Monday, December 28, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
I nearly forgot I promised a peek at the filled tray! Here is one all wrapped up and ready to go. Each tray contained 17 different kinds of cookies plus peppermint bark and was topped off with a giant Gingerbread Snowflake ala Martha Stewart (just click the link for the recipe and directions) below.
This is a view of the tray before the addition of the Gingerbread Snowflake. Below the Snowflake, I've listed all the varieties of cookies I baked this year. You can click on the names in red to be taken to the recipes.
Lemon Sugar Cookie Stars, Chocolate Expresso Pinwheels, Cinnamon Twists, White Chocolate Macadamia, Mint Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut Crinkles, Princess Gems, Peppermint Bark, Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk, Russian Teacakes, White Chocolate Tropical Macaroons,
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Makes approx. 10-1/2 dozen
1 c. butter
1/2 c. butter flavor shortening
2 t. Bakers' ammonia
2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Cream butter and shortening. Add the Bakers' Ammonia and sugar and cream well. Add flur, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Fold in coconut.
For into 3/4" balls and place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet (Silpat or parchment lined).
Bake 18-20 min. or until light brown around the edges. Sift with confectioner's sugar when cool.
Note: If you plan to freeze these, do not sift on the the confectioner's sugar until ready to serve.
I will post a completed cookie tray on Christmas Day and will resume the cookie recipes on the 26th.
From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
These cookies go by lots of names but I have an old cookbook my step-Mom gave me that she used so much it's falling apart. (When I get my new camera..(tomorrow!!) I'll try to get a photo of it.
Enjoy these crunchy, sugared, nut-filled snowballs!
1 c. soft butter
1/2 c. sifted (I don't) confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla
2-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 finely chopped nuts (I toast mine first)
Cream together the butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla with electric mixer. Gradually add flour and salt, mixing on low speed just until combined.
Stir in nuts.
Chill dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until set and very slightly browned.
While still warm, roll in confectioner's sugar. Place on wire rack to cool. Roll in confectioner's sugar again.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Remember how much fun pinwheel cookies were to eat when you were a kid? I used to eat around and around until I got to the middle. This cookie is punched up a notch with the addition of expresso powder...yum! You can keep these in the freezer and just slice some off when unexpected guests pop in.
Chocolate Espresso Pinwheels (Fine Cooking)
Makes about 10 doz. 2 inch cookies
3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1-1/4 c. unsalted butter, slightly softened
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. instant espresso powder
2 T. boiling water
3 T. unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder (this is different than reg. cocoa powder)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and still warm
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Cream butter on mid-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream and mix for another 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until combined.
Remove 2 cups less 2 Tablespoons of the dough and set aside.
Dissolve the expresso powder and cocoa powder in th boiling water and set aside to briefly cool.
Then, mix into the remaining dough. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the warm melted chocolate and mix just until thoroughly combined.
Portion each flavor of dough into 3 equal pieces. (I use a kitchen scale for this) Shape each piece into a 5 x 5 inch square on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap well. (The chocolate will be thicker than the vanilla. Refrigerate for 30 min.
While dough is chilling, tear off 12 (12") squares of waxed paper. Roll each piece of dough into a 7" x 7" square between two sheets of the waxed paper. Without removing the waxed paper, layer the squares of dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10-15 min.
To shape the cookies, remove one swuare of the vanilla and one square of the chocolate dough from the refrigerator, peel off the top sheet of waxed paper from each then invert the chocolate square over the vanilla square (or vice versa!) Keep the layers as even as possible.
Use a rolling pin to gently roll the two layers to seal them together. Peel off the top layer of waxed paper. Starting with the edge closest to you, carefully curl the edge of the dough up and over with your fingertips, so no space is visible in the center of the pinwheel.
Use the waxed paper to continue rolling the dought into a tight cylinder. After the cylinder is formed, roll it back and forth to slightly elongate and compact it. It should be about 9 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Repeat with remaining dough.
Refrigerate about 3 hours or freeze for up to 3 months.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a sharp bladed knife to slight the dough into 3/16" rounds (I use that plastic ruler again!). Bake 12-14 minutes until the tops of the cookies feel set. Don't let them brown too much on the edges. Let stand on the pan for 1 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool. When cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. or freeze for up to 3 months.
