, just until it's completely melted.

In A Slow Cooker

A slow cooker, set on low heat, is perfect for melting chocolate and keeping it at just the right temperature while you work. All you need to do is stir it occasionally and keep an eye on it to make sure it's not getting too hot. If it does get too hot, turn off the slow cooker, remove the insert, and stir in a couple of pieces of unmelted chocolate to cool it down quickly.

Melting In A Double Boiler

This method allows you the most temperature control, and is best for higher-quality chocolate. Set up your double boiler with a small amount of water--the water should not be touching the top pan--and warm it over medium-low heat. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture is smooth, then remove the pan from the heat.

The Chocolatiere Electric Chocolate Melting Pot is perfect for chocolate fondue, making chocolate molds, or gourmet desserts.

How to Temper Chocolate

Chocolatiere Electric Chocolate Melting Pot

Marbled Chocolate Heart Pops

How To Make Chocolate Heart Lollipops

Marbles Chocolate Heart Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • Oil-based chocolate flavoring (optional)
  • Heart-shaped lollipop molds
  • Lollipop sticks

Preparation:

1. Make sure your heart lollipop mold is clean and dry. Place the white and semi-sweet chocolate chips in separate microwave-safe bowls.

2. Microwave the gourmet chocolates individually until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. White chocolate is especially sensitive to burning, so take extra care to stir the white chocolate numerous times during the melting process. If desired, add a few drops of oil-based chocolate flavorings to the white and semi-sweet chocolates and stir to combine.

3. Once both chocolates are melted and smooth, take a small spoon and dip it into the white chocolate. Place a small dab of white chocolate in the bottom of each heart cavity, varying the placement of the white chocolate in each lollipop. Repeat the process with spoonfuls of semi-sweet chocolate. Continue to add the chocolates to the mold, randomly placing spoonfuls of white and dark chocolates next to each other to ensure variety in each bite.

4. Once the cavities are almost full, take a toothpick and run it through the chocolate to get a swirled effect. This is best accomplished with a toothpick with a fat, rounded tip, as the fine-tipped toothpicks have a hard time swirling the chocolate on the bottom of the mold.

5. Insert the lollipop sticks into the molds, and cover the top of the sticks with chocolate. Use a knife or offset spatula to scrape the chocolate on the back of the mold into a flat layer. Refrigerate the mold to set the chocolate, at least 30 minutes.

6. Once the chocolates are set, pop them out of the mold and serve immediately. To store your Chocolate Heart Pops, wrap them individually in cling wrap, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

This recipe is courtesy of About.com.

Chocolate Bunny Pops

How To Make Bunny Lollipops For Easter

These little chocolate bunnies are an adorable addition to any adult or kids Easter basket!

Ingredients

  • Chocolate wafer melts
  • Vanilla wafer melts
  • Oil-based coloring
  • Oil-based flavoring
  • Candy eyes or other edible embellishments
  • Chocolate bunny molds
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Large microwaveable container

Directions

1. Melt 1 - 2 oz of vanilla wafers in a ramekin for each color you want to use to decorate the chocolate pops. Add oil-based coloring to each and stir until well incorporated.

2. Set ramekins into a shallow bath of hot tap water to keep the contents pliable for the duration of your decorating (this water should not be boiling, or hot enough to scorch the candy).

3. Use fine paintbrushes to apply colors to coordinating spots on the mold. Extra fine touches like a tiny black pupil in the center of an eye can be made by applying color with toothpicks. Allow each color to harden before you add the next. (You can place the molds in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the process.)

4. Place edible embellishments into the mold in the appropriate places. Lift the mold carefully and view from the bottom to verify that the colors and embellishments you have added are in the right place. (Now is the time to change or re-do the decorative touches if you need to!)

5. Place 8 oz of the chocolate wafers into the microwaveable container and cook in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute to start. Add flavoring if desired. Stir and return to microwave if needed for 15 second intervals, until the chocolate is melted but not scorched. Set the chocolate in its container into the hot water bath (change out water for hotter water if needed by this time).

6. Set mold on level surface and position lollipop sticks in place. Fill the molds carefully with the chocolate using a spoon or squeeze bottle. Once filled, tap the molds very gently to ensure that any bubbles in the chocolate are released.

7. Put the molds into the refrigerator to set, making sure they remain level.

8. Once the chocolate has set, pop the chocolate bunny pops out of the mold and wrap or place in small cellophane bags. Secure at the base of the mold with a ribbon.

This recipe courtesy of celebratingeaster.com.

Halloween Chocolate Lollipops Recipe

How To Make Halloween Chocolate Lollipops

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups vanilla or white chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Ghost lollipop/candy molds
  • 20 lollipop sticks
  • 1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
  • Pumpkin lollipop/candy molds

Directions

In a microwave, melt vanilla chips at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in coconut extract. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a #3 round pastry tip.

