Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chocolate Blooms

Sunday was Christmas baking day. I love baking (especially in my new kitchen) but it exhausts me. This year, we not only had co-workers but neighbors as well.

I did the usual White Trash (two huge batches to be exact) but I also added a hint of chocolate sweetness for our new neighbors.

Chocolate Blooms - Original Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • Raspberry Ganache

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. 
  • Add brown sugar, baking powder and salt; beat until combined
  • Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour and cocoa powder.
  • Beat as much of the flour mixture into the butter mixture as you can with the mixture; stir by hand any remaining mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate
  • Shape into 1 inch balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet; press thumb into the center of each ball to make an indent.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.
  • Immediately use the rounded side of a 1 tsp. measure to press down the center of each cookie. 
  • Transfer cookies to wire racks.
  • Spoon Raspberry Ganache into center of each cookie. 

Raspberry Ganache
Ingredients

  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam

Directions

  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine dark chocolate, whipping cream and jam. 
  • Microwave for 1 minute; stir until melted

Monday, December 17, 2012

Madewell

As much as I tried to get my Christmas shopping done early, life got in the way. So that meant we had to brave the malls with all the crazies other slackers. 

High point - all my shopping is complete
Low point - I found lots of cute stuff I want to buy myself.

Madewell, the sister of my favorite J. Crew, has some amazing deals right now (30 percent off and free shipping). Here are a few I would love to add to my closet:


Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Christmas Card Revealed

I thought I would brighten your week with revealing our 2012 Christmas Card. I know, spreading that holiday cheer two weeks before Christmas :)




 Past Cards:

2010

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kitchen reveal

I am still in the market for a painting but I just had to share our new and improved kitchen! WARNING: There are a lot of pictures!
BEFORE
You can't help but notice the lovely bright blue walls and painted backsplash




AFTER







Sunday, December 2, 2012

Love this time of year

The Christmas pandora is on all the time, house smells of spruce and lights are all a-glow. I love Christmas and all the decor that comes with it.

Here is a glimpse at the first Christmas in our new house:
Cheap centerpiece made from Hobby Lobby clear ornaments and acrylic paint swished inside (cost: $4)

Dining room decor



I love candles and paperwhites on a mantle.



My paperwhites haven't bloomed yet but I am trying something new this year, courtesy of Camille Styles.