Move over beer brats there’s a new kid in town! Root Beer Brats are not only delicious but they are so easy to prepare. And since they’re made with root beer rather than beer, they’re family friendly too. Slow-cooking in a sweet root beer marinade […]
Tag: picnic recipes
Have you ever tried making your own barbecue sauce? Well it’s easier than you think! Rhubarb-b-q Chicken Drumsticks are the perfect place to start. Fresh rhubarb and apricot preserves pair perfectly to create this surprising and unique flavor profile. It’s tangy and sweet, with just […]
When I think of the Fourth of July, I think of hot dogs and hamburgers cooking on the grill, lots of yummy corn on the cob and tasty pasta salads, and of course, a big ole juicy watermelon. Well now you can add Watermelon Cookies to that list! These over the top adorable little cookies will be the hit of every single bbq or cookout this summer. I mean seriously, does it get any cuter?!? A little food coloring and mini chocolate chips are all it takes to turn this basic sugar cookie recipe into something spectacular. Watermelon Cookies are really fun to bake but even more fun to eat. I’m not sure who loves them more, the kids or the adults. It’s probably a tie!
Here’s all you’ll need: butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, flour, salt, baking powder, red and green food coloring, mini chocolate chips and sesame seeds.
So Watermelon Cookies may look complicated but I’m here to walk you through it so don’t even worry about it. We’ll start by making a basic sugar cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and white sugar with a hand mixer until its light and fluffy. If you don’t have time (or just plain forgot) to soften the butter, you can nuke it in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. (literally me every time a recipe calls for softened butter)
Next beat in the egg and the almond extract. You can also swap out for vanilla or any extract of your choice.
Add the baking powder and salt and mix well. Then gradually mix in the flour about a half a cup at a time. This soft dough will make up all three layers of our Watermelon Cookies.
Now it’s time to mix our colors. Separate out 2/3 of a cup of cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. This is the batch of dough that will remain uncolored.
Then remove an additional 1/2 cup of cookie dough and add it to a small bowl. Using a spoon (or gloves), mix in enough food coloring to tint it a nice, bright green color. This will be make up our watermelon rind.
The remaining dough left in the mixing bowl will be tinted red. Add enough red food coloring to the mixing bowl to make a pretty watermelon colored dough. Roll the red dough into a 3-1/2 inch log. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate all the dough for two hours or until firm.
Remove the cookie dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface roll the plain dough into a 10 X 3-1/2 inch rectangle. Cut with a knife to shape into the rectangle. It’s ok if it’s a little bit longer. It’s better to be a little long than a little short. We need the long side to be able to wrap all the way around our red dough to cover.
Next unwrap our red dough, and place the log on a short end of the plain dough, like so.
Roll the plain dough all the way around the red dough log to cover. Pinch the seams to seal.
Unwrap the green cookie dough and roll it into a 12 X 3-1/2 inch rectangle. Place the cookie log on a short side of the green rectangle. Roll the green dough all the way around the dough log to cover. Pinch the seams to seal. The green layer will be very thin and that’s totally ok. We don’t want a massive watermelon rind.
Wrap the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm (not frozen).
Unwrap the cookie dough and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cut each slice in half and place two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you haven’t jumped on the parchment paper train yet, then it’s time to start. Parchment paper will really elevate your cookie baking to the next level. It helps them to bake more evenly and also keeps them from sticking to the pan. Try it, you’ll love it!
Now here’s the fun part! It’s time to decorate these sweet treats to look just like mini watermelon slices! Press mini chocolate chips and sesame seeds into the top of the cookie to resemble fresh, juicy, watermelon. So cute!!! Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 9-11 minutes.
Here’s a simple trick for perfect cookies every time. Always rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. I always use the top and middle racks in my oven, never the bottom. Then halfway through baking time, I swap positions. So the cookies that were baking on the top rack get bumped down to the middle rack and the cookies that were baking on the middle rack get moved up to the top. I also rotate the baking sheets so that the cookies that were in the front of the oven are now in the back and vice versa. This helps to give the cookies a more all around even bake and will give you fabulous results!
Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. OMG! Look at those cute lil seeds!! I can’t even with these Watermelon Cookies!!! While we’re on the watermelon theme, have you tried our Watermelon Cucumber Salad???
Slice and Bake Watermelon Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Red and green gel food coloring
- 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chipschopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Step 1 In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and white sugar with a hand mixer until its light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the almond extract.