Monday, December 21, 2009
It's a tender, not too sweet cream cheese dough that's brushed with an egg wash, then embedded with cinnamon, sugar and finely shopped walnuts...delish!...especially with a fresh, steaming cup of coffee or tea...or a cold glass of milk...or all by themselves!! :-)
1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 c. butter, softened
2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 cup walnuts
1 c. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Scrape bowl.
Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, gradually add 1 c. flour and mix until blended. Mix or stir in remaining 1-1/2 c. flour until smooth.
On lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap, pat dough into a 9" x 9" square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hurs or until dough is firm enough to roll.
Fit food processor with knife blade. Finely grind walnuts with 1/4 c. sugar. In small bowl, stir cinnamon and remaining 3/4 c. sugar into walnut mixture until well blended; set aside.
Preheat overn to 400 degrees. On lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, place dough square. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll with rolling pin into 11" x 11" square. With pastry brush, brush some beaten eggover the top of the dough, making sure to coat the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the walnut mixture. Gently press the mixture into the dough.
Carefully invert the dough onto another sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, nut side down. Brush with beaten egg; sprinkle with remaining walnut mixture and gently press nut mixture into dough.
Cut dough lengthwise into three 3-1/2" pieces (I keep a plastic ruler in my kitchen tool drawer just for baking), then cut the pieces crosswise into (66) 3-1/2" x 1/2" strips in all.
Twist each strip twice then place about 1" apart on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake twists 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Gently loosen twists (if using Silpat liners, they will lift right up). Cool on wire racks. Makes 5-1/2 dozen.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I've been making these Date Pinwheels for years. They're a family favorite and a favorite on the cookie trays we give away every Christmas.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface; rollin to a 16" x 8" rectangle. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1/2" margin on all sides. Starting at long side, carefully roll dough, jellyroll fashion; pinch seam and ends of roll to seal. Wrap dough in wax paper, and chill at least 1 hour.
Edited to add: It's important to note that your cookies will only be as good as your ingredients. If your cranberries are stale...dried and sugary, you won't get good flavor from them. Additionally, if you sub out margarine or shortening for the butter, your cookie may spread too much.
Extra white chocolate for drizzling or dipping.
Friday, December 18, 2009
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
2 c. flaked coconut
1 c. finely chopped dried pineapple
1/2 c. finely chopped macadamia nuts (you may substitute pecans although I haven't tried them)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
True Random Number Service
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Timestamp: 2009-12-10 00:45:34 UTC
Charlene, my friend, I am sorry to hear about your neighbor!!! You are right she and all of the angels are doing a dance now. I think I was one of the first ones following you and I have not looked back since. You are talented beyond what I could ever be. I love visiting you my friend!!! Hugs and blessing, Sabrina
December 4, 2009 2:31 PM
Thank you so much to those of you who expressed condolences upon the passing of my dear friend, Mary Edith. If any of you have passed up the opportunity to befriend someone much older than you are, I would encourage you to try it. Older people (um, that would be me (eek!) but I'm thinking of those in their 70's -80's) have so much wisdom to share and are so in need of younger company.
My next posts will be Christmas cookies and recipes. Hmmm...maybe the 12 days of cookies?
At any rate, don't forget TODAY IS BLOG CANDY DAY!! I've added some things to the list...wink, wink. Click here to see just a few of them. It is Christmas, right? If you follow me, thank you! You have until 7:00 this evening to play.
Now onto my project. I saw a simpler version of these online somewhere. I was thinking a shabby look would compliment the clothespins since some them aren't perfect.
I painted them with white acrylic, decoupaged the paper on both sides (I printed the words directly onto my paper first using a computer generated font), sprayed them with sealer and then sanded each one.
After they were sanded, I glued on buttons and those cute metal thingys...actually, they began life as push pins but the pin back broke off. Now I'm trying figure out how to break the rest of them!!
I used a pre-fab vellum tag and just punched out a circle for the center, stamped my sentiment and glued it on with Mono-multi.
What do you think?
Merry Christmas and don't forget to play for the candy!
Paper - Papertrey Ink
Sentiments - computer generated
Accessories - wooden spring clothespins, metal tin, vellum tag, ribbon, buttons, found items, MonoMulti, twine, Mod Podge,
Acrylic sealer, sandpaper, white acrylic paint
Monday, December 7, 2009
"And let the beauty of the Lord
Our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our
hands for us;
Yes, establish the work
of our hands."
