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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa's Hat- A Tutorial

        After borrowing the idea of a Pilgrim's Hat planter from the Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine, I decided I wanted something similar for Christmas.  It was so easy.  I often craft in multiples for gifts.  When I went to Lowes to buy clay pots, they only had three... so, three Santa's hats it was.
      First, I took three clay pots and painted them red with craft paint. If these were pots you were going to use all year, I would probably get a better paint; however, to last for a season, the craft paint works fine. I painted all the outside, but the bottom, and painted the inside rim. I decided it would look better to have anything not covered with dirt, covered with paint.  I let the paint dry, and added a second coat.
       Next, I put a rock in the bottom of the pot, to keep the dirt in.  Then I filled the pot halfway with potting soil.  I added a small Poinsettia and filled the pot with dirt.  I then watered the plants well and let the pots dry.
       When the pots were dry, I cut strips of white faux fir for the trim on Santa's hat.  I made them slightly larger than the rim of the pot.  Mine were an inch and a half wide.  The fur was only 15 inches long and each pot's circumference was 17 and a half inches long, so I cut an extra strip for my fill ins.
       I used hot glue to attach the fur to the pot.  I decided to put the hot glue on the fur, about 3 inches at a time, to make sure it didn't dry too much before attaching it to the pot.  When the long strip was on, I cut the fill in strip, to fill in the spot.  I glued it on. I made sure it fit well and rubbed the fur together, to try to make it blend well.  It worked.
 Then, I was done!  So easy, inexpensive, and CUTE!
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Cookie Swap Recipes: Part 2

Krissy Lyell made Paula Dean's Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
Paula Dean's Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectioner's sugar for dusting
1-18 ounce box moist chocolate cake mix
1-8 ounce brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1 stick of butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Beat in the egg.  Then beat in the vanilla extract.  Beat in the cake mix.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls.  Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake12 minutes.  The cookies will remain soft and gooey.  Coll completely and sprinkle with more powdered sugar.

*****
These were my favorite cookies at the swap.  They are called Seven-Layer Cookie Bars. Kathy Gosman brought them.  They are rich and DELICIOUS.  So many yummy flavors all in one cookie.

Seven-Layer Cookie Bars

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-12 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1-12 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1-12 ounce package butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2-14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter.  Spray sides of 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Pour butter into pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly on butter, then pat them down to even out.  Sprinkle semisweet, milk chocolate, and butterscotch chips evenly over crumbs.  Sprinkle with coconut, then nuts.  Pour milk over layers. Bake25 to 35 minutes or until mixture bubbles and browns on top.  Let cool on a rack; cut into squares.

****
Here's another great peanut butter and chocolate cookie from our friend and follower, Elizabeth Garbin.
Recipe: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
From the kitchen of: Elizabeth Garbin

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sugar
35 milk chocolate candy kisses

-Heat oven to 350.  Line 13x9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over pan edges.  Set aside.
Combine brown sugar, margarine, and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Continue beating until well mixed.  Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Beat until well mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Pat dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately press evenly spaced chocolate candies into warm bars. Cool completely.
Remove bars from pan using edges of foil.  Cut into bars, cutting between candies.
Yield 35 bars

*****
 These cookies were so different and so good.
Recipe: Rolo Cookies
From the Kitchen of: Marianne Martin

2 ½ cups All Purpose flour                                              
2 eggs
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa                                                
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon baking soda                                                    
48 Rolos, unwrapped (9 oz pkg)
1 cup sugar                                                                        
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
Heat oven to 375°.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking; blend well.
In large bowl, beat 1 cup sugar, brown sugar and butter until light an fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs; beat well.  Add flour mixture; blend well.  Stir in ½ cup of the pecans.  For each cookie, with floured hand, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around 1 Rolo, covering completely.
In small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup pecans and 1 tablespoon sugar.  Press one side of each ball into pecan mixture.  Place, nut side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375°F. for 7-10 minutes or until set and slightly cracked.  Cook 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets.  Cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.

*****

Recipe: Italian Christmas Cookies
From the Kitchen of: Candace White

Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 carton (15oz) ricotta cheese
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, soft
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
colored sprinkles

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in ricotta and vanilla.  Combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.  Drop by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  In a large bowl cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cookies and immediately decorate with sprinkles. Store in fridge.

*Oops... I didn't store these in the fridge.  They actually got better the longer I had them (a week).


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Winner of Giveaway #6: Crocheted Headband

The winner of the crocheted headband is....
#3 wrote:
3. Andrea Sommers said...
Miss Genevieve would be stunning! :-)

Congratulations Andrea!  Please email us at oursevendwarfs@gmail.com so that Jill can get busy making your headband!  Thank you to all who entered.  Another giveaway will start at midnight!

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