Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snowy Chocolate Pinecones

Looking for a simple, no-bake, edible craft project for the kiddos this winter? 

How about a chic and clever dessert for a winter-themed party or nature-inspired wedding reception?

These snowy chocolate pinecones are made out of Fiber One cereal, peanut butter and Nutella. Dusted with powdered sugar for the "snowy" effect, they look just like a real pinecone. (But they taste a whole lot better than Mother Nature's version.)

Check out my complete tutorial over at Handmade Charlotte

P.S. That little deer in the picture keeps showing up in photos and various places around our house since he made his first appearance on my sugar cookies at Christmas. The other day, I gave Bea a Poptart for breakfast and put him on top. She thought that was hilarious. I think he just might hang around this year and join in on my baking adventures. Keep watching!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sugar Cookies, Simplified.

I have a confession. I hate decorating cookies. Well, I don't hate it. I'm just not very good at it, therefore I don't enjoy it. My hands aren't very steady, and I can't grip a piping bag for more than 5 minutes before my fingers start cramping. So I'm always looking for creative ways to "cheat" when it comes to frosting and decorating cookies (and cakes too, for that matter.)

As the designated baker for my large family, I'm expected to bring platters and platters of our favorite Christmas sugar cookies. This year, I tried to come up with a fun way to deliver maximum cookies, for minimum effort, and still present them in a creative way. (Plus, package them in a container that won't take up valuable trunk space in our car.)

My solution: 100+ scalloped square sugar cookies, filling a box I made out of foam core, frosted white to look like a snowy field, and topped with some little plastic deers and wintery trees.

They're still everyone's favorite homemade sugar cookies with buttercream icing, just simplified. And I didn't have to kill myself spending hours and hours decorating them. 

Happy baking and happy holidays!

Two foam core boxes with lids, filled with cookies, and ready to travel.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread Man Postcard

Dear Santa Claus -
I've been a very good girl this year. Please bring me some new cookie cutters for Christmas.

Love - Sandra

Deliver an extra-sweet holiday "hello" by making and mailing a gingerbread man (or woman) postcard. It looks so realistic, your mail carrier might even try to take a bite out of this creative Christmas card cookie.

You'll find the complete, how-to-holiday tutorial at SheKnows.

Does this Santa suit make me look fat?

The kids bought a Santa suit for our cat this weekend at the PetSmart. Needless to say, it's a little snug.

Our Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la Feline is gonna have to start cutting back on the eggnog.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Stocking Cakes with a Surprise

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Bake up a batch of these Christmas stocking cakes and surprise your holidays guests with a mouth full of candy or a mouth full of black licorice "coal." 

Actually, you can put whatever naughty or nice treats you'd like inside these little cakes. I considered using cough drops for the "naughty" version, but Eric told me that would be just plain mean. Also, a possible chocking hazard. :)

You can find my super-simple, step-by-step tutorial at SheKnows.com.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Sippers

Champagne flutes dressed up to look like Santa Claus? I'll drink to that.

And you can too. These Santa Sippers would be perfect for eggnog, your favorite white cocktail, or even milk for the kiddos. Just decorate the outsides of the glass with various edible accessories and fill up Kris Kringle's beard with your beverage. (The hats come off for easy refilling.)

The complete Santa Sipper tutorial is posted on SheKnows this week in their special Homemade Holiday Issue. Check it out. Lots of fun, festive ideas to make the most of this merry time of year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ice Skating Penguins on Sugar Cookies

Wait. I know what you're thinking. "Haven't I seen these before?"

Yes you have. I made these ice skating penguin cookies last year for my office party at WSU. But they were so fun and easy, I decided to do a tutorial on them this year for SheKnows' Homemade Holiday Issue. Check them out and make some for your next holiday gathering. They're definitely a crowd-pleaser-of-a-cookie.

I made my penguins out of black jellybeans, but you could also use Junior Mints or maybe some chocolate-covered Jordan almonds.