Transfer melted vanilla chips to bag. Fill ghost molds three-fourths full. Press a lollipop stick into each ghost; top with a small amount of melted chips. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Set remaining melted chips aside.

In the same microwave, melt milk chocolate chips at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in orange extract. Prepare a second pastry or plastic bag; insert tip.

Transfer melted chocolate to bag. Fill pumpkin molds three-fourths full. Press a lollipop stick into each pumpkin; top with a small amount of chocolate. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Set remaining melted chocolate aside.

Remove lollipops from molds. Use reserved melted chips to add faces to ghosts and pumpkins. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 20 lollipops. What a boo-tiful Halloween gift idea!

This recipe is courtesy of tasteofhome.com.

Halloween Chocolate Lollipop Molds

Wilton Smiling Pumpkins Lollipop Mold

Wilton Smiling Pumpkins Lollipop Mold

Smiling pumpkins lollipop mold. 7 cavities, 1 designs.

buy from amazon

Flavoring The Chocolate - How To Flavor Chocolate Candy

Adding an extra flavor to chocolate is pretty simple but you have to know the basics. Only add oil-based extracts to pure melted chocolate. Flavors such as mint, cherry, and orange are popular these days. Liqueurs will make the chocolate seize up and become clumpy. Don't go overboard on adding the flavorings. A little goes a long way so make sure to taste test your chocolate before you pour it into the molds.

Here are a few great oil-based flavorings that will complement your chocolate lollipops perfectly. The flavors, in order, are: Orange, Strawberry, Cherry, Hazelnut, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

Caramel and Walnut Chocolate Lollipops

Making a flavored chocolate lollipop

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 ounces Le Noir 68% Baking Bar (Valrhona Dark Chocolate)
  • 2 ounces Valrhona Le Lait 39% Baking Bar (Valrhona Milk Chocolate)
  • Tbsp butter
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • Additional dark chocolate for dipping
  • Lollipop Sticks

Preparation & Assembly

1. Heat the cream together with the vanilla bean.

2. Place sugar in a small pot. Stir with a small amount of water, just to make it the consistency of wet sand. Make sure there is no sugar crystals on the side of the pot. Cook without stirring until it reaches a dark caramel color

3. Remove the vanilla bean from the cream and pour the hot cream onto the caramel little by little (watch out for splatter!).

4. Bring the caramel mixture to a boil and cook to about 240F degrees (around 5/7 minutes) and pour onto the chopped chocolate, add the butter and vigorously mix until you obtain a shiny texture. Add the walnuts and immediately pour into a silicon pan, let harden for 12 hours in the refrigerator

5. Remove from pan onto a cutting board. Cut circles with cutter and stick in the lollipop sticks

6. Melt chocolate and dip lollipops in to coat them

Tip - Arrange the lollipop favors in a container filled with coffee beans, jelly beans or other candies to create a unique centerpiece for any party or event.

This recipe was courtesy of Valrhona Chocolate.

Chocolate Horse Lollipops

Chocolate horse lollipops
These Chocolate Horse Lollipop Party Favors are courtesy of Kid's Birthday Parties on Creative Commons.

Wilton Lollipop Wrapping Kit

Let's face it lollipops are sticky. If you are giving a special treat to someone make sure it is presented nicely, wrapped and tied.

How To Make Chocolate Lollipops - Making Chocolate Lollipops

Lollipop Party Favors

All kinds of online companies are selling lollipops to use as chocolate wedding favors, birthday parties, baby showers, and more. One easy and creative way to make them extra special for your event is to personalize them with label stickers.

For weddings, include your name and wedding date or for a baby shower include mom's name along with the due date.

You can make the labels on your home computer or buy personalized or monogrammed lollipop favors online.

All About Cookie Bouquets

This post contains Amazon affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.

all about cookie bouquets

The term 'Cookie Bouquet' was coined by several gourmet cookie bakeries back in the early 1980's. A cookie bouquet is an arrangement of cookies (usually on sticks) that are artfully placed in a container such as a pot to create a floral-like bouquet.

The cookies used to make bouquets are usually iced and decorated, but regular large gourmet cookies such as chocolate chip ones can be used to make the arrangements as well.

Many online cookie companies sell these bouquets of cookies, but there are also many online resources which show you how to make these beautiful bouquets yourself. So if you are creative and good in the kitchen, creating your own masterpieces can be quite fun!

The Perfect Gift For Any Occasion

The best thing about iced cookie bouquets is that you can make the cookies in just about any shape or size imaginable. This flexibility makes it easy to design a bouquet to specifically suit your recipient's interests or the occasion such as sending Get Well Cookie Wishes or Happy Birthday Cookies.

