Let’s Rock ’n’ Roll With These ’90s-Themed Cassette Cookies
Growing up in the ’90s, I have memories of playing cassette tapes as a kid, right before CDs rolled around. I wanted to create an edible, vibrant and playful version of a slice of my childhood — which is where these cookies come in! These delicious vanilla bean sugar cookies are a sweet nostalgic treat for any occasion. Now get your rolling pins out and let’s rock ’n’ roll!
CASSETTE SUGAR COOKIES
Makes approximately 14 true-to-size cassette cookies
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 cup butter (room temperature and cubed)
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- royal/cookie icing
- gel food coloring
- piping bags
1. To make sugar cookies: Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla bean until combined, then gradually add flour and mix on low until well incorporated. Divide dough into 2 evenly sized discs, then wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. When dough is chilled, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a clean and lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4 inch thick, then, using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut into cassette tape shapes. If you don’t have a cookie cutter like mine, print out a cassette-shaped template, and cut around with a knife. Lastly, cut holes in the center using jumbo straws. Alternatively, you can use a piping tip that’s approximately the same size.
3. Carefully transfer the cut cookie dough onto the baking trays, then place in freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. As ovens are usually heated unevenly, make sure to rotate the baking tray halfway through. Cool on baking tray until cookies are warm to touch, then transfer to a cooling rack
4. To decorate: When cookies are completely cool, it’s time for the fun part — decorating! Using homemade or store-bought cookie or royal icing, dye your icing in desired colors. I used gray, yellow, pink and turquoise for the base, and black for the outline to give it a more retro look.
5. First, outline the cookies with gray icing, then pipe and fill in the gray areas, using a toothpick to smooth out the icing if needed. Allow to dry for roughly 30 minutes. Next, fill in the colored areas and the small white rectangle in the center. Don’t worry if the lines between the two colors are not perfect, as they will be covered with the black outline. Leave this coat to dry for at least another 30 minutes, then, using the black icing fitted with a thin piping tip, carefully pipe on the outlines of the cassette tape, in addition to the smaller/more intricate details.
After the cookie dough has formed, divide dough into two evenly sized discs, then wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Roll the dough out on a clean and lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4 inch thick, then, using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut into cassette tape shapes. If you don’t have a cookie cutter like mine, print out a cassette-shaped template, and cut around with a knife. Carefully transfer onto lined baking tray and chill for 10-15 minutes in freezer.
Don’t forget to cut holes in the center using jumbo straws. Alternatively, you can use a piping tip that’s approximately the same size.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. As ovens are usually heated unevenly, ensure to rotate the baking tray halfway through. Cool on the baking tray until cookies are warm to touch, then transfer to a cooling rack.
When cookies are completely cool, it’s time for the fun part — decorating! First, outline the cookies with gray icing, then pipe and fill in the gray areas, using a toothpick to smooth out the icing if needed. Allow to dry for roughly 30 minutes. Next, fill in the colored areas and the small white rectangle in the center. Don’t worry if the lines between the two colors are not perfect, as they will be covered with outline. After leaving to dry for another 30 minutes, add in the black outlines of the tape.
Lastly, add in the more intricate details using the black icing, and you’re done!
How awesome are these colorful cassette tape cookies? Don’t they bring back memories?
Yep, they fit in a real cassette case… which means you can trick your friends!
Another cute idea is to write sweet little messages/song names on them and give them as gifts.
Whisk your friends away with these delicious pops of nostalgia!
Show us your colorful sugar cookies by tagging us on Instagram and using the hashtags #bcfoodie & #britstagram!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com