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Sugar Cookie Sunday: Citrus

21 Feb

When I gave away my Texas sugar cookies, someone mentioned that they love citrus. So, I made these cookies. Instead of using the almond extract I usually use, I put lemon extract in both the cookie and the icing. Then I attempted to ice it like a lemon wedge. I think I was pretty successful, but it wasn’t exactly what I was envisioning, so that was a little frustrating.

Still, pretty cute I think.

I was especially tickled with this idea. It’s like how people put real lemon slices on the glass of their tea, but in this case, the “slice” is a cookie and the “tea” is milk. My brothers were mystified by this cookie (“Why is it cut like that? Is it a butt cookie?”) until I iced it and put it on the glass. Then all became clear.

And yes, that is a pint glass in the picture. I stock my kitchen with various pint glasses, and then I use them to…drink milk. Watch out world! We’ve got a rebel over here! This particular pint glass is from the Fredericksburg Brewery in Fredericksburg, TX. We went there when I had family down for graduation. While in many places public intoxication in looked down upon, it was positively encouraged in Fredericksburg. They even had a helpful sign on the Brewery reminding you that you could walk around drinking your beer. But I had already finished mine in the restaurant. I had this beautiful reddish ale. And I had recently dyed my hair red again, and the beer matched my hair! I was pretty excited.

Also in Fredericksburg was a huge pig statue. I’m not entirely sure why, but I liked it.

Photo by my friend Hannah

Fredericksburg, TX is a German tourist town, about an hour outside of San Antonio. If you’re ever in the area, you should check it out! They’ve got all sorts of fun stuff, including a bunch of tourist shops (one was devoted entirely to Christmas ornaments), German restaurants, a Pacific War museum, the Brewery, and several wine tours available in the surrounding areas. The drive up there is really pretty, and it’s just a fun day trip to take with your friends.

But enough about Fredericksburg. Back to my sugar cookies. I ran out of yellow icing, so I made white on white cookies.

I was practicing my swirls and curly-q’s. I really liked the white on white, especially since the lemon extract made the cookies kind of shimmery. But this was my favorite:

Well, it was my favorite until I smeared my finger in the still wet icing on the top of the cookie. Oops. But I was pretty happy that I was able to do recognizable lettering. That’s a huge step for me. I can see improvements every time I make sugar cookies. It’s so encouraging and spurs me on do make even more.

But I think I’m going to take a break from baking today, and focus on eating.

I hope you all have a good Sunday!

Come Back to Texas!

3 Feb

“Before you lose your accent
And forget all about the Lone Star State
There’s a seat for you at the rodeo
And I’ve got every slow dance saved
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway.”

Have you heard that song, by Bowling for Soup? It’s called Come Back to Texas (obviously) and I love it a lot. I especially love the line about the Mexican food, because ain’t that the truth!

I went to college in Texas. For three glorious years I lived in San Antonio, visited the Riverwalk, drove to Austin, drove to Dallas, unintentionally avoided Houston, fell in love with Fredericksburg, hiked in the hill country, marveled at the lightning storms and cried a ton when I left. I called up my brother, sobbing my eyes out (when he was hanging out with his girlfriend’s family. Awkward, I’m sure.) when my roommate moved out. He had to convince me that yes, I really did want to graduate, I had a good future in store for me, and besides, it didn’t matter if I changed my mind and wanted to stay in school for another 10 years, I’d completed and passed all the coursework, so I was graduating whether I walked the stage or not. (Woah, long sentence!) Keep in mind that about a year earlier, I had called this same brother and told him I was quitting school and I hated it and there was nothing nobody could do to stop me. Except talk me into not quitting, which is what he did. Kind of a 180 to go from threatening to quit to never wanting to leave. But I never claimed to be a logical, sane person. And I missed my friends something fierce even after only one day without them. I’m tearing up just remembering it.

I love that song, I love my friends, and I especially love Texas. Like madly. I’d say it’s my favorite state but I am strongly loyal to North Carolina and would never betray her for another. But Texas is a close second. So perhaps it’s no surprise that I have a cookie cutter shaped like that great state. And I use it often.

And I grin like a fool the entire time I’m baking and decorating these cookies. Every time. Have I mentioned I love Texas?

You will notice a few things are out of place. First off, there’s a heart. “What gives?” you might ask. Well, in my family, sugar cookies with very little frosting are shunned. It’s a harsh world for a (partially) naked sugar cookie. I can almost guarantee this heart will still be there long after all the other cookies I’ve made are gone. Non-frosted sugar cookies are like the fat kid in gym class, always picked last.

And then there’s this guy:

Where in the world is West Texas?

This one had problems letting go of the cookie sheet. And lost West Texas as a result. I’m not sure that’s too big of a deal though. What is in West Texas? I thought maybe El Paso was on that westernmost tip, but google maps isn’t showing it. Poor El Paso. It always got a bad rap from the Texans I knew and now it’s not even on the map! But I colored this guy red because, well, I wanted to. And also it’s kind of like it was bleeding. And because Texas is a red state (versus a blue state. But you knew that). But mostly because I wanted to.

What a wash-out.

This one I frosted the other day, then decided the colors were too pale and used the icing on the heart cookies instead. And I was right, just look at the difference:

Much better! These are such fun cookies.  Every time I bake them, I take pictures on my phone and send them to my Texas friends. They’re probably tired of getting the same text all the time, but I will never stop. Because it makes me happy. Let’s look at them again, shall we?

Oooh! Ahh!

Texas, I love you.