Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas cookies and party favors.....

Christmas cookies and party favors....

First of all I would like to thank all of you for your prayers and for wishing my hubby and myself well! It turns out that I was coming down with a cold and I am feeling much better now. My hubby, on the other hand, had a virus that seems to be going around and it has taken him a little longer to feel like his self again but every day he's feeling better and better.

Though out the end of November and early December I have been busy making cookies and party favors like so many of you. I thought you might like to see and hear about some of the things I've made.
To me the advent season is the most exciting, joyful, and beautiful time of the year. It's just filled with wonder and anticipation. Little surprises seem to come every day, perhaps in the form of a song, a beautiful card, and unexpected call from a friend, a concert or party, an invitation, a visit, and sometimes even the first snowfall of the season as happened here in our area the other day.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is bake cookies. This year I made five different kinds. I don't make a lot, just a batch, or two of each kind. I think they make great gifts and it's always nice to have some cookies around the house to serve when family or friends come to visit. I admit cookie baking can be quite expensive, but I prepare in advance, buying my ingredients a little at a time over a period of several months.
One of the cookies I always make are chocolate oatmeal but I like to add cherry infused cranberries and coconut instead of raisins to give them a more festive look.

Cutout cookies are always a hit in our family and can be used in so many different ways.
Another thing I love to do is make my own poppers. My poppers are a little larger than the ones you can find in the stores. During the year I collect little bottles of this and that to fill them with like hand lotion and perfume. Special messages can be added, candies, lip gloss, money, and sometimes even lotto tickets. You just never know what your going to get when you open one of my poppers.

Every year our niece has a Solstice party in lieu of a Christmas party just before the holiday. This year I made the party favors. They are very simply done but I think they look pretty. I found the snowflakes, four of them for a dollar, at the party store. They can be used later as a Christmas ornament. I have always loved to use ribbons and so I pick them up when ever I see them on sale through out the year. I think I may have mentioned before that my hubby built me a rod for one of my closets and I hang the spools of ribbon there until I'm ready to use them. I think these Solstice party favors would make great little Christmas gifts too.

This year I found a new cookie recipe that I thought I would share with all of you. Not only are these little cookies darling but they taste delicious too!
The recipe comes from the 'Land O Lakes Holiday Cookies' magazine. This is a seasonal magizine and one that I absolutely love! It's always full of wonderful ideas and delicous recipes.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teasppon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Land O lakes butter softened.
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Land O Lakes butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled
Mini chocolate covered pretzels
Brown candy-coated chocolate peices or in my case raisins.
Red gumdrops, cut in half or red coated candy peices.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. set aside.
Combine sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Add flour gradually beating after each addition. Divide dough in half, cover, and chill until firm.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough, one half at a time, onto a lightly floured surface. Cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 5 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly brown and the center is set. Cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl and beat at low speed adding enough milk for desired consistency. Reserve 1/3 cup frosting. Add melted chocolate to remaining frosting beating until well mixed.
Frost the cooled cookies. Set 2 pretzels on top of heart to form antlers. Create two eyes with reserved white frosting and top with raisin or candy coated candy. Place red gumdrop onto frosting cut side down to form nose.

I think these little guys would look adorable on any Christmas inspired table. I hope my little grands like them! My hubby sure does :>)
These sweet reindeer's would also make great gifts to add to lunch boxes or to give to someone special as a nice little treat. Wouldn't they make cute party favors for a children's Christmas luncheon or even a ladies Christmas tea party?

Of course, even though I know I shouldn't, I always give Charli a little treat when ever I'm baking. No chocolate or raisins for dogs though! Charli always waits patiently at my side in the kitchen to see what I'm going to give her. I do not give her candy but I do give her a little taste of the plain white frosting and sugar cookie.
Well, that's what I've been up to the last several weeks. I can't wait to come around and visit all of you!
I hope all of you are having a wonderful and blessed Advent season.
With warmest regards, Carol


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George the Lad said...

You make lovely foodables. Gald that you are both feeling better, I myself have had to put blogging on hold for a week, with Christmas coming up it just gets so busy and moms list just gets longer and longer!!
Love to Charli
See Yea George xxx

Madeline's Album said...

Carol, I am so glad to hear that you and your husband feel better. Your cookies look so good. The reindeer cookies are especially cute as can be. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I am enjoying this holiday and have everything done, almost, still have three pumpkin breads to bake and my pies which I do a couple of days before Christmas. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

Vee said...

Lots of cute ideas here today!

So glad that you are doing better and that your hubby is, too. It's not fun to be under the weather at this time of year when there are cookies to eat!

Happy@Home said...

Gosh, I didn't know that you and your husband have been sick. However, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.
You have been making some cute and yummy looking goodies. I really like the treat bags you made for the solstice party. So pretty.
I had to laugh at your sidebar photo of Charli and the blow-up reindeer. That is so cute.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning precious Carol and Charli!!! How I love you two.....I think we have been following each other for almost two years now, and I so enjoy everything you share dearest. I too am sick with a stomach virus! OOOOOh, yesterday, I had to leave school around 10:00; I just could not even WALK! CHills, stomach ache....now, I can at least look at food! And your cookies look wonderful my dear. HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!!!! Love to you and the furry one, Anita

Eileen said...

So glad to read you are feeling better, Carol, and I hope your husband is 100% now too!
You made so many wonderful cookies, and I really like the reindeer ones, they all look so festive really, and your party favors were great too! I'm going to do your poppers this year, we don't exchange anymore except for a 'Secret Santa', but I like to give our children a little something, so this is a wonderful idea. I remember you posting about them once before, but I'm so glad you posted again to refresh my memory!

I've been doing lots of baking too, just a little more left to do and then I'm done!
Love to you,
PS ~ I saw that you had posted new yesterday but every time I tried to get here I would just get a blank page! Much better today!

Valerie@travelingthrough2 said...

Hi Carol,
The reindeer cookies are so cute. I may just have to try them. Maybe I can get some done for my holiday tea. My granddaughter would love these! Glad you are feeling better and hope your husband is better soon too.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I am thankful that you and your husband are on the mend. It is not fun to be sick, especially over the holidays.

Your creativity is endless. Those favors with the snowflakes are so pretty and festive looking. The reindeer cookies are just the cutest things. Who wouldn't like receiving one of those! You sure know how to make holidays fun!

Micki said...

I loved the recies...so yummy, and thanks for sharing.

Shelley said...

Carol - you make the holidays so lovely! Love those treats and those party favors - you inspire me to do the same! I'm thinking of making the favors for our fammily's big christmas. Hope you and the hubby are feeling well - tell Charli to give you extra puppy smooches!
P.S. I need your address again if you don't mind, Scout would like to send Charli a Christmas card! Email me at shelleyupnorth at gmail dot com. Thank you!!

Sue said...

We're starting our cookie baking today. They won't compete with yours for looks, but they'll taste good, I'm sure. I always get tired toward the end when the decorating part is left. Maybe I should put them away and frost and decorate the next day when I'm feeling fresh.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Carol
So sorry you and your husband were ill. Glad to hear you are doing better.. The cookies are smashing!
What great recipes.. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas.. Save me a cookie will you? tee hee.

Michael said...

I think you house must be one of the happiest places on earth!
Hope everyone is feeling better!

First communion favors said...

The cookies that looks so delicious!

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