Friday Favorites | No. 28

Friday, December 22, 2017

The holiday weekend has official started, yay!  The next couple of days for me will be filled with lots of family time, delicious food, crafting and tons of holiday movies.  So far I have crossed off my list White Christmas, The Holiday and countless Hallmark Christmas movies.  Still on the list: Elf and Love Actually!

Gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors in December and if you are in need of a quick and easy recipe for this weekend, try this one out!

If you are looking for a new show to binge watch over the weekend, I highly suggest Outlander. I might be slightly #obsessed with it.

This cocktail looks like something my family and I may have to try at our annual Christmas brunch.

With the new year right around the corner, I am in need of a new wall calendar for my office and love this one from Rifle Paper Co.

I will be traveling to Scotland next spring and these Sperry Top-Sider boots in navy/green would be perfect to add to my footwear collection for the trip.  And these cuties...well I don't need them, but think I could find a place in my closet for them! [hint hint for any last minute shoppers in my family]

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Holiday Gift Guide: Bakers

Monday, December 18, 2017

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Christmas is a week away and if you are still searching for a gift for someone who loves to bake, I have gathered some great ideas here at all different price points.  These adorable dessert ornaments would be perfect to tie on the outside of a present and this beautiful marble pastry board will make any bakers heart sing.

The Amazon Echo Plus is a fantastic idea for anyone who loves technology and baking as it can be super helpful with setting timers, giving measurement conversions and for hands-free calling or messaging when you are up to your elbows in bread dough!  My top pick is the KitchenAid stand mixer.  I received one as a gift many many years ago and it is truly my most favorite piece of equipment in my kitchen.

Homemade Marshmallows

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Making homemade marshmallows has been on my baking bucket list for a long time and this past weekend I finally decided to give them a try.

Now you are probably thinking why spend the time making marshmallows [as many of my friends questioned haha], but the process is really rather simple as long as you have the right tools.  No store bought mallows can stand up to this rich, light and fluffy homemade version thats for sure!  

Homemade Marshmallows
{Yield: 4 dozen 1 1/2" squares}

3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 cup cool water, divided
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top of marshmallows)

Start by combining the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cool water in a stand up mixer with the whisk attachement, mix to combine and then set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, Kosher salt and 1/2 cup of cool water in a small, deep sauce pan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Then raise the heat to high and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, then remove from the stove.

With the mixer set on a low speed, slowly add the syrup to the softened gelatin.  Once all of the syrup has been added, adjust the speed to high and whip until the mixture is fluffy, thick and cooled to a lukewarm temperature.  Depending on the mixer this process could take between 3 to 10 minutes.  It took me about 5 minute to reach lukewarm.  Then add the tablespoon of vanilla extract to the marshmallow and mix again until combined.

The mixture should be cool enough that you can touch it with you fingers without them burning.  Spread the marshmallow mixture into a well greased 13x9 inch pan and using wet fingers or a spatula to flatten.

Sprinkle the powered sugar over the top of the marshmallow and allow it to sit uncovered for 4 hours or overnight before cutting or using cookie cutters.

To cut, wet your knife or cookie cutters as it will help keep the marshmallows from sticking during this process.  Once cut, lightly roll the individual marshmallows in powdered sugar and dust off the excess.

Enjoy these homemade marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate, dip them in chocolate and sprinkle crushed canes on top or just snack on them alone because they are that good!

Apple Cider Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Monday, December 4, 2017

I love so many things about the holidays - Christmas music, all of the lights, cozy nights with a cup of hot chocolate, spending time with family...the list goes on and on.  But one of my utmost favorites things is holiday baking!

With so many parties, gatherings and gift exchanges happening I find that giving any type of homemade food item is just so meaningful.  And if you are looking for a great cookie recipe to use this year to gift to friends and family, look no further!  These apple cider jam thumbprint cookies are light, buttery, have the perfect amount of spice and are really simple to make.

Apple Cider Jam Thumbprint Cookies
{yield: 2 dozen cookies}

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 jar of apple cider jam

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 ground cinnamon

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Then in a small bowl mix together the topping made of granulate sugar and ground cinnamon; set aside.

Using a stand up mixer with the paddle attachement or handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla bean paste and beat on high speed for 1 minute until combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until ingredients all combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.

Using a cookie scoop (or 1 tbsp.), roll the balls of dough and then roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the outside.  Place the dough balls onto a lined baking sheet spacing 2 to 3 inches apart and using either your thumb or the end of a spoon, gently press to make an indent into each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, turing the sheet half way through.  Remove from the oven and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider jam into each indentation and place the cookies back into the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes.  I found the apple cider jam at my local Trader Joe's, but you can also find it here.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies will stay fresh covered in an air tight container at room temperate for up to 3 days and up to a week in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Friday Favorites | No. 27

Friday, December 1, 2017

Happy December 1st everyone!  I have been reminiscing about the trip my mom and I took last December to the beautiful and charming city of Charleston, SC.  If you are looking for a fun last minute holiday get away I highly suggest visiting.  However, if the thought of planning a trip this time of year is overwhelming, take a look at the Ultimate 48 Charleston Itinerary that Julia and her team over at Gal Meets Glam put together.  It highlights everything from places to stay and eat as well as what sites to visit and where to shop!

For a twist on the traditional ginger bread house, take a look at this adorable little village.  Super simple to do and such a cute idea!

This non-traditional wreath is beautiful and warms my heart!

I can't wait to try fun this hairstyle.

This card case #leopard. <3 And if you are looking for some fun party earrings, these little gems are so fun and the color is perfection!

There is a 99.999% chance that I will make these bars this weekend.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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