Tag Archives: cookies

Groundhog Day treats

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Groundhog day is tomorrow….does that excite you??  I’ve never paid too much mind to this day, because our winters go on forever no matter what….but when I saw these cute treats, I felt like celebrating!!!  (though I know we still have a whole lot of snow and winter left in store for us!!)  Here are some super clever and do-able ideas I found on Pinterest for some Groundhog Day treats…..

groundhog's day, groundhog's day treat, groundhog's day cute, punxsutawney phil breakfast, groundhog donut, chocolate spoon, groundhog spoon, groundhog party, groundhog snackLove this little guy in a doughnut from Party Pinching!!

Here’s a super cute idea from Bunny Cakes…..gotta love it!!  There’s the free printable, too!!!  It’s tempting me….

DSC_4346-1And for a cute groundhog in pudding, here’s Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons!!  He looks so freaked out and funny!

This post by The Queen Says made me laugh!!  And these Snickers bar groundhogs inside the pushpops are too funny!!

And lastly but not leastly, this cute little critter I found on Parents.com, isn’t he adorable??

Punxsutawney Pudding CupsLove those chubby cheeks!!

So these are some ideas to inspire you (and me!).  Now I feel like whipping up some groundhogs!! (not literally).  Or maybe even some praire dogs!!  Let’s see if I get any made for my kids for tomorrow….just because sweets are always nice, even if they are in honor of furry rodents.

If you make some Groundhog Day treats, I’d like to see what you come up with!!  🙂

A home-made Christmas

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A home-made Christmas

“Christmas time is here….” that’s the theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas, I can hear it playing inside my head.  There’s something cozy and comforting about watching Charlie Brown and Snoopy’s Christmas cartoon (that’s older than I am! haha!) while snow falls outside.  The kids love watching it to.  Is it because it makes us think back to simpler times?  Remember the sad little tree that Charlie Brown finds, and the kids give it a bit of love and spruce it up?

I really don’t know why I’m mentioning that cartoon, it just popped into my mind, and seemed to fit (in my mind anyway) with the home-made Christmas idea.  This year I was trying to make a bunch of home-made stuff for Christmas, instead of buying new things.  I keep finding amazing ideas online that I wanted to try, but have run right out of time!!  So I thought I’d post some photos of the things that I did get done because I know it will make me feel better to see the loveliness on my blog, instead of surrounded by the boxes and mess and clutter that are here in my house!!  (No I am not going to post a photo of the mess that surrounds the decorating…that would ruin all the loveliness, even though it would show my real life!)

Our Christmas tree is a “throw and go!” tree, as my son called it: throw the ornaments on and then go away!  I let the kids do most of the decorating with only one box of ornaments….I don’t know why.  I guess I was too exhausted to pull anything else out, and they were happy to do a “candy cane tree”.  (Ok, I did buy something new, those wood & fabric words for a buck each!).  This is the first time we’ve ever had a color-coordinated tree.  So that was nice for a change! ;)denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made ChristmasHere are some ideas I found online to print out…denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: sugar plum snowflake ballerinasAdvent things, denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmasdenna's ideas: "green" Advent countdown books denna's ideas: our Jesse tree for Advent 2012Cookie things (for teacher gifts and just for us to eat on a cold winter’s evening), trying out some new recipes….denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made ChristmasOrnament things,  denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmasdenna's ideas: a home-made Christmas paper tree denna's ideas: a home-made ChristmasGift things…..I just had to snap some photos of the presents my daughter wrapped, they are so cute!!  She wrote out all the tags with our names on in English and in Japanese characters!denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas denna's ideas: a home-made ChristmasAnd a few anniversary things, denna's ideas: a home-made Christmas, gingerbread bride and groomdenna's ideas: a home-made ChristmasOur six year old photographer took this 19th anniversary portrait of us, we had just kissed at 19 hours and 19 minutes on the 19th of December for our 19th anniversary!  Now that’s home-made stuff!!

So that’s a few glimpses of our kinda home-made Christmas decorating and traditions and stuff….really, our life is not as together-looking as it seems in this blog…..I just have to mention that so that I don’t feel like I’m lying too much with all the perfect-looking photos.  I have perfection ideals in my head, but just can’t make them work out….so I take photos of the stuff that turns out…and once-in-a-while of the things that don’t turn out!  🙂

Merry Christmas to you!!!

The 5 Minute Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie Midnight Snack

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Oh, forgot to mention that it’s a Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Mmmm….what a lovely new recipe I have found!

The other night I was searching on Pinterest for brilliant ideas to add to my online idea-board stash….and I was feeling kind of hungry.  And then suddenly I found this recipe….just the thing to test out for a late night snack!

It turned out to be the perfect Midnight Snack for One…..or for Two, if you feel like sharing! 😉  There’s nothing like a hot chocolate chip cookie with a cold glass of milk….except a hot chocolate cookie that is ready in 5 minutes or less!

