Thursday, November 17, 2016

Almond Berry Linzer Cookies

I have always wanted to make these cookies.
And I'm not sure why it's taken me this long??
They're so beautiful, like little stained glass windows.
And they're amazingly delicious.
They're the kind of cookies that make your house smell like Christmas.
And puts a smile on every kid (and husband's) face.
Yep.  That's what these are all about.
I guess the reason I finally ventured out and tried this gorgeous cookies is that Crisco All-vegetable shortening asked me to share a holiday recipe with you.  So I tried something new.

I already use Crisco for the Never Fail Pie Crust recipe, and I use it in my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, and also in the Gingerbread Softies (Dang.  Are the holidays here yet??  I need all of these).

So I already know how amazing Crisco works in baked goods.  It really gives cookies that really light-and-crisp-but-still-soft kind of touch.  It's hard to describe----it's just that, magic of Crisco!
And I LOVE the Crisco butter-flavor baking sticks because it makes the process even easier.  For this recipe, you just toss in one stick. EASY.

(makes appx. 2 dozen cookies)

1 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening (or 1 cup of Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ground almonds (optional)

Berry jam
Powdered sugar for dusting

Beat the first four ingredients in a bowl with an electric mixer for one minute. 
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.  The ground almonds are optional, but they are SO good in there---they add a lot of flavor.  To create the ground almonds, I took a small package of sliced almonds and ground them in my food processor. If you don't have one, just crunch them up with your hands or use a mallet over a bag.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, just until incorporated.  Try not to over mix.

Work in small batches and roll the dough onto a floured surface, till it's fairly thin.  It's important to work in small batches so your dough doesn't become oversaturated with flour and become heavy.  You want to it stay light and soft.  I also prefer to roll the dough as thin as possible without it breaking, since you are going to sandwich two cookies together in the end.  This makes for a lighter cookie if you can roll them thin. 

Use a cookie cutter to cut out many stars (you can use other shapes too.  I just like the look of stars, but they're definitely more fragile to work with!).  Use a metal spatula to transfer the stars to a baking sheet.   Then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out a smaller star from the center, on half of the cookies.  Remove the smaller star with a toothpick.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. 
Allow the cookies to cook.  Then comes the fun part...

Use your favorite berry jams to create the little "stained glass" windows.  I used homemade Strawberry Jam, Blackberry, and some other berry mixes.  It looks so pretty to use a variety of colors.  Maybe I should throw jalapeno jelly in there for a real holiday mix!

Spread a small amount of jam in the center of each full star.  You don't need a lot of jam, or it will drip over the side.

Then dust the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar.  Place them on a baking sheet or plate to do this---and shake a small strainer filled with powdered sugar over the top.  Then place each window cookie on top of the jam cookies and carefully sandwich them together.
And you're done!

Mmmm.  I can smell these all over again.
And I definitely won't admit how many I ate while preparing this blog post.
Of course every bit started with,  "I'll just eat one point of the star"....and ended with me having to try every flavor in the mix.
Hooray for the holidays!  And hooray for Crisco.

For more recipe ideas, check out the RECIPES tab at the top.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Everyday Sweatshirt Pattern is HERE!

You guys. This has been a long time coming!
But I'm SO excited to finally announce that the Everyday Sweatshirt Pattern has arrived!

We'll show you how to turn cozy piles of this, into....

I hope you have a blast sewing up all the best sweatshirt options -- kangaroo pocket, high low, tunic length, and optional puffed sleeves. It's the perfect cold weather staple for your boys AND girls, babies AND tweens.


The Everyday Sweatshirt - $9
Purchase HERE.

There are 11 Sizes and 5 Styles.
You'll find all the info HERE in the SHOP.
But here's some more details...

The Basic version of the Everyday Sweatshirt is the classic that you'll reach for over and over again. But it's also infinitely customizable. I love contrasting ribbing! And this lace-overlay version I made for Clara is one of my favorites... so far...

The High-Low version is really one of the reasons I wanted to create this pattern. I love the look of a high-low hemline!

Plus you can make it with no ribbing, so simple. It's also got you covered with a wide size range - 12 months to 12 years.
And finally, I had to throw in another couple fun options. The tunic length is perfect for leggings (or you could even extend it a few more inches for a little dress). And for just a tiny added effort, the puffed sleeves add an adorable little girly touch.

I have no idea why, but Clara has decided that glasses are her new favorite accessory for photoshoots. But I completely agree.

Whatever style you choose, it's going to be a party.
And if you've been subscribing to our newsletter....
You know that we announced and released this pattern yesterday to you guys!  That's right, another high five for reading our newsletter.

Plus, we gave away FIVE FREE PATTERNS to newsletter readers as well.
Woot woot.
So subscribe to our newsletter over there in the right-hand column.

When you're ready to sew your Everyday Sweatshirt, we've also created a HEADQUARTERS page----with additional links, fabric info, tips, FAQs, and other tutorials. This will be an ongoing resource page that grows over time.   So check that out as well.

Now walk your little fingers over to the SHOP!
Happy Sweatshirt Sewing my friends.