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13 Feb '22

Bri Heiligenthal's Toadstool Sugar Cookies

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes

Back in September, I wrote about how toadstools have become a beloved design trend in fashion, clothing, and children’s lifestyle products. As you can see, Brimful is fully on board with this trend with no signs of stopping! In fact, if you follow the shop over on Instagram, you will want to tune in tomorrow for a toadstool themed giveaway!

My friend Bri is graciously hosting the giveaway and along with Brimful shop credit, one lucky winner will also win cookie decorating essentials to make her gorgeous toadstool sugar cookies. So if you’re toad-ally gah gah for toadstools like we are, please join in the giveaway fun on Monday, Feb 14th at 9AM PST.

Bri uses this trusty sugar cookie recipe year round - the only thing she omits is the lemon juice.

For the icing, Bri has come up with an easy-to-follow method that gives her great results, batch after batch. Here is one of the toadstool cookie cutters that Bri likes using.

Icing Recipe and Tips:

Start with one cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of water-mix together until the consistency is smooth and not too thick/not too runny. You want it not so thin that it will drip right off the side of the cookie, but not so thick that it won’t easily squeeze from the bottles. Continue adding water in very small amounts (you can always add more powdered sugar if you find it’s too runny). Once you’ve got the right consistency, add food coloring. A few drops is all it takes for a nice bright red color. Bri recommends this one for the most true red.

Once it’s all mixed well, pour it into different squeeze bottles and essentially “color” it onto the cookies. Start with the red and let it harden completely before switching to white icing for the toadstool's white dots and stem.

I hope you've enjoyed this cookie decorating tutorial and be sure to tag Bri at @burtsbrisplease on social to show off your cute cookies!


02 Jun '16

My Mother's Smoked Salmon Potato Salad

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes

When I think of my mother - her cooking is one of the first things that comes to mind. It's safe to say that my mother's Chinese dishes - the dumplings, stir fries, and soups are the backbone of my childhood! But then there a few rogue American recipes that made an appearance too (wink). Like the salmon potato salad she made one summer, which I loved it so much I kept asking for more!

Now when each summer hits, this salmon potato salad is a mainstay with my own family. It's super simple to make - we like eating it with corn tortilla chips or wrapped in warm spelt tortillas.


Smoked Salmon Potato Salad

8-12oz. Smoked Salmon

4-5 Yellow Potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 Apples, peeled and cubed, sprinkled with a little lemon juice

3-4 Celery stalks, chopped

1 cup Vegenaise

Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dill

1) Cover potatoes with cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about 10-12 minutes (just until tender). Drain and set aside until completely cooled. 

2) Mix the potatoes, apples, and celery with Vegenaise. Carefully crumble in the smoked salmon. For a stronger salmon flavor, add in the full amount.

3) If the salad doesn't seem creamy enough, add in a bit more Vegenaise. My measurements are always very approximate - so please do tweak to suit your own tastes! Once the salad is completely mixed, add in the spices. I've found that the salad's flavor will get stronger after a few hours of chilling, so I recommend going light on the spices, then adding a little more before serving.

Bon Appetit!


14 Oct '15

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Orange Cookies

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes


Chocolate and Wheat - two of the most wonderfully intertwined ingredients in baking, are not my friends. One gives me headaches and the other makes my stomach hurt. Boo!

It's been this way for many years now though, and what I've learned is it's really not that big of a deal. A good gluten-free flour and white chocolate make very worthy substitutes for regular wheat and chocolate!

One Sunday earlier this fall, I gave my husband the task of baking a batch of cookies with the children while I was away. Upon my return, he handed me one of the gluten-free white chocolate cookies he had made - and golly - IT WAS SO GOOD. With the added punch of orange peel in them, your mouth kinda does a little happy dance with each bite!

We've been making them almost every week since that first batch - and haven't tired of them yet. If you are looking for an easy cookie to take to a school function, a fall playdate, or just to snack on - try these. You can thank me later (wink). Recipe adapted from Guittard.



Gluten-Free White Chocolate Orange Cookies

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (softened)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light. Then beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.

Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir in orange zest and chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown around edges.

Cool completely on wire rack. Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies and they'll be gone before you know it. Enjoy!


24 Feb '15

Fresh Molasses Bread

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Recipes

This Molasses Bread recipe from Kristen Rickert (@kristenrickert on Instagram) is simply delicious. The children and I baked and devoured this bread three times this week! And I don't think these fresh buns lasted for more than an hour each time, and poor Papa only got one. Greedy fingers, mine included.

I don't use dairy so I substituted coconut oil for the butter. And while I only used whole wheat flour, I don't think the resulting texture was too heavy. Annie is going to try the recipe with spelt flour in place of the wheat, which I'm sure will turn out perfect for her.  

Thank you Kristen for sharing this simple, delicious bread on your blog!




Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

1 packet of dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup molasses (or honey)
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour


Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl, stir until dissolved. Stir in molasses, butter and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of the all-purpose flour to make a smooth, soft dough.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding enough of remaining flour to keep it from being sticky, a tablespoon at a time.

Shape dough into a ball. Place in an oiled  bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover. Place in a warm place to rise, or if you do not have a warm place, put on top rack of oven. Turn on low for 5 minutes, then turn off (to create a barely warm oven). Place pan of steaming water on bottom rack. Let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours. Punch down and shape into loaf or rolls. Brush with oil and let rise again, although sometimes I skip the second rise and bake it right away. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.


22 Dec '14

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes
While I have been eating gluten-free for almost five years, I have not tried my hand at baking gluten-free gingerbread cookies until now. Somehow the task seemed daunting to me, but I'm not really sure why!

As this is our family's first Christmas in a new city and home, I've been trying to make it a little more special. I don't bake very often, so when I told the children we were going to make gingerbread cookies - and invite friends over to have a frosting party - they just about fell over with delight. Yea -  I should probably bake with them more often!

For most gluten-free baking projects, I use this flour. But for special treats, this gluten-free flour is just the best of the best. My older three children and I had a great time mixing up the cookie dough and discussing the various spices that we added. Smelling each ingredient before adding it is always such fun with kids.

After chilling the dough overnight, we rolled it out, albeit perhaps over-flouring it at times! I was nervous that once being cut by the cookie cutters, the dough would be difficult to transfer to the cookie sheet. Gluten-free dough isn't always as pliable/sticky as regular wheat dough. But this dough stayed together very well...and if it got a little too soft, we just popped it in the freezer for a few moments to firm up.

The cookies came out just right...and our party guests didn't even know they were gluten-free! I foresee more gingerbread baking later this week...and maybe next year I'll even be brave enough to try baking a gingerbread house from scratch! Maybe.

Here is the gluten-free gingerbread recipe for those of you wanting to try it. Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas week!



P.S. We also did a small batch of gluten-free sugar cookies which came out great. I think these cookies would be great for tea parties.



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