It’s a Funfetti Celebration!

soft bake funfetti sugar cookies

What a great weekend! My sister’s boyfriend surprised her with a trip to visit us for her birthday. He told her about it Wednesday night, they were on a plane 24 hours later and ENGAGED 24 hours after that! What a whirlwind!! It’s crazy how your life can change in a few short hours. Chelsey went from planning to spend the weekend hanging out in Atlanta, to being sent on the scavenger hunt of a lifetime that led her to a gorgeous cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where she would find her future husband waiting to propose. It was seriously one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever gotten to witness and I’m so grateful that he let us be a part of it.

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Did I mention that on top of all of that fun it was also Chelsey’s birthday weekend? Lucky duck! I considered baking her a cake but Chelsey’s a little bit of an oddball when it comes to cake. The girl doesn’t like icing. I know, I know. Who doesn’t like icing? When she was little, our mom would bake her an icing-less funfetti cake straight from the box. And while a little bit of vanilla icing wouldn’t have hurt anyone, I have to admit, funfetti cake is pretty fabulous all by itself. Good call, Chelsey.

stack of funfetti cookies

funfetti cookies on cooling rack

So no, I wasn’t feeling a cake for this particular birthday celebration. Instead, I thought a few dozen Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies would be even better! Chelsey loves sugar cookies, soft batch cookies, shortbread cookies and…you guessed it…funfetti. Naturally, these cookies were perfection for her. I sent her a photo of them as she boarded the plane and she sent me back an enthusiastic, “OMMMMGGGGGG!!!” I love welcoming people to our home with fresh baked goods. There’s just something about a plate of warm cookies waiting on the table to make people feel special and celebrated, and we had a lot to celebrate this weekend! Congratulations Chelsey and Seth!! We are all so excited for you to begin this new adventure together and can’t wait to celebrate this and all of your other special moments in life!

stack of funfetti cookies

Funfetti Cookies (makes approximately 28 cookies)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract (real vanilla extract may be substituted)
3 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluff, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixer as necessary.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sprinkles and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds. Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line two baking sheets with silpats or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. These cookies should not turn golden or brown at all and should stay white. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

inside of funfetti cookie

Let us eat cake!

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I am so excited to be back in the kitchen!! Actually, I’m so excited to be anywhere other than the couch. Baby Allie has made her debut and all is slowly getting back to normal in the Purvis house.

After a brief stint in the NICU which resulted in one extra day at the hospital for us both, we came home on a sunny Monday afternoon. It was a really wonderful wheelchair ride through the hospital with my baby in my arms. When Kellan was born I was wheeled out in tears as I was forced to leave him behind in the NICU. I literally went home, showered, and immediately returned to the hospital to be with my baby. It was depressing. This time I was wheeled out in tears again, but they were tears of joy that my prayers had been answered and we were all heading home together. To God be the glory!

We were greeted at the driveway by both grandmothers and Kellan jumping up and down and cheering for us. There were balloons and flowers; quite the little celebration, and boy was I ready to celebrate! I knew friends and family would be coming to the house to see our new bundle and I wanted it to be a party…and no party is complete without cake.

So yes, 5 days post cesarean section and 1 day post hospital discharge, I baked a cake. It was awesome. The cake and the actual baking process, that is. If you’ve never had Hummingbird cake you need to remedy that as soon as possible. It is perfect for this time of year, overflowing with banana, pineapple, pecans and decadent cream cheese frosting. I can see it on the dessert table at Easter and Mother’s Day, or even at your Memorial Day festivities.

For me, it was the perfect cake to celebrate our sweet little girl’s arrival. It’s delicate in flavor, but makes a strong impact. Delicate and strong, just like a hummingbird and just like our little one.

Enjoy!

hummingbird-cake-slice

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

For the cake:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh pineapple, crushed (see below)
2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 4 large or 6 medium-small)
1 cup chopped pecans

For the frosting:

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled
3, 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel bananas, place in a small mixing bowl and mash. Set aside. Leave the oven heated to 350 degrees.
  3. Butter and flour 3-9 inch round baking pans. Trace the bottom of the pan (for all three pans) onto parchment paper, cut out circle and place in the bottom of each pan.
  4. In a sifter over a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Sift into the bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a second large mixing bowl combine the granulated and brown sugar; stir to combine. Add the eggs and stir briskly by hand to combine all ingredients into a smooth mixture.
  6. Whisk the oil and vanilla into the sugar/egg mixture until combined and smooth.
  7. Add the flour mixture all at once and hand stir (do not beat) to combine the mixture fully.To crush the pineapple: Place 1 cup of finely diced fresh pineapple in a medium mixing bowl and using a potato masher, crush the pineapple. Add the fruit and juice to the batter. Also add the mashed banana and the pecans. Stir just until combined; do not over stir.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Tap the pans on the countertop to release any air bubbles and place in the 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until cake bounces back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to fully cool before frosting. Be sure to peel off and discard the parchment paper.
Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. Cut sticks of chilled butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the bowl of a standing mixer (can use a hand held mixer if needed). Beat on low speed, gradually increasing speed to medium until the butter is still cool but has softened together (about 3 minutes).
  2. Cut the cream cheese into 1 inch strips and add to the butter. Mix at medium speed until fully combined, and smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar. Beat until well blended, increasing speed to beat on medium-high for 3 minutes or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in pecans by hand.
Instructions for Cake Assembly:
  1. Place the first layer of cake upside down (the bottom of the cake will be frosted) on the serving plate. Cover with 2/3 cup of frosting. This will be a thin covering.
  2. Place the second layer of cake right side up (flat cake bottom onto the frosting) and frost the top of this layer with 2/3 cup again
  3. Place the last cake layer with cake right side up and use the remaining frosting to cover top of cake and the sides.
  4. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving and store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator. Cake best when made the day prior to serving!

Adapted from Boulder Locavore