Jessica is a *Southern Belle* alumna of Texas Christian University (2005) and is such of fan of their football team that she not only named her Twitter handle after them but she also dedicates a section of her three year old blog to treats specifically for the Horned Frogs games. When not attending games, she enjoys cooking, baking, shopping and is a lover of photography and antiques. Jessica also likes to join in with many communities in the blogosphere and is a featured author for Cook Eat Share, a featured publisher on Foodbuzz and an official recipe taster for Leite’s Culinaria. She also takes part in Tuesday’s and French Friday’s with Dorie, has entered the Iron Cupcake challenge and partakes in Daring Kitchen challenges in addition to having entered in Project Food Blog, just to name a few. A love of baking and cooking are not all that fill the heart of this blogger. There is lots of room for animals and Jessica has had at one point, two rescue dogs in her home. Literally, from soup to nuts, readers will find something to enjoy on Jessica’s My Baking Heart. I’m very happy that she is here today with her story and recipe for us. You can find Jessica on Twitter @hornedfroggy
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Cancer. It’s an ugly word with even uglier repercussions. It affects millions of individuals and families, both physically and mentally, and the number of new cases continues to rise. Right after I began working with Jessica on a new blog design, I happened to come across Frosting for the Cause… another of the blogs that she was designing at the time. I immediately became intrigued and when I read what it was about, I just knew that I needed to become a part of it.
My post is dedicated to four special people in my life: my aunt, cousin and paternal grandparents. All four have had a form of cancer in the past… my aunt with uterine, ovarian & abdominal cancer, which spread to her liver (she’s a 21-year survivor), my cousin with ovarian cancer (a 7-year survivor) and my grandparents, who both had colon cancer. My grandfather has since passed away (from heart-related issues) but my grandmother has been in remission for over four years. Thankfully, all three women are staying healthy with each passing day.
These cookies made their way to our local cancer outreach center where I hope they were enjoyed. And my monetary donation? It goes to Susan G. Komen For the Cure… an organization that I began supporting in college and will continue to support as long as I live. Thank you again, Paula, for putting this project together – I’m incredibly honored to be a part of it.
Ma’s Sugar Cookies
Source: My paternal great-grandmother, Adah Belle
Yields: 50 cookies
1-1/2 c butter
2 c sugar
4-1/2 c flour
1-1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
Cream the fat and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla to creamed mixture. Stir to mix. Using a No. 40 (1-3/5 tablespoons)* scoop, place cookies on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes.
*After mixing, I divided the dough in half and chilled each disc for about an hour, then rolled and cut out shapes. Rolled or dropped, either way works! This dough tends to be sticky, though, so I suggest rolling between two pieces of plastic wrap.
Adapted from: Bridget of Bake at 350
4 tbsp meringue powder
Scant 1/2 c water
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp light corn syrup
2-3 drops clear extract (optional)
Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine (do NOT skip the sifting!). Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form (you should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling). Do not over beat. Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings. This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup.