baking, chocolate, Christmas, cookies, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

The Making of Christmas Part 2

The first thing I made was the Santa Snack Mix.  If you follow me on Facebook, Clever Cakes then you saw the special syrup I made to pour on top of it before I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

cookies christmas

I made over 300 cookies this year, and sometimes it’s impossible to get pictures of every one of them! But here’s a sample of the types of cookies I made.  I give them out as gifts but I also need them for my family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Don’t worry, all these recipes will be in my recipe book which will be released late January 2019!

christmas cake

Then I made the Christmas Tree Cake. Thank goodness for pans that are already in the shape! It cuts the process in half!  I made a Golden Butter Cake and then I topped it with vanilla icing that was made green.  Of course, no cake would be complete without little decorations!

nephew

This year my nephew who is almost 3, got his first baking set and we learned how to bake cookies. Those are the ones he baked with his Auntie’s help!

tree

I wish you all a Very Merry and Bright Christmas!!!

 

 

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baking, Christmas, crafts, decor, DIY, fashion, Uncategorized

The Making Of Christmas Part 1

Here are 3 DIY crafts that I have done for this Christmas. The first one is a present /cookie platter topper.  I make little toppers that really give a personal splash to each gift that I give.  This year I made little gingerbread boys using felt and I stuffed them with cotton. 

little gingerbread boy

He really will become the “star” of the show.  People are excited when they see him! Sometimes I make a little loop for people to be able to place him on the tree, but this year, I decided to just make them as mini-stuffed animals.  Oh, I I stuff them with cotton balls.  Yep, I break up the balls and stuff them inside.

santa workshop.jpg

This year I created Santa’s Workshop.  I usually have a small tree and a village around it, but my nephew still loves to touch things, so I thought, hey, if he is going to touch it might as well be a mini village made out of cookies, icing and sprinkles!

reindeer

Finally, I made 3 special reindeer headbands. One for me, one for my nephew and one for my little cousin.  My nephew will decide who will wear what, but to make these are simple: 1) dollar store sells a set of 3 headbands 2) go to the craft store to get the little decorations for the headbands and also some thick brown felt.  ( if not, foam works too!) 3) Use the glue gun and glue them together. Do not let the little ones touch the glue gun – it really can burn them!   They are dried and ready to be worn in 10 minutes!

Next blog post I will cover some of the cookies and treats that I made for the big holiday!!

baking, business, crafts, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Igloo Kits For Gifts

Here are the instructions how to make a cute igloo kit for a gift for just about anyone- especially someone who has kids!

Here are all the tools you will need to make an igloo kit besides the little boxes to put the sugar cubes and the chocolate penguins in.  The sugar cubes make a BIG mess when taking them out, so that is what the paper plate is for. As you could see the plate has sugar on it!

The little saying I have on it is:

Here in these boxes / Are a very special treat! / Get the chocolate penguins / And put them in their seat!  ( Use the icing to glue together the sugar cubes to make an igloo!)

igloo kit

The finished product is this above! You get ribbon and bakery elastic to tie the saying to the package. You place a spoonful of icing in the tiny cup.  The smaller box has the penguins and the larger box has about 25 sugar cubes.

Happy Igloo Building!

business, crafts, decor, DIY, Uncategorized

Make An Easy DIY Gift For Under $15.00

DIY gift

You can make this in under 10 minutes. Here’s how to make it below along with the link to watch the video.

DIY gift 4.jpg

Buy a fabric storage box like the one above. I got this for a $1.00 at Christmas Tree Shop. Next you will decorate it with fabric stickers and paper stickers, which I did inside the box, with the paper stickers and the fabric stickers on the outside.  I also used my glue gun to make sure the stickers stay put!

Then you want to make things to put inside the box. I like to make things that are of not the holiday theme, so folks can use it all year long.  On the left is a little candy/cookie jar and then on the right is a mug.  You can get really awesome decals to use at any craft store. They might run you anywhere from $1.99-6.99.   You can get cookie jars and mugs at any Dollar Store.

DIY gift 1

Finally, I fill the candy jar with homemade mini chocolate candies, I buy hot chocolate mix and peppermint mocha coffee to fill the gift box.

You can watch my video here: CLICK IT

baking, chocolate, Christmas, coffee, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

How To Make Christmas Tree Brownies

christmas tree brownies

Nothing says Christmas better than Christmas trees, candy canes and chocolate! Here’s how to make these fun chocolate bites!

