Decorating Valentine Cookies

Sugar Coookie DecoratingWhat a delightful Valentine weekend.  I rode along with my sweet hubs to Ft. Wayne to pick up Valentine sugar cookie decorations on Friday (more on that in a minute).  We also did a little shopping in the evening then attempted to have a romantic dinner, only to give up and go to Chick-Fil-A.  Yep.  We’ve been married for 2 years now and were perfectly content with Chick-Fil-A.

All weekend there were sweet treats and tokens of love.  It was so fun!  Pretty cards.  A package in the mail.  A package left on the doorstep.  Cookie baking.  Heart sprinkles.  A big gift.  A little trinket.  Helium balloons bobbing around.  Fondue.

I loved it all.  Thank you, sweet weekend and everyone who decorated it with thoughtfulness.  Especially to my hubs.  I <3 you.Cookie Decorating

These are the cookies I made Valentine’s morning.  My gram and grandpa came over and watched me decorate them.  It was funny because usually I go to grams for seasonal baking (here’s the recipe we use), but this year with Tucson it didn’t line up.  Yet it did.  I’m thankful the Universe takes care of traditions in it’s own special way.

Are you loving these Russian doll sugar lay-ons?  Do you need some of your own?  Here’s a link to the shop I went to so you can get your own!  Here’s a link to the wafer leaves too.  Make sure you check out all the sugar lay-ons.  There are some super cute ones!  Confession:  I didn’t know there was a technical name for lay-ons until about 2 minutes ago when I looked up the link.  To me, they were sugar crispy things that you put on cupcakes.  I also didn’t know that sugar sprinkles come in multiple sizes.  Turns out, I’m a big fan of sugar crystals–especially metallic gold ones.  I walked around the store with my mouth gaping, like what is this strange and mystical place (special thanks to the man chair they had for my husband).  A whole new world!  I’m excited.

To be continued…

For sure.

Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Old fashioned Blueberry Muffin RecipeThis is a summertime favorite around our house.  It’s my grandma’s blueberry muffin recipe.  I call it old fashion because it’s made from scratch and uses shortening.  Does that qualify it as old fashion?  I don’t know, but I love the ring of it.  The fresh veggies and fruits are flowing here in Indiana.  A dinner of corn on the cob and these muffins is a perfectly acceptable dinner in the summer.

I’ll post a few pictures and the full recipe at the end if you want to try it.  A fair warning though–these muffins are not super sweet.  If you love super sweet, turn and go the other way.  These remind me of more of a muffin scone hybrid if that makes sense.Blueberry Muffin RecipeThis is the recipe that I copied on gram’s note paper that I can’t get rid of.  I break it out every summer.  Just love it.Blueberry Muffin Recipe Mixing up the Flour SugarYes, I measured all the flour out with 1/3 measuring cup because I was too lazy to wash my 1 cup.Blueberry Muffin Recipe adding the liquidsAfter making many box muffin mixes, it’s strange to use Crisco in as-is form.  I always think, shouldn’t I melt it?  This is the only recipe I have that uses shortening.  Oh wait.  Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe uses it too.  Now’s about the time to find some muscle to stir up the batter.Mixing Up Blueberry Muffin recipeLike this.Mixing up blueberry muffins recipeAnd this.Mixing up blueberry muffins recipe with hubsHe did ask a couple times why we weren’t using the Kitchenaid mixer and to tell you the truth, I don’t know either.  I didn’t tell him that though.  I simply replied, “because it’s more fun to watch you stir.”Adding blueberries to mixMy hubs is a bowl in a china shop so I sent him on his way, thanking him over and over and proceeded with gently folding in the berries.Filling blueberry muffin cupsUse an ice cream scoop to drop the dough in the cups.  I fill my 3/4 full except I missed one at the top.  Also, sprinkle the tops with sugar if you like.Muffin cup fillingNough’ said.  Lesson learned (again).  The bonus here is that if you’re making these for a party, you have to eat this one.  Right now.  It’s simply not fit to be out on the table. (wink)Blueberry Muffins RecipeThat’s all there is too it.Land o lakes butter on blueberry muffinWhile they are still piping hot, drop a pat of Land O’ Lakes butter on top.  Oh. Heaven.  Now stand around the counter with your hubs and eat three each.  Ok, it might’ve been four.

Here’s that recipe!

Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffin Recipe:

Makes 24

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Sift together:

3 C. flour

1 C. sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt


1/2 C. shortening

2 eggs

1 C. milk

Note: this batter is thick!  I sometimes add a splash of milk to it to thin it out just a tiny bit.

Blend in:

2 C. blueberries

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle the tops with sugar.

BAKE: 20 to 25 minutes

Strawberry Bars Recipe

Candie Cooper Strawberry BarsSewing up some loose ends this morning before I head out for Cali, including making some treats for hubs.  I thought you might like the recipe too!  Strawberry Bars (awesome with freezer jam!)

