Fudgey Chocolate Cut-out Cookies 💞🍫

Food

Chocolate cut-outs are admittedly delicious any time of year, but they are extra fun around Valentine’s Day! I made a batch of these decadent cookies this year to give away to my co-workers and family members, and left a few for my husband, of course. 😘

The dough whips up super fast and you can even make it a few days in advance. If you choose to do so, just be sure to wrap the dough in plastic wrap tightly to prevent air from getting in and drying it out.

While I’m writing this post for Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to get creative and use this recipe all year round. I love my Wilton cookie cutter set because it allows me to make cookies for literally any occasion.

Christmas, Saint Patrick’s Day, dinosaur day…no wait, that’s not a thing. But it very well could be!

Side note: this recipe produces quite a few cookies so be prepared to be a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for counter
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate melting wafers (I used Ghirardelli)

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. Roll out the cookie dough on a floured counter to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut dough into heart shapes.
  7. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 7-8 minutes. The edges should be firm and the centers are slightly sod and puffed.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  9. Once cooled, melt your white chocolate according to the instructions on the package. Use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate onto the cookies.
  10. Enjoy! 😍

Original recipe retrieved from Shutterbean.

Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Food

I love Valentine’s Day! It’s a great reminder for all of us to take the time out of our day-to-day to show appreciation for those we love most.

Valentine’s Day also means a plentiful amount of one of my favorite things: Chocolate! While I’m always down for a box of assorted truffles, I love using the holiday as an excuse to bake up some delicious homemade goodies.

This V-day I decided to bake up these extra-festive red velvet crinkle cookies. Because of their mild flavor these cookies are perfect for choco-holics and vanilla-lovers alike.

Ingredients

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 & 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick of salted butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. red food coloring (Tip: use gel food coloring for more vibrant color!)
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat after each addition. Add vanilla.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll ball in powdered sugar. Repeat with remaining dough then reroll each ball in powdered sugar again.
  6. Arrange balls about 1″ apart on prepared baking sheets and bake until cookies have flattened and set in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes
  7. Let cool on trays 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.

Bake up a batch of these to share with your loved one, your parents, your co-workers, or your friends!

Original recipe retrieved from Delish

Weaving buffalo check on the rigid heddle loom

Art, DIY

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 6.01.09 PM.pngThis Christmas my husband gifted me perhaps the greatest present you could ever buy a fiber artist: an Ashford rigid heddle loom! I took a couple of weaving courses in college and have really been missing the art form over the past few years.

While I am knowledgable in weaving on a floor loom, the rigid heddle is a new venture for me. Things that I’m loving about it so far:

  1. It’s so light! I can move it wherever I want.
  2. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. Slide it right under the bed if you want!
  3. Warping it is a breeze. Less than an hour? Yes, please.
  4. It allows me to use a wide variety of yarns. Suddenly yarn scraps have a purpose again!

Hands down, an awesome option for beginner weavers as well as those who may not have the room to dedicate to a floor loom or the money to invest in one.

My new loom is the 32” model which is amazing because it allows for me to create patterns up to that width but also as narrow as I would like. This means I can make blankets as well as scarves!

Because the rigid heddle loom is new to me, I’ve been using the last six weeks as a learning period – experimenting with different yarn weights, colors and patterns.

So far, one of my favorite designs is buffalo check. This trendy pattern is honestly the simplest you could create on the rigid heddle loom and, when created with contrasting colors, yields striking results.

Pattern

Warp: 4 red, 4 blue (8 ends)

Weave: 4 red, 4 blue

I followed this pattern using Caron Simply Soft yarn in red and navy to create this super cozy scarf.

Seriously, so simple! I’m curious, what are your favorite buffalo check colors?

Stay tuned for more pattern exploration updates and don’t forget to follow along with my weaving adventures on Instagram.

 

DIY Plaid Flannel Blanket Scarves

DIY

This Christmas I was inspired to go all-out with homemade holiday gifts. In searching for a project I could tackle for several of my family members, I came across a great DIY gift idea: blanket scarves!

Trendy and inexpensive to make (less than $10 per scarf), I decided to give this craft a whirl this holiday season, making one for every female family member I’d be spending time with on Christmas day.

This ended up being nine scarves. Word to the wise, if you’re planning to make this many scarves for Christmas start early (like, early November) to avoid stressing yourself out with a scarf-making frenzy two days before Christmas. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.  

That being said, these scarves would make great gifts any time of year!

The time and energy were well worth it, as these homemade gifts were a huge hit. Now that the holidays are over I’m looking forward to making one for myself!  

Supplies:

  • 1.5 yards of apparel flannel (can be found at Walmart & Joanne Fabrics)
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper

Instructions

  1. Start by trimming all edges, using the plaid pattern as a guideline to cut relatively straight. Don’t worry if you mess up! The fresh cut will make it easier for you to begin pulling your fringe.

2. Fold the fabric diagonally, creating a right angle.

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3. Trim the long end of the fabric so that it lines up with the edge to form a square.

4. Now – get a movie ready as you begin to start your fringe. This part of the process is easy – it just takes a hot second. Here’s what you’re gonna do – using the seam ripper, begin to undo the weave of the fabric, thread by thread. (check out the photo below)

5. You can either create a fringe on two sides of your scarf OR all the way around. Personally, I like blanket scarves that have a little fringe on all sides.