See if this convinces you….

Here’s the recipe with a few of my own tweaks:

5 Minute Individual Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 Tbsp. melted butter

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. white sugar

1/8 tsp. salt (or a big pinch)

1 egg yolk

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup white flour

2 Tbsp. chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a small micorwave-proof dish or bowl.  Add the sugars and salt and lightly beat in the egg yolk with a fork.  Add the vanilla and then the flour, a bit at a time while stirring. Stir just until mixed.  Add the chocolate chips and mix in.  I’m afraid that I already have this recipe memorized.  Oh, a note: you can cut down a tiny bit on the sugar, and another: don’t use whole wheat flour!  Microwave on high power for 40-60 seconds….I found that 40 seconds were just right.  Now pour a glass of milk and dig in!!   (I found this recipe on a site that wasn’t a proper blog or anything, so that’s why I didn’t post the link).This is what it looks like right out of the microwave!Share a bite!I was fairly pleased with the texture, it’s not exactly like oven-baked, but it’s yummy nonetheless.  Quite addiciting….don’t ask me how many times I’ve already “tested” out this new recipe…

The perfect quick snack for a chilly autumn evening! (and for breakfast and for lunch and for an after-school snack….)

International Talk Like a Pirate Day cookies

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day cookies

Aarrrr Mateys!!  Apparently it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day.  As ye might know, it’s a crazy day to talk like yer favorite swashbucklin’ Pirate!  If’n ye wants some non-bloodthirsty ideas for yer classroom or homeschooling class, praythee check out this link for piratey ideas fer today.  The other ideas on the main site are for “grown-up” pirates, arrgh.

Around this ship, the only bite the barnacles will be gettin’ are these here scurvy cookies.  And then it’ll be, “swab the decks, me hearties!!”

These here cookies are fast if ye have a stock of those scurvy candy melts on hand.  And some old cookies.Draw out some dashing pirate portraits (look online for some good mugs!) on paper, then place a sheet of wax paper or parchement paper on top of the drawing.Melt those melts in plastic baggies, black, red, white and pinkish (not very piratey, but all there was).  Start outlining, face, red bandana, red shirt, black eye-patches, black hat, moustache and mouth and eyes.  Then white for eyeball, teeth, shirt striped and jolly rogers.Add some colored sugar if ye wants.  Let dry, or put in yer refrigerator. When dry, peel off of paper by running it off the edge of a cutting board or the table.  Add some candy melt to the cookies for “glue” and place the pirate portraits on those scurvy cookies!Aarrrrr!!

It’s me old mateys, One-eyed Pete and Black-Stache Steve.
The second mate of the Red Dragon.
Don’t ferget to hoist yon Jolly Roger!!Ahoy and Avast there me hearties!
And for the Captain and his First Mate (a lovely wench she is!), none of those scurvy cookies, no!  A trifle, fit for a sea-faring King and his Queen…..Mermaid trifle.
A delicacy made from the leftovers from that girlie Mermaid party from the weekend.
Any lubbers who spit on these here desserts will be keelhauled!!

The designs for these here pirate hats of course came from yers truly’s favorite pirates, those famous and ne’er-do-well Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything find them on veggiepirates.com, or singing a rousting tune here.

Well thar, mateys, stay away from Davy Jones’ Locker as ye embark on yer next adventure today!!   Aarrrrrrr!!

Sand Dollar Oatmeal Cookies and Mexico

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Sand Dollar Oatmeal Cookies and Mexico

I was drooling over some incredible photos of sand dollar cookies on pinterest lately.  I love sand dollars (and cookies!) and I really wanted to make some, but knew I didn’t have the time for those fancy things.  Around midnight one night, I was baking some cupcakes for my daughter to take to school, and some oatmeal cookies.  I had remembered that there is a dairy-challenged kid in her class, so I thought I would make some dairy free cookies for that little someone.  Pulling out an old recipe book of my Grandma’s the other day, I had happened upon a recipe for oatmeal ice box cookies, and yay, no dairy!  So I mixed them up and put them in the freezer to chill.  So as I was baking them (at 1 am),  I thought maybe I could transform these plain oatmeal cookies into sand dollars.  Leaving some of the dough overnight in the fridge, I determined to try it out.

These cookies really spread out when they bake, so patting them into ovals and making cutouts in the raw dough didn’t work, they just spread back together.  Making a star shape on the top of the raw cookie with bits of dough didn’t look too bad, though.  Next I tried cutting out circles as soon as the cookies came out of the oven.  Ah, I think this will do the trick.  I used the end of an icing tip to make the holes, it worked great.  Decided not to do the dough designs on top, took too much time.

Very humble looking cookies, I admit.  I wasn’t too crazy about the taste, but everyone else seemed to really like them.  I think they needed some cinnamon and pecans!!