Happy happy day!!


Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe

Sour Cream Apple Pie from @CandieCooper  = www.CandieCooper.comMy husband officially has a plague of sorts.  We call it “Buck Fever” around here.  Buck Fever means every waking second revolves around hunting.  We are in the second weekend of it.  My family doesn’t hunt so this is something I’m adapting to.  Slowly.  Free nights and mornings?  What’s a lonely housewife to do on a Saturday night except to start slicing apples for Sour Cream Apple pie.  Sigh.  While watching storm chasers.  Double sigh.

Candie Cooper Sour Cream Apple PieI will admit that Sour Cream Apple Pie is one of my favorite fall baking traditions.  I’ve made one every year for the past 5 years.  It’s creamy, it’s tart, it has cinnamon, it’s pretty much awesome top to bottom.  I’d like to buy the world a slice of this stuff it’s so good.  Try it.  I know you’ll love it.

Sour Cream Apple Pie from @CandieCooper = www.candiecooper.comSour Cream Apple Pie 

You can make your own crust (which is always my plan) or buy a pre-made pie crust (which is always what I end up doing).


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 large Granny Smith apples

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix up the topping ingredients with a fork or you can use the paddle on your KitchenAid mixer to do the work.  Refrigerate while working up the filling.

Slice the apples thin and put into a bowl.  Mix up the other ingredients and then combine with the apples.  Toss it all together.

Lay the pie crust in the pie dish and pinch the edge. Pour in the apple mixture.

Bake for 1 hr. 15 minutes (longest. wait. ever.).

In theory you are supposed to have enough self control to let it cool completely before serving, but we don’t know how to do that.  Our philosophy is more like this:  Seize the day.  Dig in!

Candie Cooper Sour Cream Apple PieWhat can we say?  He’s the hunter.  I’m the gatherer.

Easter Brunch

I made two things for Easter Brunch.

French toast
Blueberry baked french toast that tasted wonderful thanks to the recipe from!  This is the back-up batch–the first one had wayyyy more blueberries.

Pnut butter eggs
Second, your fav and mine, peanut butter eggs!  This recipe yeilds 66 (and I didn't catch that when I started making them).  Aaron and I rolled and patted out at least 50 and then I started dipping them in chocolate.  By egg number 14, I was…….  Let's just say I can cross chocolate dipper off my list of possible careers.  Betty Crocker made the little chicks for the top. My Aunt Jane piped icing ring nests (and dipped some extra eggs–lifesaver) while I plopped the birds in.  Aunt Jane also says I should've borrowed her special dipping tools.  Noted.

It was a happy day filled with church and family time.  I'm thankful for the beautiful day.

See the rest of the Easter photos here.

Easter Eggs and Chocolate Chip Cookies

BunnyEaster is in full bloom here at the cabin.  I wanted to show you a few egg ideas and share an awesome cookie recipe.  First up on the left are some little bird eggs my mom made with her library club at school a few years ago.  The pattern can be found on Martha's website.

Painted eggsNext we have some painted eggs with Folk Art paints and scrapbook embellishments that are super easy and fast to whip up for a last minute Easter craft get-together or gifties.  I've got a guest blog post on them over at the Paint Me Plaid blog.

Peanut butter choc chip oatmealThird, is a link to the best chocolate chip cookie I've had in a long time.  We had dinner with friends last week and I was in charge of a veg and dessert.  It was one of those days where the idea of going to the grocery store after work sounded about as fun as clipping Rocker's toe nails.  Ok, sorry.  That wasn't nice to bring up in the company of food, but….you get my point.  I mentally scavenged through the cabinets. I was so happy when I realized there were sweet potatoes waiting to be french fries and a bag of chocolate chips.  I was determined (and que Eye of the Tiger).  She shoots…….and scores!   Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies, everbody!  Woot woot!  Share the love.

Eggs by jeanLastly, are some more eggs my momma, Jean, made back in the day.  I love the simplicity of them.  Color the eggs, Mod Podge a pretty image (check out Dover clip art books for images) and then glue a piece of velvet ribbon around the edge.  These were ornaments once upon a time, but I like them nestled in a basket on the dresser.  Sweet.  Just like Jean.

Clover Cookies

 Shamrock cookies

 Happy St. Patty's weekend!  I stumbled across this picture from a couple years ago.  My gram left a bag full of sugar cookies on my stairs.  What a great surprise.  At the time, I was cutting books apart for a journal/recipe book class I was teaching.  I just wanted to savor the moment with a picture.  I'm glad I did.  Cut out cookies are always a good idea!


P.S.  My blog's look is still in makeover stage.  It's gonna take some time, but I'm learning a lot along the way.