I have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to make sugar cookies decorated with royal frosting. I’ve had dreams of how they would turn out! Please tell me that I’m not alone.

After a trip to Syracuse to visit family I bought a few New York City themed cookies at JFK while waiting for my connecting flight. One was a taxi cab, another the Statue of Liberty and the last a blue airplane for my son Leif.

I can definitely tell you that these cookies looked so much better than they tasted. Not to mention they were hard as a rock. So in my wave of disappointment I decided that although my first attempt of decorated sugar cookies wouldn’t look the best; I was determined to make them at least edible. When I arrived home I searched many recipes and finally decided that I liked Glorious Eats recipe the best but made a few slight modifications.

The story of the royal frosting was a little more complicated, making it was the easy part. However, learning how to properly decorate cookies using the royal frosting took reading an entire tutorial written by Sweetopia to have a standing chance of succeeding. Then I worked with pencil and paper to decide how I was going to decorate the cookies.

I traced my heart shaped cookie cutter then drew what I thought would be fairly easy design to accomplish. I was very wrong about the easy part but at least I thought a head. Before tackling the decoration process I took pictures of the iced cookies so in the event of decorating failure I would still have a product that I was confident enough to share with you. As you can see there are only plain red and pink iced cookies.

That’s because I failed at the decorating part. Actually, the 5th cookie wasn’t so bad but I used my best judgment and didn’t bother taking pictures. So although I was partly defeated I wouldn’t say I completely lost the battle. There will definitely be more attempts in the future.

Sugar Cookie Recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

plastic wrap form in a disc shape, wrap dough and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

When the dough has chilled and is firm preheat oven to 350°F. Because I didn’t want to add excess flour to dough I rolled dough out while it was sandwiched between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.

Then I transferred dough with plastic wrap still attached to the back side of a cookie sheet and placed it in freezer for a couple minutes. Then I used cookie cutters and transferred chilled shapes to cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.

Royal Frosting Recipe:
3/4 cup of warm water
5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar

*Note: if your meringue powder has no vanilla flavor (vanillin powder) in it, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to this recipe.

Instructions: In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened for about 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. Tint with food coloring or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

Although most pineapple is probably consumed in the summer I still decided to go ahead with the pineapple upside-down cupcakes. I envisioned a cupcake that would be baked just like the cake but instead poured in a cupcake pan.  Then I decided that I really wanted frosting on the Pineapple upside-down cupcakes.

Frosting is the best part of a cupcake and I couldn’t go without.

Then the search began for the perfect Pineapple frosting for my Non-upside-down Pineapple upside-down cupcakes.  I didn’t have to search too hard when I found Annie’s Eats recipe.

I knew her recipe wouldn’t let me down and I was right, it couldn’t have turned out more perfect!  Thank you Annie!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcake:
4 eggs
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Separate the eggs into two bowls. In a large bowl, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form. Add granulated sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.

Beat until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until very thick and yellow. Gently fold egg yolks and flour mixture into egg whites until blended. Fold in 1 tablespoon melted butter and almond extract. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Annie’s Pineapple Frosting Ingredients:

2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions: Puree the pineapple chunks in food processor or blender until smooth.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Mix in powdered sugar until well combined.  Add pineapple puree to achieve desired pineapple flavor (approximately ½ cup).  If frosting is too runny, refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow to set up a bit.

Here is an easy, blueberry buttermilk pancakes recipe you can make from scratch. Enjoy a light, fluffy pancake with delicious, wholesome buttermilk. It makes a wonderfully satisfying treat.

Blueberries. Such a tiny fruit yet packed full of vibrant colour, piquant flavour and natural goodness. Blueberries lend themselves beautifully to light, buttermilk pancakes adding their juicy flavour to every bite.

Get some Fresh Blueberries!

We go and pick blueberries once a year at the beginning of summer and then store them in the freezer using them as we need. They keep very well in their frozen state and don’t need prior cooking.

I’ll often grab a handful from the freezer to put on my breakfast cereal in the morning knowing that I’m giving my body a powerful boost for a busy day. The antioxidants are doing their job trying to keep me looking young, fighting those nasty diseases and promoting great digestive health.

Of course, one of my family’s most favourite ways of eating blueberries is in blueberry buttermilk pancakes. As one of my children describes them, “they’re scrumptilious”.

We’ll often have them for special birthday breakfasts slathered in butter and maple syrup or occasionally serve them for dessert topped with ice cream and drizzled with maple syrup.

