Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Cookies

 Christmas Cookies

The holiday season this year has meant a lot to me, and I am thankful to be alive. On October 31, 2021, I was hit by a car, and it took a long time for my foot to heal and feel better. I still deal with pain daily, but I am so ready to move forward with life, put this entire experience behind me, and hope for much better days and getting back to working on Two Frys. I made my best vanilla bean sugar cookie recipe and royal icing with meringue which I provide below. Wishing you all a very blessed holiday. Merry Christmas. Cherish the time you have with your family and loved ones. 

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Ingredients

5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

1 tablespoon Coconut Milk (Whole Milk, Almond, etc.)

2 Large Eggs

2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste


Whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and vanilla sugar in a handheld mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 10 seconds.

Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste, and mix on low until incorporated; about 20-25 seconds.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Turn off mixer and add the flour mixture, and cover mixer with kitchen towel, and turn mixer on low speed and incorporate. 

The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Form into a disk shape and cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight. 

Heat oven to 350°F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Take round cutter and make shapes. Repeat until you use all the dough.

Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for 30 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. 

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

Royal Icing (with Meringue Powder)

Yield: 8 cups


2 pounds Powdered Sugar 

1/3 cup Meringue Powder 

1/2 cup Room Temperature Water (plus extra if you need to thin the icing)

2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup


In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar; set aside.

Add meringue powder, room temperature water, and vanilla extract in mixer with whisk attachment and mix on high for 1 minute. Do not overmix.

Turn off mixer and switch to paddle attachment. 

Add the powdered sugar, cover the mixer with a kitchen towel, and turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add light corn syrup and then beat on high speed until smooth; about 1-2 minutes.

The consistency using this recipe is thick and great for borders, stenciling, writing on cookies, and detail work.

If you need a both a border and flood-like consistency keep reading below.

If you only need flood consistency icing, add small amounts of room temperature water and mix for 5-10 seconds, and repeat until you reach the right consistency. Be careful that your icing does not become too runny, or you may have to start over.

Keep the containers or Tupperware/Pyrex covered until you are ready to color since royal icing hardens fast.

I use Soft Gel Paste Food Color in various colors.

Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the desired color.

Once you have the colors completed in each container, take the amount you need of the border icing consistency and place into icing bottles, tipless bags, or pastry bags fitted with tips.

Then with the remainder of the icing, add small amounts of room temperature water to make flood consistency icing. Stir together with a small spatula and repeat until you have the consistency you need. 

A little water goes a long way. This part takes some practice. Then transfer the flood icing into icing bottles, tipless bags, or bags fitted with tips.

I find doing it this way is easiest as you end up with the same color for both the border/detail work and flood consistency.

Decorate your cookies.

If you are adding layers let the first layer dry completely. 

Use a cookie stick or toothpick to reach edges, and to pop any air bubbles in the icing. 

Let the cookies dry overnight.

Keep in mind if you are baking and it is humid, you may need more time for the cookies to dry.

-Sophia/Two Frys

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Pumpkin Pie

 Pumpkin Pie

The aroma in our kitchen from this pumpkin pie baking in the oven is a favorite during the holiday season. This is the original famous Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe found on the back of Libby's Pure Pumpkin. The creamy texture and the warm spices with the crisp bite of the crust is superb. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be grateful for the many blessings you have in your life.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

1 can (12 oz) NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1 can (15 oz) LIBBY's 100% Pure Pumpkin

2 X-Large Eggs

3/4 cup Lightly packed Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves

Pie Crust homemade or store bought (I used Marie Callender's Deep Dish Pastry Pie Shell)

Pumpkin Pie Directions

Heat oven to 425°F.

In a medium sized bowl, add sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and combine with a spatula. Set aside for now.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with whisk. Add pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture and combine with spatula.

Gradually add evaporated milk stirring with spatula just until combined.

Let pie crust come to room temperature and place into glass or ceramic pie dish and press sides and bottom firmly.

Crimp crust or decorate as you wish.

Add in freezer for 15 minutes so pie crust holds its shape.