- Step 2 Add the baking powder and salt and mix well. Gradually mix in the flour about a half a cup at a time.
- Step 3 Separate out 2/3 of a cup of cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. This batch of dough will remain uncolored. Remove an additional 1/2 cup of cookie dough and add it to a small bowl. Mix in enough food coloring to tint it green. The remaining dough left in the mixing bowl will be tinted red. Add enough red food coloring tint it red.Roll the red dough into a 3-1/2 inch log. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate all the dough for two hours or until firm.
- Step 4 Remove the cookie dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface roll the plain dough into a 10 X 3-1/2 inch rectangle. Cut with a knife to shape into the rectangle. Next unwrap our red dough, and place the log on a short end of the plain dough. Roll the plain dough all the way around the red dough log to cover. Pinch the seams to seal.
- Step 5 Unwrap the green cookie dough and roll it into a 12 X 3-1/2 inch rectangle. Place the cookie log on a short side of the green rectangle. Roll the green dough all the way around the dough log to cover. Pinch the seams to seal. Wrap the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm (not frozen).
- Step 6 Unwrap the cookie dough and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cut each slice in half and place two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press mini chocolate chips and sesame seeds into the top of the cookie.
- Step 7 Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. Enjoy!
We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!
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Pizza Pasta Salad is the summer side dish your whole family will agree on! Loaded up with all of your favorite pizza toppings, this hearty salad tastes just like your favorite pizza. We’re always in need of new summer side dishes that pair well with […]
I love cooking and baking with whatever local produce is in season for a few reasons. It supports our local farmers, it’s usually a whole lot cheaper (who doesn’t love saving money), but most importantly, fresh food just tastes better. It really does. And since […]
Grilled Lemonade?!? Yep! You read that right. I’ve been preaching all summer about how we grill anything and everything at our house and this next recipe is proof positive. This unexpected, yet simple twist of classic lemonade will make you a believer. Everything really IS better when it’s grilled!! The addition of fresh thyme gives this thirst quenching drink a delightful herb flavor to suit even the fanciest taste buds. Add a splash of vodka to give it a grown up kick! Grilled Lemon and Thyme Lemonade is the perfect drink those summer days (and nights!).
Here’s all you’ll need: lemons, water, fresh thyme, sugar, honey (if you’re local we LOVE Bee Country!), and almond extract.
First add a cup of water to a small bowl. Submerge the thyme sprigs in water and let them soak while we prepare the lemons. The thyme’s getting grilled too so It has to be wet so it won’t catch fire on the grill.
Next slice the lemons in half. Spread out 1/4 cup of sugar on a plate or shallow bowl. Now dip the cut side of each lemon half into the sugar. Reminds me of those little candied lemon slices! The sugar will caramelize on the grill and balance the tart lemony flavor.
Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the lemons on the grill (cut side down) and grill, covered, for about 2 minutes or until the lemons begin to brown. If you haven’t grilled lemons before, it really is a lot of fun! Set aside and allow them to cool slightly. Basically cool enough so we can handle them. Did you know…heating the lemons will yield more juice!
Turn the grill down to medium heat and let’s get going on that thyme. Grill the thyme for 1-2 minutes, turning once, until slightly browned. Keep an eye on it! Even though we soaked it, fresh herbs can catch fire mighty quick!
Now in a small sauce pan combine one cup of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir continuously to dissolve the sugar. This should only take a few minutes.
Then remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the almond extract and grilled thyme. Allow the mixture to sit and steep for one hour and then discard the thyme. There you have it! Your very own homemade grilled thyme simple syrup.
Meanwhile, squeeze the lemons to obtain about 1-1/2 cups of lemon juice. Run it through a strainer in case you get a little sloppy like me and drop a few seeds in there. This is a great time to bust out your juicer or if you’re a fan of less mess (right here!) then go ahead and use that good old fashioned elbow grease! Add the juice to a large pitcher.
Next pour in the grilled thyme simple syrup and add 5 cups of cold water as well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve chilled over ice! Garnish with some lemon slices and a thyme sprig or two. There’s something about drinking grilled lemonade from a mason jar that just feels so right! One sip of Grilled Lemon and Thyme Lemonade and you won’t want to go back to the original version. You’ll also wanna check out our Sweet Strawberry Basil Sangria!
Grilled Lemon and Thyme Lemonade
- 15 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 9 medium lemons, halved
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 cups cold water
- Step 1 Add a cup of water to a small bowl. Submerge the thyme sprigs in water and let them soak.
