I wanted to share my latest column from the March issue of Family Circle, in which I stenciled an inexpensive coffee table that I purchased from Home Decorators Collection (currently on sale for $68.99!). The stencil is the Small Eastern Lattice stencil from Royal Design Studio, which has some of the nicest stencils I've seen on the market.
My technique varied from the norm a bit this time, simply because I wanted a brown base with metallic highlights and that wasn't possible with the configuration of the stencil. So I brought a piece of the table with me to Home Depot and had them match the paint and mix a sample jar for me (which was the perfect size for the tabletop). I also purchased Martha Stewart Living Metallic paint in Vintage Gold, again in a small container.
I coated the base of my tabletop with the metallic paint and let that fully dry. Afterwards, I went back over it and stenciled with the brown paint. Admittedly, it took some time to do this, simply because the stencil wasn't the same size as the tabletop and I had to wait for sections to dry before proceeding with the next area. But if you have a weekend, the actual stenciling of each section doesn't take very long (the other option is to have a stencil cut to the size of your table). The end result is a unique piece at a reasonable price.
We're hosting a Valentine's party this evening, with a mix of adults and children, couples and singles, and we've unabashedly embraced our inner child for this one. So when I saw Martha Stewart Living this month, I absolutely knew I had to try to make the giant tissue paper heart that graced the cover.
I made a similar version, though I shifted the color palette and made the tissue paper pom-poms myself in a range of sizes (it really is easy and a lot less expensive). I also veered away from arranging the entire thing on the wall. It lost some of its organic nature by doing that, but I simply don't have those kinds of skills! I found it a lot easier to create the layout on the floor first.
To make it, I put two pieces of poster board together and cut a half heart out, then taped the two pieces of poster board together with packing tape, so I had a whole heart. After that, I loosely arranged my pom-poms on the surface of the heart, then attached the wires to the poster board with more packing tape, pushing the pom-poms together so they completely filled the space. Then I attached the heart to my wall using Command Removable Mounting Strips by 3M. I used an entire package of 4 large, 4 medium, and 8 small strips and the heart's been hanging securely for a week now, so I'd say it's a safe bet.
Have a happy heart day - filled with love of all kinds!
Here's a tutorial to make your own tissue paper pom-poms. Just remember to use 4 or 5 layers of tissue instead of 8 (as stated in the directions above).
Personally, I've been appreciating more of an industrial mood this Valentine's Day, so I ordered some new rubber stamps that reflect that aesthetic. I'm so happy with them I thought I'd share the resource.
You can find all of these rubber stamps at Impress Rubber Stamps. If you hurry, you can still get them in time for Valentine's Day. And while you're there, peruse their other designs. They're one of my favorite stamp and ink resources and I tend to find cute packaging items on their site as well.
Regular readers of this blog and my Family Circle column know I like to paint furniture (thanks to my multiple thrift store and curbside finds). I'm by no means an expert and I'm always looking for ways to improve my technique and create more unique results. So I was excited when I got information about the upcoming Annie Sloan Paint workshop taking place this spring in eight cities, one of which is my own (Yay!).
Here's the scoop (but hurry, space is limited!):
British decorative paint expert, author of numerous paint technique books, and creator of the one and only Annie SloanChalk Paint – will tour America in March and April 2012. Ms. Sloan will be leading one-day demonstrations and overseeing hands on workshops in eight cities starting in New Orleans, where the north American arm of the company, AnnieSloan Unfolded, is based.
NEW ORLEANS 3/12
SAN FRANCISCO 3/19
A T L A N T A 3/29
LEESBURG, VA 3/31
Each event will feature a demonstration by Ms. Sloan, book signings (Creating the French Look and Quick and Easy Paint Transformations have both been recently released in paperback here in the US), and hands-on technique sessions for all attendees. These will be in smaller groups, led by Annie Sloan and trained stockists who are well versed in all aspects of using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Soft Wax, and the myriad techniques and effects that are so easy and fun to create. Annie Sloan will visit each break-out group to offer advice and recommendations to groups and individuals while they practice. Attendees will end the day with a book signing and social hour with Annie Sloan.
In addition, the ‘Antoinette’ paint is being launched to coincide with the tour, and $1 from the sale of each can will go to breast cancer research, as will a percentage of the proceeds of the workshops. There’s more information about the tour on the US website: http://www.anniesloanunfolded.com/event/
Who should attend:
People who love DIY projects, such as old furniture makeovers, and are keen to learn new techniques to use in their home – on furniture, accessories, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, walls, floors – anything that can be painted!