Remove from freezer and pour pumpkin pie mixture into pie shell.

Bake pumpkin pie at 425°F for 15 minutes.

After the first 15 minutes of baking, reduce oven temperature to 350°F, place pie shield (I use Mrs. Anderson's Pie Crust Shield) or cut strips of aluminum foil over crust.

Bake for another 40 to 55 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Cool pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours before serving.

After first 20 minutes of cooling, place decorative cutouts gently on top of pie.

If not serving right away, carefully cover with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

Crust Cutout Ingredients:

1 homemade or store-bought pie crust at room temperature

Cutout Directions:

Roll out 1 pie crust and make as many shape cutouts of your choice.

Place cutouts on a cookie sheet.

Place crust cutouts in 425°F oven for 7 to 9 minutes until crust is golden brown. 

Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

 Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

I love chocolate and cookies with dark chocolate chips and nuts are a favorite of mine. I baked these cookies when visiting my in-laws. The cookies were so tender and cake like almost and full of rich chocolate flavor and not too sweet. The finely chopped walnuts gave the cookies a great crunch. The recipe comes from the back of the bag of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips. 

Yield: 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies


2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 package (12 oz.) Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips

1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped (optional)


Heat oven to 375°F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and light brown sugar; set aside.

Using a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream sugars and butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed until incorporated.

Turn to low speed, and gradually add flour mixture and mix until combined.

With a spatula, fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, form and place dough balls on baking sheets spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set.

Wait 3 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool or if you are like me enjoy some cookies warm. 

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Lemon Meringue Pie

 Lemon Meringue Pie

I baked two Lemon Meringue Pies for my father-in-law when we visited this summer. He is a fan more of the lemon filling than the meringue, so I did not pile high the meringue in this recipe. The lemon is tangy and tart and silky smooth, and the meringue are like clouds of heaven in your mouth. The crispy crust with the yumminess of lemon and fluffiness of meringue makes this one of the best tasting pies ever. This is the reason I made two pies. I use a premade pie shell but if you have more time make the pie crust from scratch. Happy pie eating.

Pie Crust Ingredients

1 Marie Callender's Pastry Pie Shell


Heat oven to 400°F. 

Thaw the frozen pie shell for 10 minutes.

Using the tines of a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell.

Bake for 12-15 minutes; until browned.

Let cool completely before filling; about 30-40 minutes.

Lemon Pie Filling Ingredients

1 Jello Brand Cook & Serve Lemon Pudding Mix

3/4 cup Sugar

3 Egg Yolks, beaten (Reserve Egg Whites for Meringue)

3 cups Water


In a medium size saucepan on low heat, use a spatula and combine the Lemon Pudding Mix, sugar, 1/2 cup water and egg yolks.

Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium.

Bring to a full boil stirring constantly. It will thicken quickly.

Cool for 5 minutes, then stir and wait 5 minutes and stir once more.

Pour the lemon filling into the pastry pie shell and set aside while you make the meringue.

Meringue Ingredients

3 Egg Whites

1/3 cup Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar


Heat oven to 400°F.

Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy.

Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 15-20 seconds.

Immediately spread the meringue over the filling in the amount you desire.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the meringue has browned on top.

Cool at room temperature and place in the fridge to set for 4-5 hours to set.

Serve and enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, August 22, 2022

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding

My mother-in-law got this Corn Pudding recipe from a family friend, Tracy and I loved it when she made it as a side dish for Christmas dinner in 2019. I wanted to make this to accompany BBQ chicken thighs I baked. This corn pudding is also called corn casserole with the same ingredients just known by two different names. It is a simple dish to put together and best served warm. The melted cheddar cheese on top completes the dish. The best part is you do not need to use a mixer just add the ingredients in a large bowl and mix it all together and bake in the oven. If you love corn, you got to make this dish.


1 15.25 oz. can Whole Corn, drained 

1 14.25 oz. can Creamed Corn

1 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup, 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled

1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 8 oz. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Grease 1 8x8 square pan.

