Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Because there's nothing quite as strange

or as great as an 80s music video...

I share this with you now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Candy Cane Biscotti

Let me tell you about this.
It's lovely. And it's a treat.
And it is called candy cane biscotti.
Here's what you do.

Follow the recipe to make the dough, first of all.

Then mix in the candy cane pieces. It should look like this:


Divide the big ball of dough into four even sections.


Form each section into 9" by 1 1/2" logs.


Bake it at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, then remove it from the oven. It will have puffed out like this:


Let them sit for 10 minutes, then cut each 'loaf' in 1/2" diagonal slices. Like so.


 Place each slice on one of its sides.


And then put them back in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 more minutes.
You have to give them some time to cool so they harden a bit, then you can eat them with hot chocolate! 


Or just eat them by themselves. They're good either way.


We left some out on Christmas Eve for Santa to eat with some mint hot chocolate.



Here's the full recipe, from Annie's Eats.

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies, plus extra for garnish
*14 oz. white chocolate

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions.  Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly.  Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal.  Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up.  Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp.  (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.)  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate, shake gently to remove the excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or work surface lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet.  Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely.  Store in an airtight container.



*(As you can see from my pictures, I did not coat mine in white chocolate. I found it unnecessary. But I'm sure it'd be fun if you want to take the time to do that!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

minty double fudge oreo crunch cookies

I used this double fudge oreo crunch cookies recipe the other night and turned it minty. 


Let me first tell you about how the dough tasted a lot like brownie dough. And I love brownie dough.


I put in crushed mint Oreos and mint m&m's.


I think it could have done without the mint m&m's just because the mint of the m&m's was a different mint of the Oreos. Still good, though.


I love cookie scoops. They make my life easier.


 Here they are all baked and everything
 

Unflattering pictures, I know, but it was very late in the nighttime and this really was as good as it was going to get.
Could I have possibly waited to take a picture until day time and take the time to plate them and everything?
No.... I think not.


But do make them if you want a delicious cookie. They taste much better than they look here.


Minty Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies
makes about 30 cookies
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mint m&m's
1 cup crushed mint Oreo cookies*

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and mix until combined.
Fold in m&m's and crushed Oreos. Refrigerate dough for 2-4 hours (or more). When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into balls or scoop with a cookie scoop and set on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.

*(I doubled my recipe and used almost a whole package of mint Oreos.. I think it tastes better with more, so put in as many as you want!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I painted!

For the very first time.

It's nothing fancy and it wasn't even my own idea. But you have to start somewhere, right!?


So. Here it is. 



I thought it was pretty fun. I'll even do it again one day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another hobo.

 This is basically the same bag as the last one I made, with some minor changes.


As you can see, I didn't belt this one. I did add a magnetic clasp on the inside and I used rectangular rings to hold up the strap instead of d rings. It was a good choice. And also. I don't know what I was thinking before. It's not the fact that it was 100% cotton that the last one was so flopsy... it's that it was thin cotton. So this time I used thick cotton! Canvas. The lining is duck canvas, so pretty darn stiff. I love it. 


Here is the back... Not that it's much different than the front.


Besides this pin.


And here is a view of the inside, which has a plethora of pockets.


A couple more views of the front.



And we're done.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So...

I finished my quilt top!

Now I just need to get the backing and batting, tie it, and bind it. So... there is still quite a bit left. But the part that takes the longest and is the hardest to do is done!

I'm going to show you how to make crazy quilt squares in case you haven't done it before and are dying to know how it is done. :)

This is how I do it.

1. Cut out all the squares of all your fabrics. You can do them any size you want. Mine are 8 1/2 x 8 1/2.

2. Stack four squares (each one different patterns of fabric) on top of each other.

I do a couple at the same time (keeping them separate until the end so they match up) to make it go a little faster.

3. Line up a ruler diagonally across the stacked squares, leaving about an inch of room uncovered on one corner and one inch covered on the opposing corner.


4. Cut all four squares along the edge of the ruler. (Before I had a mat and rotary cutter, I just cut an approximated diagonal line, without using a ruler, across the squares with scissors. It works just fine. Doing it this way just makes it a little bit more precise and it's a little faster.)


This is what it will look like after it's cut.



5. Mismatch the squares. (Take the top piece of fabric from one side and put it on the bottom of the stack).


6. Place right sides together, and sew together one square at a time. (1/4 inch seam allowance).


Like so.


7. Iron each square flat, then place the four squares of each stack in their separate stacks again. (Like I said before, it's easier to match them up later if you keep the stacks separate when you do more than one at a time).


8. Repeat steps 3 and 4.




9. Mismatch the squares again. I like to mismatch them completely so that each square has four different patterns.

10. Put the mismatched sides right sides together, making sure the seams in the middle of each side match up. (Pin the seam so it doesn't move out of place when you sew it).



11. Sew them together same as before, 1/4 inch seam allowance.



12. Iron them all flat.


See the uneven edges?


13. Cut them off.


So they are even.


And after going through this process many many times, you will have a big stack of squares with which you can construct your own crazy quilt.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm making this quilt

 see?


And it is not almost done.  But you can kind of tell what it will look like as a quilt with these squares next to each other, right?

I'll tell the truth. I really only work on it when I feel like it... So it's taking a while to finish. I'm almost done piecing the individual squares though!