Tickets: One-day workshops are priced at $350, include all materials, refreshments, and lunch. Purchase online at: www.anniesloanunfolded.com.
The public is encouraged to attend the event in their home region and there is a limited number of seats per state that will go on a first come// first serve basis.
For a comprehensive list of US retailers for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, go to http://www.anniesloanunfolded.com/retailers.html
About Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan is one of the world’s most respected experts in the field of decorative painting and a key figure in the painted furniture revolution, through her lively and creative approach to painting and 40 years of painting experience. She runs successful workshops at her store in Oxford, England, and throughout Europe. Her numerous books, include ‘Creating the French Look’, just released in paperback in the US, published by Ryland Peters & Small, and ‘Quick and Easy Paint Transformations’.
My husband was creating cocktails for a presentation recently and I asked him to create a cocktail inspired by a Sidecar, one of my favorite classic drinks. His interpretation is seasonal, made with fresh kumquats, and softened by Barenjager, the most delightful honey liqueur. There's a little bit of fresh mint muddled in and the surprise of lime juice, instead of the lemon juice I typically associate with these ingredients. It's smooth, balanced, beautiful, and destined to become one of my personal classics.
4 kumquats, cut in half
6 mint leaves
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Muddle the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker to release the oils in the mint and crush the kumquats. Then add:
1 1/2 ounces cognac (We used Hennessy V.S)
1/2 ounce Barenjager
Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake well. Use a fine mesh strainer and strain into a coupe or small martini glass. Garnish with a skewered kumquat half.
Simple Syrup: Put equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and remove from heat. Let cool before using. (Store in refrigerator and use to sweeten cocktails, iced coffee, iced tea, etc.)
I love Valentine's Day. I love to craft for it, I love the unabashed use of red and hearts, the opportunity to be a little silly. And in my world, everyone's a potential Valentine, not just my husband and son. So it's one of my favorite gift giving times as well - a holiday that calls for small, thoughtful gestures in nice packages.
That's the focus of my Valentine feature in the February issue of Better Homes and Gardens - making small, handmade gifts or upgrading traditional packaging (like giving a store bought box of chocolates a new look with customized wrapping). It's easy - and a lot more fun than being a Valentine cynic!
You can find all the projects shown here (and more!) in the February issue or online at BHG.com. (The link to BHG.com has a number of other DIY gifts in it as well - from various contributors.)
Customizable, downloadable scratch-off card.
Upgrade a standard drink carrier and fill it with a special selection of sodas or beer (look for shops that sell sodas or beers by the bottle so you can have an eclectic assortment).
Stamped muslin bags are a breeze to make and can hold all kinds of treats, not just candy. I like the idea of packaging them with vintage printers blocks, like XOXO and Love (I find wooden letters on Etsy and Ebay, as well as antique stores.)
I like to create inspiration kits for my girlfriends. I fill them according to their personalities and style, favorite colors, etc.
I made these scrapbook paper candy bar wrappers for BHG a few years back, but I still love them. They're easy to make (especially if you have a paper trimmer) and the design possibilities are endless, allowing you to create a wrapper that truly reflects your recipient.
Maybe there aren't that many people who put butterflies at the top of their Christmas wish list, but I've been a little obsessed with them over the past year. I'm not a collector - I don't care about perfectly mounted (and pricey) rare specimens, though I can certainly appreciate them. And I've been inspired by all of the butterfly projects I've seen on blogs and in magazines, but not inspired by the use of obviously fake butterflies.
What I wanted were butterflies I could incorporate into my personal decor but that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. What I discovered is that it's possible. Butterfly collecting doesn't have to be pricey if you're willing to do the work of spreading their wings yourself.
There are reputable vendors online (and if it matters to you, you can email them and ask if their butterflies are ethically harvested, meaning that they're captured after they've naturally expired) and you can purchase folded butterflies housed in glassine envelopes. From there, you'll rehydrate them and spread their wings, pinning them to either a Styrofoam block or a mounting board for a couple of days. After you carefully remove them, you can glue them to twigs like I did or house them in display boxes, etc. (The one thing I would suggest is that you put them under glass. They're incredibly delicate.)
If you're squeamish like I am, it takes a little getting used to, handling the butterflies and squeezing them to open their wings. But after a couple of tries, it gets easier (see my link below for a clearly illustrated guide to wing spreading).
