buggalcrafts

Crafts from my heart to yours!

Archive for the category “Recipe”

Site Recommendation: Step By Step – Gingerbread Theme Crafts & Activities for Children


Site Recommendation: Step By Step – Gingerbread Theme Crafts & Activities for Children

 

Gingerbread is a sweet that can take the form of a cookie or a cake in which the predomiant flavor is ginger.

I’ve visited this site by Janna several times and it popped up again in a recent search so I just have to share it with you.

It appears to no longer be active but there is so much FANTASTIC INFO here that it’s a shame not to use it!

While there is a lot of great information on the day-to-day operation of a daycare  the pages that caught my eye are the great pre-schooler arts & crafts project.  And you already KNOW how I love anything to do with cookies and the like, so the pages  that jumped right out at me were the Gingerbread Theme “fun stuff to do” pages!

What will you find on these three pages? More fun stuff than you can shake a stick cupcake at.  Here’s a brief rundown of the catagories of information shared there.

  • arts & craft projects,
  • books,
  • games & actitities,
  • links,
  • recipies,
  • songs,
  • stories,
  • worksheets

Stop by and take a look at all the great gingerbread themed stuff.  I love the “Gingerbread House” card, the gingerbread molding dough, the sandpaper gingerbread candy cane holders, and the tons of links to other sites.

Thanks so much for dropping in.  I hope you stop back again soon.  And as always please leave a comment don’t make me beg for a comment!

buggalcrafts a.k.a. melba

My Granddaughter’s Luau Birthday Party!


My Granddaughter’s Luau Birthday Party!

I love planning parties and all the stuff that goes along with them.  My granddaughter will be 11 soon and her party was yesterday.  This year’s theme was “Luau” with a whiff of tropical island, pirate, beach party, etc. (wouldn’t want to miss a genre!).   We had a great time (ha!) getting this all together and only had one major blow-out!

We did run into a minor, maybe major, problem in the midst of all the planning, shopping, cooking, decorating, etc. that goes along with a party.  My foot had been sorta hurting for a while – felt like I was stepping on a rock and had told my docs that this was happening but never really pinned it on a cause other than the fibro.  Then about 3 or 4 weeks ago starting hurting down-right BAD! So I BEGGED for and got an appointment with my internal medicine doc and he finally was able to give me a diagnosis – PLANTER FACISITIS.  So, while I was supposed to be resting my tootsie I was busy doing all this!  You’ll be glad to know that today I stayed off it except for a brief excursion to teach my Sunday School class and it hurts a LOT, A LOT less!

My hubbie jumped into the deep end and had to do a lot of the legwork for the party while I got to be a backseat driver for the event!  And while we did have to scrap a few things I had planned along the way the kids and even the parents seemed to have a great time.  Of course hubbie has prohibited any party talk for a good while – maybe even forever???

So now the party is over and we even weathered our first time hosting a slumber party well.  I thought I’d share some photos and things I learned along the way with you.

Forgive the order of the photos for this gallery shot (click on a photo to open a slide show with bigger photos).  No matter what I do (re-name, etc.) I cannot make it show in order!  Any help?  T.I.A.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy!  Please leave a comment – I live for them!  Especially now that I’m chair and couch bound for some time!

A Little Bit About Mardi Gras PLUS a GIVE AWAY!


WIN THIS: Mardi Gras In A Box

A Little Bit About Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday”, the last day of the Carnival season, always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The date varies dependent upon when Easter occurs. This year the date is Tuesday February 21. The Carnival season, a weeklong celebration, is all about cramming in as many good things as can be eaten or done before a season of fasting or as it is put in south Louisiana, “Laissez les bons temps rouler” or “Let the good times roll!”

What to Know More About Mardi Gras?

This a great site where you can find out about all things Mardi Gras – from a history of the doubloons to how to make an imitation king cake!

http://mardigrasday.com/mardigras/mardigrasinfo.php

So, you don’t live or are not going to visit on of the places where Mardi Gras is celebrated. How can you host your own Mardi Gras celebration?  You will find out everything from how to make your own float to how to make an imitation king cake!

http://mardigrasday.com/mardigras/ideas.php

You may know that there is a tiny baby inside and whoever gets is brings the next King cake, but what is the significance of the King Cake? The site also has a great explanation.

http://mardigrasday.com/mardigras/mardigrasinfo.php?article_id=11

How Will You Celebrate Mardi Gras?

Design your masks from construction paper, pull some plastic beads out of the toy box, eat your imitation king cake and have a great time with your family!

Win a “Mardi Gras Party for One in a Box”

To help you out I am going to have a It’s a Mardi Gras Party Give-Away.  To enter comment below about how you are going to celebrated Mardi Gras.   On February 13th at 9:00 pm CST I will select one lucky winner a “Mardi Gras Party for One in a Box”. This “kit” will have beads, a half face mask to decorate, confetti, temporary tattoo, a baby & beads for your imitation King Cake and MORE!!!

Thanks For Taking The Time To Read This!

Thanks so much for reading my post. I hope you will comment and enter the Mardi Gras give-away.

