Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!! Ring in Twenty Eleven!

It is almost time for the ball to drop and get ready for a fun filled night tomorrow!  
Here is a Freebie 8x11 printable I am able to share with you!  Thanks to Jane Piotrowski of The Garden Girls who created this graphic upon my request!

Enjoy and be safe!  Love to all and I am very very excited for a fantastic Twenty Eleven!!  

Please feel free to share this image and link up to my blog.  Right click to save it to print.   Let me know you are a follower and LIKE my fan page on Face Book along with The Garden Girls!  Let us know you were there!  Thank you again!  


Love, Peace & Ring in Twenty Eleven~


Stacy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All!!!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Looking forward to Twenty Eleven with all of you!!  

One last recipe before Christmas!  

Eggnog Buttercream w/ Tullemore Dew Whiskey & Whipped Cream
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Click here for the basic buttercream recipe.  Instead of the cream use eggnog,  I bought a 1/2 gallon of fresh made very tasty and well spiced eggnog from a local Farmers Market.
Then add about a 1/2 of shot of whiskey depending on your taste preference beat on medium.
If it is not stiff enough just add a bit a sugar to thicken it up.

Pipe in layers around the outside of the cupcake leaving a empty center for the whipped cream like you see in the photo.  I LOVE whipped cream with my eggnog.   Dash with a bit of fresh nutmeg!

ENJOY!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!  These were the cupcakes that I sent into my husbands company today.
The eggnog, sugar plum spice & white chocolate peppermint!!  
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Peace, Love & Christmas~

Stacy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scrumptious is a Fancy word for Yummy! Part 2~

Bringing you 4 more cookie recipes from my favorite bloggers!!  Kate Landers of Kate Landers Events LLC, The Super Chick from Celebrate Today the Super Chick Way! Kim from The TomKat Studio & Bird of Bird Craft Studio!  

This was an extremely fun feature for me and I gained some scrumptious recipes for sure and have plenty of scrumptious gifts to hand out to many for Christmas!!

Not so bad for my 1st Christmas as a blogger I shared a total of 14 Cookie recipes with all of you this season!  I surely hope you had a chance to bake a few!

I set up these cookies on my dinner table and as inspiration to have a few of your girlfriends over for cookies & cocktails to relax and catch up this holiday season!  I always enjoy my Christmas decor~ so I wanted to share a bit of what my table will look like come this weekend.  It is coming together...mainly missing my fresh flowers & green but I won't add them until Friday!  So here you have the final 4 cookie recipes!



Kate from Kate Landers Events, LLC favorite cookie is a Butter cookie.  While she didn’t have a specific recipe to share, I sought one out by googling “The Best Butter Cookie” and let me tell you I found it and here is the recipe.  Hands down the best, reminds me of something my Mimi would make when she would bake tins & tins of Christmas cookies for us.  I also opted to just decorate with sugar and not the icing.  I love a simple cut out Christmas Sugar cookie and I had fun decorating these this afternoon with my 3 year old!  


The Best Butter Cookie ~
via http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/2217/best-ever-butter-cookies
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2
 tablespoons milk
Food color, if desired

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add orange juice and vanilla; mix well. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; flatten slightly. Refrigerate until firm (2 to 3 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets; sprinkle with decorator sugar. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Combine powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often and gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Tint with food color, if desired. Frost and decorate cooled cookies as desired.

My friend Genevieve from Celebrate Today the Super Chick Way! Loves her Peanut butter cookies!  These too are my husbands favorites I felt it necessary to make it a bit more scrumptious by chopping up some Reese’s cups and baking them on top! 



Peanut Butter Cookies:
Recipe from www.joyofbaking.com
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Beat in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in the chopped peanuts, if using. (If the batter is too soft to form into balls, place in the refrigerator for about an hour or until firm.)

Roll the batter into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, placing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, using the tines of the fork that has been dipped in white granulated sugar, make a crisscross pattern.

Bake the cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for about a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 40 cookies.



