Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer-inspired cookies . . . crab & lobster sugar cookies



How was your holiday? I hope it was great!

It's taken us a few 'down days,' but we've finally recovered from a busy and fun Fourth of July weekend. We spent a lot of time in the sun, at the beach, and at our friend's pool. On the evening of the Fourth, we enjoyed an incredible concert in The Park, along with a picnic dinner, and a fireworks show to end the celebration.

We have a prime spot where we spread out a big beach blanket and lay to watch the fireworks. Watching our little ones hold their dad's hand through the fireworks show is always a highlight for me. He would probably tell me that it's his favorite part of the whole weekend too (smile).

The Fourth always feels like the peak of Summer for us. This one-day holiday can easily turn into a three-day holiday when 'the Fourth' falls over a weekend.




I LOVE 'the Fourth' . . . and enjoy planning special activities, menus, and desserts for our family and friends.

Because we have our dessert - most of the time - at The Park, I try to think of fun, festive, and easy-to-transport treats, like these mini powder doughnut pinwheel kabobs that the Littles and I assembled in the afternoon before we left for the festivities.


 


I also made salted brown butter brown sugar cookies (crazy yummy!) and a few dozen of these Summer-inspired cookies for our little family to enjoy over the holiday.

I packaged several of them to share with friends as we saw them over the long weekend, too.

I gifted them in clear scalloped window boxes filled with turquoise crinkle paper. The crabs and lobsters looked so festive nestled in the ocean-colored base.






Our oldest daughter is crazy in love with all things ocean lately, so she was excited when I surprised her with crab and lobster cookies. 

There's not a science to decorating them . . . but it is important that you have fun while you're doing it! 

I didn't have (or create) a template for the sugar design. I just let my creative mind flow. They're far from perfect, but I think they came out pretty darn cute!

Here are a few tips if you plan to make them too . . .
I make the details on the cookies using a small paint brush, a simple sugar glaze - which acts as a glue, sanding sugars (brown and red), and tiny red nonpareils. 

I recommend adding the brown sanding sugar details first, let dry and shake off excess sugar; then 'paint' the glaze on the rest of the body, and sprinkle with red sanding sugar or nonpareils




I hope you're enjoying your Summer, too, and celebrating all this season brings . . . beautiful clouds, amazing fruits & vegetables!, picnics, ice cream that's never tasted better!, bright & bold flowers, impromptu field trips, and gorgeous sunsets.




crab & lobster sugar cookies
.     .     .     .     .     .

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 ½  sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
 powder sugar (instead of flour) for rolling out dough
red and brown sanding sugars, for decorating
.     .     .     .     .     .

Preparation
To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt . . . set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just combined.

Form the dough into a flattened ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

On a lightly floured powder sugar surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart, and bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely.

Makes 10 to 20 cookies, depending on cutter size.



Sugar Cookie GLAZE
2 ¼  cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth
Using a small paint brush (or the tip of your finger), spread on top of cookies
Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of GLAZE when it's wet

The secret to a 'clean' sugar edge is not letting the glaze drip down the sides of the cookie.
A thick glaze is also key.
After the glaze has been mixed, add 1 Tablespoon of confectioners' sugar at a time, 
until you get the desired consistency.
Have fun!





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12 comments:

  1. These are adorable! You always have the most festive treats.

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  2. The cookies look fabulous! I had to pin them right away with all of my "By The Sea" pins. I have been crushing on all things by the sea and in the sea since Easter. I am so hooked!!! Have a wonderful evening.... Candy

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  3. These are the cutest cookies!

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  4. This is really weird -- must be me -- not weird but something I am doing wrong. This is the third time I'm typing a comment. I certainly hope all of the things I've said don't come all at once. Anyway, Hi! I can't wait to try your sugar cookie recipe only I was thinking of using ears of corn and melons -- an Indiana theme. I could put brown paper (for dirt) in a nice plastic container. Hmmmm!! Just doesn't have the same panache as creatures from the sea with aqua paper. :-( You are certainly creative!! Have a wonderful day!

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  5. Too cute crabs! I am going to try your cookie recipe.

    Madonna

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  6. You always make the cutest cookies...these crabs are adorable!!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

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  7. So cute! We have family visiting this weekend for Maryland, so this might have to be a menu add :)

    www.theartinpartyplanning.com

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  8. these are so freaking adorable! Love this idea :)

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  9. These little lobster and crab cookies are so cute! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

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  10. These are so adorable, what a creative idea!

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  11. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing at Talented Tuesday last week!

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  12. Love these Suzanne. Perfect for a Maryland crab feast! Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

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