Don’t Miss This Upcoming Post: My Mardi Gras Wreath & Ornaments

Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 16: Crafting With Food or Cookie Cutters as Food Shapers


Cookie Cutters:  Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 16:  Crafting With Food or Cookie Cutters as Food Shapers

Cookie dough and paper are not all you can cut with cookie cutters!  They also are great to make decorative shapes from food. 

I was going to do a photo tutorial on using cutters as food shapers, but when I went on-line to see what I could see I found so many great tutorials that I decided to give you the links instead.  Take a look at some of the sites – you will never look at a melon slice the same way again!!!

There are so many different ways you can use shaped food that I cannot have possibly thought of found a reference to of all of them.  I’d love to hear any ways you have used shaped food.  And if you have photos e-mail them to me at buggal1989@yahoo.com and I will add them to this post and give you credit.

So go ahead – – – Play with your food! 

 

Materials

  • Food that can be cut into slices

Also Needed

  • Mini or small cookie cutters
  • Cutting board
  • Plate
  • Sharp knife

 

Instructions

  1. Assemble materials.  Choose food that can be cut into about 1 inch thick slices.  Select a mini or small cutter that will fit on a slice of the food to be shaped.  For example a cake slice will accommodate a larger cutter than a slice of melon.  Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food.
  2. Cut the food to be shaped into about one inch thick slices.  Fondant will be rolled out thinner.
  3. Lay the food slice flat on a plate or CLEAN cutting board. Carefully place the mini cutter on the slice to maximize the number of shapes that can be obtained from each slice.
  4. Press down and cut out shape. Remove cutter and the carefully lift and place on a plate.
  5. Once all the food has been cut arrange the shapes on a platter or in a bowl.

 

Additional Notes

  • Save the scraps of food to be used in another manner.  For example, if cutting out cheese shapes keep the cheese scraps to use as cheese crumbles on top of a salad or in a cheese ball and fruit scraps can be used to make frozen drinks or in a fruit salad the next day.
 

Shaped Foods

Below are some links I have found on using cookie cutters to shape food.  They tips range from using the cutter to make decorative accent pieces to using the cutter as a mold.  There is something for all skill levels.

Biscuits:  Use a floured cookie cutter to cut biscuits or rolls in cool shapes.  Make special shapes for holiday & event suppers:  hearts for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, shamrocks for St. Pat’s, etc.

Breakfast Sandwiches:  Mold ground sausage into a simple roundish shape (ex: flower) and cook as usual.  Cut biscuits with the same cutter and bake.  Cook an egg in the cutter.  Cut a slice of cheese in the same shape.  When all parts are ready, assemble sandwiches for a special breakfast treat!

Cake & Other Dessert Shapes:  Use cutters to cut any food that can be made in a jelly pan or cut into slabs – – – brownies, cake, ice cream, etc.  Use as a mold and pack with Rice Krispie treats (wet your hands first).

  • Serve cake in a way you may have never served it before – in shapes!  I can just see pound cake stars on top of cake scraps layered with strawberries and blueberries and then topped with whipped cream. How red, white & blue can you be?
  • Use cutters to cut out dough other than cookie dough:  scones, doughnut dough. puff pastry and tiny tarts or pies.
  • http://www.ehow.com/how_7724487_use-cookie-cutters-cake.html

Cake Stencil, Reverse:  Use the cutter to make a reverse stencil.  Example:  place the cutter in the middle of a cheesecake then spread fruit filling around the cutter.  Carefully remove the cutter and leave a cookie cutter shape in the center of the cheesecake.  Place mini stars randomly around the cheesecake and then spread blueberry and cherry pie filling around the cutters either in stripes or an outer ring of cherry, then center of blueberry.  Then fill in the cutters with whipped cream, chill pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the cutters.

Cake Stencil:  While this idea is not cutting a shape from food, but is using a cutter to make a shape on top of food, I have included it in this category anyway.  Want a unique cake topper FAST?  Simply put an outline cookie cutter on top of the cake and sprinkle colored sugar, cake glitter, or sprinkles directly into the inside of the cutter.  You can also pipe in more frosting in a contrasting color into the shape. Mini cutters can be used for cupcake stencils.  Place mini cutters on top of cupcakes for décor and a favor. Or use a cutter to dust a plain cake with powdered sugar to create a lacy design instead of frosting.  A snowflake done this way is beautiful.

Cake Topper:  Trace a large cookie cutter on a sheet of very heavy cardstock (glue 2 sheets together or glue scrapbook paper to the cardstock) and add a large tab to the bottom of the shape.  Cut the shape out and then use markers, paints, etc. to decorate it (do not decorate tab).   Then insert the tab into the center of a frosted cake.  Use mini cutters to create cupcake toppers.  Either use the method above or make and decorate two shapes (one the reverse of the first) and glue the shapes together with a mini food skewer sandwiched between the shapes.  After the pick dries, insert into the cupcake.  You can use this method to make a set of picks depicting a scene (example:  pilgrims, Native American, pumpkin, turkey, etc.) for a cake topper.

