And the Winner Is….

Who caught the Top Chef Finale last night? I think the final competition is always one of my favorites. There are no weird challenges, no gimmicks to get viewer ratings, no stupid tasks that have nothing to do with cooking, its just the chef and their food, their way. They get the chance to create their ultimate tasting menu for the judges. This season did not disappoint. Both chefs brought their A game and served incredible meals.

The final two came down to Sarah vs Paul. I was rooting for Paul.

I’ve liked Paul’s dishes since the second or third episode. I think he’s creative and consistent with his dishes. Sarah was always a little bit up and down and I wasn’t always crazy about her flavor choices. I think Paul also has better skills in the kitchen and keeps his head under pressure, two essentials to being a great chef.

They both prepared heavenly meals and I wish I could have been one of those lucky judges to get to eat both incredible meals. In the end, my choice prevailed an Paul took home the title of Top Chef for season 9!

All in all, it was a good season, however I  was annoyed at how obviously Bravo tried to use stupid challenges to create drama and gain viewers. They also drug out the season by adding the first few episodes that narrowed down the top 16 from 29. I miss the challenges that were mostly about cooking and less about how good you are at riding a bike, cross country skiing, or shooting a gun. But such is the way of a successful reality show.

The only question left to ask is, when are they going to do a Top Chef Philadelphia already?!

Anyone else catch the finale last night? Were you rooting for Paul or Sarah?

Sugar Cookies

I have launched a full search for the perfect sugar cookie this holiday season. Typically, I make flatter, chewy sugar cookies and decorate the tops of them with colored sugar and holiday candies. These are one of my favorites because of all the butter and sugar but they also look beautiful with all the sugars however I’m hoping to make a sugar cookie this year that includes icing. I have considered the cookies that you roll out and cut with cookie cutters but I honestly don’t like that sometimes those cookies are hard, I’m a soft and chewy cookie person. This week I attempted the old fashioned cake-like sugar cookie and topped it with a white frosting.

I have bought these types of cookies at the grocery store before and was attempting to duplicate those. This recipes is a typical cookie recipe, its simple and straight forward with few steps. All you truly need is an electric mixer and a recipe to follow and anyone can make it.

Start the recipe by creaming the sugar and butter with an electric mixer.

 

Add the eggs and mix well after each. Mix in the vanilla.

Add the milk, alternating with the dry ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are well combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Chill the dough for up to an hour.

Once chilled, scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet (parchment paper truly does save your cookie sheets and extend their life!).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the cookies spring back quickly when you touch the top lightly with your finger.

Allow the cookies to cool completely and while you’re waiting, mix up the icing.

Simply mix together all the ingredients, adding the powdered sugar in slowly. Add enough milk until the frosting is the consistency you like.

Ice the cooled cookies using a pastry bag and round pastry tip. Sprinkle lightly with large white sugar.

While these cookies were good, they weren’t amazing. I felt the cookies themselves were too bland and needed something extra. Eric mentioned that he thought that were “too cakey” though I liked that quality about them; I think it pairs well with the frosting. I got no complaints about the frosting!

 

Here’s the recipe:

Cake Sugar Cookies with Frosting
Print
Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • Cookies:
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cup powedered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each.
  3. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Add the milk and flour alternating and mixing well.
  5. Chill for up to 1 hour.
  6. Spoon onto greased or lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until just beginning to brown.
  7. Frosting:
  8. Cream butter and powdered sugar.
  9. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  10. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well until it has reached desired consistency.
  11. Top cooled cookies with frosting and clear sugar crystals.