Friday, December 23, 2011
For the cake, I use a butter cake recipe I found on allrecipes here. I adapted it for cupcakes by cutting the baking time to about 20 minutes.
For the frosting, I creamed 1/2 cup butter, 1 package light cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla extract, with 1 cup powdered sugar. I then added 1/4 cup cocoa powder. For the perfect touch, I added 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips to the mixture. So yummy!
The nose is a piece of pizzelle (was supposed to be vanilla wafer) with a brown M&M on it. The eyes are mini M&Ms attached with frosting onto white Smarties. The ears are warmed, reshaped mini Tootsie Rolls. The antlers are broken pretzels.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Due to time constraints, I just bought a sprinkles pack from a big box store, but many of our local Amish/Mennonite run stores carry decorating and baking supplies for very low prices. (My container of green decorating sugar cost 68 cents).
I make a thinned out buttercream icing for the cookies and paint it on. Since it is so thin, you don't need much. It dries hard overnight. As you can see in the picture, it is runny and will run off onto your table (and dry hard overnight) so be sure to clean up before bed.
To make the icing, I used 2tbsp softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, about a cup of confectionary sugar, and enough milk to make it thin enough to paint. Add this 1 tbsp at a time, but I'd estimate I used 3-4tbsp. Just mix in your mixer and add the milk slowly. If you add too much, counter with more powdered sugar.
Just paint the icing on with a spatula or brush, add sprinkles, and dry overnight.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Years ago, before we had kids, Hershey didn't charge admission to the park. They'd operate on a ride ticket system, so my husband and I would stop for some Hershey's hot cocoa and cookies and just walk around the park looking at all the lights without riding anything (for free).
If you go, one of the overlooked neat treats is the dancing lights on the bridges. Every so often music will start (such as a selection from Trans Siberian Orchestra) and thousands of dancing lights will accompany. Not quite the caliber of Osbourne's Festival of Lights at Disney World, but still very neat (and MUCH less crowded).
This year, we had the privilege of going on a warmer day and a school night so it was very empty. Definitely recommend! Merry Christmas!
It is super yummy! Be prepared though for the time needed to cool! We mixed up the dough together one day and cut out the cookies the next, but you could just give it a couple hours to chill.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Yesterday we made Christmas Tree wall hangings with tissue paper. This is a really easy project for any age, and looks pretty awesome. To make, first you cut out Christmas trees out of green paper. Then, allow the children to paint glue onto the trees. Next, take tiny pieces of squished up red and green tissue paper and let the kids place it all over the tress. My oldest ran and got a star sticker for the top. That's it! Super simple and the kids loved it.
We also baked chocolate chip cookies together. After dinner we had hot cocoa and the cookies while we watched Santa Buddies.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
For those who have been following along with the Special December posts, we'll be catching up tomorrow with an explanation on why!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Today we went and got a Christmas tree.
We get our tree from a local tree farm in the next county. The trees are cut that morning, and after you select one, it is put on a shaking machine to remove bugs, drilled and put on a tree stand at just the perfect angle. Then, it's netted and put in/on your vehicle. When we get home we just have to put it up in the living room, cut the net and add water.
Here's a bonus photo from the Ice Festival yesterday. Its amazing what they can carve with ice!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Today we made this Countdown Calendar made out of mismatched socks. Each sock will display the project of the day. I plan to share each of them with you! Today's special project is "decking the halls" (decorating for Christmas)!