Candy & Cake Molds:  For both candy & cake start by making a mold with a cutter (mini – candy, regular – cake) and aluminum foil (Wrap the bottom of a metal outline cookie cutter with aluminum foil, leaving top open.). Use mini cutters as molds hard candies.  Then fill the mold with ground up hard candies (Life Savers, root beer barrels, etc.) or cake batter and bake. Pop treats out of the mold when cool.  Insert a sucker straw into the mini cake to make a cookie cutter cake pop.  Also use mini cutter to cut out and make shaped petite fours out of cake batter baked in a jelly roll pan.

Chocolate Cutouts: Spread melted chocolate on wax paper.   When the chocolate is slightly set, cut shapes using cookie cutters. Let set up completely and then remove chocolate shapes to be used to embellish desserts.

Cookie Cutter Cut Brownies: Bake and then cut brownies in cookie cutter shapes or use the cutter to bake the brownies in – make a “mold”, spray the sides and bottom of the mold with vegetable spray, add a little more flour to the recipe, then pour and bake.

Cool Whip:  Spread Cool Whip in a thick, even layer on a cookie sheet with sides or jelly roll pan.  Freeze.  Remove from freezer right before serving and cut shapes with a small or mini cookie cutter.  Place on top of a mug of hot cocoa and serve.  The shape can also be used as a decorative accent for cold pies.  Add  the shape IMMEDIATELY before serving (like cherry cheesecake).

Egg-tastic Breakfast: Simple to do and delicious to eat!

  • Butter a piece of bread on both sides and lay flat on a plate.
  • Then use your child’s favorite cookie cutter shape (or a shape to fit the season) and cut the center of the bread out.
  • Place the bread outline in a hot, buttered skillet and give it a few seconds head start.
  • Then crack an egg INTO the outline of the bread – the egg will spread out to fill the open shape (if your child does not like their egg with a runny center “pop” the yolk and hard fry it or scramble the egg before pouring it in the middle of the bread).
  • Once the egg has cooked and the bread “toasted”, flip it over and let it cook & toast on the second side.
  • Then toast the shape you cut out of the bread.
  • Add it to the plate with some fruit slices cut with a coordinating shape and get ready for egg-tastic reviews!

Photo !: Make a CAKE TOPPER in a seasonal shape or make smaller ones as FOOD LABEL PICKS to let people know what's in the dip, etc. or to tell them the name of the the dish for a themed meal. Example" "Salty Sailors" (mixed nuts), "Ship's Timbers" (carrot sticks & pickles),, etc.

Food Label Picks:  Cut two cookie cutters shapes (one reverse to the other) from scrapbook paper glued to cardstock.  Then glue the two shapes together with a bamboo skewer (cut to the needed length) sandwiched between them.  Decorate the pick and the insert into a large piece of food (for example: Label a cheese platter with the type of cheese by inserting the pick into a large hunk of cheese.  Surround this with cubed cheese and crackers.).

Photo 2: Cut shapes from rolled out fondant to decorate cakes or cupcakes. Layer shapes to create a 3D effect..

Fondant: Finding unique shapes in edible sugar decorations that top cupcakes or cakes in stores can be hard and if you need them say by “tomorrow” – it can be impossible!  The ever useful mini cookie cutter to the rescue!  Instead of fruitlessly searching for the perfect cake topper to go with your theme, turn instead to the craft and baking aisles of almost any department store  (even scour your own kitchen for cutters) to find pre-made fondant and a mini cookie cutter.

  • You can tint white fondant any shade using paste food coloring and fondant even comes pre-tinted in a variety pack in several color schemes (primary, pastel, earth tones, etc.).
  • Simply roll out a thin layer of fondant and then using cookie cutter shapes that fit the occasion cut out fondant shapes.
  • You can even create layers for a 3D effect; just slightly dampen the back of the shape so that it sticks to the larger piece of fondant.
  • Use an imprint cutter to make fondant shapes with imprints.
  • Apply a thin layer of cake glitter to dampened fondant to give the cut outs a little extra sparkle.
  • http://www.ehow.com/how_5852187_cut-fondant-shapes.html

Food Mold:  Cookie cutters can be used to mold almost any food that can be molded – – – hamburgers, ground sausage, cheese “ball”, cream cheese (hot pepper jelly “dip”), butter, custard, sticky rice, ice, etc.  Pack food to be molded into a cookie cutter, chill and then pop food out of the mold.

Fruit & Veggies:  Cut fruit & veggies into cool shapes for great decorative accent to salads, drinks, and garnishes. Start out with thin slices of fruit or veggie that can be sliced into “slabs” and your favorite mini cookie cutters. Then just cut and serve!  Think of almost white honeydew melon stars in a red, white & blue fruit salad or yellow, green & red bell pepper or cucumber flowers in green & other salads.   Potatoes can be cut into shapes and then fried for unique French fries.  Make frozen fruit pops – cut out larger shapes from watermelon or other fruits then place on a stick and freeze for a cool summer treat. I’ve posted some cool fruit and veggie “cookie cutter” foods on my Pinterest board.  Take a look!   Here are links to a really great site that has tons of ideas for carving watermelons using cookie cutters to make fruit shapes.

