Tag Archives: cookies

Guess the Theme Game

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We’ve started a theme around here….a before-and-during Christmas theme.  We don’t usually “do themes” for Christmas, other than Christmas, but I fixated on this idea for awhile and decided to go with it.   (I was told that a theme was ok, as long as it’s not too girly!)  To introduce the kids to my super idea, I made up a little guessing game.  See if you can guess what our theme is…
Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comThe items are hidden in the basket and came out one by one….(I did it without the hints, and added those later)

Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comI wanted to use a compass, but someone lost it for me, so I went with the spyglass.Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comnext…Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comNarnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comNarnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comguessed yet?Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comand the most obvious for last…Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comMy last clue was a chocolate bar called Big Turk…chocolate covered Turkish delight, but it was eaten so quickly that I didn’t get a photo of it!!  And no, I still don’t really like Turkish delight, though some of the kids do.  So did you guess our theme?

I thought my guessing game was a good idea, but of course things don’t usually work as planned….before I even opened the basket one of my dear children blurted out the theme.  And didn’t even really give the other kids a chance to guess, just yelled “Narnia” every time something came out of the basket.  That’s when I was getting them to explain exactly how each item went with the theme.  And yes, the theme is Narnia!!  At the end my dear child explained that I had already given away my idea weeks ago….hmmmm….I had forgotten that part!  Oh well, it was kinda fun anyways….even with the spoilsport!Narnia Guessing Game for kids by dennasideas.comAnd then there were cookies….to go with the theme…of course!  What’s a theme without baking???!!!Chronicles of Narnia cookies by dennasideas.comNarnia cookies by dennasideas.comWords to get through the winter on…..”When Aslan bares his teeth, Winter meets it’s death”….that’s what is engraved on High King Peter’s sword.  So this week we’ll be doing our Narnia theme, I’ve already got a few projects on the go!  Can anyone tell me why this week, of all weeks, is the perfect time for a Narnia theme??? Hmmmm???  There’s a good reason 🙂

DIY Thanksgiving place cards and pumpkin cupcake toppers

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DIY Thanksgiving place cards and pumpkin cupcake toppers

I love squirrels!!  The icon that is, I don’t want to pet a real squirrel or anything like that, though I do find them fascinating to watch…anyways, here’s a super cute place card idea for your next fall event or Thanksgiving.  We assembled and used them for Canadian Thanksgiving this year.  Beside our little brown friend is a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing and a little fondant pumpkin topper.  First a word about the pumpkin toppers, then about the friendly picketing squirrels….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe cupcake toppers turned out so cute!  They were really fast and easy to make.  I found the idea and tutorial by Nikki here on Catch My Party.  I just mixed up some marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows, icing sugar, water and vanilla) and rolled out little balls, scored them with a knife and popped a clove in the top…..that’s all!Thanksgiving pumkin cupcakes with fondant pumkin toppers by dennasideas.comAfter I baked a pumpkin pie, I had a cup of pumpkin puree left, so I made up my traditional pumpkin and cream cheese recipes.  They were easy cupcakes and baked while the pumpkin pie baked, then just added the icing and fondant pumpkins at the last minute before serving.Thanksgiving pumkin cupcakes with fondant pumkin toppers by dennasideas.comSo I found the pumpkin topper idea on Pinterest, but this next idea was my own idea (I have to make a distinction because my kids are always asking if it’s a Pinterest idea or my own idea! heh heh).  Ikea has a cute set of woodland cookie cutters that includes this little squirrel.  A batch of The End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe from Lilaloa was perfect for little brown fall squirrels.  I was in a rush when I was making them, so I don’t have step by step photos.  But it’s easy, just cut out squirrels, and for every squirrel cut out a circle (plain or scalloped) for a base.  Before baking, add a toothpick to each squirrel, sliding it under the head and poking it through the little hand, so it looks like the squirrel is holding the toothpick on his shoulder.  Bake them up, and when they are totally cool, use some melted chocolate candy melts to ice the squirrel to the base.  It’s probably a good idea to add the signs to the toothpicks before “gluing” the squirrel to the base.  You can just tape the place card to the top of the toothpick.  Then it only took a line of melted chocolate on the bottom edge of the squirrel, then a few moments of slight pressure holding it onto the base to assemble.  Here they are, being assembled by my sister….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe squirrels were my idea, but I did see another fun idea on Pinterest that I really wanted to try….chocolate acorns!  I found a great tutorial here on Once Upon a Pedestal for these candy acorns.  They looked so cute!  But I couldn’t find the same kind of peanut M&Ms that she used….and I didn’t have Tootsie Rolls, so I used chocolate covered almonds and brown fondant (another idea to add to my Chocolate Almond Ideas!!).  And I asked my daughters to make them while I was working on Thanksgiving dinner!  (remember, everything’s done last minute around here….)DIY chocolate acorns for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe table settings looked really cute with a cookie squirrel, a chocolate acorn and a fall leaf doily at each place….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comI used the same set of cookie cutters and same idea to make a stand up chocolate moose, too….kinda hard to see, but he’s in the middle by the cornucopia.Thanksgiving tablescape and place cards by dennasideas.comDIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comMr. Squirrel and his friends were a hit!!  But he didn’t stick around very long…..DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comAny squirrels that did linger around too long, and Mac the Moose, were sadly (or more like, deliciously) turned into another dessert with the leftover real whipped cream from the pie….leave overnight in the fridge, and voila!A chocolate cookie and whipped cream sandwich dessert with Thanksgiving leftovers by dennasideas.comWho knew squirrels and moose could taste so wonderful?? 😉

