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San Angelo Lifestyles

Hometown Cookin' Featuring Taishi Ligon

We are so excited to bring you a special Hometown Cooking featuring Taishi Ligon, owner of Cookie Joy and a former winner of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge. After 22 years in the dental industry, she began Cookie Joy in 2017 and has been a San Angelo success ever since! “I started this business with so much faith that it would be successful, but so much fear of the unknown. This community has been incredibly supportive of my business,” she said. “I’m so appreciative of the people of San Angelo.” We are honored to feature a few of her special holiday recipes and we can’t wait to see your versions of these delicious treats!

Classic Pound Cake


 

“This is my mother’s special pound cake recipe! Growing up, there wasn’t a holiday or family gathering that didn’t include this rich, buttery cake. It has simple ingredients but is so full of flavor and I love that I get to make it now for my own family. My son loves this cake and always eats it two slices at a time, one for each hand. Fully creaming the butter/sugar mix and adding eggs one at a time are crucial steps to getting a beautiful rise and texture in your finished cake, so don’t rush!”


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 oz. full fat cream cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¼ cup half and half OR evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp good vanilla (use pure, not imitation)
  • 1 tsp butter flavor OR almond flavor, optional
  • 3 cups flour
  • tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder


Directions:

Generously grease and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next. Then add vanilla and other flavoring (if using). Add half of the flour and mix until just incorporated, then all the milk or half and half and mix again. Finally, add the rest of the flour, and the baking powder and salt and mix until just incorporated. Careful not to overmix! Batter will be very thick.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 75 to 95 minutes. Pound cakes can vary by as much as twenty minutes on bake time, so use a toothpick to test doneness. When a clean, dry toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, the cake is done. Allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. It’s important to invert the cake fairly soon after baking. Cakes left in the pan too long will begin to steam and stick to the sides of the pan. Slice and serve plain, or garnished with whipped cream and berries. This cake is also sturdy enough to be dunked into your favorite coffee or hot chocolate!  


Pumpkin Spice Roll-out Cookies with Caramel Royal Icing


 

“The trick to the rich pumpkin spice flavor in this recipe is to use a pumpkin spice emulsion along with all of the warming spices. Unlike extracts that are alcohol-based, emulsions are water-based and will not “bake out” when exposed to high heat. The maple flavoring in the royal icing that tops these cookies will make all your Fall dreams come true, but they are also delicious with traditional vanilla royal icing or even your favorite buttercream!” 


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup slightly softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 tsp good vanilla (use pure, not imitation)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice emulsion 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  •  tsp ground cloves
  • 3 ¾ cup all purpose flour


Directions:

  1.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Set aside. 
  2. Cream butter and sugars together until slightly lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add vanilla and emulsion, mix. Add flour and mix. When dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, the dough is ready. 
  3. Roll dough to about ⅜ inch thickness. Roll between parchment sheets or cling wrap for easy handling. This dough does not have to be chilled but it is far easier to handle cutouts if the dough is cold. Cut shapes with cutters, place 2 inches apart on silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheets. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cutouts). When the shiny spot in the middle of the cookie disappears, cookies are done. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes, then on wire racks until fully cool. 


CARAMEL ROYAL ICING
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder (available at craft stores)
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • Scant ¼ cup water
  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla
  • 1 tsp caramel flavor


Directions:

Put powdered sugar and meringue powder into bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment. Turn mixer on low to incorporate the dry ingredients. Add water, flavorings, and corn syrup and mix until incorporated. Turn mixer to medium-high and mix for about 3-4 minutes. Icing should turn a bright white color and become opaque, stiff, and fluffy. Do not overmix or your royal icing will not set properly. When icing is done, cover the bowl with a damp towel while you work to prevent crusting. Scoop small amounts of icing into separate bowls and dye with your favorite colors. You can add water to thin the icing to the desired consistency: thicker for outlining or lettering on cookies and thinner for ‘flooding’ or covering the surface of the cookie. Piping bags are great for decorating but you can also add icing to a zip-top bag and cut the corner to make your own piping bags. Allow decorated cookies to dry uncovered for at least eight hours (or overnight) before stacking and/or storing. To store royal icing, add a sheet of cling wrap directly on the surface (to prevent crusting) and store in an airtight container at room temp for up to two weeks. 


Classic Drop Sugar Cookies


 

“This recipe is a take on the one that started Cookie Joy, so it’s near and dear to my heart!  I took my Classic Chocolate Chip cookie recipe and removed the brown sugar for a more straightforward “sugar cookie” taste, and of course added lots of holiday sprinkles in place of the chocolate chips. Be sure to use high-quality butter and pure vanilla for these; that’s where this ‘plain’ cookie will get all of it’s flavor. These cookies are a great foundation for adding a mountain of sprinkles, but you can also add baking chips or bits, crushed peppermint or other candies, or roll them in colored sugar before baking for a sparkly holiday treat perfect for gifting!”


Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, very slightly softened but still firm to the touch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp good vanilla
  • About ¾ cup of your favorite sprinkles, separated into ½ cup and ¼ cup. 

       (Avoid very hard sprinkles as they can be difficult to chew in the baked cookie. I like 

       to use jimmies for this recipe.)



Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together for about one minute. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, then add in ½ cup of sprinkles and mix on the lowest setting. Dough should be thick and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Put the remaining ¼ cup of sprinkles into a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough into balls and dip the top of each dough ball into the bowl of sprinkles. Place sprinkle-side up on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for two minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
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