Friday, December 21, 2012

Special Little Gifts

  Here is a fun, easy way to send some holiday cheer...fill up a little basket with some cookies,cookie dough, and some hot cocoa! It can be either homemade, or is all in the packaging folks!!
  This one will be going to our neighbors, and hopefully the hot chocolate will warm them is cold tonight!!
  The containers for the cookie dough can be found at .

Cookies Cookies Cookies

   I just wanted to share a picture of some of the goodies I sent to school with my boys today! I think their friends and teachers will be smiling,don't you?

Most of the recipes for these cookies can be found on the blog.Here are some that I used;

Triple Chocolate Delights
Nut Cups
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Oatmeal Butterscotch
Chocolate Oatmeal Chip
Chocolate Rugelach
Eggnog Kringla
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
Peanut Butter
Candy Cane Cookies

Just put any of the names above in the search area of the blog, and you will find the recipes. I'm still working on learning how to use the day I'll get it!  Happy Holidays!!

Snowman Soup

   Here is an idea I found on Pinterest, and thought it would be perfect for my children to give to their classmates. It is easy to assemble, just print the labels, place the items in little gift bags(I purchase mine at Michael's ), staple the label on top and you are done!! These make great stocking stuffers, party favors, and classroom gifts during the winter!I found these labels at , and they were free!

Small treat bags
Chocolate chips
Mini Marshmallows
hot cocoa packets
candy canes
white cardstock for printing labels

I placed the cocoa, 5 chocolate chips, and a handful of mini marshmallows in each bag, along with one candy cane. Print and cut out the labels, then fold them in half and staple onto each bag! Easy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Candy Cottage

 Who doesn't like a little bit of candy around the holidays? I made this candy cottage using candy melts, a sleigh mold, and a gingerbread house mold that I found at .  The best part of this is that when you are finished, you can fill it with candy, or cookies, or whatever you like. It makes a great showpiece, as well as a fun surprise for children. The peppermint tray has been on Pinterest, as well as The Chew, and is a fun,easy thing to make! This one, is about to be delivered to a family we love, but they have no idea it is coming! I hope they enjoy it!

Cottage Instructions:

 Using candy melts,( I usually use Merckens, but could not find it due to low supplies since Hurricane Sandy), melt down the color you are using in a double boiler, or in the microwave. If using the microwave, do this in 30 secinds intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate.
   Once it is melted, pour into the molds and let it set for about 1/2 hour. Remove the pieces from the molds. One at a time, using melted chocolate as the "glue" , place the pieces together, holding them in place for a few minutes until they are set. Before I place the last part of the roof on, I filled this one with candy.

   Let the house set for a good hour, just to make sure all of the chocolate glue has hardened. If desired, add embellishments, as I did here....trees, gingerbread people( all part of the mold set), a sled, and some additional snow(white chocolate). Place on the peppermint tray, again using a little chocolate glue to hold in place!

Peppermint Tray Instructions:

 Line a parchment -lined baking sheet with peppermints placed about 1/4 of an inch apart. I made 10 rows of eight(about 18 oz.). Place in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes until they melt and are touching. remove from the oven. If edges are uneven, wait 30 seconds, then trim carefully with a sharp knife(candy is super hot)! Let cool for about 15 minutes, then use as a base for the cottage, or as a serving tray for desserts. Just remember not to place anything hot on top, because the candy will melt!

 Here it is wrapped and ready to go( a bit hard to see through the cellophane)!
   Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cookie Garland

   Here is a fun  decorating/food project for you and your children. Using your favorite gingerbread, or sugar cookie recipe, turn miniature cookies into garland for your family tree,or a smaller decorative tree in your home, or even a mantle.  I made this one today with three of my boys, and they enjoyed mixing, rolling and decorating the cookies. Here is the Martha Stewart gingerbread recipe we used, and directions for making the garland. This dough is different that the gingerbread I posted last December, and has just the right consistency for making ornaments and garland.Have fun!!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsulphured molasses
1 stick of butter, softened
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 c. milk
5-1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder

   In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the sugar, molasses and butter. Add the spices and baking powder. Add the flour and milk, mixing just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    When ready, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Using a straw or a round decorating tip, cut a small hole in the center of each cookie. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool, then decorate.

 For the icing, I used about 2 cups of powdered sugar, one Tbsp of light corn syrup(for shine,you can also skip this), and added water slowly, and a little at a time ,until I had the right spreading consistency. The icing should not be too thick or too thin.If it is too thick, add a bit more water...too thin, add a bit more sugar. Color as desired, and either dip the cookies into the icing, or use pastry bags to decorate. Adorn with added sprinkles or decorations if desired.

   When the cookies are dry, carefully slide a thin string or ribbon through each one until all of the cookies are used! Make small bows on the ends and display on your tree, mantle or kitchen! Your house will smell delicious!!

*** You can also use a ready-made cookie dough...the fun is really in making the project together with your children!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown for Thanksgiving, I made a turkey out of many cookies using a leaf cookie cutter( a great idea from Sweet Sugarbelle). So today, I figured why not do the same and make a Christmas tree? I also added some beloved characters that we all know. Here is the finished product...right before my children demolished it.Just wanted to share with you!!!