Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More craftiness and baking

I'm seeing the light at the end of the Christmas tunnel and I'm pretty sure it's not the Polar Express!  I wanted you to see the angel on the tree.  She looks much better this size and now the kids are happy. :)  
    
I've been busy with more baking and I made a cute little surprise for my stamping club gals to deliver with their orders this week.  First, the baking.  Around this time last year I began my obsession with Deb over at Smitten Kitchen.  She's my absolute favorite food blogger and these cookies? Well, just stop reading and go make some. Now. Trust me. 

First up, we have the Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Seriously. She had me at Espresso. I *LOVE* shortbread and these cookies are so so so delicious. Ok. I'm going to stop now before I even get going with the adjectives because this post is going to turn into one long "so so so so so delicious" post and I'm sure you're going to bore of it quickly. Oh, and before I go any further, ALL of these cookies are super easy. No extraordinary cooking measures required. (Ha! Measures. Get it? I crack myself up!)  

Next came the Peanut Butter Cookies. I made a minor change to these, at the request of my hubby.  He came home from work on Friday and told me someone had made peanut butter cookies with Snicker bars in them, and that he could not go on living if I didn't make them immediately. I love him, so I did. Rather than put the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips in them, per Deb's recipe, I rolled them around a mini Snickers candy bar. Oh. My. Word! They are amazing. Here are some pics of the process.  

Here's the dough.  I scooped a small ball and then flattened it out and put the mini candy bar in the middle and then worked the dough around it carefully.  
  
Here's one all nice and round. Then roll them in sugar. Because the cookie dough and candy bar are just not enough. 
  
Here's how they look going into the oven. When they come out, press them down in the center with a fork.  
  
Here's the cookie sheet with the ones in the front pressed down. You can still see the shape of the candy bar in the ones in the back. Here's my handy work up to this point.  
  
But wait! That 9x13 dish in the back of the last picture actually contains the first of my cookie creations, which are appropriately called Death by Caramel Bars. They're the only treat I made that didn't originate in the Smitten Kitchen, but I got a lot of positive feedback on them last year so I made a repeat performance.  Here's how they look after I cut them all up and dumped them randomly back into the pan. They really are pretty wicked.  
Lastly, for yesterday at least (the sugar cookie dough is in the fridge waiting to be cooked and decorated at this very moment) I finished off the evening with the World Peace Cookies. And let me tell you, if there ever was world peace in a cookie, this is it.  These are so amazing. And chocolatey. And . . . well, I promised not to gush over each one so I'll stop there. 

Here they are in their infancy. Once the dough is ready you roll it into logs and refrigerate or freeze it. Then you cut it into 1/2" slices and bake them. SO easy!
  
Here's how they look fresh out of the oven, and a close up just so you know what you're missing if you don't get up right now and go make these.  
  
I can't decide which is my favorite, the shortbread or world peace cookies, but those are definitely my top two. The only remaining task is the sugar cookies. The boys and I will take those on this afternoon and evening - maybe while we're watching our team win a bowl game and kick some Horn Frog hiney

For my stamper's club gals I made some Santa's Sweet Bags. Aren't they adorable!! I saw them on Patti Lee's blog here and couldn't resist them! Mine are a slightly different size than hers, but they were perfect for holding a cardstock sampler ring for each of my club members.  
  
I had purchased some sampler rings a while back and every time I got mine out everyone would say, "How do it get one of those!!" But the place that was selling them isn't anymore, so I made my own and put them in the santa bags as a little thank you gift for my club pals. The last must-be-done-before-Christmas project on my list was to make a few Christmas cards. I sent out the photo cards my girlfriend put together for me, but there were a few people I wanted to send handmade cards to, so last night I made 10 of these.  

I used the Country Living stamp set and stamped the large snowflake in Versamark and the sentiment in Kiwi Kiss on the same color card stock. The Designer Series Paper is Holiday Treasures and I finished them off with a bow of Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon. They were super quick and simple and I love how they turned out.  I'll deliver some of these with the cookies later tonight. Our shopping is done. The only thing left is the wrapping. As you might have noticed from the picture of our tree, the only gifts under it are the ones the boys brought home from school, so I need to have a couple of marathon wrapping sessions tonight and tomorrow and then we're good to go.  

The very last thing on my to-do list, which will most likely wait until after Christmas is to make a new tree skirt.  I have everything I need to get started, but just don't anticipate having time to get started on it until the boys have new toys to occupy their time and interest enough for me to do a little sewing - ha! 

I'll share some pictures of our sugar cookie odyssey in the next day or two. In the mean time I hope that you all have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and that you find time to remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas - the birth of our blessed savior. God Bless You and Merry Christmas!!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my!! Have you been a busy elf. I've only made three Christmas treats this year. Okay, four if you count the gingerbread house still sitting in pieces on the counter where it's been for a week. Maybe the girls will assemble and decorate it today. I am inspired by all your baking and crafts.
Thank you so much for the cute
Santa bag and SU color ring. You're the best!
Patsy

gina marie said...

Okay, is your maiden name Stewart? Well I can vouch for the cookies...being the lucky recipient of some, that they taste every bit as good as they look! Thanks for the treats and the card is beautiful! I wish you and your family the merriest of Christmasses!!!

gina marie said...

Oh...and the angel atop your tree is precious...just as any angel tree topper should be.

bristowmom said...

I'm reading this Christmas night and have eaten so many sweets that the cookies aren't tempting. I'll look again in a couple of days when I'm sure I will want the recipes!

I am SOOO jealous of your stamp club member gifts! What a great idea!

And your card is beautiful - as usual.

Merry Christmas!

mjalbright said...

You are one busy person.
Everything is just so yummy and pretty.
Have a wonderful day.

Makeesha Byl said...

What fabulous photos! You have my mouth watering with the photos of the all the baking, and cookie dough! Makes me want to go and bake! thanks for sharing your wonderful photos! Love Keesh x

The Fine Print

The content of this blog is my sole responsibility as an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. The use of and content of the classes, services, and products offered on this site is not endorsed by Stampin' Up!