Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

Kristen Lauterbach, our very own Associate Manager of Business Strategies, just started her very own sweets biz! Get to know the #AerieREAL girl behind Gimme Some Sugar Cookie, then get baking with her U-Day cookie recipe below.

Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

When did you first start baking?

KL: I started baking about 4 years ago for my friends & family only. It was a guarantee that the dessert table for any holiday would have some type of treat made by me.

What inspired you to start Gimme Some Sugar Cookie?

KL: First off, I love finding any and all creative outlets; having the opportunity to make something special for someone that brings them joy is the ultimate gift!! I thrive off those moments when people see their cookies for the first time! I started Gimme Some Sugar Cookie to hopefully give me many more of those moments in the future!

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business?

KL: The #1 thing I would say is make sure you absolutely LOVE whatever your business is. This is a serious undertaking that takes MANYYYY hours out of your day so it should be something you get joy out of doing! If you don’t LOVE it then you haven’t found the right business just yet!

How will you be celebrating U-Day?

KL: I will be celebrating U-Day by continuing to challenge myself to take risks because that is truly when you learn exactly what you’re capable of!

Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract (makes the flavor amazing!)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Royal Icing

  • 3 tbsp. 4oz. meringue powder
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tbsp. spoons warm water

Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter in a large bowl until it is creamy and smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat at a high speed until it’s light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add about half of the flour mixture. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until combined.Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness.
  5. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F . Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies.
  7. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  8. Bake for 8-11 minutes until very lightly colored on top and around the edges, rotating the baking sheet halfway through bake time. My cookies typically take 9 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. I always let mine cool overnight, just to be sure.Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!
  10. Make the icing (I doubled the frosting recipe to frost a majority of my cookies): beat all icing ingredients until icing forms peaks (7 minutes at low speed with heavy-duty mixer). Once it reaches your preferred consistency, separate and color in bowls with food coloring.
  11. Decorate with filled piping bags. 
  12. Once the icing has set, these cookies are great for gifts, sending or munching on right away. I find they stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.
    Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

In NYC this weekend? Meet Kristen and sample Gimme Some Sugar Cookie at our SoHo pop-up on Saturday, 2.11! To see more of her amazing cookie creations and find out how to order your own, follow her on Instagram.

Gimme Some Sugar Cookies For U-Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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Valentine’s Themed Unicorn Hot Chocolate for Two

Found your unicorn?  We’ve got the perfect treat to impress your main squeeze & show them just how special they are. Put a little magic into your Valentine’s Day celebration with Unicorn Hot Chocolate! This dessert is deceptively easy, and most of the work comes from adding the toppings. We found fun, festive candy at a craft store and upped the fantasy factor with bright pink cotton candy. If you’re embracing Valentine’s Day alone this year (#single #notmadaboutit), this recipe can easily be cut in half – and let’s be real, it’ll taste just as sweet.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Unicorn Hot Chocolate tastes as magical as it looks.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

All you need to create this bright drink: milk, white chocolate, food coloring & whipped cream!

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Melt the chocolate into the milk over low heat.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Stir in a few drops of food color & add vanilla extract.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Colorful toppings? Not optional!

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Add a few drops of food color to a bowl of whipped cream & swirl for a marbled look.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Top & serve!

RECIPE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. white chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Toppings of your choice
DIRECTIONS
  1. On low heat, melt the white chocolate in the milk over the stove top until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pot (don’t boil it!), stirring every few minutes so that the chocolate doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  2. While the chocolate melts into the milk, make the rainbow whipped cream in a wide bowl. Drop in two or three food colors in various spots. Using a knife, swirl the color around a few times to create a marbled effect. Set aside.
  3. Stir vanilla extract into hot chocolate.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food color of your choice. Stir.
  5. Pour the hot chocolate evenly into two mugs.
  6. Spoon a few dollops of rainbow whipped cream on top & add other toppings of choice (we found these at a craft store)!
  7. Share 🙂

Share your Unicorn Hot Chocolate pics with us by tagging @americaneagle!

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Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bar Recipe

Be the best you with these healthy cranberry almond granola bars. Packed with protein and vitamins, these energy-boosting snacks will keep you feeling satisfied and full of pep for yoga class, work or whatever comes your way!

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bar Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 cups whole almonds, roasted or raw
  • 2/3 cups dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbs. hemp seeds*
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

*Optional, may substitute chia or flax seeds

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bar Recipe

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Line an 8×8 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine brown rice syrup, honey and vanilla over medium-high heat.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until temperature reaches 260°.
  5. Pour it over dry mixture, stirring quickly to coat all ingredients evenly.
  6. Quickly pour mixture into a lined baking sheet, pressing firmly into an even layer.
  7. Let bars cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), then lift parchment paper from dish.
  8. On a cutting board, cut the form into bars.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
  10. ENJOY!

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bar Recipe

What’s your go-to health snack? Comment below and tell us!

 
 

 
 

 

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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day: No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back again and celebrating National Strawberry Ice Cream Day with us! For more from The Almond Eater, check out her recipes herehere, here and here

Hey, hey, hey–happy National Strawberry Ice Cream Day! I know, ice cream day in January? Who thought that up? To be honest, I’m not mad about it. Though I’m a year-round iced coffee drinker, I tend to gravitate toward warmer foods during the colder months, which leaves me missing some of my favorite cold foods like ice cream! I know a lot of people who drink smoothies in the winter, so why not eat ice cream too? It’s baaaasically the same thing except, well, better.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a fancy shmancy ice cream maker–nope! This no churn strawberry ice cream is just that: no churn. One of these days I’m sure I’ll cave and purchase an ice cream maker, but until then I’m going to keep doing things this way because it works and it’s GOOD. ….and because I feel like the majority of people out there don’t own an ice cream maker, but maybe that’s just me.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

ANYWAY, let’s talk out this ice cream recipe real quick so you can see how easy peasy it is. You’ll heat the strawberries and sugar over the stovetop essentially until the strawberries turn into a sweet strawberry compote. Then you’ll let them cool off while you whip the whipping cream. Whipping the whipping cream (<–hate that I love saying that) requires a liiiiittle bit of patience, but nothing crazy. Five minutes, max. You got this.

