Perfect Cut out Cookies

March 31, 2015


If you know me then you know I have a weakness for sugar cookies.  My favorite being a soft with frosting.  Now most sugar cookie recipes are pretty standard.  Nothing fancy to them really.  But what I like about my cookies is the touch of pure almond extract I add to them. Not the artificial flavoring either.  During the Christmas season I always make a few batches of spritz cookies... you know, the cookies you use a press with.  It is a simple almond dough but designed to be used in a press.  My family loves them. So it only made sense to add just a hint to my sugar cookies!


I know what you're thinking about now.... "sounds great but rolling dough is a mess". Right?  Well I agree.  My Mother, being a fabulous woman in the kitchen taught me years ago that any dough you chill will do so faster if it's flattened.  This is what makes all the difference in your cookies.  After your dough is prepared and ready to be chilled, lay out parchment paper on your counter and place your dough on it.  Then cover the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and begin rolling it out. If you don't have parchment paper wax paper should work just fine.  Now I like thicker cookies so I try to keep my dough around 1/3 to 1/2 inches thick.  The other great benefit to rolling out on parchment paper is no additional flour has been added to your dough.  This step cuts your chill time from an hour down to approximately 30 minutes.  Just enough time to clean your mess and prepare to cut out your cookies.

So are you ready to make the best cut-out cookies ever?  Here we go!

Serves: Depends on the size of your cut-outs but you should get at least 3 dozen good size cookies.  

What you need:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Decorations or frosting ( I prefer the frosting)
  • Royal Icing (recipe below)
So lets get to mixing:
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  I do not pre-sift my flour, however my Mom says it actually makes a slight difference in the measurement. Do whatever you're comfortable with.  Set this mixture aside until you're ready to add it to the wet mixture.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, The time varies depending on your mixer. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined.  Now I know your asking about if you add the extra extract will you need to decrease the vanilla?  Nope!  What's a good sugar cookie without Vanilla?  Then it would only be an almond cookie!
  • Add the dry mixture slowly to the butter mixture.  Mix until it is completely combined.

  • This step is what really makes the difference in your preparation.  Roll out your dough between two sheets of parchment paper.  Wax paper will work too, just be careful not to tear it.  Lay your rolled out dough onto a baking sheet and place it in your fridge.  This not only makes it easier to use, it also shortens your chill time to approximately 30 minutes.

  • Remove from the fridge and only remove the top sheet of parchment paper.  Cut your shapes out directly on the dough still with one sheet of paper underneath.  Carefully remove the waste (the dough left between cutouts) and your first sheet of cookies is ready to bake.  If you are only adding colored sugar to your cookies now is when you sprinkle it on.  I bake them for 8-11 minutes however, this time will vary depending on your oven.  You want to keep an eye on them baking to regulate your baking time.  You want to remove them just shy of brown edges.  Allow them cool on your baking sheet for 3 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.  They continue to bake on the sheet so transfer them as soon as you are able to move them without breaking the cookies.  Don't be alarmed that they are not done when you remove them.  They firm up after they cool.

  • Frost your cookies once they are completely cool so your frosting does not slip off.  Royal icing isn't a frosting with a sweet taste, or for that matter not really a taste at all so the cookie is the real show stopper here.   If you are a wiz at royal icing (I am jealous) I bet you can go to town decorating yours. I stress over the whole keep your frosting covered from air with saran wrap.  I did better this time than in the past.  The key really is keeping the saran wrap pressed directly on top of the frosting rather than just over the bowl.  Practice really does make perfect when your working with royal icing!  See my bowls below with the wrap touch the icing. 

    For your Royal Icing Click here for the recipe I use.  It is the best I have found and she has a whole section of FAQ.  




Green with Enve

March 30, 2015
When I first met Ngan my first impression was she is sweet and quiet.  She still is, until you get to know her... then you find out she is not only sweet, but talented and funny.  Ngan is a local designer in Kansas City and makes the most beautiful one of a kind pieces by hand.  She has a work shop that is a jewelry dreamers wonderland.  She invited me over to choose a favorite piece of hers to style.   You know I was all in for that!  Erin and I spent some time asking questions and it seemed like we touched every single piece.  There were so many I loved I was struggling to pick one.  Then I saw it.  Laying on her back bench was this most vibrant green stone necklace and It was an instant decision.  It was meant to be.  I would have to say green is my second favorite that is a feel good color for me.  I can't wait to show you all the different ways I plan on styling this piece.  

