Simple Things #4

I have to give credit where credit is due for the idea of posting about “simple” things.  Amelia from YouCanAlwaysStartNow and I collaborate regularly on ideas for posts like travel, life, monthly challenges, as well as many other things.

I love to bake, it’s one of the things that relaxes me so today’s “simple things” are all about baking.

1. Easier Cookie Cutting

Once you’ve made your cookie dough and have it rolled and ready to go, dip your cookie cutter in flour before cutting out your cookie shapes. The flour helps the cutter cut through the dough so you can cut your cookies out faster and with less frustration!

2. Ripen Bananas Quickly

Here’s a great tip if you want to make a recipe like banana bread and your bananas are not ripe.  To quickly ripen underripe bananas, put them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 300°F for about 40 minutes. You’ll end up with perfectly ripe bananas for your cakes and breads!

3. Warm Up Eggs Quickly

Starting a recipe that calls for room temperature eggs, but you just barely took your eggs out of the fridge? You can quickly bring those eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass or bowl of warm water. Let them sit in the warm water for a few minutes, and they’ll be ready to use!

4. Grate Your Butter

One of the keys to making perfectly flaky biscuits and pie crusts is having small pieces of butter evenly distributed throughout your dough. The easiest way to achieve this is to use grated butter! Grate your butter on a cheese grater then stir the butter pieces into the other ingredients.

5. Instant Powdered Sugar

If you’ve made a batch of cookies or cake that requires frosting and you check the cupboards and you could have sworn you had icing sugar, fear not!  You can actually make powdered sugar if you have white sugar and cornstarch on hand. Just add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a blender or food processor. Just pulse the sugar mixture a few times until it gets to the right powdery consistency.

6. Mixer Splash Guard

I’ve been baking a long time and only figured this out recently.  I use a KitchenAid stand mixer and every time I mix dry ingredients in it, even on the slowest speed, it still sputters out over the side. I now put a dish towel over the top of the mixer which drapes down over the sides and no more sputters. For eight more brilliant KitchenAid Hacks (and where I found this picture) visit the crazy coupon lady .

6 Simple things to help when you feel like baking,  It’s A Wandaful Thing!

What is your favorite baking “simple thing”?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you back soon.

I’d love it if you would follow me at all these lovely places:

Twitter @awandafulthing,  https://www.facebook.com/awandafulthing

https://www.pinterest.com/awandafulthing/

 https://www.instagram.com/awandafulthing/

https://www.facebook.com/marymacksmarket/

 

Day 9 : Christmas Shortbread Bars

Christmas Shortbread Bars

Shortbread is a wonderful thing. It is so full of butter and simply melts in your mouth. It is my all time favorite cookie at Christmas and a ‘must bake’ every year.

shortbread-day-0

This recipe is so easy, no cooling in the fridge, no rolling, no cutting. You just need to combine all the ingredients and pat into an ungreased baking pan. The hardest part is waiting for them to come out of the oven.

The colored sugar gives these cookies the perfect festive look and they are immediately ready for the holidays. This shortbread is Barbara Bush’s recipe from the “White House Cookbook” and can be found online here at Bake Space along with some other delicious recipes.

day-9-shortbread-bars

This recipe makes lots, it filled this vintage cookie tin, this tin wasn’t this pretty blue to begin with,  a can of spray paint can work wonders. 😉

Here is what you need to make these melt in your mouth shortbread bars: Continue reading Day 9 : Christmas Shortbread Bars

Day 7 : Peppermint Bark Oreos

Peppermint Bark Oreo Cookies

cookies-2

These make great neighbor gifts. They are easy to make and take no time at all. Christmas and peppermint seem to go together and when you combine peppermint with white chocolate and Oreos you have a winning combination.  If you give them to the neighbors they are going to love them, I promise.

jar-cookies

Here is what you need:  Continue reading Day 7 : Peppermint Bark Oreos

Day 1: Hershey Kiss Christmas Cookies

Welcome to Day 1 of my 12 Days of Christmas 2016.

Over the next 12 Days you can look forward to posts that will include things to make, things to bake and easy ways to decorate.

I’m starting off with these Hershey Kiss Christmas Cookies (that’s my name for them).

I had a good laugh when I read the instructions to remove the wrappers from the candy as the first step in the baking process.  Take it from me buy a big bag….a lot of them ended up in my belly – very, very smart move on the part of the Hershey company…lol

cookies-1The pictures below the recipe show the step by step process after the dough is made.

recipe from Hershey’s
1 bag Hershey’s Kisses brand Candy Cane Kisses (I used Hershey’s Hugs)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Green colored sugar
Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)
Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 – 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies.

Continue reading Day 1: Hershey Kiss Christmas Cookies

October Craft Challenge

October Craft Challenge – recycling or re-purposing any type of  used container.

mason-jar-soap-dispenserJust in case you are new and this is your first time visiting, here’s the scoop. On the Third Monday of every month, Amelia (my friend and fellow blogger) and I do a project or post based on one chosen DIY craft or theme, then we share our results and hopefully have inspired you to join the challenge. (The links to our challenge results can be found at the end of this post.)

Last month was our mason jar challenge and the picture to the left shows the mason jar I turned into a soap dispenser.

This month the challenge was to recycle or re-purpose using any type of used container.  I chose to re-purpose two vintage glass Grenache Caramel containers, which I found in a box that I purchased at an auction.  I thought about selling them on my vintage site Wandaful Things, Trinkets and Treasures  but I decided to use them in my bathroom to store makeup sponges and cotton pads.  The transformation was pretty simple, I removed the labels,  spray painted the lids and added a decorative top as a knob and that was it.

Here are the before and after pictures.

october-challenge-4
Before

 

oct-challenge-1
After

Since the lids on these jars are plastic, I thought a glass knob would be too heavy so I started looking for something light weight (plastic), I found Christmas ornaments at my local Dollarma and immediately knew I wanted to use the tops for my jars. I think they were a perfect choice, don’t you?

 

oct-challenge-2

Continue reading October Craft Challenge

Baby Shower Ideas – A Wandaful Thing

A close family friend recently gave birth to a baby girl.  Instead of having a baby shower before the baby arrived, it was decided to have a “meet Trinity” party after the birth.  I was honored when I was asked to contribute some of my creativity to the party and even more excited when I was told the colors were pink and white.

bracelet

I decided to incorporate some food into the decorations.  The crepe paper sucker flowers made a lovely contribution to the tabletop and were easily made using crepe paper, scissors and tape (suckers too of course). I made a baker’s dozen over the course of a few evenings . I made two different types, one I refer to as the carnation(pink) and the other a daisy (white).  If anyone is interested in how any of my creations were made, I will post tutorials for you.

crepe sucker flowers

Continue reading Baby Shower Ideas – A Wandaful Thing