I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
Today is my niece’s fourth birthday. Little Ava was a happy surprise to all of us, arriving just 17 months after her brother, David.
What can I say about this little girl? From the start, she’s been my little doppelganger. My sister and brother-in-law made my heart swell by naming her after me – we share the middle name Nicole.
Ava on her first birthday.
As her personality emerged, my sister informed me that Ava also inherited just about all my stubbornness, and also my love for a good “debate”.
When she was born, she had the most out of control, spikey hair. Chellee and I dubbed her “Spike” immediately, something Gaga would have done too. He was a big fan of nicknames.
If you could create a baby girl with all the fashion sense and girly-girl ‘tude her momma possesses, but with my love of cooking and crafty stuff, you’d have Ava.
At Daddy’s Fire Station
She loves princesses and baby dolls, and playing Barbies. She has a collection of purple bunnies, harvested after her one treasured purple bunny lovey disappeared. 3 tear-filled days later, my brother in law found them again, finally. I think he bought a dozen more.
Pretty in Pink!
Ava plays soccer, but she likes tumbling and gymnastics too. Tangled is her favorite movie, Rapunzel her favorite princess. Her favorite colors are pink and purple, just like Rapunzel’s dress.
In honor of her birthday, just like I did for her brother, I made Ava cookies.
This time, I went back to my favorite recipe for Snickerdoodles. They’re so easy to make, and I love that they’re super easy to customize by using different colored sparkling sugars. Ava is having a Tangled themed birthday party, so I made her cookies rolled in pink and purple sparkling sugars, as well as spices and regular sugar.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.
Uncle James and I miss you and love you!
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons colored sparkling sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Whisk thoroughly to combine and aerate.
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and shortening and mix on medium-high speed until creamed together. Add sugar and mix again. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again, scraping down the bowl often.
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine sugar, sparkling sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and mix well with a spoon so that each item is mixed completely.
Using a tablespoon or medium cookie scoop, scoop 1″ cookie dough balls. Roll in your hand to make round, then roll in the sugar and spice mixture.
Bake 12 to a tray for exactly 10 minutes and remove from the oven immediately. Allow to cool slightly, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
*note* I originally guest posted this recipe on my friend Kristan’s blog, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I make it so often though, that I just had to post it here too.