Two years ago I attended a Teen Interfaith Conference in Boston, MA. To be honest I was quite skeptical about this conference. Would the teens be open? Would they be willing to share their perspectives and beliefs? I mean we are talking about a bunch teens here… you never know what you are going to get.
Well these teens proved to be the most AMAZING group of people I’ve ever met in my life, and I mean that sincerely and without any exaggeration whatsoever! The diversity amongst the 150+ people was fabulous, and the stories and views each person brought to the conference was priceless. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to go, and I’m happy that I can continue to participate all through college.
My best friend and I were so inspired from the conference, and the group of people that we met that we decided to come back to our own school and start essentially a statellite group. Our school is small, but doesn’t lack diversity. The thing that was lacking though was open conversation, and sharing of the various traditions and cultures we have. Lex and I acknowledged this, which led to the formation of our group GPA (Girl’s Promoting Acceptance).
Last year was our first year leading GPA. We were honored to have a motivated, dedicated group of 15 girls last year. Our group of girls helped us organize a clothing/item drive for babies in Haiti, raise money for charity through a bake sale, organize a closet sale where we raised money for a woman’s shelter, and donated the extra clothing to the local homeless shelter, and in our spare time we were able to attend each other’s places of worship. This year we decided to continue with GPA because of the success we had last year. Tomorrow is our first meeting of the year, and we are overjoyed because we not only have our great group of 15 girls coming back, but joining them will be 33 new members, which brings us to a grand total of 50 girls! Very exciting when your high school only has about 200 students! As a treat for my GPA girlies I decided to whip up some yummy treats for them to enjoy and to start the year off right. I chose to make three things: funfetti cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and some with chocolate buttercream, Lofthouse style sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookie sandwiches with vanilla and chocolate buttercream. Yes, I know… I have a little buttercream obsession (; no big deal at all…. it’s totally normal.
Ok, so I’ll admit it I cheated a little and used the boxed funfetti mix (the whole egg recipe, which is soooo yummy!), but to make up for that I did make my frosting from scratch, and I must say…. YUM-MAY!
If you are feeling funfetti-ish, but you are in a homemade type of mood I suggest you take a look at my Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Click here for recipe. These cupcakes are great, a bit denser than the boxed mix, but the flavor is perfect-o. The real seller though of these gems is the frosting.. it’s the best by far, just be sure to use the heavy cream. It makes all the difference!
Here are the recipes for the buttercream frostings I used on the boxed funfetti cupcakes:
The BEST Chocolate Buttercream: Click here for the recipe (Use the Fudge Frosting Recipe on this page)
Melt in your mouth Vanilla Buttercream: Click here for the recipe
*Heavy cream is essential to use in these recipes, it is what makes these frostings both so delish. Frosting made with milk is good, but with heavy cream it’s great!!
Extraordinary Sugar Cookies
These sugar cookies are semi-homemade, and they are GREAT! I swear I’ll never make them from scratch again just because these were so easy, and the closest I’ve tasted to the store bought Lofthouse sugar cookies I love so much. They are very soft, and butter-y and the frosting.. oh don’t make me drool.
Recipe via http://www.sweettreatsmore.com
1 box white cake mix (with pudding in the mix, this is necessary!)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix all the ingredients together until dough forms, and ingredients are fully combined.
3. Roll into balls, and place them on the sheets. (Mine were about 2 tsp big, but you can make them bigger if you’d like. My cookies were small, but I needed a lot so that worked.)
4. Bake for 7 minutes, then take the tray out of the oven and slightly flatten the balls with the bottom of a flat glass cup. Place the cookies back into the oven for 2 more minutes to finish baking.
5. Take cookies out of the oven, and flatten again if need be. Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Continue steps (3-5) until all the dough is used.
6. Allow to cool completely, then frost and decorate.
(Pre-decorating! Photo by Me.)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
Chocolate Chip Buttercream Cookie Sandwiches
All I have to say about these glorious gems is.. wow. Sugar coma, the best kind of coma.
1. Whip up some chocolate chip cookies! Use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. The softer the better. My favorite is the recipe on the back of the gold medal flour bag. Click here for the recipe.
2. While the cookies bake prepare the frosting for the filling.
(Pre-filling cookie! Fresh out of the oven! Yum!! Photo by Me.)
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Click here for the recipe.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Click here for the recipe.
3. After cookies are baked and cooled fill each with enough frosting to make it just seep out the sides, and so that you can see it is stuffed with frosting.
*The amount depends on how big you made your cookies. I used a 2 tsp scoop to measure my cookies, so about 1 tbsp of frosting was good!
The sugar high I experienced after “sampling” all my goodies was incredible.. a lot of sugar in one place, but I’m sure the girlies will greatly appreciate it tomorrow. Definitely a pick me up during a long school day!
Hope you enjoy!
(One colorful palette of pastries! Photo by Me.)
What is your favorite pick me up treat?