So yeah, you’ll whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form and then you’ll add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, fold the strawberries into the whipped cream and BOOM that’s it!! You freeze it to form hard serve ice cream for these ice cream sandwiches, or you just eat it straight up like the ice cream-obsessed person you are.

The trickier part is getting the ice cream sandwiches to actually look presentable. If you make this recipe, PLEASE tag me on Instagram @thealmondeater so I can see your pretty creation and how you one-upped me in that department.

These no churn strawberry ice cream sandwiches are LEGIT and you need them, even if it is the middle of winter.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe

Ingredients

For the ice cream:

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

For the ice cream:

  1. Place the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and use a wooden spoon to break down the strawberries, forming mashed strawberries. Simmer for five minutes or so.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing mixture to cool completely.
  4. While mixture is cooling, make the ice cream.
  5. Place heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, allowing the cream to form stiff peaks. Tip: mix on low for about 2 minutes, and then on high for the final 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once peaks have formed, add the condensed milk and vanilla and mix until everything is combined.
  7. Fold HALF of the strawberries into the whipped cream mixture and transfer to a baking pan.
  8. Pour the rest of the strawberries on top and stir so that there are some swirls and some strawberry chunks.
  9. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl; add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and then, once everything is mixed, stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Scoop dough out a spoonful at a time and transfer to a baking sheet.
  6. Place cookies in the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until cookies are harder around the edges but still soft in the middle.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and cook completely before making the ice cream sandwiches.

For the sandwiches:

  1. Scoop ice cream out onto a cookie and then place a second cookie on top, carefully smashing it down on the ice cream.
  2. Repeat this process until cookies are done. You will have ice cream leftover, but I don’t think that’s a problem!
  3. Place cookies on a plate or baking sheet and back in the freezer for at least an hour, allowing time for everything to harden and solidify.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Share your Strawberry Ice Cream Day pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE and tagging @thealmondeater.

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#RealWishes Recap: How We Gave Back

This December has been all about #RealWishes. We’ve been giving back in our community and encouraging our girls to join in and help make a difference, no matter how big or small.

We kicked off our project by asking our girls to share their #RealWishes with us, and Iskra surprised our winners with a PJ party. Congrats again to the Sigma Kappa Theta Theta chapter at Albright College! These girls give back to their community all year with monthly visits to their local senior living home, and we were so excited to celebrate them.

Check out more of our #RealWishes below!

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1. #RealWishes & REAL dogs!

We collected pet toy and supply donations for Animal Friends, then hosted a puppy break with adoptable and therapy dogs.

2. Sweet break at the University of Pittsburgh 

We surprised Pitt students with a much-needed coffee and sweets break during finals week.

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3. Mini Christmas trees at the Ronald McDonald House

Families stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their kids receive treatment at Children’s Hospital, and many will still be there over the holidays. We brought dinner and mini Christmas trees for them to decorate so they could feel a little piece of home while they’re away during tough times.

4. Local women’s shelters

We visited two Pittsburgh women’s shelters this month. We brought cozy accessories and sweet treats to the first group of women, and treated the next group to care packages and manicures.

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It’s been a big month! Thank you for joining in, and keep sharing your #RealWishes with us.

 

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Pineapple Mint Fauxjito

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back with her final recipe for our summer countdown series. If you missed her other posts, you can find them here, here and here. Cool down this weekend and celebrate the summer solstice with a sweet drink! Keep reading for Erin’s recipe. 

Enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic drink! This Pineapple Mint Fauxjito tastes like a fruity and refreshing mojito minus the morning hangover. It’s sweet, refreshing and ready in just 5 minutes!

 

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

So, instead of a mojito, today we’ll be enjoying a pineapple mint FAUX-jito. Get it?! I thought I was beyond clever when I “created” that word but, as it turns out, the fauxjito is real. Which is a good thing, because the flavors of a mojito deserved to be enjoyed with or without alcohol.

My cocktail of choice is a mojito. In one word, they are REFRESHING. In more than one word, they are refreshing and come in a variety of flavors and I’m fairly certain you can’t mess them up.

You definitely can’t mess these fauxjitos up – they’re that easy! They’re five ingredients and they come together in approximately 5 minutes, maybe 10 if your pineapple isn’t already cut. THAT’S IT. You’ve got your pineapple (duh), your club soda (necessary), your mint leaves (refreshing!), your lime juice (yes please!), and your…wait for it…coconut milk (YES I’M SERIOUS).

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

For whatever reason, I’ve been into adding coconut milk to cocktails recently, specifically coconut milk. Coconut milk plus any fruit equals tropical to me, and tropical equals fruity alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages. Yes, it’s true. Coconut and pineapple may be the most common combination, and that’s because they go perfectly together. A match made in heaven, if you will.

So whether you’re sitting poolside with your BFFs your on your couch watching Friends reruns (no judgment here), I hope you find an excuse to sip on a pineapple mint fauxjito. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple, muddled
  • 2 cups pineapple juice (1 cup fresh pineapple+1 cup water, mixed in a blender)
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 10 mint leaves
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Place cubed coconut in a bowl and use a muddler (or a fork) to smash it down; divide evenly between two glasses.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir pineapple juice, soda, mint, milk, and lime juice together really well; pour overtop of muddled pineapple, dividing evenly.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Share your fauxjito pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE! We’d love to see how you’re celebrating summer.

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