Tank ~ Top ~ Leggings ~ Shoes ~ Necklace c/o~ Bag ~ Sunnies ~ Leggings (on sale ) ~ Watch ~ Nails ~ Bead Bracelets c/o

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Mirror Raybans

March 27, 2015
Happy Friday!  This week has flown by and I have a busy weekend planned playing catch up still from being sick. What do you have planned for the weekend?  Anything fun?    This is not the first time I have shared this hot pink top with you.  See how else I styled it  here.    I bought this blouse in three colors.  Do you buy in multiples too?   It seems a bit ridiculous but on sale I couldn't resist.   It's so comfy and right now Express offers them buy one get one 50% off.  Gotta love a good price for a versatile piece.  But the real show stoppers are these mirrored pink Ray Bans!  In love!!  Absolutely hands down my favorite pair right now.  Joe even put them on and liked them despite being pretty pink and girly.   I suggested he purchase the green or blue (then I can wear his too) I'm sneaky that way!!  I shopped my closet again with my skirt and scarf.  If you really invest in pieces that are more timeless than trendy you can get a lot of use out of your wardrobe.  Have you shopped your closet lately?  Need some ideas or help?  Shoot me an email and I will help you utilize your closet to the fullest.   

Similar  stripe skirt ~  PortofinoTop ~  Scarf ~  Watch ~  Sunglasses ~  Lips ~  Nails ~ Shoes ~ Bag ~ Pearl bracelet Stella and Dot ~ Leather wrap bracelet ~

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Jean Trends

March 26, 2015
This years trend with jeans is a throw back to the 70's look.  Wide legs, high waisted, and flares.  I don't intend to jump on the trend of high waisted, but I would consider a boot cut or flare.  I gathered some great choices for the look that works best for your body type.  I really like number 4 and number 5.  What is your favorite?  Would you wear high waisted?.... is this a repeat style for you like it is for me? I asked around the office and several gals in different generations all had the same answer.... No to the high waisted, but yes to a good boot cut or flare.


1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6

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Pastel Colored Jeans

March 25, 2015
We made it to Wednesday! YAY!  I'm feeling better ever day and I want to thank everyone who sent well wishes, emails, and text.  I really appreciate all of you and I am so blessed and thankful to call you all my friends!  Even if some of you are only cyber friends!   I shared earlier this week my love for shopping Target and the great things you can sometimes find there.  This tee is another example.  I love adding colorful tees at such a reasonable price point ($5 on sale, reg $9) cant beat that!!  At that price you would think they don't hold up well but they are super soft and I think thicker, not to mention less expensive than Old Navy tees.  I am shopping my closet a lot and loving the combinations.    These colored denim jeans have paid for themselves many times over.  I know the trends are changing with jeans (think 70's vibe) but a few slim leg pair are always going to be a staple for me.  This is where you as an individual cannot get lost in a trend to stay current.  I suggest you make slight modifications and still dress in your comfort zone.  I honestly can say... I do not see myself wearing wide leg, or high waisted denim.  Period.  Been there done that!  But... I will pick out some favorites and share that If I did follow this trend I would wear. 

Pom Pom Scarf old but love this one  and this one  is on sale ~  Converse ~ Sunnies ~ Watch ~ Nails ~   Alex Ani bracelet ~ Leather wrap ~ Mint jeans ~ Top ~ Handbag ~

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Spring Lipstick

March 24, 2015
I spent a little time at the makeup counters  recently and played with all the fun lipstick colors.  It really is a finishing touch to your face don't you agree?  Lipsticks can out live their place in your bag if you're not careful.  There is a shelf life to them and you should alway check with the makeup counter you pick yours up from to see what is recommended.  So here are a few favorites I found and have already added the pinks to my makeup!  What is your favorite brand?  Would you wear any of these colors? 