Fruit Flower Bouquet:  Fill the bottom of a new, small clay flower pot with decorative rocks.  Place a piece of Styrofoam that reaches the top of the pot on top of the rocks. Fit parsley over the Styrofoam and secure with a “U” pin to resemble grass.  Cut fruit (kiwi, watermelon, apples, bananas, cantaloupe, etc.) into 3/4 inch thick slices. Then cut with mini flower-shaped, doughnut hole cutters (for centers of the flowers) and leaf-shaped cookie cutters.  You can also use mini ladybugs, bees, etc.  Insert skewers into the Styrofoam. Thread the fruit on bamboo skewers layering the fruit to create flowers. Add bees or ladybugs as accents.

Fudge Filled Cutters: Make fudge or white chocolate filled cookie cutters as gifts, place cards, party favors and more.  Tightly wrap the bottom of metal outline cookie cutters with aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet.  Pour fudge or white chocolate mixture into the cutter and allow it to harden.  Decorate the top with sprinkles, crushed peppermints, etc. before it completely hardens.  If using as a place card pipe cookie icing on the top of the cooled shape.  Place in a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon that coordinates with your event/the season.  Attach a hang tag (can use the hang tag as the place card).

JELL-O Jigglers:  Make JELL-O Jigglers per the recipe on the box in a jelly roll pan and then cut out shapes using mini cookie cutters.  Eat as is or use them as accents on top of the whipped cream on a JELL-O dessert..

Meat & Cheese Appetizers:  Have the deli in your favorite grocery store cut pepperoni, hard salami, other hard meats and your favorite kinds of cheese into one inch thick slabs. At home use an assortment of cookie cutters to cut out shapes that fit the reason for your party (for example; hearts, clubs, diamonds & spades for a card party) and arrange on a tray. Serve with crackers.  Cut mini shapes of meat and cheese for a fantastic chef’s salad.  Cut sliced cheese with a cutter for a hamburger or sandwich!  Save the scraps to use in cheese balls (how about using a cutter to shape it?), crumble on top of salads, to use in cheese biscuits, etc.

Mini Pizzas:  Use large simple cookie cutters to cut pizza dough into decorative shapes.  Then prepare per the recipe.  These can be a seasonal shape for a holiday party or in just about any shape for an everyday pizza treat!.

Pancakes, Waffles & Toast:  How cute would heart shaped pancakes or toast be for Valentine’s Day?  Don’t have a pancake mold on hand?  Just cut the ALREADY COOKED PANCAKES OR WAFFLES OR TOAST into heart (or whatever!) shapes with cookie cutters (use your largest cutter that will fit on the pancake/etc.). You can also use a metal outline cutter to make shaped pancakes.  To prevent sticking, spray the edges and inside of the cookie with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Place it flat on a hot griddle. Pour the pancake batter into the cutter.  Do not remove the cutter until the pancake batter is set (but not completely cooked). Lift off the cutter and flip the pancake. For added fun, tint the pancake batter with food coloring paste.  Top pancakes with fresh sliced & sugared strawberries and whipped cream. Use fruit to fit the occasion, example: blueberries & strawberries for Fourth of July pancakes. Make your kids extra-special pancakes for their birthday, Christmas, or just because.

Pies & Pie Crust Cut-out or Accents:  Use your mini, mini cutters to cut shapes from the top crust of a pie for cute cut-outs or cut shapes from leftover pieces and then attach to the top of the crust with a little water for a raised pattern on top of your pie.

Sandwiches:  Everybody loves small sandwiches at a party (my favorite is chicken salad!), so why not make yours extra special?  Make your sandwiches as usual and then use a sharp cookie cutter (metal are sharper than plastic) to cut out shaped sandwiches. You can get one to four mini or one large shaped sandwich from each sandwich, depending on the size of the cutter.  For tuna or chicken salad (other) sandwiches cut the bread first and then make the sandwich. Don’t reserve this idea for parties only – – – cut your child’s favorite sandwich into their favorite shape to make an everyday lunch special.  I have some sandwich cutters that cut two medium sized shapes from a sandwich with very little waste.  Dollar General and Wal-mart have these.  They work great on sandwiches and toast.  I love them.  “Reverse it up” by using these sandwich cutters to cut out pairs of cookies!

Tortilla Chips:  Make homemade tortilla chips in cookie cutter shapes for that special party touch!  Preheat your oven to 350º F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Using 3″ to 4″ cookie cutters cut flour tortillas into shapes. Lightly spray the tortilla shapes with cooking spray. Place on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt to taste.  Bake the shapes for 5 – 7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.   

Please take a moment to leave a COMMENT & RATE this project. I LOVE, LOVE. LOVE comments!

Thanks again!

buggalcrafts

Cookie Cutters, Not Just For Cookies Anymore: Valentine Versions


Valentine Versions of “Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore” Crafts

A garland hanging on the wall is my answer to having a seasonal tree.  I can have my “tree” AND not have my furniture crowded right out of the room!  And my two bull moose-es (meeses?) and one girl moose (moosessa?) can actually walk by it without knocking off a dozen things!  An added bonus is that it is safe from the tree eating cat!

Hanging the garland was the easy part, finding something special to put on it was another story all together!.  So I turned to my “Cookie Cutter Craft” tutorials for inspiration.   It was so super easy to alter the end product simply by changing the cookie cutters templates and the paper, fabric &embellishments used to seasonal patterns and colors.  Then follow the tutorial instructions and you have the perfect seasonal ornaments for your tree, wreath or garland!