Peanut Butter Cookies:

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (185 grams) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped peanuts or 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)



Another sweet & spicy cookie is Bird of Birds Crafts shares with us a recipe that she has been baking for years for gingerbread cookies!  For these sweet treat that I used as an idea to let me friends know where to sit.  I am also using my baked cookies as gift tags this year with all my gift recipients’ names on a cookie to label them! 

Below is Birds recipe.  To bake mine I bought at the Fresh Market a ready to bake gingerbread squares.  I rolled them like dough and cut into little men.  A time saving trick in case you don’t want to bake them from scratch. 

Bird Party’s GingerBread Cookies~ This is the recipe I use every year and it comes from The Good Housekeeping Institute

350g plain white flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground ginger
100g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
4tbsp of corn syrup or clear runny honey or golden syrup
1 egg beaten
currants etc for decoration
1. Sift flour, bicarb. and ginger into a bowl
2. Rub butter until looks like breadcrumbs
3. Stir sugar in
4. Beat syrup with egg and stir into the mix, kneading to form a smooth dough
5 Roll to about 5mm thick and cut the shapes and decorate with currants
6. Bake at 190deg C or 375 F gas mark 5 for about 12-15 minutes
XOXO
Bird

Now for Kim from The TomKat Studio!  Kim is the very 1st blog that I followed & shop I bought my 1st custom printables for one of my girl’s party.  While Kim’s recipe isn’t an actually cookie, they certainly are a sweet treat and she also share a free printables with her recipe!! 


Chocolate Scotcheroos!

Chocolate Scotcheroos
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use a little bit more ;)
1 cup butterscotch chips (I use a little bit more ;)

Place corn syrup and sugar in 3 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13x9 pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside. 

Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. (OR melt using half power, 30 seconds at a time in the microwave ~ as I do!) Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm. (I put in the fridge for 15 minutes so they firm up quicker so I can start eating them sooner)
YUM. I promise.






There you have it!  For Scrumptious Sweet Treat recipes for you to try & share with your family and friends this holiday!!!  


Peace, Love & Christmas Cookies~

Stacy


Friday, December 17, 2010

A Festive Holiday Cocktail

Who's ready to enjoy a cocktail?  I know I am!!  I have to postpone my 4 additional cookie recipes until Monday.  My dear husband bought a 12-13 ft Douglas Fir Christmas Tree.  The largest we have ever bought is a 8 ft. The tree is gorgeous don't get me wrong and will be a lot of work.   I guess our recent trip to Rockefellar Center & Radio City Music Hall where Martha Stewart's Craft Department decorated a magical tree was a bit to inspirational for him.

Here is a perfect Martini with a Red Licorice Wheel as a garnish~
 Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini

1 1/2 oz Stoli® Strasberi vodka
2 oz sweet and sour mix
3 drops lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar





Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and shake. Place the rim of a chilled cocktail/martini glass in a bowl of lemon juice, then dip the rim into green sugar to coat the rim. Pour the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass, cut a slit in your licorice wheel, garnish & ENJOY!!

Happy Weekend~ Enjoy all your parties this weekend!!  Be Safe!

Peace, Love & Festive Martini's~

Stacy




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scrumptious is a Fancy word for Yummy!

I hope everyone is having an amazing Holiday season! I have something fun & exciting that I am going to share with you over the next few days!  Two weeks ago I asked 8 of my favorite party planner/bloggers, as well as some of your favorites about their favorite Christmas Cookies! I also asked them a few questions that I am going to share their answers!

I wanted to share with you as many Christmas Cookies as I could & make it fun! I was reading a Fancy Nancy Christmas book to my 3 year old the other night for what inspired the title for these post ;)  This post is definitely one of my favorites for many reasons....you will read & see why in a minute.  

