Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Days 'Til Christmas!!!! (Day 15)

Extra exclamation points today because we are officially in the home stretch to Christmas. Oh Holy Night, we're so close.

I'm stepping up my game today, partly because of the 10 day thing, partly because I have an exam at 2 today and I need a good excuse to take a break from studying.

On Today's Agenda:
  1. An amazing craft

  2. A visually pleasing and looks-more-difficult-than-it-is recipe

  3. Ideas for decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc.

First up is the craft. I almost went into a frenzy when I saw this craft because I have been trying to make a mantel peice garland for my window sill but had no idea where I could get birch bark other than ripping it off trees, which is not ideal for the environment or my criminal record. Martha, that beautiful women/her minions has provided us with a template!

Yule Log Favour Boxes

All you will need is empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls, glue, and this template. Also mayhap some sparkles if you're feeling adventurous and want to give them a snowy look.

You can find the template here or if that doesn't work go here and click on the link (click on tools and materials and it'll show up).

I will be making this craft, probably tomorrow, so I'll post pictures once it's done.

Next: The recipe -
Stained Glass Cookies

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and set aside
  2. Cream 1 cup (2 sticks) butter and 2 cups granulated sugar until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a circle, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Working with one piece of dough at a time, on a well-floured Silpat (a French nonstick baking mat), roll out dough to a rectangle slightly thicker than 1/8 inch. Chill for 10 minutes. Gather together scraps and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough before rerolling.
  4. Cut out dough with large cookie cutters then use smaller cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the center of the cookie. Place the cookies onto a tinfoil-lined baking sheet. The tinfoil makes it easier to peel the cookies off without damaging the stained glass center.
  5. Fill in the cut outs with candy (e.g. jolly ranchers or something similar) that you have crushed. I find the best way to do this is to put them in a ziplock bag and then beat them mercilessly with a rolling pin or hammer. You will likely pop the bag so don't hit it too hard :)
  6. Bake until crisp but not darkened, about 15-18 minutes. Once cookies are cool, careful peel the tinfoil from the back of them and ta-da! You've got stained glass cookies.

Last, here are some fun ideas for decorating your baked goods. I want to get my hands on some fondant so as soon as I figure out where to go I'll pass along that info. I know Michael's has it but there isn't one close to me :(

Ok, now I really have to go cram.
But this is the last exam I care about! Hurray!

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