I would like to share photos of the Valentine Versions of my “cookie cutter crafts” I created that with you today. The link for each tutorial is listed below each photo. Any special tips, instructions, etc. for creating the Valentine craft project are listed in the photo caption or in the description of the craft.  There are a couple that the tutorial will be published soon.  Please stay tuned!

Valentine Versions of My Cookie Cutter Crafts:

Photo 1 Heart Cookie Cutter Graland

Photo 1: Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter Garland:  Change the cutters to hearts, cupids, etc. and you have the perfect garland for your wall or seasonal tree.  The added bonus is that with this craft if you’d later like to use the cutters all you need to do is cut them apart!

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-1/

Photo 2 Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Photo 2: “Cut-Out Cookie” Applesauce, Cinnamon, Salt, or Bread Dough Christmas Ornaments: The cinnamon ornaments smell wonderful for years!  And last forever (or at least 20 years)!  The applesauce ornaments are fragile if you make them thin.  Use seasonal cutters to make great ornaments, package decorations, etc.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-2/

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/salt-dough-recipe/

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/cinnamon-dough-ornament-recipe/#comments

  

Photo 3: Quilted heart. I braided a fabric hanger for this ornament.

Photo 3; “Quilted” Cardboard Cookie Cutter Shape Valentine’s Ornament:  this ornament gives you the appearance of a sewn crazy quilt without the needle and thread!  All you need to make this ornament is a bottle of white glue, cardboard, and fabric scraps.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/quilted-cookie-cutter-shape-christmas-ornament/

Photo 4: Scrapbook Paper Backed Cookie Cutters

Photo 4: Scrapbook Paper Backed Cookie Cutter Valentine’s Ornament:  Enhance a plain cookie cutter by backing it with seasonal scrapbook paper and adding embellishments if desired.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-4-cookie-cutter-christmas-ornament/

Photo 5 Valentine’s Baking Wreath

Photo 5B: Close-up of baking utensils.

Photo 5: Valentine’s Baking Wreath:  This wreath just came together once I realized that I had all the elements already made and I just needed to put it all together.  It’s perfect in my kitchen!

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-5-not-just-another-cookie-cutter-wreath/

Photo 6: Cookie sheet with homemade foam cookies.I pnched a white foam heart, then glued it to tan craft foam and cut it out with decorative scissors and glued a pink or red small heart punch to the center.

Photo 6: Heart Shaped Valentine’s Cut-Out Cookies on Copper Cookie Sheet:  Simply by using homemade heart shaped cookies and lace for a hanger & bow this ornament just screams Valentine’s Day!

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-6-gingerbread-cookies-on-copper-cookie-sheet/

Photo 7: Heart Shaped Stuffed Felt Ornament

Photo 7; Fabric or Felt Cookie Cutter Shapes Valentine’s Ornament: I don’t sew but this is an easy ornament to make simply using glue.  You can use fabric glue, but I just used white craft glue!

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-7-stuffed-fabric-or-felt-cookie-cutter-shape-christmas-ornaments/

Photo 8: Heart Shaped Paperbag Backed Felt Ornament

Photo 8: Ladybug Paperbag Backed Foam Ornament

Photo 8: Paper Bag Backed Foam or Felt Cookie Cutter Shapes Valentine’s Ornament:  Create ladybugs or hearts for your tree from craft foam or felt.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-8-paper-bag-backed-foam-cookie-cutter-shape-christmas-ornament/

Photo 9: Heart Shaped Paper Bag Ornament

Photo 9: Paper Bag Valentine’s Cookie Cutter Shapes Ornament:  Use a plain brown wrapper to make a really cute heart (or other seasonal shape) to decorate with fabric or paint.  Hang on your tree, in a window, or use the shapes to make a wreath.  To make the fabric covered heart shown above make a pattern with a large heart cookie cutter.  Cut out a heart shape from red fabric and glue to a paper bag.  Double the paper and trim around heart leaving a two inch boarder.  Stuff and glue or sew together.  When dry, pink around the edges.  Add “stiches” with a marker or glitter glue.  Embellish as desired.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-9-paper-bag-cookie-cutter-shape-ornament/

Photo 10 Paper Cut-out Cookies

Photo 10: Paper (Scrapbook, Construction, Wrapping, Etc.) Valentine’s Cut-out Cookies:  This is a great craft for kids.   A great use for old greeting cards or kid’s Valentines.  This craft is very inexpensive too if construction and “found” paper are used.

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-10a-paper-cut-out-cookies-construction-paper-wrapping-paper-scrapbook-paper-cardstock-sandpaper-greeting-cards/

Photo 12 Play Box Decorate box to resemble a stove

Photo 12B: Fill box with baking utensils.

Photo 12: Cookie Cutter Crafts For Kids:  The sheer range of crafts that kids can make with cookie cutters is staggering.  Take a minute (or three!) and take a look at these crafts that are kid friendly.  This is a busy box I designed and made using a photo storage box (substitute a shoe box) and a kid’s baking set from Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Keep this box in the kitchen to entertain your little one while you cook.  You can also put together your own baling set with a small rolling pin, felt with “cookies” cut out & mini cookie cutters, cookie sheet made from a silver metallic poster, and wooden spoon.  Customize the kit for the season with seasonal cookie cutter shapes.

