Cookie Camp Goodies {Giveaway!}

{Ridiculously amazing cookies above by Maryann Rollins a.k.a. Cookie Artisan}
I’m still on a high from my road trip adventure to Cookie Camp earlier this month!  To be surrounded by friends, away from the stresses of everyday life, and simply have time to be creative, was such a life-giving week! 
One of the fun bonuses of Cookie Camp was coming home with some fun new goodies, donated by several generous baking supply companies.  To see a full list of our camp prize sponsors, please see my original Cookie Camp post.  I would highly recommend browsing the full list, as you will find a wide variety of quality supplies for all your baking and crafting projects.
But what kind of blogger would I be to just tell you about all my fun, and not share any with you?  Not a very nice one  =)  So I’ve put together a great little collection of goodies from three of our camp sponsors and I’ll enjoy shipping it off to one of my lucky readers! 

This Cookie Camp prize pack includes goodies from three great companies….

Karen’s Cookies
4 Americolor gel colors (orange, egg yellow, mint green and chocolate brown)
Leaf and acorn cookies cutters
1- PME 1.5 stainless steel piping tip
Rainbow Disco Dust and a Pixie shaker.
Sweet Baking Supply
Black Sprinkles
Royal icing eyes
Spider web and spider cookie cutters
The Twinery
4 mini bundles of twine (in stone, buttercream, denim and lemondrop)  60 yards of twine total.

Ready to win? 
Simply leave a comment below
 telling me what you “need” most from this prize pack.
It’s not required… but if you’re not a fan of Glorious Treats on Facebook, come like me HERE!  The Glorious Treats fan page is a great way to keep up to date on all the sweetness I post, and other fun ideas I find around the web!  (P.S. Feel free to say “Hi” on Facebook, but do not leave a comment for the giveaway there… giveaway entries must be left as a comment on this post)
One entry per person.  Please include an e-mail so I can contact the winner!
Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.  Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 18th, 9pm Pacific.  Winner will be chosen using Random.org.  Comments with no contact information are not valid.   

~ Giveaway Closed ~

Winning comment, as chosen using Random.org…
 #211- Caitlin

Road trip to Cookie Camp!

I’m a stay-at-home mom.  I live in the suburbs.  I homeschool.   My life isn’t exactly what you would call exciting…
But last week I enjoyed a special trip that took me from my home in northern California all the way to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  Along the way I spent time in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, each for the first time.  I crossed the Mississippi River for the first time (not counting fly overs).  I walked down music row in Nashville, Tennessee, and also visited the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  While in the Appalachian mountains, I saw a wild black bear.  I spent the week with old friends from all over the country… who I technically had never met before!  Oh, and I got to bake cupcakes and decorate cookies!! 
I think that will be enough excitement to last me a while!  =)
Ok, let’s start back at the beginning…
Long before I had a blog, I posted my work on Flickr.  Through Flickr I have met many lovely, and talented ladies from around the world.  Many who I now consider true friends.  Last year I met my good friend Sharnel, in person for the first time (I posted all about our fun week in San Francisco, here).
This year, a group of Flickr friends all passionate about cookie decorating, planned a weekend of chatting, relaxing, and cookie decorating in the hills of Tennessee.  This fun weekend was made possible by one of the ladies in our group of friends who has an in at a beautiful campground in the Appalachian mountains.  So a small group of ladies flew in from around the country, and we gathered at Cookie Camp!  And if that doesn’t sound like enough fun… two of my good friends and I added to the weekend with a road trip!  Maryann, Callye, and I began our trip in Oklahoma City, where we packed up the car and headed east!  We drove and chatted, and drove and chatted some more, and a day and a half later arrived at our destination in Tennessee.      
A toast to our trip (the evening before we headed east).   L to R- Callye (Sweet Sugar Belle), Maryann, and me (Glorious Treats)!
Along the way, we stopped for lunch with Kristan (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen).  I first met Kristan earlier this year at a bloggers workshop at Wilton (read all about it here).  It’s so amazing how the internet can bring people together from around the world!  And just in case there is any doubt… yes, Kristan is just as cute, sweet and sparkly as her blog
Continuing east, we crossed the Mississippi river and drove on through Memphis, Tennessee.
And what kind of road trip would it be without a few unplanned stops?  As we were driving through Nashville (each for the first time) we knew we just had to stop!  A quick drive around town, walk down music row and a horse drawn carriage ride gave a mini tour of “Music City.”
We arrive at camp… no cell service, no internet, just lots of beautiful peace and quiet!
The first afternoon of camp included a sighting of the camp mascot Zuzu, a baby black bear. 
Each “camper” brought a decorated flower cookie as a gift to thank our host!  So many different colors and styles, and yet I think they all look really beautiful together! 
(left) Me (right) Marlyn
We spent the weekend “playing” with sugar!  Lots of cookie decorating, learning from the styles and techniques of our friends, and sampling a few cookies along the way!  I made up a batch of my Chocolate Cupcakes as a special treat, and they all disappeared quite quickly  =)
It was so amazing to be face to face with long time friends, and some of my “cookie idols”.
Here is a little sampling of our weekend “play time” 
(Top row)  Cookies by Jennifer, Laura, me, Cindy, Marlyn, Maryann
(Bottom row)  Cookies by Bea (sea collection) and Johnna (queen)
And what’s camp without a bonfire and some s’mores?
(L to R) Me and my beautiful and talented friend, Marlyn
By the end of the week we were all exhausted, but also so happy!!  It was so special get away from the regular routine of life,  spend time with friends and enjoy doing something we all love… decorating cookies!
  Several generous companies sent along some beautiful goodies for us to enjoy at camp.
A huge thank you to our camp sponsors!
Photo thanks to Sugar Rush Treats for allowing me to use several of her gorgeous photos of camp!

