Russian Ball Piping Tips

Last year I was searching cake decorating tips on Amazon and I came across this lovely post. They looked interesting and I figured I would try them. white-cake-russian-tips

These do not fit the standard Wilton Coupler but truthfully I do not use this often. I usually put the tip inside the bag and cut the tip off. There is a coupler you can get to use with these tips but I do not have one at this point.

I love these tips. There are more different tips that I will be adding to this set. I have found a great Tutorial on using these tips.

white-cake-web

I used only one tip with this cake. I will be using the others in the future and learning different techniques.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have made is probably the best one yet. I have made many different ones; looking for that perfect recipe online and from all my recipe books – I have many of them. I have tried altering a few recipes and it just does not come out the way I wanted them. These are packed with loads of chocolate, thick, big, soft and chewy. It has all the requirements that I have been looking for. I don’t want a chocolate chip cookie too thin nor do I want it very thick that I would consider cake-like. The link for this original recipe can be found HERE.  I am going to try to make them smaller and try to freeze them individually. A tin of cookies and a tin of frozen ones would be a wonderful gift. One to enjoy now and the other one will be when the cookies run out. According to the recipe, I needed to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure out for each cookie. I could not get this to work for me. I just used an ice cream scooper. I also did a mixture of chocolate chips I had on hand. I think it was mini chips in semi sweet and dark chocolate chips. I used my kitchen aid with this – made it much easier.

chocolate-chip-cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  •  3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 – 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 – 3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on low-speed – add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick. The paddle attachment is great for this.
  6. Measure out each cookie using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon or ice cream scooper. They should be in the shape of thick discs.
  7. Bake for 11-12 minutes. The center of the cookie will still look a little undercooked. This is what you want.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cook 1 minute on the pan, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

chocolate-chip-cookies-1

Bread and Butter Pickles

bread and butter

May though July are my busy summer months. It is what I call “vegetable season”. I will spend those months canning or freezing vegetables. I remember my parents and grandparents did this when I was younger. My parents would have waiting for me bushels of peas, butter beans, tomatoes, corn and anything else that they decided to pick up at the Farmer’s Market. I hated to see those bags but what I would love to go back to those days with them and pay more attention. I also remember sitting under my Grandma’s cedar tree shelling peas or shucking corn with her. Those are good memories.

This year for the first time I decided to make pickles. I had no idea where to begin on this process or what type of cucumber to use. I searched Pinterest for several different recipes and I decided on this Bread and Butter Recipe. I am really glad that I did. This is really good stuff and I see myself making this again.

I used a Mandoline to slice the cucumbers and onions. It was so much easier than slicing by hand. You do need to be very careful with your fingers. You will get cut. My husband decided to do this very thing.

I ended up with 14 pint jars and I am hopeful it will last through next year. I usually plan my canning and freezing for the year to come. The following summer I will do it all over again.

jar bread and butter

Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 6 pounds pickling cucumbers, 1/4 inch thinly slice
  • 2 pounds of sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup canning / pickling salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 quarts crushed ice or ice cubes and water
  1. Wash cucumbers. Slice and discard ends. Slice the onions thinly and add to the cucumbers in a large bowl. I used an old metal dish pan. Sprinkle salt and the ice over the top and let set for 3 hours or longer. I did let the first batch set overnight and it did fine. Place a towel over top of ice.
  2. Drain and rinse the cucumbers and onion thoroughly. The pickles will have a salty taste if it is not rinsed thoroughly. I rinsed them many times.
  3. Prepare the jars and lids. Wash and sterilize the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Place the lids in a small pan with water and simmer over low heat. Boiling the lids could damage the rubber seal.
  4. In a large nonreactive pot (I used a stainless steel) combine sugar, spices and vinegar. Heat to a boil and add the drained cucumbers and onions. Return to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Fill jars loosely with cucumbers and onions, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  6. Add Ball Pickle Crisp Granules to the each jar, optional.                                                1/8 teaspoon per pint and 1/4 teaspoon per quart
  7. Ladle hot liquid over the pickles, maintaining the 1/4 inch head space.
  8. Clean the rim of the jar. Place lids and rings onto the jar. Do not overtighten.
  9. Process 10 minutes in a Water Bath Canner.
  10. Remove rings after 24 hours and clean jar. Replace rings if you want to.
  11. Store is a cool dark place.
  12. Allow 4-5 weeks to sit for pickles to develop flavor.