6. Once you’re done with the fringe you can either stop as is or (for extra reinforcement) use a sewing machine to run a quick stitch down all four sides.

Once your done with the fringe, all that’s left is to package it up pretty to give away as a gift! Or, ya know, throw it around your neck and call it yours. 😏

 

Snowy Pine Embroidery

Art, DIY

This Christmas I went all out in making handmade gifts. In fact, I spent most of November and December unweaving flannel for homemade blanket scarves for all the girls in my family – more on that later.

Aside from the scarves, I also gifted both sets of my parents and grandparents an original hand embroidery.

I decided to do a different design for each couple and the design I’m sharing today is the one I completed for my grandparents.

This design features three snow-covered pines, standing elegantly in a winter wonderland. I was inspired by winter-themed embroidery art I found on Pinterest, and was particularly drawn to this idea as my grandparents can now display this artwork all winter, instead of having to take it down with the Christmas decor.

I would highly recommend a design like this for artists looking to get into fiber art. With its limited color palette and simple line-art design, it’s a very approachable piece. In fact, it only took me a few hours to complete!

If you’re interested in tackling a pine-inspired embroidery, check out some inspiration here.

Happy stitching!

 

 

Celebrating the magic of Christmas with a Nutcracker embroidery

Art, Holiday

There is undeniably something magical about Christmas and the season that surrounds it. Sparkling snow, sweet treats, cheerful music and smiles on even the most sullen faces. Truly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

One story I always found to capture Christmas magic in its own whimsical way is “The Nutcracker.” If you’re up to date with my holiday posts then you know I love incorporating these mystical wooden figures into my work this time of year, usually through drawings.

Last year, I decided to embark on a bigger undertaking: a nutcracker hand embroidery. Measuring nearly nine inches tall and having started the project in early December, I wasn’t able to complete the embroidery for last Christmas – there was a lot of baking and wrapping to be done, after all – and has been tucked away for the past year.

Having finally wrapped up most of my DIY gifts for the holidays (more to come on these later) I decided to pull this little German guy out this weekend and work to get him done for this Christmas.

Finally finished with this massive embroidery undertaking, I’m through the moon excited with how it turned out.

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I can’t wait to display him my house for many Christmases to come! And who knows, maybe every year will be marked with a unique nutcracker piece – but only if I start the piece immediately following Halloween!

Christmas checklist: Inspiration for getting into the Christmas spirit

Holiday

With Christmas less than two weeks away, there’s no better time to inspire yourself and get into the holiday spirit! For everyone who may be feeling a little grinchy this Christmas, here are a few tips and ideas to help you channel your inner Buddy the Elf:

Stir up a Christmas cocktail

Nothing says happy holidays like a stiff, spiced drink! Click here to read more about my favorite Christmas cocktail.

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Turn up the tunes

Listening to Christmas music is a sure-fire way to inspire holiday joy. I love listening to it while I’m working on projects in the studio. Bing Crosby on repeat, please.

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Get your DIY on

Make a homemade ornament or gift! Words can’t describe how fullfilling it is to make something with your own two hands. And it only gets better when you give homemade goodies away to loved ones.

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During this time of year, I also love making wreaths. Check out my tutorial here!

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Turn the oven on and open the spice drawer!

Nothing makes me happier during the holidays than baking, especially cookies. This year my family started a new tradition: Christmas cookie baking day! Everyone brought two doughs with them and we spent the afternoon baking and sharing laughs over Christmas cocktails and record music.

Set up your own Christmas cookie baking day! Make up some gingerbread dough, invite your friends over and spend time cutting them out and decorating together. Pour some eggnog (or wine) and enjoy making memories.

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Practice gratitude

Get away from the commercialism by taking a moment to remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for – there is no better time than Christmas! This year I am especially grateful, celebrating my first married year with Andy, and in our new house none the less!

It truly is a wonderful life.

Only 12 days until Christmas!

Sketch, bake, carve: Reconnecting with my creative side post-wedding

Art, Baking, Holiday

This month has been crazy! Andy and I were married on Oct. 6 and departed immediately after for our honeymoon trip of a lifetime to Maui and Kauai.

It was magical and perfect, and we couldn’t have asked for a more memorable October.

While I’m sad to have these amazing life events behind me, I’m also, admittedly, relieved. For the first time in over a year and a half I finally have some free time!

This week I’ve been having fun using my free time to get back to being creative and get into the Halloween spirit.

Sketch

The first item on my creative agenda following our honeymoon was to get back to sketching. I’ve always been a “Hocus Pocus” fan and I definitely had the Sanderson sisters in mind when I was creating this pen & ink sketch:

Bake

I also decided to get creative with cookies. I’ve made cut-out cookies before, but decided this time to try something new and decorate them with royal icing — I’m all about trying new things!

The decorations came out far from perfect but they were a lot of fun to make. I would highly recommend this chocolate cutout cookie recipe, which tastes very similar to a chocolate sandwich cookie. Pair it with Alton Brown’s recipe for royal icing which comes out so shiny and beautiful (don’t use my application as basis for judgement!).

Carve

And, of course, no Halloween is complete without a Jack-o-Lantern. Andy and I carve pumpkins every Halloween and I have to say, I think his looks better than mine this year!

Note to self: Next year, remember to buy a carving kit. The chef’s knife just isn’t cutting it anymore!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!