Last month a good friend of mine had her first baby. A sweet little girl named Nina. Nina’s mommy and I have been friend since becoming pen-pals at age 11. I live on the west coast, and she lives on the east coast, but we have met in person several times, attended each other’s weddings and continue to keep in touch through letters (hand written and e-mailed). I wanted to send something special as a baby gift, so I made a little blanket, and some cookies to match. The blanket is made of the softest possible material (my two girls kept trying to steal it from me!), and is made into just a tiny little blanket (18″ square) with lots of pretty ribbons around the edges. I hope it will be a special blanket little Nina likes to carry around or snuggle with. The cookies included a sweet little personalized Christmas stocking, a hat and lots of pink snowflakes.
My sugar cookie recipe is HERE.
And lots of tips for decorating cookies with royal icing is HERE.
These are one of my favorite simple Christmas treats. A perfect addition to a plate of Christmas cookies, and so simple they are a project the kids can help with too.
A box of mini candy canes (see “note” below)
1. Place waxed paper or a Silpat type liner on a baking sheet.
2. Lay two mini candy canes next to each other, creating a heart. Continue filling the baking sheet with heart shapes.
3. Melt the white and semi-sweet chocolates (in separate bowls), using short intervals in the microwave, or in a double boiler.
4. When the chocolates are melted, spoon or pour into a piping bag or thicker ziplock type bag. Cut off a tiny tip from the bag, and begin filling in the heart shapes with chocolate. I like to use both flavors of chocolate for each heart. So if I do a layer of white chocolate first, then after it cools a bit, I add a layer of semi-sweet chocolate on top.
5. After adding both layers of chocolate, top with sprinkles of your choice.
6. Set the baking sheet (of chocolate filled hearts) in a cool place (or the fridge) while the chocolate cools. Once cool, remove hearts from baking sheet and store in an airtight container.
NOTE- I have found that the candy canes that work best for this project are ones with a dull finish (not shiny). It seems candy canes with a shiny surface tend to get sticky after a day or two.
Yesterday my two girls and I enjoyed a day that included…
Six little girls in holiday dresses, a beautiful home, a warm fireplace, Christmas music, and the smell of gingerbread in the air.
We were guests at a sweet birthday party for a little friend of ours who just turned 5. Last year, I helped plan a special Snowflake Ballerina Party for the birthday girl. This year, the birthday girl’s mommy wanted to lean a bit toward the simple side. And although this year’s party required only a little planning and preparation, it was a beautiful party with some festive details that created a special day for the birthday girl and her guests.
The dining table was decked out with a gingerbread house kit for each guest (the houses were from Costco and come pre-assembled!!), a beautiful cake, and some decorated gingerbread cookies (by me) hanging from the chandelier above.
Above- A close up of the cookies I made as decorations to hand above the table.
Below- The beautiful cake made by Sweet Cakes by Karla and Sarah.
Guests enjoyed a few light snacks including sherbet punch, fresh vegetables, cheese and crackers and cookies (made by me).
The guests all sat around the warm fire and listed to the host read a special holiday book, Gingerbread Friends (by Jan Brett). It’s a beautifully illustrated book and a sweet story.
Then the little girls all got to decorate their very own gingerbread house! Some of the mommies (and the birthday girl’s daddy) helped a bit. Below is my youngest (Joy) decorating her house at about the average decorating level of any three year old! =)
Below is my oldest (Grace, age 6) decorating her house with the utmost care. I expect Grace to pass me up in decorating skills in the next couple years! She is very artistic… I have no idea where she gets it! =)
It was a beautiful party to kick off the Holiday Season!
A Gingerbread theme party can be a perfect way to celebrate a December birthday, or just for fun! I usually host a Gingerbread decorating party every year, but I knew I would get to “cheat” this year and just count this as our Gingerbread house decorating day!
*The gingerbread cookie photo above is actually from the party I hosted last year =)
I often get e-mails asking if I ship my cookies… the short answer is no.
But I do have some talented cookie friends, and today I’ll introduce you to one who will happily ship you cookies. Kay of Rollin in Dough
ships cookies nation wide. And not just any cookies… beautiful and delicious cookies made with quality ingredients and an amazing attention to detail! Of course I would never say those things unless I knew them to be true. I have had the honor of sampling a few of Rollin in Dough’s
creations and they are every bit as delicious as they are beautiful! A delicious combination of almond and vanilla flavors in a delicate butter cookie.
I can easily recommend Rollin in Dough
as a wonderful shop to order cookies for your next party, or as a special gift.
The winner will be able to order these in time for Christmas, if they like, or save their prize and order cookies for a special occasion in the coming year.
Would you like to win some beautiful cookies?
~ How to enter ~
For one entry
- Just head over to Rollin in Dough
and take a look at all of the beautiful cookies. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite cookie design from the shop.
For each entry, PLEASE include your e-mail address!
Entries with no contact information will not be eligible to win.
A maximum of two entries per person.
The winners will be chosen using Random.org. The giveaway will end Wednesday, December 8th at 10:00pm Pacific time.
~ Giveaway Closed ~
How about some pretty Chocolate cupcakes to get you through the week?
These are Chocolate cupcakes (recipe HERE) with Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting (recipe HERE), made extra special with some royal icing snowflakes. I piped on the frosting with a Wilton 1M tip (the tip I use the most often) and added some pretty sprinkles (white non-pareils and silver dragees). I colored the frosting with Americolor brand coloring, in sky blue.
The roayl icing snowflakes are pretty easy to make, and will last a very long time (stored in a airtight container). Make a nice stiff consistency batch of royal icing (recipe HERE) and pipe a snowflake shape onto a piece of parchment paper. Allow to dry completely (this will take about 1 day) before trying to remove from the paper. Be prepared… many WILL break as you try to move them from the parchment paper, so you need to make at least twice as many snowflakes as you think you want. The thicker the line of royal icing you make, and the longer you let them dry, the better your chances of avoiding breakage, but they are still very delicate, and you are bound to have some break.
Happy Cupcake Decorating!