Put the 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese aside.

Add the ingredients (except for the cheese) in a large bowl and mix until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle the cheese all over the top and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until melted.

Take out of the oven. 

Let the corn pudding rest for 5 minutes and serve.

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Coconut Cake

 Coconut Cake

I have baked several Coconut Cake recipes over the years but one of my favorites is Ina Garten's recipe for its rich taste and perfect texture. It is always a crowd pleaser. For this recipe I use Unsweetened Shredded Coconut instead of Sweetened to reduce the sugar content. I also use Pure Vanilla Extract but if you want a whiter cake use Clear Vanilla Extract. You can also substitute the Almond Extract and use Coconut Extract, but I find the combination of Vanilla and Almond Extracts a perfect one. I baked this cake for a family gathering while on vacation. I hope you give this recipe a try.  


1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans

2 cups Sugar

5 Extra Large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Almond Extract

3 cups All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting the pans

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup Milk

1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Strawberry Preserves (or any filling you prefer)

Frosting Ingredients

1 pound Cream Cheese, at room temperature 

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract 

1/4 teaspoon pure Almond Extract

1 pound Confectioners'/Powdered Sugar, sifted

6 ounces Unsweetened Shredded Coconut


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them with parchment paper. Grease again and dust lightly with flour.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Add the eggs into a small bowl; set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. 

With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and incorporate. Scrape down the bowl once during mixing. 

Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. 

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. 

Turn off the mixer and fold in the shredded coconut with a spatula and combine.

Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans and smooth the tops with a knife. 

Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned, and a cake tester comes out clean. 

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes with tops down onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Frosting Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts on low speed. 

Add the confectioners'/powdered sugar and mix until just smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Assemble the Cake

If your cake has a dome on top use a serrated knife to cut it off to an even top.

To assemble, place one layer on a flat serving plate or cake turntable, top side down, and place parchment paper around the edges for easy clean up. 

Spread with preserves, filling or frosting. 

Place the second layer on top with the top side down, and generously frost the top and sides. 

To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with the shredded coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides.

Serve at room temperature.

Ina Garten, Coconut Cake recipe:

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Pasta Salad

 Pasta Salad 

I made this Pasta Salad to accompany a picnic lunch at my in-laws while we were on vacation. We had a family gathering and it was great seeing the family and finally meeting one of Allen's cousins and his wife. We sure missed my sister-in-law and wish she was with us, but she is in Africa. This Pasta Salad is very easy to make and has a rich flavor from the dressing and fresh parsley mixed in prior to chilling. It is a hearty dish that goes great with burgers, ribs, hot dogs, and chicken. The flavors develop if you chill for at least 3-4 hours.

1 16 oz. box Cellentani Pasta (or desired shape)

1 each Red, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers, diced

1 10 oz Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half

1 8.75 oz. can Whole Kernel Corn, drained

1 2.25 oz. can Black Olives, sliced

1 Shallot, diced

1 cup + 1 tablespoon Italian Dressing or Light Italian Dressing

1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Coarse Salt

1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Add water to a large pot, 1 tablespoon of salt and turn to medium-high heat. 

Once the water is boiling, cook pasta to al dente according to box directions, and drain. 

Set aside to cool or place pasta in an ice water bath for a few minutes then drain.

Rinse and dry the peppers, shallots, and parsley. 

Thinly slice and dice the shallot and peppers; set aside.

Chop the parsley; set aside.

Drain the corn and sliced black olives and pat dry; set aside.

Rinse, pat dry and slice the cherry tomatoes in half; set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet on medium heat, add the peppers and shallot and sauté for 3-5 minutes; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl toss the cooled pasta, peppers, shallots, corn, and olives together. 

Add 1/2 teaspoon of cracked black and 1 teaspoon of coarse salt. Season to taste. 

Add 1 cup of dressing and combine. If desired add more in small increments. 

Add parsley and combine.

Cover with plastic wrap or foil and chill in fridge for 3-4 hours before serving. 

-Sophia/Two Frys