Right before the party I quickly melted some white (vanilla) candy melts (kind of like white chocolate) and piped on a simple flower shape and then sifted confectioner’s (icing) sugar over the cookies.

 They were very fast to make, and I think they turned out cute!!  I was very pleased when some of the kids exclaimed “Sand dollars!!”  yay, that made it all worth while  😉

And yes, these cookies were made for a party!!  (not just for us to munch on!)  Stay tuned to see what party they were made for!!

And now you are wondering what these cookies have to do with Mexico??  Well, other than the fact that sand dollars abound on some of the beaches in Mexico and one time we collected a bunch of live sand dollars on a beach there, and my dad was crazy enough to let us keep them, pack them into a Pringles tin and travel hundreds of miles with them hidden under the back seat….making the van smell a bit fishy……other than that……….nothing.

I just really wanted to link up with a post my friend Amber who lives in Mexico did about their Independence Day celebration on the weekend!!  I knew she would snap some awesome photos of what goes on in their town for Sept. the 16th and thought that maybe you would like to check them out, too!!  🙂  It looks like they had a great time!!  I love the “carnival eggs” that they sell to smash on your friends’ heads!!  They are painted so adorably.  (We used to buy those in Guatemala, but on a different holiday….always lots of messy fun!!) 

oops, I almost forgot to include the cookie recipe:

Oatmeal Ice Box Cookies Recipe from Vi MacDonald  (dairy free)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the shortening and brown sugar and salt.  Add the oatmeal and flour and soda.  Beat the egg with the vanilla and mix into everything else.  Roll into a log shape, wrap in wax  paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (overnight is good. if you are in a hurry, put in the freezer for awhile).  When ready to bake, cut slices, and either pat into the shape you want, or roll into a ball and flatten with a fork.  Bake. (my recipe didn’t give baking instructions, so I guessed:)  at 350 for about 9-12 minutes for large cookies.  Don’t let them get too brown.  Then pop them out of the oven, and while they are still on the cookie sheet, punch out holes for sand dollars (5 holes each cookie).  Let sit for a minute, then transfer the cookies to cooling racks.  When they are cool, ice with icing, melted chocolate, whatever, and dust with confectioner’s sugar to make the sand dollars.

When the kids came home the next afternoon, they said that the house smelled like those mini doughnuts that you buy at fairs!!  I’m thinking about trying them again, but rolling the dough into balls then into a mix of cinnamon and sugar, then it would really smell like mini doughnuts!! yum.

Enjoy!!

Pecan Maple Leaf Cookies

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And here’s the promised recipe for some delicious cookies, perfect for Canada Day, or any day you need a taste of nuts and maple syrup!!  Maple pecan maple leaves…..ahhhhh!  I had wanted a recipe that uses real maple syrup instead of just maple flavouring, and this uses both, though don’t worry if you don’t have the flavouring.  Or if you don’t have the real maple syrup, then maybe try some brown sugar instead of white, and add more maple flavouring.  Just a thought.  I’m always rearranging recipes to accomodate what I have on hand….

Pecan Maple Leaves (the original recipe, called Maple Walnut Leaves, from The Good Cookie, my alterations in bold)

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled (pecans!!)

3/4 cup granulated white sugar (will be divided)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour  (2 3/4 skimpy cups of flour)

1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)  (2 Tbsp corn starch)

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened  (I used salted butter)

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp maple flavouring  (don’t use if I don’t have it)

topping: (optional)

1 large egg beaten lightly with 1 tsp water for egg wash

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

1.  Place the previously toasted nuts and  1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process about 30 seconds, until nuts are finely ground.

2.  Sift together the flours (cornstarch) and salt into a medium bowl. Stir in ground nuts until well blended; set aside.

3.  Beat butter and the remining 1/2 cup sugar at medium-high speed about 2 minutes, until light in texture. Beat in egg yolk, maple syrup and maple flavouring until well blended. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just blended. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll.

4.  Position a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  On a lightly floured surface (or on parchment paper) roll out half the dough.  Using a maple leaf cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and arrange on ungreased (parchment paper) cookie sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.  Gather up and reroll scraps (refrigerate for 10 minutes if they get too soft to roll).  optional: Brush cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Or tap into colored sugar, or leave plain.

6.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden brown around the edges.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.  Repeat with remaining refrigerated dough.  Store in an airtight container at room termperature for up to a week.

I made an icing of about 1 Tbsp maple syurup and about 1/2 cup of icing sugar, a dash of maple flavouring and a splash of milk.  Mix this up and spread on the cookies with a spoon, for more MAPLE flavour!!!  These cookies (above) were pressed into colored sugar  before they were baked.

Smiley Face Cookies for the last day of school

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Since I’m running short on time for this, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a couple million words for you in these photos!!