This recipe for blueberry buttermilk pancakes makes a lovely light and fluffy pancake. It’s one of our favourites and we hope it will become yours too.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 6

2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
butter or oil for cooking

Instructions

One of my favorite ways to make the quickest pancakes is with a griddle. Personally, I like my electric griddle the most becuease it heats up quickly and it’s easy to clean. If you don’t have an electric griddle it’s not a problem. You can use any griddle or pan to get the job done but I would reccomend using cast iron or ceramic to get the most flavor.

1. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Stir in sugar.

2. In another bowl, beat together the vanilla, buttermilk and egg yolks.

3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until creamy and combined.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form.

5. Fold the egg whites into the pancake batter using a fork.

6. Prepare your electric griddle by smearing a very small amount of butter or oil over the surface. Heat griddle to moderately hot.

7. Pour about 1/4 of a cup of batter per pancake into your electric griddle. Press desired number of blueberries into the top of each pancake at this point. (I like to add the blueberries at this point rather that adding them to the batter. You can spread them more evenly over the pancake this way).

8. Cook gently until bubbles form on the surface and it is lightly browned underneath. Carefully turn pancake over and cook the other side until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining butter.

We hope you enjoy these blueberry buttermilk pancakes. They are absolutely scrumptious served with ice cream and maple syrup or, if you have extra blueberries on hand, why not serve them with blueberry sauce for an extra tangy sweet taste.

Blueberry Syrup Recipe

Every year in early December, the beginning of the hot Australian summer, we enjoy a little family tradition. We pack our swimmers, plenty of drinking water, a picnic lunch and the fridge esky and head to a small blueberry farm about an hour’s drive away up in the mountains.

We’re on our annual trek to pick our yearly supply of blueberries.

With all hands on deck (quite a few in our large family), we spend a couple of hours picking as many blueberries as we can before driving a little further on to a secluded waterfall and swimming hole. In this magical place we enjoy our packed lunch and a brisk swim (for those who can stand the freezing mountain water) before heading home again.

Once home, it’s time to pack the blueberries into little bags and place them in the freezer ready to retrieve when pancakes, muffins and whatever else need their services!

One of the easiest and tastiest things I enjoy making is blueberry syrup.

It is so simple to make yet enhances a simple dessert quite spectacularly. Not only in taste but in eye-catching beauty, the brilliant, deep purple colour of blueberries is an attention-getter all on its own.

Not long ago I served blueberry syrup over fluffy buttermilk pancakes for dessert as a special treat for my two oldest boys who were home on their mid semester break from University. They kept coming back for seconds and then thirds. I think they may have even tried a fourth helping.

Blueberry Syrup Recipe

Serves: 4 – 6

2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Instructions

1. Wash blueberries, drain well and place in a saucepan.

2. Add sugar and lemon juice to saucepan.

3. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool.

It’s a winner! I hope you enjoy it too.

See many more recipes for homemade syrups and sauces at the bottom of the page. We hope you enjoy looking around our website.

Don’t worry, this chili ice cream won’t send you screaming for water to put out the fire in your mouth. It has just enough heat to remind you of the chili, but subtle enough to enjoy a big bowl.

When I received the chili sampler, I had several ideas running through my head. When I saw the habanero chili I knew I had to make a spicy chicken soup for my aunt. Unfortunately, with Thanksgiving and a bad cold I didn’t have the stamina or time to put together the soup, which required making chicken stock from scratch.

So I thought, why not make a chili ice cream. There were a few mild chilies in the sampler and I decided to use the de arbol chilies. Instead of using the ice cream maker I borrowed, I decided to make it the more time consuming way which involved a hand blender.

The ice cream came out very smooth and creamy and well worth the time. The next time you make ice cream, try it with a few chilies.

Step one: Add milk, sugar, chilies, cinnamon and nutmeg to a sauce pan and turn the heat on to medium low. Stir the mixture with a heat proof spatula until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and place the lid on the sauce pan. Allow the milk mixture to sit for 2 hours. Before walking away for 2 hours, place a medium mixing bowl in the refrigerator.

Step two: Remove the chilies from the milk mixture and reheat it on low. Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with a heat proof whisk and once the milk is reheated, grab a ladle and slow pour the milk into the egg yolks and whisk it all together. Keep whisking and ladling until all the milk is combined with the yolks.

Step three: Remove the mixing bowl from the refrigerator and pour in the heavy cream. Grab a spatula and pour the milk and yolk mixture into the heavy cream. Mix everything together until the cream is cool. Use an ice bath to speed up the process.

Step four: Once the cream has cooled, use a hand mixer to beat air into the cream. Set the mixer on high and beat for 3 minutes. Place the cream in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the ice cream and beat with hand mixer for another 3 minutes. Place in the freezer for 30 more minute, remove and beat for another 3 minutes. Then freeze for 2 hours and the ice cream is ready for consumption.