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Tag Archive for williams sonoma

::kitschy kitchen:: Star Wars Sugar Cookies

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We go to the mall almost every Wednesday. This week we’ll go today because of the holiday. PTB buys his comics on that day. I get a treat at Starbucks and a chance to browse Williams Sonoma. It’s silly, and really the only thing we manage to do consistently, but we always have fun with our mini-trip.

I really enjoy it when, not only do I manage to drag him into Williams Sonoma with me but, he buys me something! Well, I guess this doesn’t totally count as being exclusively for me. I have never ever managed to even stay awake through an entire Star Wars movie. So yeah. But the part that is for me was the cookie recipe and my first set of cookie cutters. Although, these are more of cookie presses I guess.

I’ve never been let down by the recipes that come with my Williams Sonoma toys and these cookies were no different. The cookie cutters were incredibly easy to use, so if you have a Star Wars fan buy them now before they are gone!! As long as you kept the dough chilled and didn’t let it start to melt while you were cutting, the dough doesn’t get stuck in even the tiniest of details. And since they are presses, it makes every bit of dough turn into the perfect cookie. Just shove the last bits into a mold, press, and perfect cookie!

What You Need
Step One

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 egg
Step Two
1 cup sugar
Step Three
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Step Four
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Seriously. Take your butter and egg out ahead of time. Don’t fake room temp butter. Leaving it out ahead of time DOES make a difference!

In an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar. Beating for approx. 2 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once.

In a small bowl, sift together step four ingredients. Add half the mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low until no longer dry. Add the remaining flour and continue on low until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. This is my favorite part because I only make half the cookies at a time. That way, two days later, we have a fresh batch of cookies with very little work!

Once you are ready to make the cookies preheat the oven to 350F and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4″ thick.

Don’t be afraid to push on the cutters! They will only go so far. For me, the dough would lift up with the cookie cutter and then I would just drop it onto the parchment lined cookies sheet.

Space the cookies on the sheet about 1″ apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

Let cool on the sheets on racks for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to the rack cool completely.

Enjoy your buttery sugary goodness!

You can make royal icing to decorate. Or you can buy the prefect colors from Williams Sonoma for decorating. I think the advantage to the press is not having to decorate them. And really, they don’t need any extra sugar. They are perfect on their own. But then again…I have never been one for icing.

::gadget:: Bamix

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I have a cheap, white plastic, $20 (if that) blender.  It seems sad when placed next to my dark grey metal 600 series Kitchen Aid, or my 14-cup capacity brushed aluminum Cuisinart.  Just sad.  It leaks from the top and bottom.  And the lid doesn’t fit quite right.  Really, it is just garbage.  But of course, if I buy an appliance, I want the right kitchen gadget.  I never really remembered my mom buying any kitchen gadgets.  The ones she had, she still has.  They lasted and she had a lot of people to feed.  So…needless to say, if I was going to buy a blender, I wanted to buy an awesome blender.  This purchase will have to wait until we have a house, where I have a nice big kitchen and lots of counter space.  Right now, I am out of cabinet space, and my mixer lives on the dryer.  Then one day I received an email from Williams Sonoma about the Bamix immersion blender!  There was a video to go along with it, and it was love at first soup.  I showed PTB, and since he knows how much I love soup, he offered to get it for me.  That day.  Like 2 hours later actually.  He is the best.

I had wanted an immersion blender for a while, and after reading so many reviews on different models, I am so happy I went with a hard wired one with a permanent shaft.  I have been reading about people who have had the same Bamix for 20-30 years.  With the cold weather, I have been a soup nut.  I have struggled with the different options of scooping to the junky blender, Cuisinart, mashing…I have tried to all.  Now I will be able to blend my Carrot Lentil soup with little effort!

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In the past few weeks, I have taken every opportunity possible to use this immersion blender.  I have beat eggs for french toast, made our hot chocolate frothier, blended soups, etc.  I can’t wait to make some whipped cream with it, and potato soup, and carrot lentil Soup….I can’t wait!  Overall, it has been incredibly easy to use.  There are two speeds, but for blending it is meant to be used on the 2nd speed.  The Bamix Mono came with three attachments; a whisk, beater, and multipurpose blade.  I have used all three.  They are easy to change and easy to clean.  Make sure you clean it off right after use though to avoid anything caking on.  The blender also came with a wall-mountable bracket and a 600mL beaker (super handy for blending amounts made for two).  I wish I had a place in my kitchen the wall mount will fit.  But in the meantime, the Bamix found a cozy spot in a drawer, ready to grab at a moments notice.  And the best part, it fits perfectly in my hand, but it isn’t uncomfortably small for PTB’s hand.