While you need to be gentle handling them, I didn't find them difficult to glue. I used my favorite glue, Beacon 3-in-1 adhesive and put just a dab on the back side of the body before gently placing it on the edge of a twig. The glue dries very quickly so it only took a minute or two before I was able to place the twig under the glass.
I had some left over after I'd filled my cloches, so I put a few of them in display boxes as well. I love them. Just looking at them makes me happy!
Now, if you're looking at this and thinking that you'll never in a million years spread butterfly wings yourself, there's another way you can go. I picked up this kitschy butterfly display at a thrift store for a couple of bucks and thought I'd try to take it apart. I removed the backing and found that all of the butterflies and moths were mounted to a single piece of paper. I used fine tipped scissors and cut around the butterfly bodies (so that the paper didn't show), but left the mounting paper under the body intact. I applied glue to the little sliver of paper that was left and then glued the butterflies down as desired.
So if you happen to find any amateur butterfly collections in thrift stores or antique shops, it's another option. But I wouldn't pay a great deal of money. Depending on how old the collection is, you might lose some as you work with them.
I purchased a sheet of mossy birch bark from a local florist and cut it down to size with floral scissors. I placed the bark sheet inside of this display box and glued the butterfly directly to the bark. I have it displayed on my coffee table.
I decided to camoflauge one of the moths, much as it would be in nature. It's in my display cabinet and doesn't pop the way the butterflies do, but if you take a closer look, then you see it.
Beginner Butterfly Kit (includes 5 butterflies as well)
Glass shadow boxes from West Elm
Glass cloches and bell jars can be found at multiple online stores. I also see them in discount stores such as TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls.
This is one of my favorite dinner recipes. We make it maybe once a year, always in the winter, and I find it deeply satisfying every time. It's easy enough for a family gathering, nice enough to serve for a dinner party.
The short ribs get both roasted and braised, so you'll need a roasting pan and a pot that can go in the oven (we use a cast iron Dutch oven). The potatoes are also put through a potato ricer to give them a silky texture, which I find a nicer complement to the short ribs than just mashing the potatoes. Other than that, the techniques and equipment required are pretty basic, the results anything but!
Pot Roasted Short Ribs
6 to 7 1/2 pounds flanken short ribs
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock or broth, heated
1 bay leaf
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pat short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.
2. Arrange short ribs, meaty sides up, on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan and roast 45 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer ribs to a plate and transfer 3 tablespoons drippings (augment with oil if not enough) to a 6-to-8-Quart heavy ovenproof pot, reserving roasting pan. Heat drippings over moderate heat, until hot but not smoking, and cook garlic, carrot, and sliced onion, stirring, until onion is golden. Reduce heat to moderately low. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups hot stock in a slow stream, stirring constantly until well combined. Add remaining 1/4 cup stock to reserved roasting pan and deglaze over moderately high heat, scraping up any brown bits. Add to pot with ribs, bay leaf, and thyme.
3. Put pot in lower third of oven and cook ribs, uncovered, 5 minutes. Turn ribs over, then cook, covered, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours more, or until meat is tender and pulls away from the bone. Let beef stand, covered, 15 minutes.
4. Transfer ribs to a plate and keep warm, covered. Pour gravy through a sieve set into a saucepan and skim off any fat. If necessary, simmer gravy until thickedned, then season with salt and pepper.
5. Place short ribs on a mound of potato puree with a little of the gravy. Top with spinach and horseradish cream.
1 1/2 pound Russet (baking) potatoes
1 1/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a 6-8 quart saucepan. Simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool 15 minutes, then peel while still very warm. Heat milk and cream until warm in a large heavy saucepan over low heat, then force peeled potatoes through ricer into pan. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring until incorporated before adding next few pieces. Season puree with salt and keep warm, covered.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
15 ounces baby spinach
Heat oil in a cleaned 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shallots, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and saute, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon drained bottled horseradish, or to taste
Stir together creme fraiche and horseradish. Top each dish with a dollop of horseradish cream.
My friend Cathe Holden, from Just Something I Made, is one of the most generous people in the blogosphere and if you're not familiar with all of her wonderful creative goodness, you should be! She's done it again with a Handmade Crafters Label Branding Kit, a set of fourteen free labels that are customizable and printable. They're available in four colorways and you can use them to brand your handmade goods.
Custom graphic design costs a fortune and if you don't have graphic know-how (like myself), labels like these can free you up for the stuff you are good at creating.