Tutorial pending.

Photo 13: Food Shapers: Your cutters don’t even need to leave the kitchen for this “craft”.  Craft with food!  Cut decorative shapes from food to serve as accent pieces.

Tutorial pending.

Photo 14: Hand-decorated Greeting Cards

Photo 14: Greeting Card Decoration:  Add a few extra special touches to blank greeting cards and you have a beautiful handmade gift for your child’s teacher or a good friend.

Tutorial Pending

Photo 15: Cookie Cutter Shaped Note Cards

Photo 15: Cookie Shaped Note Cards: An alternative to making a hand decorated card is to make a shaped note card.  Trace a cutter that “fits” the recipient (ex: football for a sports fan, rooster for chicken lover, etc.), trace it on a note card, then cut out the shape and embellish.

Tutorial pending.

Photo 16: Cookie Cutter Shaped Note Pad

Photo 16: Cookie Shaped Note Pad: Make a cute notepad as a little special gift for someone special.  Add some favorite saying or scriptures for that extra special touch.

Tutorial pending.

 

Photo 17: Heart Shaped Cut-Out Cookies

Photo 17  Cut-Out Valentine’s Cookies:  Don’t stop with crafting up a batch or two of foam cookies – break out your favorite recipe (or try mine) and roll out some edible cookies.  Don’t have time to make up the dough?  Then add a couple of ingredients to refrigerated cookie dough and get RAVE REVIEWS!

http://buggalcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/cookie-cutters-not-just-for-cookies-anymore-post-12-cut-out-cookies-holiday-or-no-occasion-at-all-make-your-own-cookie-cutters/

 

Here is a “sneak peak” (sneak tell?) at my upcoming Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore tutorials.  Look for these posts within the next month.

Package Decoration & Name Tags: Make these little for your next event to get custom made themed name tags!  Great for any occasion!  To add a little pizazz to your gift wrapped package or gift bag, make a custom combination package decoration and name tag.  You can make seasonal shapes or select a shape that “fits” the recipient. Example: For a crafting supply basket use a pair of scissors cookie cutters.  For a new baby use a ducky cutter and some of the gift wrap leftover from wrapping the package.  For a end-of-the-year gift for your child’s teacher use an apple cutter.  Go a step further and tie a cutter and several die cuts made using the cutter in coordinating colors to serve as a package decoration and bonus gift!

Party Favors: Give cookie cutters as party favors for a wedding or baby shower for a gift your guests will use for years to come!  Combine them with a blank card to make a place tag.

Souvenirs & Special Occasion Reminders:  Instead of collecting thimbles on vacation, stop by a shop that sells baking supplies & cookie cutters and get a unique cutter.  This is something you can use and will remind you of your vacation every time you make cutter with that cutter.  Cookie cutters are inexpensive to collect.  Most are less than $5 each.  So each year around Christmas add a cutter to your collection that represents a special event from that year: baby rattle for a new baby in the family, pair of bells for a wedding in the family, school bus for a child’s first year in school, ect.

Stencils:  Before you buy a stencil or if you can’t find the stencil you need, take a look at the cookie cutters you have on-hand.  Simply place the cutter on paper and trace.  Or to make a durable template, trace the cutter on a thin piece of plastic (I found a package of five plastic binder dividers for 50 cents around the start of school.  This could make a ton of stencils.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the links to my Valentine’s craft projects.   If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.   

Please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post.  I really LOVE comments!

Thanks again. 

buggalcrafts

Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 12: Cut-Out Cookies, Holiday or No Occasion At All & Make Your Own Cookie Cutters


Making fall cookies with MeMe. Bake these for all seasons: Valentine's, Mardi Gras, St. Pat's, Easter, and so on...

Cookie Cutters:  Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 12: Cut-Out Cookies, Holiday or No Occasion At All & Make Your Own Cookie Cutters

by an invertebrate cookie cutter collector!

 The traditional cookies people think of when you mention Christmas Cookies are usually cut-out sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies.

This is a great project to do with your children – young and old.  I am including my family’s recipe for sugar cookies below with tips based on over 200 years of cumulative baking experience.  And check out my tips for improving store bought sugar cookie dough too!

Did you know cookie cutters can be handmade simply if you don’t have the cutter you want?

Handmade Cookie Cutters

 No one (Not even me and I have collected cutters for more than 20 years!) can have every cookie cutter they need on-hand when they need it.  Here are 2 simple ways to make that “cutter” yourself!

Instructions 

Cardboard Template: One quick and easy way is to use simply make and use a cardboard template.

  • Find a large, simple picture of the shape you would like (for example; in a coloring book) and cut it out.
  • Then trace the shape onto cardboard and cut that out too.
  • Place the cardboard on the rolled out cookie dough and trace around the shape using a knife, then lift carefully and place on a baking sheet to bake.

Disposable Aluminum Pan: To make a cookie cutters with a more complex shape use a disposable aluminum pan to make a temporary cutter.

