Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eat, Drink and Be Thankful

Just wanted to quickly share my dining room chalkboard with you.
I think it pretty much sums up the Thanksgiving holiday to a T.
 
 
Don't you agree?
 
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings!
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Caramel Pecan Turtle Cookies

I suppose it's no surprise to any of you, that I love to bake.
I think I've said it often enough over the years.
 
So when Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life said she was
throwing a holiday baking party with some friends,
 I just knew I had to participate.
 
I pulled this recipe from a magazine many moons ago,
and finally got around to making them!
 (Oh you should see my folder of "recipes pulled from a magazine." 
It's Scary with a capital S!)
 
These cookies are very yummy, but I must caution you: 
They are easy to make, but a little bit time consuming. 





Caramel Pecan Turtle Cookies


1 cup Crisco or 1 Crisco stick
1½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 to 5 cups flour (I used 4 cups)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
28 caramels
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups pecan halves
1 (6 ounce) bag chocolate chips

Cream Crisco & sugars together.  Add milk.  Beat in eggs one at a time; add vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar & salt.  Mix into creamed mixture.  Chill 1 hour.

Heat oven 350°.  Roll out 1/3 of dough at a time, to ¼ inch thickness on a floured surface.  Cut out with a 2¼ inch cookie cutter.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake 5 to 6 minutes, until edges are slightly golden.  Remove to cooling rack.

For topping, combine caramels & milk in microwave safe bowl.  Cover with waxed paper.  Microwave at 50% for 1 minute.  Stir, repeat until smooth.  (Or you can melt on stovetop in small saucepan at very low heat.)  Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on top of each cookie.  Place 3 pecan halves around edge of caramel. 

Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave at 50% for 1 minute.  Stir, repeat until smooth.  (Or again, you can melt on stovetop in small saucepan at very low heat.)  Spread rounded teaspoonfuls over top of caramel, but don't cover pecans.  Cool completely. 

Yield:  5 dozen



Now go ahead & enjoy that turtle cookie...mmmmm...

 
Linking to:
 
Holiday Baking Party at A Stroll thru Life
 All Things Thursday at Posed Perfection
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's all about Thanksgiving (vignette & some Etsy love)

I'm sharing a coffee table vignette today and it's all about Thanksgiving.

You see, I've got Christmas on my mind,
but I'm bound and determined to give Thanksgiving its due. 
Even if I'm listening to Christmas music as I type this.   
I really love Christmas music. 

 
 Mostly everything I used in this vignette, I've had for years.
 
Some close ups & details:

 
 I used my favorite bird cage that I know you've all
seen dozens of times,
an orangey rust votive from Target,
and Mr. Turkey, in off-white,
from Joann Fabrics a couple of years ago. 
 
As I started typing the details of my vignette, I realized
that I have a few Etsy purchases included here,
so why not spread a little Etsy love too?
  
 
I purchased the sweet fabric pumpkin on Etsy a few years ago,
 the shop can be found here.
The bottles in the basket came from Michaels this past summer,
and I believe my amber turkey was another
Joann Fabrics find a few years ago. 
 
 
The burlap runner was also an Etsy purchase.
It's a great runner and I think it's the perfect base for my vignette.
The Etsy shop can be found here.
 
 
Hanging out in the background of my vignette is this cutie,
my Give Thanks pillow, from the hands of the
very talented Ann of On Sutton Place.
I love this pillow!
Her Etsy shop can be found here.
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Linking to:
 
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chewy Sugar Cookies

If you're anything like me, you like a little something sweet with a cup of tea (or coffee.)

Sometimes I get sick of the decadence of some cookies. (Did I really just type that? lol)   Sometimes I wish for something a little more "simple."

The Drama Club at my daughter's school was having a bake sale.  She signed up for sugar cookies.  Now I have to admit, I was disappointed.  "Sugar cookies?  You signed up for sugar cookies???"   As someone who loves to bake, sugar cookies seemed...well...boring. 

I found this recipe in my King Arthur Flour cookbook and we set to the task at hand.



Were they boring?  No way!  Just simple and oh so good!! 

Chewy Sugar Cookies

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter (I used regular old salted butter)
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon nutmeg or lemon oil, optional, your choice (I used neither one)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (I used ¼ teaspoon since I used salted butter)
1 large egg
2½ cups all purpose flour
¼ cups coarse or granulated sugar, for coating

Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly grease or line with parchment two baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, nutmeg/lemon oil (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt & egg.   Stir in flour.

Place sugar in shallow dish.  Drop the dough by the tablespoonful (I used my cookie scoop) into the sugar, rolling the balls to coat them.  Place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until the edges are just barely beginning to brown, they'll look soft.  If your bake these cookies too long, they'll be crunchy, not chewy.  Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. 

Yield:  3 dozen

 
 
Grab your tea (or coffee) and enjoy a few cookies!
 
 

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