My favorite part of these cookies is when you look down on them from above, and see the "skate marks" on the icing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Awwww….. fudge!

No really. It's fudge. A whole forest of yummy fudge.

I just love when a dessert can become a decorative centerpiece on a table too. And this forest of fudge trees is a perfect example. Not only is it delicious and pre-skewered for your party-snacking enjoyment, but it also looks stunning on a holiday table. Each tasty tree is nestled into a bed of granulated sugar, ready to be plucked and eaten.

Believe me when I say, fudge doesn't have to be brown or cut into cubes. It can be oh-so-fun! 

For my easy forest of fudge tutorial, hop over to Handmade Charlotte.

Ho Ho Hope you like it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 Turkey Day Treats to Gobble Up

Thanksgiving seems soooo late this year. I'm all messed up. Sure feels like I should be eating turkey, green bean casserole and marshmallow-smoothered yams by now.

But alas, Thanksgiving is still another week away. I guess that means there's plenty of time to share some of my edible craft recipes - past and present. Here's a little roundup of 10 Turkey Day treats to gobble up:

1. Oreo Turkey Pops

2. Turkey Coffee Spoons

3. Spicy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Bites

4. Turkey Macarons

5. Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake

6. Brown Bag Turkey Legs

7. No-bake Fall Mum Cookies

8. Cheesecake Mashed Potato Bites with Caramel Gravy

9. Caramel Pear Turkey Legs

10. Pumpkin Pie Cheese & Crackers

Friday, November 15, 2013

Olaf the Snowman Snacks

I saw a trailer for Disney's new movie, Frozen, way back in June and thought it looked awesome. Something about the snowman character, Olaf, just melts my heart.

So, I created a sweet little Olaf the Snowman snack that will melt in your mouth. Just a few oddly shaped marshmallows on a frosted graham cracker. Nothing complicated, but really cute. 

Instructions and helpful step-by-step photos can be found here at SheKnows.com.

See you in the theaters soon, Olaf!

Even my cat likes Olaf. (Or at least, she was curious about him during my photoshoot.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

PIece-of-cake Peace Cake

I don't think I'll ever get tired of baking surprises inside of desserts. It's like getting a great present, and then realizing there's another present to unwrap.

I originally planned to make this Peace Cake for Bea's peace-themed birthday in September. But she wanted cookies this year, not cake. The idea kept burning in my brain though, so I decided to make it anyway. And I'm happy to have the tutorial featured on Handmade Charlotte this week! You can find the step-by-step instructions here.

P.S. You can do this with any shape. I've done variations of this idea with a pumpkin pound cake last fall, and a name cake for my sister's birthday this summer. The possibilities are endless. (In fact, I've got another one I want to try this weekend. Stay tuned!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wiener Dog Rocker #2

Eric had a special request to make another dachshund rocker for a woman who's first grandbaby arrives in March. 

The first rocker he built was made out of white oak. This one, he built out of cherry wood. I just love how the green grass compliments the color. Looks like he's bounding through our lawn.

Here's hoping many generations are able to create great memories on this sweet little doxie.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Frost Bites

A few months ago, I came across this cool, 1955 book cover titled "You Can't Eat Mount Rainier!" It made me smile, seeing that mountain on a fork and that silly cartoon guy with his mouth open wide. And then it gave me an idea for a cookie.

Why would anyone want to make mountain cookies? I don't know.... maybe for a ski trip? Or a snow-themed party? Or to celebrate someone moving to the mountains. (Which, by the way, I would love to do someday. Growing up in western Kansas, Colorado was practically my backyard, and it's always been a dream of mine to live there.)

So, if you love the mountains like me, then mix up a batch of these chocolate no-bake cookies with snowy sugar tops. They're peaks you can eat. And they're even easier to attempt, than the bunny slope.

Find the complete tutorial here at SheKnows.


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