Winter Cookies, What a Treat!

I am SURE all of you think January/Febuary cookies are a bit of a no no. But truth is…..a bit of sweet makes the chilly winter months seem more enjoyable.
One of my wintertime favorite cookies is a Snowball Cookie. Yes, it is the old fashioned mexican tea cake or pecan ball or sandies (as my mother called them). These buttery, nut ball are formed and baked just a few minutes then rolled while still warm in fluffy powdered sugar! Perfect with a cup of tea or hot cocoa!
Here’s the recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teasp. pure vanilla
2 teasp. water
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (or hazelnuts or almonds)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Beat butter for 30 seconds; add granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and water; beat well. Stir in flour and pecans. Don’t over work the dough. Roll into 1 inch balls, place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 min. in a 325 degree oven. Or until very lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes then roll in the powdered sugar. Makes approx. 37 cookies.
Happy Baking!
Cathy

January Cookie reflection!

January is a great time to start to slow-down and just breathe.
I took a week off and spent time in Colorado. Something about the mountians, LOTS of snow, and being outdoors just calms me down.
It seems like everyone else, I get caught-up in all of the “Holiday Spirit” that I sometimes miss the meaning of Christmas.
Time spent with family and friends is what I really LOVE about the holidays. Re-connecting and making new memories with love ones still with us.
I got to see my sweet nieces and nephew from Orlando, and their folks, We ate cookies, of course! Then, went to parties, carved out time with my family, shopped and shopped and made thousands of cookies for customers across the country. Also taught lots of new cookie classes throughout the Midwest and (starting last spring) began teaching new Skype online cookie decorating classes.
Oh, my…….this is a lot for this little Midwestern gal!

I would encourage each of you to take just a moment to refelct on Holiday, 2010. Would you do anything differently? Yes, we are all scattered and crazy in December, but we must love it!? We do Christmas every year!

Happy New Year!
Cathy

Cookies for Sweethearts!

Can you believe it??!!  We just took down the Christmas decorations and it’s nearly time for Valentine cookie baking!

Be sure and check out my cookie tutorial “Flying Hearts!”  You’ll find a step by step lesson on how to create beautiful cookies for Valentines Day.

With just over 3 weeks to Valentines Day, now is the time to make and freeze your cookie dough.  You can even bake and freeze un-iced cookies.  This do-a-head will make cookie decorating day go so much faster.

Happy Baking!

Cathy

European Cookie Class 101

Yummy! Is all I can say after last night’s fabulous cookie feast!  The setting was Campbell’s Gourmet Cottage in Louisville, KY.  I have been baking all week, preparing for The “Sublime European Cookie Class”.  I used 14 pounds of unsalted butter!

Needles to say….we all tasted great cookies!

Susan, my super-dupper help (and the owner of Campbells) was so much help!  Serving tall classes of ice cold milk, and passing tray after tray of butter-y brown-sugar shortbread cookies and  chocolate laced biscotti sweet treats. We tasted 11 different cookie recipes.

All of the student were sent home with a fun parting gift;  a bakery box full of assorted cookies.

If you missed this class, don’t worry there are several other cookie classes coming in the next 3 months. Cookie Decorating classes,  Gifts from the Kitchen and a special Girls Night Out Cookie Swap.  Can’t wait !

Thanks to all of the students who came to class!  Enjoy the treats!

Happy Baking!

Cathy

Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!

  I love the 4th of July!  Fireworks and picnics, get out the lawn chairs and wait ….(what seems like forever) for the fireworks to begin. 

This year I am going  to fireworks celebrations Fri. and Sat. (maybe even Sun. somewhere?)  Can’t wait for that first ear-shattering……BOOM!  Then it begins!  Sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes 1 hour of “open your eyes and turn on the party lights in the sky“.

One of my very favorite July 4th  memories is a yearly party with the Swemm family.  Kerrie Swemm was my very dear childhood friend and our families would meet near the American Legion Post in my hometown of Danville.  There was always wonderful picnic food; grilled hotdogs, red potato salad and  garden fresh tomatoes from my dads garden.  Then there were the desserts!   On one end of the food table lay a massive amount of all things sweet and tasty.  I remember the pies; berry, apple and lemon.  Also, my moms famous blond brownies and a sheet cake iced with homemade buttercream iced to look like the flag; red, white and blue.   Then there were the cookies!  Chocolate chip, molasses and ginger, peanut butter, and of course sugar cookies.  I helped make the sugar cookies. (go figure?)  My job was to sprinkle red or blue sparkling sugar onto the cut out cookies.  Then my mom would pop them into the oven and we would wait.  12 minute later………joy and happiness!  Cookies!  We could each have just one cookie before the picnic. Guess which one I wanted?

I remember all of this like it was last week……….can it really be over 30 years ago?  My mom no longer bakes so I carry on the cookie tradition for her.  So here’s to you mom (and dad).  Happy 4thof July!  Enjoy the fireworks tomorrow! I love you both!

Happy Baking!

Whooo Hoooo! What a holiday season!

Thank you to all of the wonderful students at Viking Cooking Schools! I may have had more fun and learned more than any of you! What a tremendous response to my classes!

God Bless each one of you!

If you were unable to attend one of the “Holiday Cookie Decorating Classes with Cathy Webb”…… maybe you will think about it next year? I hope so! We had so much fun!

(FIY: I’ll be back in Memphis, April 3rd and 4. Teaching “Easter Cookie Decorating”.

Also, May 8 and 9 for a “Gals Night Out Class” Wait until you see the cookies we will be making! So fun!)

I spent the whole month of Dec. 08 traveling around the Mid West (Memphis, Nashville (Franklin), Chicago and St. Louis, teaching cookie decorating classes for Viking.

A huge tip-o’-the hat to Viking Cooking Schools! They are without a doubt the most professional and nicest chefs and staff in the whole culinary world! Each manager and all the chefs and staff made me feel so special! Thank you, thank you!

I encourage everyone within 200 miles of a Viking Cooking School to take a class (or two). Make 2009 your year to learn a new skill. (Cooking or other).

In addition to my teaching classes, I would, (as all of you) make cookies.

This year, I added a couple of new, really cute Holiday cookies. I have a Polar Bear and a skate I really like. I will post these on my website as soon as I have photographs completed.

I am starting to collect photos of classes and photos of cookies you have sent me.

I will be creating a space to post them on my website this year.

My niece, Alyssa who lives in Rome, sent the cutest photo of her girlfriends decorating Christmas cookies at her kitchen table.

Many blessing for a wonderful 2009.

Happy Baking!

Cathy

Introducing the Blog

Welcome to the official Cathy’s Designer Cookies Blog! 

This is a monthly story page. I’ll be giving you tips and info I’ve found helpful throughout my cookie making career. You may hear fun stories about my little dog, Molly. She LOVES my cookies, and will steal them anytime she gets a chance. (Maybe a “Molly-Cam” video?) There will also be tips from my clients and students. I often get the best tips from students in my classes. 

I’ll also be passing on fun stories and maybe a photo or two from you. So, send me your cookie stories. I can’t include all of them, but I will read each one. Be sure and check out my links on “Cathy’s Favorites“. It’s an easy way to find the items I love and use everyday to make cookie baking easier! Also, my calendar is full of lots of up coming events and classes you will want to know about! 

Happy Cookies!

Cathy