Monday, December 30, 2013

Who Wants Desert?

I love serving a beautifully made deserts on beautifully made German porcelain from the Victorian era. These gorgeous pieces have served me well or should I say I served them through the years. Downsizing is never easy but it's time to say goodbye to a few of my treasured pieces. They are now available for sale. From the top: Austrian hand painted cake plate, Zeh Scherzer and Company cake plate, Zeh Scherzer and Company large cake plate, bowls and snack tray,  and  Zeh Scherzer and Company relish tray and salad plates.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Center Piece

It's amazing what you can do with a few garage sale and thrift store finds for your Christmas center piece, I'm looking forward to making some new memories around the table.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Betty Crocker Christmas Cut Out Cookies

When my husband and I got married 34 years ago my Mom gave me a cookie cook book for a wedding gift.  My initial thought was "why", I wasn't that into baking. But life marches forward and soon enough I was baking cookies every Christmas. When my sons were little they always pitched in by being my official taste testers. Soon enough the Christmas cut out cookies became our tradition. I miss those little taste testers but every year they still look forward to these cookies and a few other things. Traditions just sort of happen when time passes and people gather for the holidays!

Below is a chronicle of this years cookie cooking festival.

 Ethel's Sugar Cookies is the one that works best and tastes best!! I don't use shortening in Christmas cookies...........just butter. Christmas only happens once a year.

Easy Creamy Icing is the best cookie icing out there. After 34 years of baking and decorating Christmas cut out cookies I have tested them all!!

I cheat and buy a gingerbread mix! Cut outs take a lot of time and this little trick has helped cut the preparation time. I switched to plastic cookie cutters about 30 years ago. They don't rust. And yes, these are the same ones.

This old Sunbeam mixer has never let me down. Plus harvest gold is the bomb!!

The dough needs to chill about an hour for the best results. Gooey dough does not roll or cut easily.

Cover your surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Cover the rolling pin with flour too. If necessary dip the edges of the cookie cutter in flour too. This will keep the dough from sticking. I love using my Mom's old rolling pin to make cookies.

I watch the cookies carefully. If they're in just a minute too long the bottoms will burn. Let them cool off before you ice them. I usually ice them the next day.

You have to work quickly once the icing is applied or the candy toppings won't stick. I usually do 3-4 cookis at a time.

After I gunk on as many sprinkles as possible I put them in the freezer so the icing will harden quickly.

Don't those look ridiculously yummy??

This is the same icing minus the food coloring! These little gingerbread reindeer are topped with sugar and cinnamon.