I made the cake layers from a traditional recipe and sensed right away that it would be drier and denser than what I wanted, which I confirmed after it cooled. It's possible that I baked it a couple of minutes longer than I should have, so I'll not fault the recipe. But it gave me an opportunity to make the version from The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread, which she calls Monkey Cake, having "monkeyed around" with the ingredient proportions of the traditional Hummingbird Cake.
I'm happy to say that it was a great cake. It had the rich density and moistness that I expect from the original, but in two layers instead of three. (I suspect that the Hummingbird usually has three layers because it needs the extra frosting to make the cake moister). At any rate, enough already. This recipe's a keeper.
Adapted from The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread
2 3/4 cups (390 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (268 grams) canola oil
3 large eggs (150 grams - out of the shell)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (436 grams) ripe, mashed bananas (with small chunks remaining)
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice (not syrup)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans for the top (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of baking parchment, grease, then dust lightly with flour. Shake out excess.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir briefly on low speed, to distribute the ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until they are well combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed, just until all the flour has been moistened (less than 20 seconds).
3. Add the bananas and pineapple and stir briefly on low speed to distribute them evenly, about 20 seconds. Then add pecans and mix on low speed, just until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Don't overmix the batter or the cake will be tough.
4. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared cake pans (pans should be about half-full). Place the pans on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 38 minutes, or until the cake is almost ready to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
5. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack that's been sprayed with cooking spray and lift off the pans. Cool them completely on the rack. Remove the parchment liner.
6. Frost with cream cheese frosting; then sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
***NOTE: I weighed my ingredients when making this cake and I'm glad I did. I had to add extra egg and take out a little of the flour, both of which would have had an impact on the texture of the cake. I'll say it again - it's actually easier to weigh ingredients than measure and ensures better results. Check this previous post for a scale that's inexpensive and stores easily.
You can also weigh your pans when the batter's in them to ensure your layers are the same size and bake evenly.
One other note: It's not necessary to have a standing mixer for this recipe. You can mix it by hand, if necessary, as the traditional recipe calls for.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb. confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add half of the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Last week we had Tales of the Toddy here in New Orleans, a smaller counterpart to the much-anticipated Tales of the Cocktail that occurs in the summer.
The challenge this year was to create a nog using bourbon instead of the usual spirits. The winning cocktail, a tiki-inspired nog, was created by a friend of ours, and he graciously gave me the recipe to share. I also thought the two nogs that tied for second place sounded good (though I've not tried them), so I've included them as well.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!
BLUE HAWAIIAN NOG
by Chris Hannah, French 75 at Arnaud's Restaurant
(makes 12 servings)
12 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup sugar
12 ounces bourbon (Buffalo Trace was used)
1 1/4 cups pineapple-banana cream (see below)
17 drops blue food coloring (I used 12 of McCormick Neon Blue to get the color shown in the photo)
3 Tablespoons freshly ground nutmeg
In a blender, combine the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, bourbon, pineapple-banana cream, food coloring, and 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg. Blend well.
Before serving, add the mixture (in batches) to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain over two ice-filled old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with pineapple slices and the rest of the ground nutmeg. (Chris prefers that you add a plastic palm tree as well.)
1 medium pineapple
1 1/2 large bananas
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Puree together in a food processor or blender.
by Ian Julian, Vitascope Bar in the Hyatt Regency
1 1/2 ounce Buffalo Trace Bourbon
3/4 ounce Pumpkin Spice Syrup (available in some liquor and coffee shops, also online)
1/4 ounce DiSaronno Amaretto
2 1/2 ounces good quality eggnog
Build all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake, and strain into a glass with no ice and top with roasted pumpkin seed as a garnish.
Nog I Yam
by Steven Yamada, Victory Bar
1/2 ounce Benchmark Bourbon
3 ounces Sweet Potato Eggnog
1 ounces Spiced Marshmallow Fluff
Sweet Potato Puree: Peel a sweet potato and slice into medium thick pieces. Place on baking sheet and cover with 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 cup of Dark Brown Sugar. Gently toss and then bake at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add all chunks of sweet potato and any juice into a food processor and thoroughly puree.
Sweet Potato Eggnog: Combine 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk in medium saucepan and beat thoroughly with whisk. Set burner to lowest setting and, while stirring, add 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 cup Sweet Potato Puree. Continue to stir for about 20 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 F. Bottle and refrigerate overnight.
Spiced Marshmallow Fluff: Beat 3 egg whites, 1 cup light corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon salt for about 10 minutes or until thick. Turn mixer speed to low and slowly add 2 cups confectioner's sugar. Then add 1 tablespoon of Cardamom/Ginger Simple Syrup.
