Thursday, December 29, 2011

Number Cookies for New Years Eve

So long 2011.

I am wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2012. Have you written out your resolutions? I have been working on mine and will share them this week.

Here are the countdown cookies 10, 9, 8,7............3, 2, 1!!!!!! Kiss. Kiss.

Should I be 48 or 49? Okay. Okay. I am 49.

However, I am planning to be 49 for at least three years in a row. I really don't look 49 nor do I feel 49. How? When? Why did this happen? They say age is just a number - so my number is........27!

Enough with my age. I used a great sugar cookie recipe for these numbers. The best thing about the recipe was that I didn't need to add any flour when I re-rolled the dough scraps.  I would also like to add that making numbers was a lot of fun! Who knew? I found the numbers in my ABC cookie cutter tub! I was planning to use the ABC cookie cutters to write Happy New Year - but I decided to do this number project instead.

But - I still might spell out Happy New Year with a different set of cookie cutters. That's right I have two sets of ABC cookie cutters. Jealous?

Here is my sugar cookie recipe-


3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla


In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, corn syrup and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture one-third at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition.

Divide the dough in half and make two disks. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Tic - Tock. It has been two hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and cut out your numbers. I baked my numbers around 7 minutes. Cool the cookies completely before you begin the decorating process.

Noelle and I used all types of  sprinkles and icing pens to decorate the numbers.  This would be a fun project to put a number cookie standing up on cupcakes for a birthday - or to write out the address for a housewarming party gift. Be creative!

I am running really low on icing pens and still haven't bought meringue powder to make my own icing. Hopefully in 2012 I won't be so lazy!


I would love it if you would leave a comment! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Minute Ideas

I always do everything on the last minute at Christmas. Every other holiday - I am super organized. However, despite my best intentions I am always doing little crafts at the very last minute for Christmas. Next year I will be organized is always one of my Resolutions.

Remember the pearls I used to make the pearl ornaments?

Well, I had a ton of extra pearls. What to do? I put them on bobby pins and put the bobby pins on construction paper.

I bought a pack of sixty bobby pins and it took me about an hour to add the pearls, cut the paper and put six bobby pins on each paper to make ten little treats. A fun stocking stuffer or party favor.

Then I made some Snowman S'more kits. We all know how to make these - I make them for every holiday!

Then I made some Peep lollipops - just put a lollipop stick in the Peep - put in a plastic bag and tie with ribbon. This is super easy! Have the kids make these and put them in a basket, vase or at each place setting.

I put the Christmas Tree Peeps on popsicle sticks and wrote "Oh Christmas Tree" on the stick with a green pen.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Snowflakes

I made some Gingerbread Snowflakes with my extra Gingerbread dough.

The intricate designs took a lot of time.

Snowflakes don't have to be white - I think the blue looks fantastic. You must apply the little white sprinkle decorations while the icing is still soft.

I also made purple snowflakes. The purple decorations are chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gingerbread Men and Ladies

I was searching the around for a really wonderful Gingerbread recipe and I decided to try Bakerella's recipe. She is always spot on with her recipes (add I adore her)! She used this recipe to make Gingerbread and Snowman faces only. But I really wanted to make Gingerbread Men - her recipe worked perfectly and made the whole house smell like Christmas.

Gingerbread Recipe (from Bakerella)

5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup butter, slightly soft
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses

In a medium bowl stir flour, baking soda, salt and spices - set aside.

Using a mixer combine sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until well combined.

Add molasses and mix again until combined. Gradually add in flour mixture and mix until combined and a dough forms.

Divide dough into four sections and shape each into a flattened disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out each disc between two sheets of parchment paper using a rolling pin.

Flour the sides of the paper that will touch the dough to make it a little easier to release.

Cut out shapes and remove the excess dough to re-roll and reuse.

Bake for 7 - 9 minutes.

Note I used two discs and made over 40 medium sized Gingerbread Men! I still have two discs to make tonight - I am thinking maybe Gingerbread Snowflakes - or Stars. You will just have to wait and see!

Noelle's Audrey Hepburn Gingerbread Ladies scream - "Breakfast at Tiffany."

My very basic Gingerbread Men with red hot buttons.

Noelle's pink Gingerbread Ladies are so very ladylike.

My Gingerbread Men with snowflake buttons.

Noelle and I decorated a ton of Gingerbread Men and Ladies - we set them out on parchment paper to dry overnight.

Before we started decorating the Gingerbread Men and Ladies - I pulled out all of my colored icings and larger sprinkles and of course the red hots. So we just started to create!
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Candy Cane Blossoms

I bought some Candy Cane Kisses - recipes for these are all over the Internet. But I decided to use the recipe that Hershey's published.


1 bag Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter. softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of milk
Red colored sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove wrappers from candies.

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and egg in a large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 3/4" balls. Roll in red colored sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 - 9 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. I baked mine for 7 minutes and they were perfect.  Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes - then press the Candy Cane Kiss into the center of each cookie. This recipe made 56 cookies - give or take because Christian and I had a few "taste tests."

These have a wonderful peppermint taste! The Candy Cane Kisses would look festive in a candy dish.