Here are some unique cookie bouquet ideas that you can either make yourself or order online from companies like Gourmet Cookie Bouquets.

Sugar Cookie Baking Tips & Recipes

The majority of cookie bouquets are made using cut-out sugar cookies that are decorated with royal icing. Several online websites have step-by-step instructions for creating your very own bouquets of iced cookies. The first step is to buy cookie cutters in the shapes for the occasion you are commemorating. For instance, you might choose flowers and butterflies for Mother's Day gifts or hearts for Valentine cookie gifts. Secondly, you must use a cookie dough recipe that will yield cookies that hold their shape during the baking process and are sturdy enough to stand up on stems.

No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
  • 1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Roll to desired thickness (1/2" recommended for cookie gifts) and cut into desired shapes. Pre-heat the oven for at least 1/2 hour prior to baking. Then, bake cookies on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3" cookies. For cookies on stems, immediately upon removing cookies from the oven, slide a long white paper stick into the warm dough about 1.5" into the cookie. To make this process easier, they recommend that you place the cookies on the sheet facing outward prior to baking so you can slide the sticks in easily for the last step. Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet after inserting the stick and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Recipe from Kitchen Collectables.

Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature - do NOT use margarine)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

Sift the dry ingredients together. Cream butter, slowly add sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Alternately beat in sour cream and dry ingredients. Chill dough for 1 hour.

Roll out to 1/4" - 3/8" thickness and cut into shapes, you can use as large as you like and whatever shape you wish-just make sure you'll have skewers long enough to hold cookie. Press wooden skewers into cookies with the stick anchored in dough about 2". If making quite large cookies, it's best to fit the skewers through most of the length-till about 1" from the top. Bake cookies on an ungreased sheet for 10 minutes (or until edges are golden brown) at 450 degrees.

Remove cookie sheet from oven, but allow cookies to sit for a minute or two before moving to cooling rack. Do not handle the cookies by the sticks at this point, they'll pull out and fall apart.

Recipe from Tip Nut.

After your cookies on sticks are completely cooled, you are ready to begin icing them. Just watch the videos and follow the instructions below.

Cookie Bouquet Stick Placement Video

Learn how to make cookie pops that are both stable and beautiful!

Royal Icing Recipe & Tips

All those beautiful iced cookie gifts that you see online cookie companies create are made using Royal Icing. It is the best choice because royal icing tastes great and dries hard so it holds up well when cookies are mailed across the country. Royal icing decorated cookies will arrive looking as good as they did when you decorated them.

Standard royal icing recipes call for powdered sugar, meringue powder and water. Basically, the water is added until you achieve the desired consistency. Some people use raw egg whites instead of the meringue powder, but I don't recommend that method because of possible salmonella contamination. These days, it is fairly easy to find meringue powder in upscale grocery stores and craft stores such as Michael's (in the cake decorating section).

Standard Royal Icing Recipe

  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar - sifted
  • 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp. water (depending on consistency desired)

In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Then add water a little bit at a time (until the desired consistency) beating with an electric mixer on medium speed. NOTE - a thicker consistency (6 Tbsp water) is used for outlining the cookie while a thinner 'flow' consistency is used to flood the cookies inside the outline. If you'd like almond flavored icing, consider substituting 2 Tbsp. almond extract for the first 2 Tbsp. of water.

After the icing is fully mixed and the desired consistency, just divide it up and add color. Deep rich colored icing works best for birthday cookies and flower cookies. Keep the icing containers covered until you are ready to use the icing as it will turn to concrete quickly.

For tips on how to ice the cookies and achieve the look you want, watch Cat Cora's cookie decorating video below or visit Kitchen Collectables for Cookie Decorating 101.

Great Cookie Decorating Video

Learn how to decorate cookies like a pro with royal icing!

Cookie Bouquet Design & Instruction Books

Container & Cookie Arrangement Tips

Finding a fun and unique container is easy if you have a craft store like Michael's nearby. They have baskets shaped like footballs, giant tea cups, pumpkins and more. You can also find ceramics such as flower pots and large coffee mugs. Finally, colorful tin pails and bird houses with open tops are available. Just find something that coordinates with your theme and you'll be all set.

I've found the easiest way to arrange the cookies on stems in the containers is to use floral foam as a base. Basically I cut the floral foam with a sharp knife to fit the container. Note that it should be a TIGHT fit requiring you to wedge the foam in the container. This keeps the foam from moving when the cookies are inserted. Some floral styrofoam flakes off so I wrap it in a piece of tissue paper before wedging it in the container (this keeps pieces of foam from flaking off when the sticks are inserted).

Once the foam is wedged in the container, you are ready to insert the cookies. If you are using a mug or some other short container, you may find that you need to trim the end of the sticks. A wire cutter or heavy duty scissors should do the trick. Just insert the cookies in a pattern to create a cookie flower arrangement. To hide the sticks I sometimes insert paper tissue puffs in the styrofoam as well.

