Feb 052016

I love to bake and decorate cakes, cupcakes and cookies.  I took some cake decorating classes in the past, but I still have (a lot of) room for improvement.  Last year I made Bubbles a Disney Frozen Elsa Doll Cake and currently I’m trying to come up with a design for a Minecraft-inspired cake for her fifth birthday in a few days.

Everything you wanted to know about frosting tips

While I don’t share a ton of infographics with you all, when I saw this one about frosting tips I knew I wanted to share.  It can be really hard to visualize the exact design frosting tips will make when you’re shopping at the store so this is a useful guide to have.  I’m thinking tip 233 might be perfect for making grass for my Minecraft cake! Continue reading »

Dec 082014

The year I was born I became part of a very special family tradition.  That year my Grandmother gave me my first Hallmark Keepsake Ornament.  Each year after that I received a new one; some years she selected one for me, some years I was able to share a little input on my favorites.

Our family Christmas tree decorated with Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

Fast forward 36 years and those ornaments – including that Baby’s First Christmas one – grace my tree.  And in addition to capturing special moments and interests from each year, that was the goal.  That by the time I (and later my brothers and cousins) grew up and moved out on our own we wouldn’t have a bare Christmas tree. Continue reading »

Dec 142010

Christmas Recipes: Treats to Give or Keep

Christmas Recipes: Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons

My grandmother is a world-class baker and chef.  At least that’s what all her family and friends think!  She loves to cook and bake and loves to share it with others even more.  Every weekend when I was growing up, she would bake bread and then drive around delivering loaves and rolls to neighbors, family, friends and others.  At Christmastime, she always baked a huge variety of Christmas cookies, and then put together a “sampler” of each and took them around to everyone.  It’s a tradition I loved (and also looked forward to – her candy cane cookies are awesome!).

So last year I decided now that I live in Kentucky, to continue the tradition myself with our friends and family that live around here.  This past Friday and over the weekend, I did my baking, and then we made deliveries.  I chose to make Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls, Chocolate Pecan Fudge, Coconut Macaroons, Hello Dolly Bars (also called Magic Bars), and Chocolate Pudding Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and my grandmother’s Candy Cane Cookies.  Here are some of  the recipes that I used – you might decide to make a few yourself this year!

Chocolate Pecan Fudge

1 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C evaporated milk
2 T butter
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C mini marshmallows
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate bits
1/2 C chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Line 8″ square baking pan with foil.
  2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.

Continue reading »