I bought mine at Target - but I have seen them everywhere! Christian and I are going to make this recipe again. He really just likes to help unwrap the Kisses - so that he can eat a few!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Creative Gift Wrap For Football Fans

Sometimes more is more! On Friday my son is going to a birthday party and his friend is a football player. My son plays basketball and baseball - so sometimes when I need baseball stickers - the sticker set comes with football and soccer stickers. Although he doesn't play football or soccer - many of his friend do and I save these items for gift wrap, the Super Bowl and Soccer play offs!

Our package is wrapped with brown paper and tied with three different sizes of white ribbon. I used two sizes of football stickers. Then I tied on a small package of football candy and there is a Rolo cigar taped in the upper right hand corner. Everyone should have a cigar on their birthday! I used a football ornament to write the "to and from" with a Sharpie pen.

Close up of Rolo cigar.

I used some football beads to tie at the end of the thin ribbons.

I hope this inspires you to wrap your gifts - using the "more is more" approach!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Basketball Treats

Last week I made snacks for after the game. I made Rolo cigars with a basketball sticker.

Everyone loves Rolo's - the chocolate wrapped around the carmel - yum!

I also made a Rice Crispy treat. I dipped the Rice Crispy treat into chocolate and sprinkled with blue sanding sugar (our team colors are blue and white).  Once the chocolate was dry - I piped an "S" in the middle. The "S" is for our team - we are the Spartans.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Basketball Cookies

Today is my son's 12th birthday. I always tell him on December 9th, 1999 all the angels in heaven got together and send his mom the best boy in the world. Tonight he has basketball practice and my husband is going to the train station to pick our daughter up - she is coming home for Christmas break. Soooo... I am bringing basketball cookies at the end of basketball practice. We are going to celebrate Christian's birthday tomorrow and he is having a party with friends next week!

I made simple sugar cookies with Alton Brown's sugar cookie recipe. I am not going to post his recipe because my dough came out a little sticky and I had to use a lot of flour to roll it out. Then I just used a round cookie cutter.  I still love you Alton Brown - your glasses rock!

Once the cookies were cool I frosted them with some Wilton orange icing. And sprinkled them with orange sugar to off-set the additional flour.  Once the orange icing is completely dry - you can use a Wilton black pen to make the basketball lines.

The black icing takes a long time to dry. I decorated them on parchment paper and then set them on trays to dry over night.

I tested them this morning and they were dry! Yeah!

I always make extra cookies because I like to give out the really good cookies and keep the cookies that are a little askew for my family. They all taste the same.

This was a really easy - two day cookie project! I am still looking for that perfect sugar cookie recipe.  Let me know if you have a really wonderful sugar cookie recipe.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

White Chocolate Covered Oreo's with Crushed Candy Canes

I dipped regular Oero's into white chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed candy canes. Yum!

Okay -  after I dipped and sprinkled all of the Oero's - I still had a lot of melted white chocolate. So i decided to dip some pretzel rods.

I just dipped the top half of the pretzel in the white chocolate.

I packed the pretzels in pretzel bags and tied them with red ribbon.

Note: You can buy pre-crushed candy canes or make your own by putting unwrapped candy canes in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a heavy object!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Lofthouse Style Cookies

Yes, I made homemade Lofthouse style cookies. These are my husbands favorite cookies from the grocery store. So when he came home from baseball tryouts (for our son) I was anxious for his input. He loved them! He said he liked them more then the store-bought variety. That is high praise from the food-critic I married!

Okay - when I decided to make these cookies I researched several recipes via Google and Pinterest. There was an unbelievable amount of recipes for these cookies. A few people claimed that they knew the family that invented the recipe and I really wanted to try that recipe BUT it called for shortening. I did not have any shortening! I have four kinds of sugar (granulated, powdered, light brown, dark brown) and two kinds of flour (all-purpose and cake) and several extracts (vanilla, almond, lemon and rum) BUT no shortening. Also many of them called for a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. I measured my round cookie cutter and it was the wrong size. Shocker!

Sooooo - I decided the first recipe that I found that I had all the ingredients needed in my pantry and refrigerator would be the recipe that I would try!


For the cookies:

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 teaspoons of vanilla

For the frosting:

5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
8 tablespoons of milk (plus a little more, if needed)

In a medium bowl combine the flour,  baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend and set aside. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix throughly after each egg. Blend in the vanilla and start adding the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock. It has been 1 hour!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop a a scant quarter cup of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. Space your cookies 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE! The edges should be very lightly browned if at all. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To frost the cookie, sift the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk if necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. At this point you could tint with food coloring. Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cookies. Top with sprinkles.

I decorated the cookies on my cooled cookie sheet to contain the sprinkle mess!

 These were really easy to make. However, I am going to buy some shortening this week and try the other recipe and let you know which one was best! Are you waiting on pins and needles for the outcome?

I think my cookies taste like and even look like the Lofthouse cookies from the store! Now I must give recipe credit. I found this recipe on What Megan's Making and she got the recipe from Hostess with The Mostest and it was on that website from Annie Eats.