Do you ever watch that TV show on Food Network where they describe 'the best thing I ever ate?' A celebrity chef describes in excruciating detail their favorite item at a particular restaurant. It may be the juiciest burger topped with fresh heirloom tomatoes and havarti from a famous New York City steakhouse. Or a decadent dessert dripping with fudge and caramel from a hip restaurant in Los Angeles, or an exquisite salad with every ingredient under the sun from a downtown Chicago eatery. Their descriptions make our mouths water. The problem is the restaurant with the awesome burger, dessert or salad is hundreds of miles away. Forget all that!

I’ve got 'the best thing I ever ate' right here with ingredients from your own kitchen. This recipe is simply heavenly and only takes ten minutes to put together. This recipe has been on television food shows and various blogs without giving due credit to the original source … The 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, a staple for post-World War II brides in the 1950s. These were a favorite of my mother and aunts under the ‘Quick Breads’ tab.

Unlike usual muffins which tend to be dry, the consistency is of a delicate cake with flecks of nutmeg. After baking, the muffins are rolled in melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture, which is what makes these muffins delicioso! The recipe calls to roll the muffins in butter and cinnamon while still warm but I find can crumble the muffins, so I let them completely cool before that step.

They are not just for breakfast and can be served as an after-dinner dessert like a beignet. They are a great tidbit to bring to your hostess. When visiting my cousin in the Outer Banks these are a must-bring item. It brings me joy to see her delight in the sweetness which evokes memories her mother making these when she was a little girl.

French Breakfast Puffs
1/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1½ cups Flour
1½ tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 cup Milk

6 tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Grease muffin tin.
In a separate bowl mix Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Nutmeg. Set aside.
Cream Shortening and Sugar. Add Egg. Gradually add flour mixture alternating with Milk.
Pour into muffins cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. 
Muffins are very pale when fully baked. Let sit 5 minutes then gently remove muffins. Let cool.
Mix Sugar and Cinnamon. Dip muffins in melted Butter. Roll in Cinnamon mixture. Makes 12-14 Muffins
[This recipe is from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]





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Time flies in the cookie world. By April the blogosphere is filled with summer cookies of beach scenes, popsicles and surfboards. In late July ‘back to school’ cookies appear as blackboards, lined notebooks and ABCs. Before Labor Day, spiders and haunted houses hit the scene nearly two months before Halloween. Need I mention, every other recipe contains pumpkin? I’m usually a little bit behind the fast-paced calendar and prefer to be in season. The popsicle cookies were posted one week before the kiddies went back to school. Phew!

Cooler temps are still in the distant future in Northern Virginia with temps in the 90s last week. Still trying to squeeze in several more weeks of morning coffee and grilling on the deck, there is no way Halloween comes to mind. Some may consider these sailboat cookies as months late. Although sailing is associated with spring and summer, during the hot months of June and July sailors chase any puff of a breeze barely skimming through the water. While the winds hold out until September, the best month for sailing when the autumn breeze arrives on the bay.

Watch out ... Christmas cookie are waiting in the wings to make their grand entrance!

Sailboat Cookies
Sailboat Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Light Yellow with a smidge of AmeriColor Lemon Yellow
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Bright Yellow with AmeriColor Lemon Yellow
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Turquoise with AmeriColor Teal
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating Tip #1.5

Outline two sails with #2 tip in light yellow icing.
(light yellow looks cream in these photos)

Flood sails with light yellow icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Outline sails with #1.5 tip in bright yellow icing.

Outline and flood water with #2 tip in turquoise icing.

Pipe cream with #2 tip on the water.

Pull with a toothpick to create white caps.
Pipe two yellow lines on sail. Let dry overnight.



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We knew it was just a matter of time … for three generations we have been waiting … for twins! In early spring fraternal male twins arrived. Not sure if the theory still exists that twins are born in every other generation. No matter what, my nephew and his lovely wife are surrounded by twins in their ancestry and current generation. She has a maternal aunt and uncle who are twins. His maternal grandmother is a twin and maternal male first cousins. Also, two of his paternal great-great grandmothers had twins; one even had two sets. In the end, it is double the joy and diapers and onesies and bottles, going from two children to four. The twin boys were born healthy and in perfect harmony, one resembles Mom and the other, Dad. No sharing was necessary as siblings each had their own new baby brother to hold when meeting them for the first time. Oh, and lest I forget, the tie score only held up for three months. Current score: Boys-4, Girls-2.

Teddy Bear Cookies
Teddy Bear Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Blue with AmeriColor Teal
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Meringue Powder
CK White Sanding Sugar

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood cookie with white icing.

Pipe dots with blue icing. Let dry overnight.

Mix 1 tsp meringue powder and   tsp water. Stir until smooth.

 Using a paintbrush apply to cookie.
Sprinkle with white sanding sugar. Gently shake off excess. 

Let dry 30 minutes.





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