Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sweet Tooth Saturday with Gabrielle

My name is Gabrielle, more commonly known as "Gabi", and I am an office manager for a physical therapy office in Arizona.  When I first graduated high school I worked in hair and makeup, and while I really enjoyed the creative freedom I had with that career, I didn't enjoy working with so many competitive women. (Imagine the movie "Mean Girls", except with adults- scary!)  Even though my job is administrative, I still enjoy doing hair and makeup on weekends, and I spend most of my free time researching and trying out all types of beauty products.  I love to know what is current and what is the best.  Tiffany and I met on Facebook through a mutual friend, Hilary Thayer Hamann, and bonded over a book she wrote ("Anthropology of An American Girl"). Though I've never met Tiffany in real life, I always love hearing what she has to say and I always love seeing her face on my Instagram feed.  A couple weeks ago, I posted some photos to my Instagram of some holiday cookies I was making, and Tiffany contacted me and asked if I would be willing to share the recipes with her blog readers.  Though I am a writer, this intimidated me a little bit.  Despite the fact that I know about a lot of things and love talking with people, I have never guest blogged before.  So forgive me if I am a bit shaky... it's only because I am terrified! 

Gabrielle's Sugar Cookies (recipe is my own, have been making these cookies since I was a child)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
Begin by creaming softened butter and sugar in mixing bowl.  Add eggs, mix until smooth, then add vanilla. Add salt and soda and flour, one cup at a time.  I find that sometimes when rolling out dough to make shapes, I need to add more flour to avoid sticking, although it isn't necessary.  The best thing to do is to let the dough chill for roughly two hours to make the rolling out process easier.  I make all my cookies in the shape of a circle for frosting purposes, and then I decorate them with different colored frosting and sprinkles to make them individual. When rolling out the dough, make sure it is even all the way across. If you cut shapes out of the thinner edges of the dough, your cookies will be different sizes which may result in some coming out of the oven "crispy". I personally like to make my cookies a bit on the thicker side, so I roll dough out to be about 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake these in a 370 degree oven, anywhere from 8-12 minutes, depending on thickness.  I usually do roughly 11 minutes, but I always start out setting the timer for 8 just in case, to avoid burning. Ideally we want the edges to be a light golden color.  If we have a bit of a hard edge it makes our frosting process much easier.  If the cookie is too soft all the way around, it will snap in half when we frost :(
 Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe is my own)
  • 1 package of softened cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 of a stick of butter, softened not melted
  • 1 package powdered sugar
  • whipping cream
Start by mixing the cream cheese and butter, then add in vanilla.  Mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time.  I keep the mixer going full speed while mixing. This ensures that we will get a fluffy frosting, which is essential for cookie decoration.  After I have added in about half of the bag of powdered sugar, I pour about 1/4 cup of whipping cream into the mixture.  I then mix that on high until it is well blended.  I add the second half of the powdered sugar a bit at a time, and once that is all added, I put a bit more whipping cream in and mix until smooth.  The frosting is not to be glaze consistency, that makes it too runny and it will slide off the sides of your cookies. 

I let the cookies cool for about 20 minutes before frosting them.  I use a spoon to put a big blob of frosting onto the cookie, and then I manipulate it with a knife. I let the frosting go over the edge of the cookies a bit, and then clean it off with the blade of the knife, so I get a clean, sharp edge for the frosting (this is just me being obsessive compulsive :) ) If you are going to add toppings such as sprinkles, candy corns, or red hots, the time to do it is immediately after you frost the cookie.  The frosting dries relatively quickly and if you try to decorate even ten minutes after you've frosted, the toppings will simply roll off the cookie.

Gabrielle's Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (my Aunt Marilyn's recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (I've only ever used butter)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (12 oz) package of chocolate chips
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Cream pumpkin, butter, egg, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients slowly (I do about 6 spoonfuls at a time), and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon onto cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350.

I find that the size of cookies I do (a hefty spoonful) require more like 12-14 minutes, but again just keep an eye on them and make sure they don't burn.  You want them to be soft in the middle but not "soggy".  Try to make all of your spoonfuls on the cookie sheet equal or else you'll have some come out too soft in the middle, or burned.  I always set my timer for the lowest time and check on them every minute after that so they don't get too crispy (I do the same thing with my sugar cookies).

You can frost these with cream cheese frosting as well, although I don't like to because the cookie is amazing enough as is. I think the cream cheese frosting taste takes away from the pumpkin taste.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies

Gabrielle is a writer and makeup artist who lives in Arizona, though she desperately wishes she lived in Disneyland.  She looks like an adult, but still sleeps with the TV on.  She's known in her social circle for her selfie skills, sugar cookies, and knowledge of beauty products and useless pop culture trivia, like what Pinkberry topping Suri Cruise likes best (Fruity Pebbles, obviously).  She blogs (almost) daily here, tweets too often here, and takes pictures of stuff here.
For those who missed the clicks:
twitter: @whatgabisaid
instagram: @whatgabisees
facebook: gabigivesnames


  1. Gabrielle ~ Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! can't wait to make them and share them...and Thank you Tiffany for finding her & her recipes!!!!

  2. These look great! I have to try them!