Is this not the perfect verse for stampers?
I was asked to frame this verse for gifts by our pastor's wife. It is one of the verses from the Beth Moore Bible study on Esther and she wanted it framed in these beautiful frames from Michael's to give to her leaders.
I couldn't find the verse anywhere, and since I wanted to emboss it, I had a stamp made at a local rubber stamp company. I wanted the swirl to have some texture, so I got some Stampendous swirl stickers in gold (same one in the blog candy!) and toned them down with Stazon Timber Brown ink. (both papers are the color in the first...that darn camera!)
So dear friends and new visitors, as you prepare for this season, "let the beauty of the Lord.....establish the work of your hands..." as you create beautiful things for those you love.
P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment for the blog candy Here.
My work was accepted for a juried art show! Since I didn't think it would be accepted, I am woefully unprepared!! I will try to post a few things as I'm able. Thanks for being patient.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
My goodness, I am so humbled and so appreciative of all you who regularly visit my blog. Thank you so much.! I totally missed the fact that I passed 25,000 hits and we're on the way to 27,000!
I haven't been posting regularly as I've been grieving over the passing of a dear, beloved friend and neighbor. She was 88 years young, feisty and beautiful. She lost her battle with a severe stroke and congestive heart failure on the 2nd. Today, she dances in the company of The Most High King and His angels.
For those of you who are followers, I have a gift.
If you would like to be included in this blog candy drawing, just leave me a comment with your contact information. I will be adding items including some stamped images for you to play with.
Included in this blog candy is:
Pearlescent Watercolor Paints (love these!)
A Sizzix leaf die
Stamping Bella Doc a Bella stamp
Two sets of Stampendous Swirl Stickers
Fiskars Heart Pop-up Punch
Flower Soft Christmas Tree card fronts
American Crafts foil chipboard shapes
foof-a-La epoxy stickers
SU butterfly stamp
assortment of paper and silk flowers
small round tin
acrylic paint can
Cutting Cafe planner
chipboard letters and foam mounted frames
Don't forget your contact info if you don't have an online account. Be sure to scroll down as I will posting some projects you might be interested in. And if you want a chance at even More candy head on over to Sue's blog. She's an awesome stamper and a really sweet person as well.
Blessings and Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
On the top shelf, right side, I added a small wire shelf unit. On it are my Fabriano cards/envelopes. Underneath the wire shelf are boxes of linen stationary for making personalized notes. To the left are my bead boxes, books and candy for gifts, and Zip Loc bags.
The second shelf hold a small organizer with "stuff" in it... dimensionals, rubber bands, hand held punches, etc. Another of those wire shelves holds mediums like Gamsol, shaving cream, Gesso, etc. Under the shelf are two plastic bins of Scor-Tape and various supplies. To the right are stackers that hold manila file folders & chipboard.
The third shelf holds the heavy machinery....A Rollabind, a couple of Xyrons, a Bind-it-All and the accessories for them.
Bottom shelf are some baskets I got on clearance from Michaels that hold my alterables. On the left are notepads, of all sizes and shapes that I pick up whenever I see a good deal, the center one holds pails, glass vases, etc. and the one on the right has all the rest...candles, coffee mugs...anything I might need for a quick or not so quick, gift.
How is this for a light box? I purchased one of those 16" light boxes (no lights as I read an Ott light does just as well).
It's ok but just not big enough and it's a bit lopsided. I didn't want to spend $50 right now for another box so went on the hunt for an alternative. I found a great DIY here. (just click the red area for instructions)
The guy is funny and gives step by step instructions along with photos for how to make your own. Mine is probably a bit bigger than I really need but it works great. I have two small Ott lights that I set up on the sides, but you could use daylight as well. A great way to save money and recycle at the same time. I sew so I had a roll of tracing paper from a pattern making class but you could use white tissue paper on the sides and top just as easily. I taped it down with my tape gun. I got the poster board at Dollar Tree 2/$1.
I promise to get back to stamping....I had several big projects get done...One down, two to go! Whew!! My posts may be a big irregular as baking time gets closer....but I promise to post recipes and photos of the cookies if you'd like.
Thanks for popping in and do give the photo box a try...it's really easy and a great money saver.