How to make Button Cookies for a Lalaloopsy party!

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Well, it’s more like a sewing party….and what could fit that theme better than some button cookies?!  Button cookies are not my original idea, there are all sorts of button cookies floating around out there in cyberspace and other people’s kitchens and such.  But anyways, this is my version of them.  I gave them a photo shoot this morning.  I needed to see something sweet and colorful to cheer me up!  The ugly photos for the “how to” were taken last night in bad bad light…they are FYI only.  Here are the cute buttons:denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing partydenna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing partyHere’s the HOW TO:

Make:  cookie dough with real butter, add liquid food coloring.

Tools: rolling pin, small circle and scallop cookie cutters, other round objects, plastic drinking straws, scissors.

First ,mix up some cookie dough.  I used LilaLoa’s recipe (click here) for vanilla rollout cookies and  was very pleased with it!  I followed all her directions and used the full amount of flour and baked them for about 6 to 7 minutes.  I divided the dough into thirds, even before I was finished mixing it, and added a few drops of liquid food coloring to each little batch (they were the neon colors from the grocery store).  The colors didn’t mix in well until I kneaded it…totally looked and felt like playdough!!  The dough is quite stiff.  You can roll out the dough right away with this recipe, which is nice.  I did stick the colors I wasn’t rolling out into the fridge to wait.

Roll out the dough and start cutting circles!  Use 2 slightly different sizes of circles.  I used the 2 smallest cutters that I have from a set of circles that are plain on one end and scalloped on the other end.  You can also use other small circular objects (clean) for making patterns in the buttons.denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesUsing a slightly smaller circle, press into one of the cut out cookies…but not hard enough to cut right through!denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesFor some of the buttons, I used a plastic communion cup to make an even smaller third circle…denna's ideas: how to make button cookies

Then use a drinking straw to punch out the holes in the middle of the button, either 2 or 4 for each button.  I cut up a plastic straw into thirds, then used each side to punch out holes, since the straw gets full of dough.  You can squeeze out the dough to reuse it (or eat it), but it flattens out the straw.  I went though a handful of straws with the whole  batch (three colors) of dough.denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesIt is quite easy to do, and doesn’t take too much time.  You do have to eye-ball everything to get it centered up.  I suppose you could make a paper pattern with circles punched in, then overlay it to punch the holes through the dough….that just sounds like way to much effort to me, though the results would be practically perfect!!denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesSome of the cookies received a scalloped flower design….I really liked these ones!denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesBake those babies!  I always use parchment paper to bake cookies, since I only have one cookie pan, so I fill a sheet of parchment while the other batch is baking.  The colors in my photos are weird, I know, the cookies didn’t really change much when they baked…it’s my flash.  Here are the baked cookies, they hardly spread at all and kept their shape very nicely!denna's ideas: how to make button cookiesHmmm, I forgot to count up how many cookies the batch of dough made….lots though!!  We ate up the deformed ones of course, and some raw dough, and even so that left lots and lots of little buttons.  I re-rolled the scraps several times, so some of the cookies look a bit cracked, but I was trying to get as many as I could from the batch.  You could probably avoid that….

Now back to the “fancy” photos….denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing party4x6  blog photos landscape - Page 005The colors turned out quite well with minimum effort, I thought.  The right shades of blue and pink can be hard to make, since sometimes the blue looks more aqua since there’s a lot of yellow in the butter and the egg yolks….good thing I wanted aqua!!  I didn’t fuss with the pink, either, and even started dropping in purple food coloring by accident!  I dug most of it out and then tried the pink coloring….it matched my color palette close enough!!

I did make quite a few flower-shaped buttons and poked indents around the edges, but these are some of my favorite designs, the simple ones:denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing party

Almost ready for a party…..denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing party denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing partyMmmmm, good to the last button!denna's ideas: button cookies for a sewing party