Whether you've created a birthday cookie arrangement or box of longstem cookie roses, your friend or family member will love the unique gift that you made just for them!

Making Non-Iced Cookie Bouquets

Make great chocolate chip cookie bouquets!

sugar free cookie bouquet

Not everyone has the time or patience to create cut-out sugar cookies and to decorate them with royal icing. In addition, not everyone likes sugar cookies. So a great alternative to iced cookie bouquets are bouquets made with standard gourmet cookie flavors such as M & M, snickerdoodle and sugar free chocolate chip cookies.

The basic principles are the same as those used for iced cookies, but instead of making rolled sugar cookie dough, you make your favorite cookie dough flavor like chocolate chip. I recommend that you make the cookies a bit bigger than you usually do to achieve cookies that are 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Like the iced cookies, you insert the wooden skewers prior to baking or the paper skewers immediately after baking while the dough is still soft. It is best to use cookie recipes that yield soft, chewy and moist cookies (rather than crispy light and airy cookies). They stay on the sticks better.

To dress the cookies up, buy some clear or colorful cellophane at your local craft store along with some curling ribbon or yarn. Once the cookies are cool, just wrapped the cookies with the cellophane, tying it around the stem with either the ribbon or yarn.

Follow the same tips for arranging the cookies in the container that I gave for the iced cookie bouquets. Embellish the cookie gram with ribbons, silk baby's breath and leaves for a stunning presentation.

And if you don't feel like baking, you can always purchase one of these great gifts our site. As you can see, we have something for just about any season or reason including housewarming cookie gifts, birthday cookies, and anniversary cookies.

How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

how to make chocolate covered strawberries

Delicious Treats For Any Occasion

Many people see gorgeous chocolate dipped strawberries and think they could never make them at home. But the truth is that these elegant culinary creations are actually very easy to create. Even the amateur home cook can have chocolate dipped strawberries any night of the week. They make great inexpensive edible party favors as well.

Gather the ingredients which include high quality strawberries, a pot, a glass bowl, water, and the chocolate.

Strawberries

You want to get the biggest and freshest strawberries you can find. They should be plump and firm. Don't select berries that have white spots (unripe) or any damage or dents as they will taste spoiled.

And the chocolate won't stick to them very well. Wash and dry each berry carefully. Don't crush them. Leave the stems on so you'll have a handle to dip into the chocolate.

The Chocolate

chocolate covered strawberries

Choose your chocolate for taste appeal. Buy the best quality gourmet chocolate and one that you'd want to eat plain. Don't use baker's chocolate which can be extremely bitter.

Stick to chocolate chips or dark chocolate candy bars without nuts. Just break up the chocolate into pieces before placing in the bowl for melting. Large pieces will take longer to melt.

Flickr Photo Credit: Magic Madzik

Melt Chocolate

Place the pot on the stove burner over medium heat. Fill the pot with water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and the bowl over the hot water to melt. Never place chocolate directly in a pan over heat. It will scorch easily. You want to use the water as a buffer to melt it gently.

The Dip

Grasp one strawberry by the stem and roll into the chocolate 3/4 of the way. Don't immerse the entire strawberry into the chocolate. Leave a little of the red showing.

Place on a sheet pan or tray lined with parchment paper. Don't allow the berries to touch or they will stick together when dry.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry How-To:

Chill out

Refrigerate the entire tray and allow to set. Gently peel each strawberry off the parchment paper and serve on a clean plate. As the berries warm to room temperature, they may sweat. It will look like drops of moisture on the chocolate. This is normal.

If your gourmet dessert isn't going to be eaten right away, refrigerate them until right before you serve.

Embellish

embellished strawberries

Image by robertberkowitz on Flickr

You can add embellishments to the basic chocolate dipped strawberry recipe if you like.

These can include a drizzle of white chocolate over each berry, a sprinkling of nuts, two kinds of chocolate dips (like milk and dark, dark and white) or even a crumble of crushed graham crackers or pretzels dusted over the tops.

You could even color white chocolate with red and green and drizzle that over the berries for a cute holiday chocolate.

One fun way to embellish berries is to dip the top portion in white chocolate and the sides in dark chocolate. The result will be a little berry that looks like a tuxedo. You can take a piping bag with some colored white chocolate and make bowties if you like. This will add a real touch of class to your chocolate dipped strawberries. These would make great inexpensive edible wedding favors!

DIY is Cheaper!

When you see chocolate strawberries next time at a bridal shower or elegant dinner, consider how easy they are to make. You can do it yourself for a fraction of the price of ordering them out. Even for a large wedding, you could make them in advance and save a great deal of money.

And now you can make them with this easy tutorial! Come back and leave a comment if you make them!

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