Halloween Cupcakes in a Jar

I am just home from an 8 day trip through the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee.  My trip included lots of cookie decorating, meeting with “internet friends”, and so much chatting that by the end of the week I had no voice!  I’ll look forward to sharing some of the details of my trip very soon, but for today I’ll share these fun and simple Halloween Cupcakes in a jar.

If you’ve been around (Glorious Treats) for any time you may have figured out that I like (maybe love!) desserts in a jars!  First there were the cute and simple Chocolate Cupcakes in a jar, then festive 4th of July Cupcakes in a jar, followed by Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes in a jar, and recently Pumpkin Pecan Dessert in a jar.

Layering cupcakes or desserts in a jar is such a great way to add some pizazz to an individual serving of dessert.  They make great gifts or party favors and are easy to transport… what’s not to love?  Each time I post a treat in a jar I get questions as to where I buy my jars (even though I do mention it in each post)… I usually buy my jars at Wal-Mart or my local grocery store.  I’m sure you could also buy them on-line.  These cupcakes are layered in 1/2 pint canning jars.

Halloween Cupcakes in a Jar

Directions ~

1.  Bake Chocolate cupcakes (here’s my favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe) in standard sized paper liners.

2.  Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, remove paper liner, and cut cupcakes in half (horizontally).

3.  Prepare a batch of frosting (I used my Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting), and color the frosting as desired (in this case, orange).  Fill a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I used a Wilton 1M) 2/3 full with icing.  You could also simply fill (2/3 full) a large ziplock type bag, and cut off one corner.

4.  Layer the cupcakes and frosting in clean jars, starting with a cupcake half, then frosting, until there are three layers of cupcake, and three layers of frosting.

5.  Top with sprinkles if desired.  Serve jars open, or top with lid.

As with most baked goods, these are best the day they are made, but can be stored (covered with lids) at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

If you’re using the recipes I’ve linked above you’ll be able to make about 16 jars.

These cupcakes were featured in the beautiful fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, available as a paper copy for purchase (here), or veiw the full magazine on-line (here) (find these cupcakes on page 36).

Happy Baking!

Celebrate the flavors of fall!

 

Tomorrow I’m heading out of town (and out of state!) for trip with friends that has been in the planning almost a year.  I’ll be away from the computer, so the blog may be a bit quite for a week.  But I’ll make you a deal… if you bake (or craft) each of the pretty projects below within this week, I’ll come home early just post a new recipe or project for you!  But I’m pretty confident that these yummy posts will keep you plenty busy!

Fall is one of my favorite times of year to bake.  The flavors of apple, cinnamon, pumpkin and maple are a few of the delicious and arromatic delights associated with fall baking!  Here is a collection of some of my fall favorites… enjoy!

(left) Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Icing

(right) Fresh Apple Cake

(left)  Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

(right) White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

(left) Snickerdoodles

(right)  Mini Baked Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

(above) Sweet Halloween Cookies

(left)  Halloween Dessert Table

(right) Pretty Jeweled Pumpkins

What is your favorite fall flavor?

Pumpkin Pecan Dessert {in a jar}

For the past seveal years, for Thanksgiving at our house, Pumpkin Pie has been replaced with what we call Pumpkin Pecan Dessert.  This dessert is so simple to make, and everyone (even my non-pumpkin-pie-eating husband) loves it!  I’ve also made this dessert several times for potlucks and it’s always a hit!

This year, since I’m on a bit of a “deserts in a jar” kick… I thought this Pumpkin Pecan Dessert would be a perfect candidate for an “in a jar” treat.  I bought some short, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars (from the grocery store), which make one nice sized serving, and would make a pretty adorable gift too!  This dessert is even better topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Pecan Dessert

1 can (15oz) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 (or 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon allspice)

1 boxed cake mix (white or yellow cake)

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, melted

whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions ~

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F

2.  In a large bowl add the first 5 ingredients, and whisk together until fully combined.

If you’re making one 9″ x 13″ dish of dessert….

3.  Spray dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into 9″ x 13″ dish.

5.  Sprinkle cake mix (dry) onto of pumpkin layer.

6.  Then sprinkle chopped pecans all over.

7.  Pour melted butter over top.

8.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and dessert is a nice golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you’re making this dessert in jars….

3.  Lightly spray 12, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Use a measuring cup to put about 1/2 cup pumpkin mixture into each jar.

5.  Sprinkle two rounded tablespoon of dry cake mix on top of pumpkin layer, in each jar.

6.  Then sprinkle on one rounded tablespoon of chopped pecans in each jar.

7.  Pour one tablespoon of melted butter on top (of each jar).

8.  Bake jars on a large baking sheet (so they are easy to put in and out of the oven) for about 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a jar comes out clean, and dessert is golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  When I baked mine using these measurements they filled the jars fully when baked, and as they cooled they shrunk down just a bit, a perfect amount of space to close the jar.

Before serving, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This dessert is equally delicious the next day.

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker, Holiday Recipes booklet, 2000.

Happy Fall Baking!