Brownies

Now, if you have a favorite boxed-brownie mix you can make that. Or if you want to be creative, you can make them from scratch. Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A dash of Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee like Folgers
  • Icing
  • Sprinkles
  • Candy Canes

Directions

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Add flour, vanilla, salt, cinnamon sugar and instant coffee.

Pour into greased 13×9 pan – you can use the baking spray to grease the pan.

Bake between 30-40 minutes. I set the timer for 30 minutes and then check then add 5 minutes. If they are done I take them out, if not I leave them in for an additional 5 minutes.

When they are done, let them cool down for 10 minutes before you get a Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter and start to cut out the trees. You can do it when they come out, but they will break apart more easily.

Then you can start to decorate them. I make a simple icing, but you can use store bought as well. You can find festive sprinkles in your craft stores, grocery stores or Target.

Then you will need to break the stick off of the candy canes, since that will be the tree trunk.

Put a little icing on the ends of the candy candy that you will insert into the brownie tree. This just helps it stay in place. Then gently push the candy cane inside the brownie tree. Let it dry in place for at least an hour before serving them.

 

 

baking, crafts, DIY, featured, recipes, Uncategorized

How To Host A Cookie Swap

It’s that time of the year for all types of holiday cheer and holiday parties. Two of them that most people host are baking parties, where people gather together to bake or a cookie swap.

Here are tips on how to host an awesome cookie swap. When I taught preschool, I held one in my classroom. It was the most fun ever!

First you will need to set the date and send out invitations out in advance so all your friends and family can attend. This is a busy time of the year, so the more advanced notice you give, the better. Also, make sure you find out about food allergies. Some folks need gluten free, egg free, or nut free cookies, so make sure you know in case you need to supply these types of cookies. Also in the invitation, you will need to send a recipe card for the folks to fill out. Also include a list of clear instructions in the invitations. Let your guests know how many cookies to bring, when they should RSVP, and when to send in copies of their recipes. It should be understandable that a cookie swap are cookies that are homemade, but maybe add that into the invitation.

Once you receive the name of each participant’s selected cookie, print or write it on place cards and set them in front of the platters for easy identification and selection. Next make sure you have festive baking boxes, stickers, and ribbon for each participant to take cookies home from each platter. I you can’t find baking boxes, which are at all craft stores, you can get festive plastic containers or even tins. You will also need plates, napkins, forks and spoons.

If you are hosting the event be sure to have an assortment of appetizers and drinks on hand for guests. You will also want to serve beverages that compliment the foods, like hot tea and coffee in the morning, or a sparkling wine at cocktail hour. Milk and cookies are ideal as so is serving some hot cocoa. You can serve coffee and tea at all times of the day, no matter what time you host your party. Also have non-dairy drinks as well, in case of dairy allergies.

Now, if you are also inviting kids, you will want a decorating cookie station to keep them busy. Set up a low table with un-decorated cookies in festive shapes and an assortment of icings, candies, and sprinkles.

Have fun and take photos to post on social media!!

baking, chocolate, cookies, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Let The Holiday Baking Begin!

I can’t believe that I am typing this but the holiday season is officially here!  This year just flew by.  For the next five weeks I will be blogging all my holiday baking tips, photos of recipes, the fun I have while wrapping gifts and making DIY gifts (Which are my favorite type of gifts to give!) and more!

Here are memories of Christmas past.

gingerbread boy This is the gingerbread boy I made but with chocolate chip cookie dough instead since gingerbread wasn’t liked by the person who received this. Also I decorated with footballs since that is what this guy enjoys watching.  I used orange tic-tacs for the nose and chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.

santa Another memory of holiday cookies I have baked in the past were these Santa cookies. Just bake a regular cookie of your choice, (make them a little bigger than you would) make white frosting or use store bought, red sprinkles for the hat, black M&Ms for the eyes, a red M&M for the nose, and mini-marshmallows for the hate trim and beard.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

oreos Here’s the last memory for now. Chocolate-Covered Oreos. All you need is a package of Oreos, (Please try some self-control and not eat them, I will admit I did eat 2 of them!)  you can make your own chocolate, but for those who don’t have time, you can melt some chocolate wafers they sell in craft stores, and then have some freaking fun and decorate them!!