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Fun in Fredericksburg

Well, it has been a few weeks since Valentines day, but I’m still going to write about my weekend and all the baking leading up to the weekend.

To preface, I tend to get carried away when it comes to baking for holidays. I find tons of recipes that I get excited about and want to try, but usually realize during the purchasing of the ingredients stage that I might be over-doing it. For Valentines day, my original plan was to make decorated sugar cookies, cookie brownie bites, candy, and chocolate covered strawberries. However, after my failed attempt at candy making on Wednesday evening, I decided to just stick to the sugar cookies and brownie bites, and to purchase the chocolate covered strawberries.

I used this sugar cookie recipe from picky-palate.com, which was really easy to make and produced quite a bit of dough. I made it on Wednesday night and left it in the fridge overnight. I also purchased some fondant to help me in decorating the cookies. I just used a white fondant, but there were all sorts of colors options. Using the fondant was really easy, just use the cookie cutters that you used to make your cookies with once it is rolled out and attach it to the cookies (there are very easy directions to follow for this on the box). Here are a couple examples of my “fondant” cookies.
As I mentioned, the sugar dough recipe produced a ton of cookies. Instead of making the intelligent decision to freeze some of the dough, I went ahead and made all of it. I wanted to take some cookies to work the next day, but unfortunately the icing wasn’t dry, so my co-workers missed out. I prefer to make my own icing for cookies and cakes instead of buying a pre-made one. I just did a simple butter frosting for my cookies and it was delicious.

Icing
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 – 3 cups powdered sugar (I don’t measure, just do it to taste and texture)
1.5 tbsp heavy cream

Cream butter, vanilla, and heavy cream together. Slowly add in powdered sugar. These measurements are not exact, as I make the icing to taste, but it is pretty simple to re-create.

And, after five hours of work in the kitchen, here are my finished products (and remember, some of these cookies were decorated well into the 4th and 5th hour, so smearing icing and pouring sprinkles on top seemed like a good idea at the time):

My Valentines Day weekend consisted of a trip to Fredericksburg for a stay at a local B&B and a wine tour on Saturday. Wes and I stayed at the Legacy Inn, just several blocks off of Main Street. We stayed in the loft and had a wonderful time. Our room had its own kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom, and breakfast was delivered to our room every morning between 8 and 9 am.

Our wine tour began at 11 am on Saturday morning. We went through Texas Wine Tours, who I would highly recommend (ask for Bill). A limo-style bus picked us up at our b&b around 10:30 on Saturday morning and drove us to 6 different wineries, with a stop in Johnson City for lunch. It was a great experience and we were able to sample over 20 different types of wine. We also got a tour of one of the smaller wineries and saw how the wine was processed and stored. The day ended with us being dropped off at our b&b with about 7 different wines in tow, several half empty. Here we are at one of the wineries

The weekend ended with us walking around Main street and then driving back up to Austin. We stopped at Mellow Mushroom in Austin (one of my favorite pizza places) , which inspired me to make my own pizza the following week. Look out for pictures and my pizza recipe in the next couple of days!

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