Without further a do I share with you in Part 1 of 2  the favorite Cookie Recipes of Jenn from The Hostess with the Mostess, Danielle from A Few of My Favorite Things, Courtney from Pizzazzerie and Rebecca from Fresh Chick Design Studio.  First I'll share the photos of my cookie & cocktail table~

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The Fresh Chick's Rolo Pretzel Treats

My Signature Christmas Cocktail
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Cookie Cutter Christmas Tree
The Hostess with the Mostess ~ Jenn's Sugar Cookies
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Mini Topper
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A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Snooker Doodles
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Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Pizzazzerie~ Gingerbread Spice Cookies
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My cocoa mugs from Crate & Barrel
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Candy Cane Hearts


The Recipes!

ROLO TURTLE TREATS~ 

Rolo Turtle Treats
Ingredients
~1 bag of Rolo candies
~1 bag pecan halves (if you can't use nuts, try m&m's)
~1 bag of mini pretzels 

Directions
Pre-heat ove to 250 degrees
Place pretzels on a baking sheet.  Put one unwraped rolo on top of each pretzel.  Now off they go into the oven for about 3-4minutes...just as long as they are not too melted, just soft.  Once out of the oven place a pecan half on top and slightly push down.  Place on wax paper to cool.  Proceed with caution - these lil' creatures are highly addictive!!


JENN’S SUGAR COOKIES:
from The Hostess with the Mostess1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl & set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until mixed well. Add the dry ingredients & mix well. Chill for at least an hour to stiffen the dough. Roll dough out & cut into shapes or form dough balls and flatten into thick circles with your hands.

Bake 8-10 mins or until the edges of cookies start to turn a very light golden brown. Don't overbake!


FROSTING:1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
4.5-6 cups powdered sugar (thicken to desired consistency)
food coloring

Mix all ingredients together. Apply generous helpings of frosting onto completely cooled cookies. (Frosting will bleed off if cookies are warm.)
*If frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk, 1 tsp at a time.



GINGER SPICE COOKIES:


Recipe:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container


SNICKER DOODLES:
this recipe is via www.joyofbaking.com 
Snickerdoodles:

2 3/4 cups (360 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
Coating:
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Snickerdoodles:  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls (one to two hours).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls. 
Coating: In a large shallow bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on the prepared pan, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, using the bottom of a glass, gently flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
Bake the cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes, or until they are light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Can store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10 - 14 days.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

I Loved each and everyone of these cookies fortunelty for me I only got to sample Jenn’s Sugar Cookies, the Ginger Spice & the Snickerdoodles.  I am using them for teacher gifts and class party treats tomorrow ;).  The Rolo turtles I should have designated too because I ate too many.  But hey its Christmas!  Time to celebrate and indulge.  I did just that…LOL. 

I have 4 more of my favorite’s favorite cookie recipes to share on Friday!  Please come back and next week I will share why these fantastic girls are some of my favorites and what is their favorite things to do during the holiday’s and why these cookies are special to them!

Have a wonderful night!  Tis the Season!  Any questions on the recipes let me know!  

Peace, Love &  Cookies~

Stacy






Monday, December 13, 2010

Today is National Cocoa Day!

Happy National Cocoa Day!!!

Other than your traditional way of celebrating with a delicious mug of hot cocoa!  
How about a Hot Cocoa Cupcake??

Yes that is right and here it is nothing more scrumptious!!!

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Here is what you need to do!!  Treat your babes when they come home from school today ;)

Bake your favorite chocolate cupcakes~
Whip up your favorite buttercream recipe~ click here for my recipe & how too
Add 2 tablespoons of Hershey's cocoa &
1 packet of your favorite hot chocolate packet (I used Swiss Miss) and mix 
before you add your cream.   

Pipe the icing onto your cupcake and top with mini marshmallows!  
Sprinkle a little hot chocolate mix onto the top of the marshmallows too if you wish~

Peace, Love & National Cocoa Day~

Stacy

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hi & My Apologies

I have to apologize for my lack of being here this week....my 3 yr old got really sick last weekend and has managed to pass it onto me & my 18 mth old.  I have been cleaning germs away everyday and trying to catch up on sleep so I can get ready for the rest of the Season!

