Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brown Sugar Cookies and a Sweet Maize and Blue Season Round Up!

In preparation for the Michigan vs. Virginia Tech Sugar Bowl, I baked up a simple sweet treat: Brown Sugar Cookies!

Flavorful and golden brown in color thanks to the molasses-packed dark brown sugar, and spiced with cinnamon and ginger for an extra punch, these chewy cookies were a great way to celebrate Michigan's Sugar Bowl win!

This football season was filled with dramatic, exciting wins and delicious Michigan-themed desserts. With the season's round-up, I thought it fitting to round up my favorite moments in both the games and my Michigan-themed blog posts.

In case you've forgotten, here is this past season's schedule, scoreboard, and my accompanying blog post and recipe (if applicable):

Of all of the games, I think Notre Dame contained the most intense final moments, but the Ohio State game provided my favorite Michigan moment. FINALLY we beat the Buckeyes and I was so proud! 

My favorite blog posts included the Ohio State Gingerbread Cookie post: Not Your Typical College Football Party... and BLUE Velvet Cake Swirled with Colored White Cake because the desserts were so fun to make and write about. I know I didn't share the actual cake recipes because I wasn't sure I loved either one, but I was so happy with the concept and appearance of the cupcakes. And, after decorating the gingerbread cookies with helmets and jerseys, I had almost as much pride in myself for those cookies as I later did in the Wolverines for their win.

My favorite and most delicious recipes included the Banana Rum Cupcakes (and you wonder why the rum is always gone?), Candy-filled Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Frosting (how can a recipe with all those great thing be bad?), and the Gingerbread Cookies decorated with Royal Icing (I surprised myself by really enjoying these because I usually don't like Royal Icing — it complemented the cookies well, though).

YOUR favorite blog posts (as in the most viewed posts of this Maize and Blue round-up) included Maize and Blue Shapeable Butter CookiesBLUE Velvet Cake Swirled with Colored White Cake, and Friendsgiving Giant Maize and Blue Cookie (name changed from the anti-Thanksgiving Cookie when a friend suggested "Friendsgiving") in that order.

In fact, Maize and Blue Shapeable Butter Cookies is the third most popular post to date out of ALL of my blog posts. The top two posts are for my Manly Movember Squash Cupcakes (leading by hundreds of views thanks to Foodgawker) and then Chocolate Molten Lava Cake for Two

My own personal honorable mention (can I do this on my own blog?) goes to the Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes because the cupcakes were an original recipe (for which I'm very proud) and because the post and recipe were designed to help a cause very important to me. I shared both with the Pixel Project's Paint it Purple Campaign as a small step toward ending violence against women.

What were your favorite blog posts/recipes/Michigan football moments this past season? Please leave a comment, letting me know!

And without further ado, pour some sugar on me, babe!

Brown Sugar Cookies (Recipe very slightly adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Epicurious)
makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • crystalized sugar or white or brown granulated sugar for rolling
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed for one minute more.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger
  • Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low speed until the dough begins to come together and the flour disappears
  • Once flour disappears, finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, place a rack toward the top of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
  • Use a tablespoon to help you create small balls of dough, and roll the dough through sugar and arrange on baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart
  • Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges
  • Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
NOTE: Supposedly cookies will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days. Mine strangely disappeared in less than 24 hours.

Be sure to share your favorite posts/recipes/Michigan football moments, as well as any suggestions for next season's Maize and Blue baking fest! 

Til then, Happy Baking and GO BLUE!

It's Great... to be.... a Michigan Wolverine!!!

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