Cookie Swap

I hosted my first ever cookie swap (which I had wanted to do for years and years). Each of your guests brings a different batch of cookies, and everyone walks home with an assorted box of cookies. And in between, you can drink, chat… and eat cookies.

Cookie Swap

Sangria: red wine, brandy, sugar, apples, oranges, lemons

Sangria: red wine, brandy, sugar, apples, oranges, lemons

Cookie Swap 3

Mini Meringue Swirls

Mini Meringue Swirls Meringues are a great go-to dessert recipe. They have few ingredients and steps and you can store them for quite a while before they go stale — a perfect make-ahead dessert. My mom has a fool-proof meringue recipe that works as either a big meringue (see here) or as individual cookies, which I opted for this time. To add a bit of fun and whimsy, I used a technique I saw Martha Stewart doing on TV. By painting stripes of food coloring up a piping bag, you can make beautiful swirls within the meringues. I promise it’s easier than it looks, and you will impress everyone with your professional-looking cookies.

Mini Meringue Swirls

The one thing I managed to forget was taking a good picture! But see below or here for pics of the next batch.

Recipe here.

Mini Meringue Swirls 3Mini Meringue Swirls 7 Mini Meringue Swirls 8

For the swirl technique, you need:

  • food coloring
  • paint brush
  • piping bags and medium-sized nozzle

Put a drop of food coloring in a small bowl. With your paint brush, paint three small lines up the sides of the piping bag from the very bottom up 3/4 of the bag. Put the meringue into the piping bag about 3/4 full, making sure not to overflow (or else the meringue will come out the top when you squeeze). Fold over the edges of the piping bag and squeeze down the air and the meringue toward the tip. Pipe small little swirls onto your lined baking sheet. They will come out great every time!

Mini Meringue Swirls 10Mini Meringue Swirls 11Mini Meringue SwirlsHere’s a pic from my second attempt (and I remembered to take  pictures of the final product!):

Mini Meringue Swirls

 

Thanksgiving Cards

I always love receiving a hand-written card, but I don’t write them often enough. What better excuse than my favorite holiday and day of the year — Thanksgiving. This year, I thought I would make some cards that were super easy and in the spirit of the holiday.

Thanksgiving Cards

Materials

  • Cards & Envelopes
  • Stamp
  • Ink
  • Pen
  • Embossing Powder
  • Mini crystal stickers
  • Embossing Heat Tool

How to emboss

Push the stamp firmly and steadily onto the page. Before the ink can dry, cover it entirely with embossing powder. The stamp imprint should be completely covered. Some of the powder will stick to the ink, and you can pour the rest back into the container. You can see the powder that has stuck to the ink. Turn on your embossing tool, wait for it to heat up (about 3 seconds) and move it over the stamped shape and powder. You will see almost instantaneously the powder begin to solidify and become glossy. Remove the tool immediately.

Tip: Keep the tool moving and do not linger too long, you can overheat the powder.

Thanksgiving Cards 3

You can see how the ink is raised from the paper and has a sheen… the magic of embossing.

Thanksgiving Cards 2

You’ll need a heat embossing tool — I used this one from Darice

Thanksgiving Cards 5

Maple Glazed Cookies

Maple Glazed Cookies 12

I love everything maple. Maple leaves, maple syrup, maple candies. I decided to make my favorite sugar cookie and royal icing recipes (see Golf Cookies), but since it’s fall I decided to use maple flavoring. And, of course, I had to make them in the shapes of Fall foliage. For the recipe and tips for decorating with royal icing, see here.

Maple Glazed Cookies Maple Glazed Cookies 2 Maple Glazed Cookies 3 Maple Glazed Cookies 4 Maple Glazed Cookies 5 Maple Glazed Cookies 6 Maple Glazed Cookies 9 Maple Glazed Cookies 10 Maple Glazed Cookies 11