Category Archives: Christmas

Linzer cookies – ish

Linzer cookies jam sandwich cookies shortbread

Last week we took reindeer cupcakes to say thank you to my OB team. Yesterday we took Linzer cookies (ish) to my pre-labour / labour team at Texas Children’s Hospital (something I hope to make a yearly event). Sadly our lovely nurses, who were universally awesome – Naval, Tracie and Heej – were not there, but we left them in the nurses’ station. I hope they get them before they go stale!

This is probably not a true Linzer cookie, as it is just shortbread sandwiched with jam. But hey… these are very cute to make. Here is my recipe:

2 cups butter
1.5 cups sugar (I used granulated; superfine / caster would be better)
2 egg yolks
4 tsp vanilla essence
4 cups of flour
pinch salt

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egg white
extra sugar
raspberry jam

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Preheat oven to 375

Like all my baking recipes, I threw all the top ingredients into my Kitchenaid. You could use an electric mixer, or – gasp – do it by hand (

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Bake for 5 mins. Brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake for another 5-8 mins. WATCH CLOSELY and remove at the first sign o browning. Put blobs of jam on the bases only. Let cool (This is KEY). Then smush the jam around the bases and sandwich a top ontop.

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Serve the deliciousness, or display as a present.

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Yum. We managed to only keep 2 for ourselves 🙂 Done with these cutters, they may be cute for a baby shower too.

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Reindeer cupcakes

reindeer cupcakes

Merry Christmas… just 5 more days to go. While I am super excited, I must confess, my Christmas crafts did not go as plentifully as planned. I blame two things:

(1) Sam.

Cute, but time consuming

Cute, but time consuming

(2) Liars in Kroger who tell my husband that you can’t get superfine sugar in the US (wtf? Superfine is the US term! In the UK we call is caster sugar…) nor can you get ground almonds (again: wtf? The country of paleo eating and the birth place of Atkins does indeed have ground almonds / almond meal / almond flour). Eegits have put a halt to my Christmas baking.

So… since I last blogged about my tree and wreath, all I have really managed is some paper chains around the banisters:

paper chains Christmas decoration

The stockings being hung (not even on a mantelpiece… oh dearie me):

Can you guess which one is Sam's?

Can you guess which one is Sam’s?

A party involving mulled wine and mince pies,

And some reindeer cupcakes.

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The decorations were cobbled together from several ideas on the internet, but I basically put chocolate frosting (icing) on some cupcakes and added:

Muzzle: vanilla wafer
Nose: mini chocolate chip / mini morsel
Eyes: Sugar eyes from Target
Antlers: mini pretzels snapped in half.

Easy peasy and very festive.

Oh, and don’t forget to ask your husband to buy an ENORMOUS bag of mini M&M’s so you can extract just one red one for:

Don't forget Rudolph

Don’t forget Rudolph

LOVE Christmas baking. These went to our OB’s office. I may do some more this weekend to give to Texas Children’s Hospital 🙂

Happy Advent! The First Christmas Craft of the Season

Happy Advent

Happy Advent

Happy Advent 🙂 OK, this is more than a little belated, but now I have wrangled young Samuel into a routine (<—- I owe you a post on this) that involves proper naps during the day, and thus also happy awake times, I actually have some time to blog (at least until grant writing makes me crazy again). I still have to put up the Thanksgiving pictures. Oh well.

This year I have actually got my butt into gear and done Christmas properly. I am not sure why this year I managed it… perhaps ‘missing’ three Christmases by letting advent go un-noticed finally tipped me. Or maybe it is because now I have a house I love and am proud of. Or because there is so much going on juggling work and a newborn and a marriage that I have started to become a ‘planner’. Who knows? Anyone else find this? Hyper organized when a little one came along?

Anyway, We got a tree nice and early which Sam got to help decorate:

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Every year, Wes I buy each other an ornament.

Wes to me 2011:

'Our first Christmas 2011' ornament

‘Our first Christmas 2011’ ornament

Me to Wes 2011:

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And me to Wes 2012:

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And this year I got brave and made a bauble:

Handmade by Lekki

Handmade by Lekki

See? My crafting isn’t always just gluing bits of pre-cut wood together 😉

Then all the Christmas decorations came out:

Advent calendar

Advent calendar

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Including the all-time favourite (from many moons ago)

Old friends

Old friends

 

I got organised and actually wrote Christmas cards (We tried to make a family Christmas card… but failed [attempts at the top and bottom of this card], so people got a photo of Sam in the hospital instead [better luck next year…])

But I did a Christmas wreath using:

  • A Styrofoam wreath form
  • Felt
  • Small cardboard boxes
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue
  • ribbon
  • baubles
  • Foam
  • Scissors

Step 1: Cover the wreath form in felt squares

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Step 2: Spray paint your cardboard boxes:

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Step 3: Decorate your painted boxes:

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Step 4: Glue decorated boxes to the felt, and fill in the gaps using baubles and stars cut free-hand from the foam

Homemade Christmas wreath

Voila. A cute decoration, and easy for kids to do too.

Happy Advent y’all:

Sam's Thanksgiving / Christmas outfit.

Sam’s Thanksgiving / Christmas outfit.