  • Find an image that fits your need.  The more detailed the harder it will be to make this cutter.  Cut the image out.
  • On the bottom surface of the pan trace the shape desired and cut it out.
  • Smooth out the aluminum with the blunt side of the scissor’s blade.
  • Cut one half inch strips from the remaining part of the bottom of the aluminum pan.
  • Flatten out the strips with the blunt side of the scissor blade and then mold them around your shape. Caution, edges are sharp.
  • Glue the strips to the edge of the aluminum shape.  What glue you use is dependent on the use of the cutter.  TO cut clay then the type of glue does not matter.  If using them to cut cookie dough, then use something that has a  “food safe” claim (like Gorilla glue).
  • When properly dry, your cutter is ready to use.
  • Place your homemade cookie cutter on rolled out cookie dough and press down lightly to cut your shape out.  Then bake cookies per recipe.

Aluminum Flashing:  The web site below has a great tutorial by suganspyyce on Craftster.org about making your own cookie cutters from a roll of aluminum flashing found in the roofing section.  The tutorial is concise and very easy to follow.  It is definitely something I’d like to try.

Drinking Straws & Foil Pans:  Another great resource is this site on making miniatures for doll houses and other uses by Lesley Shepherd on About.com!  Meticulous attention to detail is paid in making these custom cutters.  The photo tutorial is great and really helps you to understand the steps to take.  Again a method to try out for the future!

Drinking Straws & Foil Pans:  Another great resource is this site on making miniatures for doll houses and other uses by Lesley Shepherd on About.com!  Meticulous attention to detail is paid in making these custom cutters.  The photo tutorial is great and really helps you to understand the steps to take.  Again a method to try out for the future!

 

Now, on to the main part of the show or:

 How to Make Cut-out Sugar Cookies:

A Recipe with Tips & Insights from Over 200 Years of Combined Baking Experience

as told to me by my Grandmother, Great-Aunt & Mother

Some of my earliest, and most treasured, memories are of us all girls gathered around the kitchen table cutting out and decorating sugar cookies with my mother, grandmother and my grandmother’s sister.  It just wasn’t Christmas (or any other holiday) without these wonderful sugar cookies.

The best tip I can give you to make cut-out sugar cookies successfully is to make them often with your children – borrow some if you have too.  No matter how the cookies turn out – – – lopsided, with enough decorations on each for twelve cookies, or slightly burnt – – – you will be baking memories that will last a lifetime!

Don’t forget to take lots of photos for your scrapbook.  While you have the cutters out trace them on acid free scrapbook paper or cardstock to make die cuts for your cookie baking scrapbook page!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 TBS each of vanilla & one of almond flavoring (Add more, I usually do!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 pounds of self-rising flour (Yes, FIVE pounds!)
  • Cookie decorations:  colored sugar, cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, red hots, M&M’s, frosting, etc.
  • The MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT: KIDS!

Also Needed

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Several cookie sheets
  • Pancake turner
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Mixing spoon

Instructions 

Instructions


1)  Make the dough the day before & refrigerate it overnight (or for at least 2 hours).  It rolls out much better cold.  Take only half of the dough out of the refrigerator at one time.  This dough can be refrigerated in a tightly sealed zip lock bag for up to one week. Do not freeze.

a)    If you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch, you can dress up store-bought sugar cookie dough.  I have found store-bought sugar cookie dough is not stiff enough to make roll & cut out cookies on its own.  It just sticks to everything!  But with a couple of additions you can make some great “homemade cookies”.

b)   Let the dough come to room temperature. Then add 1 tsp. each of vanilla & almond flavoring. Mix the flavoring in with your CLEAN, floured hands.  Next add flour until the dough is stiff (see step 4).  Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and then prepare and bake per the instructions below.

2)  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while allowing all the cold ingredients to come to room temperature.

a)    When all the ingredients are at room temperature; cream the shortening and the sugar.  Next add in eggs, milk, & flavoring.  Don’t skimp on the vanilla & almond flavoring, it’s the key to this cookie’s great taste.

b)   The ingredients will mix more evenly if at room temperature.

c)    Use Crisco sticks, they look like fat butter sticks & are found in the baking aisle.  These are so much easier & less messy to use than solid shortening in a can.

d)    If you use Crisco in a can fill the measuring cup with boiling water first & allow it to warm the cup.  Then drain & measure the solid Crisco.  The Crisco should slide right out of the warm cup.

3)  You can also tint the dough different colors by adding food coloring drops or paste to the mix before adding the flour.  Make green shamrocks for St. Pat’s Day or pink hearts for Valentine’s Day.

4)  Add flour slowly using your CLEAN hands to knead the dough into a smooth ball.  Do not over mix.  The dough is ready to roll when it is stiff.  You should be able to roll a pinch into a ball with your fingers without it sticking to your fingers.  If it does add more flour.  This recipe takes more flour than you would think.  Then divide it into two portions and refrigerate.

a)    These are crisp cookies. To make them soft-baked, add more milk & use less flour.  You may not be able to roll them out, but can drop them on the baking sheet by spoonful & then decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles.

