Cookie Love : A book review

 Image of Cookie Love book by Mindy Segal

I am a bonafide lover of all baked goods, and when I saw this book I couldn’t wait to flip through its pages.  Cookie Love by Mindy Segal is a beautiful book full of gorgeous images of cookies. The book has plenty of delicious cookies to choose from, but it definitely has a more grown-up feel to it.  While it has the obligatory chocolate chip cookie and snickerdoodles, there are also recipes for Smokey Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, Lemon Goat Butter Tea Cakes, and Whiskey Marshmallows.  Overall, as far as cookie books go, it might not be the most kid-friendly, however there isn’t anything in here that I would love to try myself.

 

page of Cookie Love book

 

image of cookies from Cookie Love book

 

image of cookies from Cookie Love book by Mindy Segal 

As far as the recipes go, both of the cookies I’ve made so far (the Oatmeal Scotchies and the Brownie Krinkles) came out perfectly. I really loved the Oatmeal Scotchies*. We have a policy of sharing our cookies with friends and neighbors so we don’t overindulge ourselves, but I swear I could have eaten the whole batch myself if given the chance.

Overall, I truly love having this book in my collection.  These are the sort of cookies that are perfect when you’re out to impress, or really want something special to share.  However, the ingredients lists on most of the cookies have enough specialty items that these are not going to be your everyday go-to cookies. There were several ingredients that I could not find at my local grocery store and had to order online. Perhaps you have a better-stocked store near you.  If not, you may find the recipes more of a frustration than anything else.  I tend to think the cookies are worth the extra effort for finding the specific ingredients listed.  There are some truly special cookie recipes in this book and your taste buds will thank you.

* If you want to give the Oatmeal Scotchies a test-run before buying the book, you can find the recipe on the publisher’s website by clicking on the “Read an Excerpt” button.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed in my review are my own.

 

This entry was posted in books.

Bunny Ears and Nose Kids Craft

se a paper plate and egg carton to make bunny ears and nose 

My kids always get excited about dressing up, especially when it involves cute animals. With Easter coming up we thought it would be fun to make a simple Bunny craft using items from around the house.

What you Need to Make the Bunny Ears and Nose Kids Craft

  •  egg carton
  • paper plate
  • pink construction paper or card stock
  • pink and/or black paint for bunny nose
  • tape
  • glue
  • elastic string (we used some elastic jewelry thread from one of the kids’ beading sets)
  • plain white paper or card stock for whiskers (not shown)

 

Use a paper plate and egg carton to make bunny ears and nose

How to Make Paper Plate Bunny Ears and Egg Carton Bunny Nose

  1. Gather your supplies and follow the cutting guide from photo 1 above: Cut egg carton to make a small nose. Fold paper plate in half and cut section out for ears.  Cut smaller ear-shapes from pink paper.
  2. Fold ears flaps on paper plate up. Glue pink paper onto paper plate ears. Tape paper plate together to fit the size of your child’s head.
  3. Paint the egg carton noses the color of your choice.
  4. Use sharp point (I used the point of my scissors) to cut small holes on the sides of the noses.  Thread the elastic through the holes and tie the ends so that they don’t come out.  Tape white paper strips on the inside of the nose and fold outward for whiskers (see photo 4 above).

This craft is easy enough for most kids to do on their own with a little help from a grown-up (i.e. tying the elastic).

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Peanut Butter Shamrock Blossom Cookies

 peanut butter shamrock blossom cookies

It’s no wonder that Peanut Butter Blossom cookies are the favorite cookie of so many. Peanut butter and chocolate are old friends that go together perfectly.  We decided to bring a St. Patrick’s Day twist to this delicious cookie by swapping the traditional Hershy’s Kiss with a shamrock-shaped chocolate and using green sugar on the outside of the cookie.

These cookies are so easy to make, and the St. Patty’s Day elements only added a couple of extra steps.  I used my shamrock chocolate candy mold to make the shamrock “blossom” centers, and I used dyed sugar to roll the dough in before baking.

How to Dye Sugar

Have you ever dyed your sugar?  Its pretty darn simple.  Get your sugar, add a couple of drops of food coloring, and stir it (or shake it if you’re combining in a baggy).  Keep adding additional dye or sugar until you get to your desired color.