In order from top to bottom  1 //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //

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Pink Flamingos

March 23, 2015
Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  It was beautiful weather and perfect temperatures to open the windows for a cross breeze here.  It was nice to air out the house after being cooped up for two weeks.  I still am recovering from pneumonia and have a small amount of energy before I am just tired.  It's frustrating to be feeling better but still not all the way there yet.  I am hoping this week will be a good turnaround week for me!   Are you guilty of shopping at Target and always picking up something cute to wear?  I almost every trip have to at least scan the clothing for something cute and they almost always have a great sale price.  I spotted this flamingo tee and didn't hesitate to grab it!  A double play... Cute and affordable! 






Tee ~  Scarf, love this one  and this one ~ Jeans ~ Converse ~ Sunnies ~ Bag ~ Ropes Bracelet ~  Leather wrap bracelet Watch ~ Nails ~ Lips ~

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GaGa for Gingham

March 19, 2015
Gingham.... It's everything and everywhere.  I am loving all the options and styles.  I have so many favorites in this roundup I am giddy.  Starting with these comfy pink lounge pants, shirt dress, wrap top... LOVE and those sandals??  Well hello!!!  I'm not overly partial to colors when it comes to gingham, I think a wide range of colors added to your wardrobe opens up your closet to so many outfits.  What is your favorite?  

ScarfLounge pants ~ Tie ~ Hat ~ Bow Tie ~ Strappy sandal ~ Shirt dress ~ Wrap cardigan with tie belt ~ Peplum Top ~ ToteCardigan sweater  ~ Long sleeve button front ~ Cropped pants ~ Skinny strap tank ~ Midi Skirt ~ V open shoulder top ~ Wrap top ~ Pink gingham

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8 Days

March 16, 2015
Hi..... It's me!  I've been missing for days now.  But I really wasn't gone, just down.  Yes down.   Down with pneumonia. You never plan to be sick, or pencil in a week of missing everything... it just happens.  

 Day one I thought "oh great, a cold"..... then day two, the chills and the aches start and I began to think even worse the flu.  By the morning of day three I actually..... yes if you know me you know I contemplated it.... going to work.  But by the time I was out of the shower my fever was back and holding strong.  Off to the doctor I went thinking there is nothing you can do for the flu but wait it out.   Once there it wasn't long before I was having a breathing treatment and in for chest X-rays.  Pneumonia.  I don't have a phone dump of pretty pics of my past week, or pics from the most gorgeous week's worth of weather we have had this year.  But what I do have is a rekindled appreciation for being healthy and enjoying even the smallest of moments and victories.   I have the best friends who snuck to my door and dropped off a care package only to text me a picture of them leaving the scene of the drop to let me know it was there.   They know my love for sweets runs deep! 

I have tons of photos from the weeks prior to becoming sick waiting to be edited, and a few collaborations I am still working on.  Insert excitement!!  So be patient with me this week, I am still low on energy and have a long to do list of catching up and I can only imagine the amount of emails waiting!   Missed you all!  xo 


March 04, 2015
I have watched the Real Housewives of BH's from the beginning.  Last night the RHBH was on and let me just tell ya..... If those were my girl friends I would most definitely have to do some housekeeping with a few.  My favorites for sure are the Lisa's, just a coincidence I promise.  This is Lisa Rhinna's first year on the show and several episodes back where she first called one of the other housewives as a "wackadoodle".... I knew she and I could be great friends in real life.  She is my kind of friend! It was a touchy subject on last nights episode at their dinner and it became explosive between the girls when the discussion of alcoholism was mentioned.   I know the damage alcoholism can have all to well on a person.... My ex-husband was an alcoholic and in the end it cost him his life.  Addiction is a disease that is hard to understand for someone not affected.  I truly felt that when Lisa reached out to Kim she was coming from a good place.  Moving on.....        

Speaking of friends, Erin and I met up last weekend for a collaboration that I will be sharing with you soon.  We were running out of sun light and time so we popped into the parking garage at the mall and snapped a few outfit pics.  The snow was beginning to melt creating the perfect afternoon for running around in my Hunter boots.  

Polka dot sweater ~ Gingham top (75% off) ~ Jeans (40% off)  ~ Hunters ~ Bracelets c/o

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