5)  Take one portion of the dough out of the refrigerator when you are ready to bake. Take a softball size amount of dough and roll this out on a floured surface (or pastry cloth) to a 1/4 inch thickness.

6)  Cut cookies out with floured cookie cutters.  Place cutters carefully on the rolled out dough to get the most cookies out of one rolling as possible.  Re-rolling makes the dough tough.

a)    This dough also works great with cookie presses.  Cookie presses are very easy to use. My son & granddaughter easily made these at age 2.  Give your little ones a full soda can (flour it) & let them roll out their own dough & make memories.

b)   Take a bouncing ball size amount of the dough and roll it into a smooth ball.  Then press the floured stamp down on the ball “squishing” it to make semi-flat cookie with an impression on top.

7)  Place cookies carefully on a baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray.  I like Air-Bake insulated baking sheets as the cookies will bake more evenly & not burn on the bottom.   It helps if you have 3 or 4 baking sheets so the sheets can cool before you place the raw dough cookies on it (if the sheets are hot the dough will “melt” slightly & the cookies will lose their shape).

8)  Sprinkle with colored sugar, cinnamon sugar or other cookie toppings before baking.  This is the fun part!  Sprinkle a reindeer shape with cinnamon sugar & add a red hot nose to make a cute Rudolph!  Let the kids use their imaginations.  Or plan to frost the cookies after baking & cooling.

a)    Make your own colored sugar:  Pour sugar in a glass bowl then add food coloring or paste drop by drop mixing it in the sugar thoroughly with a spoon.  Add tint slowly until you reach a shade slightly darker than the desired color.  Let dry thoroughly.  It will dry a lighter shade.  Make it darker than the shade you want as it is very easy to add more sugar when it’s dry and lighten the color.  Make this the day before so it will be very dry and sprinkle easier.

b)   Make your own cinnamon sugar:  Mix powdered cinnamon in sugar to desired taste (I like a lot of cinnamon, so my cinnamon sugar is dark.  But don’t add too much cinnamon as it won’t’ sprinkle well.).

c)    Store both in an airtight container.   I like to save my empty spice bottles for this as you can sprinkle from the container.

9)  Bake cookies 10 to 12 mins. or until lightly brown.  If you are using a dark cookie sheet, it will take less time.  On your first batch keep a close eye on the cookies & adjust the time for your oven.  Remove cookie sheets from oven & place cookies on a cooling rack

10) After cooling you can top plain cookies with icing or frosting.

a)    To make icing mix powdered sugar, food coloring & a few drops of water at a time until a smooth consistency is reached.  The icing will harden as it dries.

11) This recipe makes a LOT!  Third the ingredients to make fewer cookies.  These cookies freeze well.  I have kept them up over six months in an airtight container (so the cookies do not absorb odors) in the freezer. Freeze them unfrosted.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.   

Please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post.

Thanks again. 

I love to decorate cookies!

Link up to Lisa’s Linky Party!

Crafting With Food: Stuffed Mushrooms


II always have seen a recipe as just a suggestion rather than a rule!   Just like with arts & crafts I am unable to look at a recipe without immediately planning on how I can put my own twist on it! 

I use to make these for parties but haven’t made them in years.  My niece expressed a desire for stuffed mushroom for our family Christmas Eve party so I dusted off the recipe and whipped up a batch.  I had some cream of chicken soup leftover from a green bean casserole and much stuffing was a little dry so I added a little.  They were such a hit that they were requested for our New Year’s Eve party! 

This time I added more soup and added cheese & onions to the top.   Again a smash hit! 

I’d love to share with you my handcrafted mushrooms, but since I can’t I’ll give you the recipe and let you try it on your own.

Enjoy! And happy food crafting!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Fresh Whole Mushrooms, 1 Pound
  • 1 T Fresh Minced Garlic
  • 3 Tsp. Shredded Italian Cheese
  • Additional Shredded Italian Cheese For Topping
  • 2 T Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp. Each Garlic And Onion Powder
  • ½ Can Of Cream Of Chicken Or Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 6 T Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour olive oil in a shallow glass baking dish.
  3. Wash and dry mushrooms.
  4. Remove stems from mushrooms and dice stems finely.
  5. Melt butter in a medium glass bowl in the microwave.
  6. Add diced mushrooms to melted butter.
  7. Add seasonings to the bowl and mix well.
  8. Add 3 tsp. of Italian Cheese, ½ can of the soup, and 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs to bowl.  Stir well to moisten bread crumbs.
  9. Take a little more than a bouncy ball amount of the stuffing and form into a ball.
  10. Press gently into mushroom cap and press down well.  The stuffing should be mounded up a little.
  11. Place in the baking dish.
  12. Add shredded cheese to the top of the mushrooms.
  13. Bake in oven for 22 minutes.
  14. Remove and check for doneness.   If the mushrooms aren’t done put them back in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes.

ALTERNATIVES:

  • You can also make these with plain breadcrumbs.
  • Add any other seasonings you like to the stuffing – rosemary, basil, parsley, etc.
  • Top with crumbled French’s Fried Onions.
  • If you have extra stuffing left over, and I do, place it in a small baking dish, top with cheese and bake with the mushrooms.  My son and I like to use the stuffing as a chip dip.  It is excellent!

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