 

Peanut Butter Shamrock Blossom Cookies
Yields 84
St. Patty's Day Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  4. 1 cup white (granulated) sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/4 cup milk
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 cup green dyed granulated sugar (or regular white sugar if preferred)
  12. 84 chocolate shamrock candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease cookie sheet
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir until well blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to peanut butter mixture, stirring all ingredients until well combined.
  6. Roll tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in dyed sugar.
  7. Place dough balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and immediately press chocolate shamrock candies into cookies.
  10. Allow to cool completely so shamrock cookies can re-harden.
Extra Tip
  1. Keep the chocolate candies frozen until you are ready to add them to the cookies. This will help them hold their shape better while handling.
Adapted from Peanut Blossoms II (allrecipes)
One Crafty Place http://www.onecraftyplace.com/

Glue Gun Stencil St. Patrick’s Day Shirt

glue gun stenciled st. patrick's day shirt

I’ve tried quite a few techniques for altering fabric:  stamping, dying, freezer-paper stenciling, etc.   As soon as I learned about glue gun stenciling I knew I had to try my hand at it. And, since green isn’t really a color my girls tend to have in their wardrobe, it seemed like a St. Patty’s day shirt would be the perfect project to give it a go.

 

How to Make a Glue Gun Stencil

The basic concept of making the stencil is super-simple:

  • Use a glue gun to create your design
  • Wait a little bit and let the glue to cool and harden
  • Carefully peel up the glue (you don’t want it breaking during the process of peeling it off)
  • Lay the stencil flat on the surface of your project
  • Paint over it
  • Remove stencil and smile

A Few Tips on Making and Using the Glue Gun Stencil

  1. Use wax paper.  I tried gluing my design onto wax paper, aluminum foil, freezer paper, and a glass plate to see which one would allow the glue to come up the easiest and the cleanest.  The wax paper was the easiest to get the glue off of.  Plus, it has the added benefit of being see-through so you can place a piece of paper under the wax paper with your design on it and trace over it with the glue gun.
  2. Spray a little Pam. Even with the wax paper, the glue was difficult to get completely off of the paper.  When I sprayed a little bit of cooking spray on the wax paper, the stencil was a breeze to get off. So, not only is it cleaner, but you’re more likely to maintain the integrity of your design.
  3. Keep your glue thick. If your design allows it, you’ll have a much easier time if you can maintain a good thick stream of glue from your glue gun.

 

glue gun stencil

 

On Painting

I wasn’t sure which fabric spray to go with, so I picked up both and I’m so glad I did.  On the left is the Tulip Fabric Spray Paint, and on the right is the Simply Spray Stencil Spray.  The Tulip fabric spray was by far the better fabric spray paint.  For one thing, it sprayed better. Unfortunately, the Simply Spray would only come out in huge drops and everything you see on the paper towel is all I could get out of it. It actually stopped working at this point. I read the directions, but there’s always the possibility of user-error, so I’m not quite ready to throw Simply Spray under the bus.

In any case, I went with the Tulip spray paint.

paint-samples

The glue gun stencils came off very easily with not sticking or unwanted marks left behind.

shamrock-stencil

I used cardboard between the layers of the shirts to make sure no paint went through to the other side. You could also use poster board, or even freezer paper.  Anything flat and mostly impermeable.

glue gun stencil shirts

It didn’t take long for the shirts to dry and they were easy and fun enough that I’ll likely use them with the kids next time.

glue gun stencil shirt for st. patrick day

What do you think about the glue gun stencil? Have you tried this process before?  If anybody has any extra tips they’d like to share I’d love to hear them!

 

Drawn to You Printable Valentines for Kids

printable valentine with "drawn to you" text

I love the idea of a multi-purpose Valentine that won’t just be eaten and forgotten about.

When I was thinking about making these printable Valentines I knew I wanted to provide a little pencil or pen, plus some space for drawing.  I think it would be really fun for the giver to include a special sketch for his or her friends, or maybe they could even collaborate on something together!  The drawing squares are the perfect size for a kid-made comic strip.

These would accommodate any smallish pencil or pen (golf pencils?).  I picked up the pint-sized pens used in mine at Walmart in bags of 12 for $2.

Please enjoy these free printable Valentines offered in 4 colors: Red, Pink, Green, Blue.

Red/Pink “Drawn to You” Valentine Download

Blue/Green “Drawn to You” Valentine Download