- Step 2 Slice the lemons in half. Spread out 1/4 cup of sugar on a plate or shallow bowl. Dip the cut side of each lemon half into the sugar.
- Step 3 Grill the lemons, cut side down, over medium-high, covered, for 2 minutes or until browned. Set aside and allow them to cool slightly.
- Step 4 Grill the thyme over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turning once, until slightly browned.
- Step 5 In a small sauce pan combine one cup of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir continuously to dissolve the sugar.
- Step 6 Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the almond extract and grilled thyme. Allow the mixture to sit and steep for one hour and then discard the thyme.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, squeeze the lemons to obtain about 1-1/2 cups of lemon juice. Strain.
- Step 8 Add the lemon juice, grilled thyme syrup, and 5 cups cold water to a large pitcher. Stir. Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and a thyme sprig and enjoy!
We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below.
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Are you ready for a macaroni salad with a twist? Tired of bringing the same old boring salads to parties and potlucks? Prepare to be amazed by our Sweet and Tangy Macaroni Salad! This super creamy salad is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It’s one […]
We hosted a Memorial Day picnic last Monday for my family. It was so much fun and all that cooking and BBQ-ing got me amped up to grill out….All. Summer. Long! Well that and maybe the fact that we had a little stretch of almost […]
I have a confession to make. Last year my garden was terrible!! I drew up a plan for a 4′ X 12′ raised garden box with removable sides and my hubby built it exactly as I had envisioned it. I found a planting guide on Better Homes and Garden and started seeds months ahead of time in our basement. We planted. We watered. We crossed our fingers. We tried! We really did try, but somehow it was an epic fail! I don’t know if it was the hot, sticky, no rain summer, or if we just started with horrible soil, or what. We had lots of tomatoes on the vine, but they never ripened. Our cucumber plant just kind of gave up on life. Our beans started out promising but then just fizzled out. Granted I’ve never actually grown anything at all, let alone from seed, but I was convinced that just by sheer probability something would have taken off! Nope, not really. Apparently that’s not how gardening works. But I was determined to change my death thumb to a green thumb! So we added compost to the soil, bananas, eggshells, dry milk, our Halloween pumpkins, anything that would give me some glimmer of hope that I wouldn’t be a failure the following year. I googled every single thing that we planted and took notes on how to care for them. We watered WAY less because we had a great summer of rain this year. And then BAM! It was almost magical to see my garden turn into a jungle!! Like plush, healthy, growing out of the garden box! I can’t even tell you how many times I had to cut back the cucumbers and tomatoes (after I googled things like how to cut back cucumbers and should I cut back my tomatoes). It made my heart so happy to grow my own food. What a difference a year makes! And now we’re scrambling to find new ways to use up all this food. That’s where this handy little Homegrown Cucumber Salad comes into play! It’s only 5 ingredients (which you know I love!) AND 3 of those ingredients came from……..MY……GARDEN!!! Happy dance! Happy dance!!
Here’s all you’ll need: Corn, cucumbers, basil, chives, and mayo.
Cook corn and slice it off the cob. We made corn on the cob the night before and used the leftovers in this salad. I absolutely loved that it didn’t go to waste because it was just so dang good! Dreaming of the day I have enough room to grow my own corn!!
Chop up the basil. I have SOOOO much basil right now (and I love it!!). I’ve been trying to find new basil recipes every day to use it all up! This salad is a great start! Don’t forget to chop the chives while you’re at it.
OMG!! Doesn’t that look so fresh and delicious!! The cucumbers give it a crisp and juicy feel, and then it’s balanced by the sweetness of the corn, and then the basil and chives give it such an awesome flavor and the mayo just kind of pulls everything together.
How are you using up your cucumbers this year? I would love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below. If you love cucumbers, then you’ve gotta try our Watermelon Cucumber Salad too!
Homegrown Cucumber Salad
- Cooked corn (about 4 medium corn cobs)
- 2 cucumbers
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup chives, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons mayo
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Remove corn from the cobs. Seed and chop cucumbers. Chop basil and chives.
- Step 2 In a large bowl, combine corn, cucumber, basil, chives, mayo, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine and evenly coat.
- Step 3 Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!!
The joys of summer! It’s the smell of fresh cut grass on a sunny day. It’s the splish splash of a relaxing pool day. It’s the warm sun on your face. It’s the sound of the ice cream truck coming down the street. It’s the […]