This weekend we are taking my girls minus the little one to the Christmas Spectacular in NYC, so I need to get better.

I have the cutest rudolf cookies to show you too~!  I will do my best to get them posted before we leave!

Thank you for understanding!  Stay Well if you can :)!!

Peace, Love & Getting Better~ 


Stacy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beautiful Christmas Inspiration from CHAC Holiday House Tour

This past weekend was Chestnut Hill Community Association's Holiday House tour in Philadelphia, PA.  I had to wonderful opportunity to create Christmas cookies for one of the houses on the tour.

I was sent photos of the decor and went from there.  Beyond my scrumptious treats the house was decorated with creative & gorgeous styling....inspiration every inch of home, I couldn't not share this with you.
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Please note that all photo's, images, graphics & designs belong to graphic designer & planner Jane M. Piotrowski & The Garden Girls.  Jane can be reached at janepio@comcast.net ~ her website will be up & running very soon where you can be inspired & hire Jane for any of your events needs.   

Now for the photos!

My cookies before they left and the little wooden house was my inspiration for the house cookie you will see~


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The picture I was sent to create my cookies~ this house was created by Jane M. Piotrowski

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Gorgeous Flower Arrangements by The Garden Girls
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The local Pottery Barn accessorized the back deck
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One of my favorites
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Stunning place settings at the dining room table
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Jane with her dining room table
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Beautiful wrapped gifts by Jane M. Piotrowski
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Floral Swag in the entry way


I just love it all~ the house tour was a success and many were inspired by the details!  If you would like to see more photos please visit the The Garden Girls Facebook page and Like them, let the girls know you found them through Scrumptious Swirls!

Peace, Love & Christmas Inspiration~

Stacy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cookie Exchange Recipe~ Do NOT bake on an empty stomach

Warning!  As the title of this post reads "Do NOT bake these cookies on an empty stomach"!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


These cookies are so great to bake during the Holidays because how many the recipe yields!  It does take a little work, more mental if you ask me, you need to control yourself ;) when you have to open all the Reese's peanut buttercups while the cookies are baking, so you are ready to put into the cookie when it comes out of the oven.  These little muffin/cookie treats are basically chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate chips, baked in a mini muffin pan and then you have a Reese's mini cup pressed into the center.  

Here is the recipe I use~

2 Bags of Mini Reese's Cups
mini muffin pan
cooking spray

For the Batter~

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a separate bowl put your flour, salt & baking soda together and gently whisk it together so it is blended well.  
Cream your butter in your mixer or with your hand held mixer.  Add the sugars and beat about 2 mins, add your eggs one at a time and continue to beat until well blended then add your vanilla.  

You then add your flour mix until just blended, you don't want to over mix cookie dough.  

To bake~ Spray your muffin pan with cooking spray (keep your cooking spray out because you will need to re-spray the pan for the 2nd batch)  Scoop about 1 tablespoon of batter into the cups.  I use an ice scream scoop as shown below.  Don't over fill the cups you really don't want the cookie to bake over.

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After you fill the pan cover your un-used dough with plastic and set aside.  Bake for 8 minutes.  While baking open your mini cups, as soon as you take the cookies out of the oven you need to press them into the center of the cookies like so;
PhotobucketThis is why I can't bake these on an empty stomach ;) 

After the 8 minutes remove the pan and gently press the cups right into the center of the cookies.  
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Next, put the cookie back into the oven for 3 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack it takes about 45 mins.  Carefully remove them, use a knife to gently lift the side of the cookie to get the out of the pan.  

Re-spray the pan and go to your second batch!

Then you have 48 of the most scrumptious treats to eat & share!  Perfect in so many ways!  They can be frozen too in a sealed container if you want to use them later.  But I suggest baking them, keep a dozen for yourself or so for yourself and gift the rest this time of year!  Great too if you need a cookie for a cookie exchange, you get 4 dozen!

Enjoy!   Any questions please ask!  

Peace, Love & Peanut Butter Cup Cookies~

Stacy