Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Blast from the Past

I have lived in Knoxville my entire life, except for a brief stint in Greenville, SC, for a year of college. As a kid, my very favorite cookie was the thumbprint cookies made and sold at Wade's Bakery and Fountain City Bakery in town. They were delicate little cookies with shiny, sweet, colorful glaze on top that was perfectly set and very delicious. These bakeries have long since gone out of business and those perfect little thumbprint cookies have been very hard to find over the years. But I recently found a recipe on Comfy in the Kitchen for these little gems and couldn't wait to bake them today. My first batch wasn't very good - a bit dry for my taste. So I added a bit of heavy cream to the remaining dough and the rest of the cookies turned out delicious.

Thumbprint cookies
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 c. margarine or butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 TBS Karo Syrup
1/8 cup water
Food coloring of your choice... you can also use sprinkles!

For frosting - mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, then add 1 drop of food coloring. You can divide the frosting into several bowls to make more than one color.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and powdered sugar and vanilla then gradually add flour.  If the dough is too crumbly, you can add 1-4 tsp. of milk.  Roll dough into 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  With your thumb, make imprint in the center of each cookie. Bake on parchment paper for about 10 minutes (do not over bake).  Once the cookies are cool, fill each cookie with about 1 tsp or more of frosting and add sprinkles, is desired. Let frosting set for about 30 minutes.

These cookies would make BEAUTIFUL Easter treats, especially if frosted with a variety of pastel colors!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Easter Treats

Since Bailey was little, I've made an Easter bunny cake every year. They are easy to make, but some have turned out better than others. The one I made when Bailey was about 2.5 was especially problematic. For some reason, the color of the jelly beans I used to decorate the cake "bled" into the white frosting, so the bunny's mouth looked like it was literally bleeding. Thus, the Easter of the Bleeding Bunny Cake! Last year, we made a cake to take to our local Ronald McDonald House, and when we got there, it literally fell apart! I was so embarassed! We tried to put it back together, but it still looked pretty motley. Anyway, this year I decided an easier treat might work better, so I made a batch of Rice Krispie treats and cut them out with a bunny-shaped cookie cutter that Bailey can now decorate. I sure hope our friends at RMDH like them!


I recently stumbled upon an AMAZING food blog called Comfy in the Kitchen that has a multitude of amazing recipes. This one for Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies yields the most amazing brownies I have even had and that's saying a lot considering my previous favorite brownies were Paula Deen's Symphony Brownies, which are also to-die-for! I made the Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies much, much easier by making Duncan Hines Fudge Brownies first and them following the rest of the recipe for the filling and the topping. I could eat the entire pan, so I am wisely giving some away as quickly as possible!

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

For the Brownies:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk

For the Ganache Topping:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1.Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

2.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the sugar; stir to combine. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add flour and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.

3.While the brownies are cooling, make the peanut butter filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make it spreadable. Spread in an even layer over the brownies. Place in the refrigerator until filling is set, about 30 minutes.

4.While the filling is setting, make the ganache, combine the ingredients in a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl. Melt together and combine. Pour the ganache over the top and spread gently. Return to the fridge until set.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I've mentioned my sweet friend, Karen, several times on this blog and since today is her and her husband, John's anniversary, I made this lovely toile card that I saw recently on a blog (I'm sorry I can't remember which one!). I think I even incorporated the faux fabric technique that was on Splitcoast Stampers recently. How cool is that? I really love how the embossing folder adds beautiful texture to the stamped image. Come back tomorrow for the very best brownie recipe in the entire world!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Sharp Card!

My sweet friend, Karen, who I've mentioned on my blog before, had a birthday on March 25 and while I had good intentions of getting her gift to her on time, it simply didn't happen. But, it turned out to be a pretty neat gift that she really liked. Best of all, her card coordinated with the theme of the present! Karen & I have taken a cooking class together and we're going to take another one next month called Knife Skills. Chris's uncle makes beautiful wooden cutting boards, so I asked him to make one for Karen and then I made her this ADORABLE apron card to go with it!! I haven't made one of these cards in ages and had actually forgotten they existed until I rummaged through my inspiration stash and found one my friend, Cele, made for me years ago. I just love it when a plan comes together!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A cool sip of Green Tea

My dear sweet mama placed a card order and it was just what I needed to get a little mojo flowing! I went to my fave blog and found this card. I LOVE the Green Tea designer series paper - blues and greens have always been my favorite color palette - cool & refreshing. This layout is simple and striking and would adapt to any occasion. Have a great week!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Little Quilty

I need several cards this week for various occasions and while stalking another of my favorite blogs, Inking Idaho, I found these beautiful quilted cards that inspired me to create my own. I've made this type of card before, but it's been awhile, so it seemed new to me! I love this color combo - Baja Blue and Chocolate Chip - and using a 1.25" square punch makes this card a cinch to reproduce. I like to build my card on a piece of copy paper so I can trim the edges or cut the quilted piece into a shape like the last card in this post. So many ways to be creative with just a few simple supplies! Have a great day!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A little blog-stalking . . .

So I've gotten back into blog-stalking and I am finding that I have missed so much during these last several months!! I found this card on the Inkadinkado website (not sure how I found my way there!). I just love cards that use some that designer paper I have laying around. I've been hoarding it for far too long, too afraid to cut those gorgeous 12x12 sheets for fear of not having full sheets when I scrapbook, but I have banished those thoughts from my pretty little head. I can't wait to dig into new papercrafting adventures! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Inspired by Archivers

Since Miss Morgan was born in September, I have done very little crafting because any mojo I can muster has been used on other projects, like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the young 'uns! So, needless to say, when we decided to go to Atlanta for a few days over Spring Break, I knew a trip to Archiver's was a must! I found so many amazing stamps & cool tools to add to my vast collection and rekindle my crafting mojo! I was instantly attracted to this cute Easter bunny stamp set and coordinating honeycomb paper that you can cut into any shape imaginable. It's pretty pricey at $6.50 per pack, but I couldn't resist buying all the items I needed to make this sweet little 3-D carrot inside my card! Notice the grass? It was made using Martha's Stewart's new grass/fringe scissors. They rock in a whole new way! I absolutely love them! If you've ever tried to make grass using regular scissors, you know it is impossible to create uniform blades. Thanks for stopping by - have a great weekend!