Sarah Hearts

Citrus Shortbread Cookies

June 17, 2014

Capture the flavors of summer citrus in these easy to make citrus shortbread cookies (Click for recipe).

Since Kevin and I have been going to Se7en Bites, a local bakery, so much lately I’ve become addicted to their shortbread. They make a lavender vanilla shortbread that’s one of the best baked goods I’ve ever tried. Really. So to continue my shortbread kick I decided to make my own version using some fresh citrus. The results are a rich, buttery shortbread that’s loaded with bursts of citrus.

You may have seen on Instagram last week that my first batch didn’t come out. It was bad. The dough was much too soft and it spread way too much causing my cute ice cream cone cut out cookies to look more like round blobs. So I baked a second batch, this time using the cold butter pieces and following the same process as I did for my red velvet shortbread cookies. And this time it was a success!

Bake up a batch of fresh citrus shortbread cookies! The dough can be made and rolled out a day ahead!

Love fresh citrus? Then you'll love these citrus shortbread cookies made with fresh orange and lime zest.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies
adapted from The Fresh Exchange

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 sticks of cold butter, cut into small pieces
zest of one lime and one orange (I love using a Microplane)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water

1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and cayenne pepper a few times. Then add the cut up butter, citrus zest and vanilla. Pulse until a dough forms. It will first look like corse meal, then will form into a dough.

2. Place the dough onto a floured countertop and roll it out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Then use a small cookie cutter to cut out the dough (I used a 2″ round cookie cutter). Place the cut out dough on a parchment or ail-pat lined baking sheet.

4. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, place the entire baking tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes, or until the cookies look firm and slightly golden. Allow them to cool completely on a rack before adding the icing drizzle.

5. To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, light corn syrup, and water in a small bowl. Place the mixture in a disposable piping bag or a large Ziploc bag. Cut the tip of the bag with scissors and drizzle the icing over the cookies. It’s best to have the cookies on a drying rack with a piece of wax paper underneath while you do this so clean-up is really easy. Allow the icing to harden, about 20 minutes then enjoy!

Links to Love

June 13, 2014

Need a last minute Father's Day gift? Make dad a pair of monogram leather cufflinks, a painted leather keychain, or a printable book or garland!

Wow, this week flew by! My mom’s horse arrived late Wednesday so I took the day off yesterday to hang out at the barn with her. It was such a fun day filled with barn time and shopping for horse stuff (which is my favorite kind of shopping) so now I’m playing catch-up.

This weekend will be spent prepping for Alt Summit and Meet + Make. I cannot wait for both! But if you’re still in need of a gift for your dad, here are a few of my favorites:

1. These DIY monogrammed leather cufflinks by Almost Makes Perfect would be perfect for any dad that wears button downs to work.

2. This free printable Father’s Day collection by A While Lot of Tiny has everything you need to make Father’s Day extra special (via Creature Comforts).

3. These painted leather keychains by The Lovely Drawer for She Knows would make the perfect gift for any dad.

I’m also loving:

These stitched leather flask covers over on Poppytalk.

This DIY yarn tapestry by For the Love Of is so simple and such a refreshing take on the very popular woven wall tapestries.

Who does’t love a good Ikea hack? This marble topped kitchen island on 4 Men 1 Lady is a huge upgrade.

I’m over on The Neighborhood today sharing ways I save money (and energy) using home automation and lighting controls.

Cucumber Cocktail

June 12, 2014

Mix up this refreshing summer cucumber cocktail! Muddled cucumbers and limes are topped with gin, St. Germain, coconut rum, pineapple juice and tonic water.

This cocktail is summer in a glass. Really. I mean it combines refreshing cucumbers with tart limes and is topped with my three favorite spirits: gin, St. Germain, and coconut rum. And when you think it can’t get any better, add a splash of pineapple juice it’s just the perfect cocktail to drink on these hot summer evenings.

The recipe (below) is for one serving, but you could easily make a large batch in a pitcher or set out several glasses on a tray and make them directly in the glasses for easy serving. I served mine the metallic gold barware that I made using my Silhouette.

This cucumber cocktail combines all my favorites: gin, St. Germain, and coconut rum!

This cucumber cocktail is summer in a glass! Muddled limes and cucumber get topped with St. Germain, gin, coconut rum, and tonic water for a refreshingly cool cocktail.

Muddled cucumbers and limes are topped with gin, St. Germain, coconut rum, pineapple juice and tonic water to make a a refreshing cocktail.

Cucumber Cocktail
adapted from the Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook

Makes 1 drink

1 heaping tablespoon of finely diced, peeled cucumber
1 slice of cucumber for garnish
1 lime wedge
1/2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. St. Germain
1/2 oz. coconut rum, such as Malibu or Kingston
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
crushed ice
tonic water, I like Fever Tree

Muddle the cucumber and the lime wedge in a 10 oz. glass using a muddler or teaspoon. Then top it with the gin, St. Germain, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. Add the crushed ice to the glass and top with some tonic water. Garnish with the sliced cucumber and serve.

Favorite Father’s Day Projects

June 11, 2014

Make dad this sweet and savory snack mix for Father's Day. Then print out the free gift tags and tie them around a mason jar for an easy and thoughtful gift.

Since Father’s Day is this Sunday, I wanted to share some of my favorite Father’s Day projects I’ve created over the past couple of years. All of these projects include free printables or templates to help make your dad or husband’s day extra special.

This sweet and savory snack mix recipe is just too delicious. You may want to make a double batch and save some for yourself. Don’t forget to download the printable gift tags to use for this recipe or any Father’s Day gift. I love printing them on kraft cardstock for a rustic look.

Show dad how much you love him! Use the free template to create your own faux bois "We <3 Dad" banner (Includes Silhouette cutting file).

Make this faux wood banner and hang it in your home or above his desk for a cute surprise. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the letters (the file is included) or you can cut them by hand using my template.

Make dad s'mores brownies and then wrap them up with these cute printable Father's Day gift tags.

If your dad has a sweet tooth, make him a batch of s’mores brownies and wrap them up with these printable s’more gift tags.

Wrap up treats for dad in these cute printable brown paper bags. This tutorial shows you how to make them using your home printer.

Dress up a plain brown lunch bag by running it through your home printer. This tutorial includes these Father’s Day bag designs that are perfect for stashing gifts or dad’s lunch in.

What are you making for your dad this Father’s Day?