Nog I Yam: Combine Sweet Potato Eggnog and Bourbon. Top with Marshmallow Fluff. Lightly scorch fluff with a small torch.
Serve straight up.
It definitely won't be a white Christmas for me. If I'm lucky, we'll get down to the upper 40s by Christmas Day. But I find myself dreaming of snowflakes, which for me means I'm ready for a moment of calm.
So in the midst of hustle and bustle, I bring you a few snow-oriented projects. Projects that are detail-heavy, low-tech, rhythmic and soothing in their process, beautiful in their outcome. Should you find yourself needing a moment of quiet, you can remove yourself from the fray and just let it snow.
The instructions for these are in Dutch, but it's easy enough to translate. The post includes templates for all of the designs shown (via Hoppin' Up).
I was immediately smitten when I saw this origami snowflake the first time. Watch the video by Dennis Walker to learn how to recreate it step-by-step (via Handmade)
String snowflakes require a little patience, but their daintiness makes them worth it. I'd love to have cascades of these in my window. (via Free Craft Unlimited)
For those who can crochet, these beautiful snowflakes are an heirloom worthy craft. See the post for a garland idea as well. (via Martha Stewart Living)
A grown-up version of painting rocks, easy to accomplish with a fine-tipped metallic paint pen (via Inspiration for Home).
Finally, for those who are happiest in the kitchen, you can make Royal Icing snowflakes that can later be used to embellish layer cakes and cupcakes - beautiful for a New Years Eve celebration (via Martha Stewart Living)
Ever since I made my first batch of decorative dishes this past spring, I've been itching to get the clay out again. Inspired by the greenery of the season, I found a good reason to do so.
I used the same basic techniques that I used the first time, though I tried a new trick that specifically helped with evergreen branches, as they're bushier than regular leaves. When I rolled out the clay and placed the evergreen branch on top, I put a piece of clear acrylic sheeting over the branch and rolled on top of that. It helped flatten out the branch, giving me a more detailed impression and keeping the branch from shifting while I rolled over it. But it doesn't have to be a piece of acrylic - something like a placemat would likely work just as well.
I also tried a different glazing technique this time. I wanted to keep my dishes in shades of white, but I wanted to define the evergreen images. I mixed a small amount of putty and gray paint with a larger amount of glazing medium and brushed it over the dish with a small foam brush, allowing it to collect in the indentations. Then I immediately wiped the glaze off with a wet paper towel, removing all of it from the smooth surfaces of the clay. When it dried, the evergreen impression was colored and the rest of the dish stayed natural. At that point, you can either sponge on a light layer of white or ivory acrylic paint (using a damp natural sponge) over the entire dish, softening the image a bit, or just finish the entire piece with a satin varnish or gloss medium.
These would be great for last-minute Christmas gifts, though you'll need to use oven bake clay instead of air-dry since we really are at the last minute. And while you're at it, you can make evergreen ornament gift tags. My tutorial for those is at Momster.
Resources: (All materials were found at Michaels)
DAS air-dry clay; Sculpey clay mat and acrylic roller; Martha Stewart Crafts paint (Putty and Gray Wolf); Folk Art acrylic paint in Warm White; Martha Stewart Crafts Glaze medium; Martha Stewart Crafts High Gloss medium or Ceramcoat Satin Varnish
Before my son was born, I used to make fancy oversized sugar cookies that I piped and flooded and flocked. It was fun and labor-intensive and gratifying, not to mention delicious. But I'm more realistic now and I simply don't have the time or inclination to do that anymore.
My son, however, is a full-fledged cookie addict and there's nothing he loves more than rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, and decorating with sprinkles. In fact, the kind of decorating I remember my grandmother doing over the holidays. We went back to that this year, and unlike their more elaborate counterparts, we were able to make dozens in an evening. We gifted them to classmates and friends, and filled our cookie jar as well.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened slightly
2 cups granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; gradually add to the batter, mixing on low speed.
3. Wrap dough and chill, at least one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Roll the dough out on a well-floured board (1/4-inch for crispier cookies, 1/2-inch for shortbread like cookies); cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.
5. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes. Let sit on pans for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting: Mix confectioners' sugar with whole milk and fresh lemon juice, to a consistency that's thin enough to brush onto the tops of the cookies, but won't run off. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of cookies with the frosting, immediately add sprinkles, then set aside to dry for about 30 minutes before packaging.
For a simple packaging idea, visit me on Momster today.