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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mini Heart Cherry Scones

How cute are these mini heart scones?  I typically make my scones in a triangle (cut wedges from a rolled circle of dough), so the heart feels like a natural shape for a scone, with just a little bit of a Valentine's flair.  I packaged them using : 

Liberty Floral Print napkins (showing through the Glassine), 

The Liberty Floral products will be back in stock on Wednesday morning.  They are coming in today (Tuesday) and we'll have them in the store ready to sell on Wednesday morning.   Find them in the Valentines Colleciton.

I think this is such a cute gift for a friend, co-worker, teacher, neighbor, mom, grandma or helper for Valentine's Day... and those of us who don't love a box of candy : )  

You all know that scones are my favorite.  We typically go for Cranberry Orange Scones.  Or Vanilla Bean.  Or even Maple Pecan.  But, when you've been rotating the same few recipes every weekend for 5 years... you start thinking of new combinations.  Dried Cherries seemed perfect for Valentines.  They are not too sweet (only a tiny bit of sugar in the dough) and the cherries provide a little tartness.  The dough is tender, and dense, and light all at the same time.  And buttery.  So buttery.

Sometimes with the recipes I mentioned above, I fee like I'm eating a sophisticated donut, but this version feels more like a classic scone - very simple and great with a cup of tea or coffee.

Dried Cherry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cherries
....1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
milk or water

In a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt using the paddle attachment.  Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch pieces.  Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until the butter is mixed in and is the size of peas.  In a separate bowl, mix together eggs and whipping cream with a fork.  Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the cream and egg mixture.  Turn off the mixer once added.  Fold in cherries.  

Put some flour on the counter.  Turn the dough out onto the floured surface.  Add some flour onto the top of the dough, then pat it out into a disk - about 12 inches in diameter.  Cut the disk into hearts using heart cutters.  

Separate the pieces and put them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden and cooked through.  

Make glaze by adding a tiny amount of milk or water to powdered sugar.  Stir and add little drops of water until easy drizzling consistancy   

Products used : 

I used a disposable piping bag to drizzle, but just a spoon or fork can work well, too.

Treat Bags (Glassine & Kraft available

Liberty Floral Print napkins (showing through the Glassine),

Velvet Ribbon

Heart Stickers

Heart Cutters, Set of 3

I also put some in a Medium Size Cello Bags for a gift of about 6 mini scones.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Home Tour | Little Touches of Pink

Good morning : )  I'm taking you on a little photo tour of our home this morning.  The last time we did this it was covered with fresh greens and twinkling lights.  While there seems less to show this time around, less is feeling like more these days.  After the holidays, I'm always ready to simplify, clean out and freshen up.  

I've become a Trader Joe's shopper.  I don't know what has taken me so long.  I still prefer our local market that we go to when I pick Emma up from school.  When I have some grocery time by myself, I've been making an effort to run to Trader Joe's.

I found this Jasmine plant to TJs for $8.  I can't wait for it to perfume our home when it blooms.

The pale pink violet it still hanging on... I'm really not very good at tropicals : )

The new Botanical Prints ($5-8) lightened up the space instantly.  I LOVE these new prints.  The frame is the 11x14, with 8x10 prints.

These Bashful Pink Velvet Pillows are so lovely.  The softness and sweetness is so welcome from the rich, bold colors of the holidays.  Just this little touch of light pink velvet make me re-fall in love with this room again.

Oak Print Leaf Pillows

I also love how it looks agains the deep brown velvet tones, too.

Find all of the Velvet Pillows, here.

Clay Velvet & Coral Velvet Pillows >

The pinecones are still going strong.  Pale Pink and Brown are always a favorite color combination.

Our bedroom is a little softened - the glory of everything being white makes it easy to change it up... all of the time : )

Of course, I have to include Emma's bedroom that is particularly appropriate for Valentine's Day.  I shared the complete tour of her new room here last week.

With a 5-year-old girl, pink comes easy around here.  Even the mudroom seems dressed up for Valentines Day.

And my desk.  It is a little more scattered that it was last year when I shared the tour with you.  (Photo to the left - you can see the entire tour of my office/mudroom here). You can see my inspiration board is leaning toward spring already.  

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Shortbread Heart Sandwich Cookies filled with Strawberry Jam

Shortbread Heart Sandwich Cookies filled with Strawberry Jam

This idea originally stemmed from the classic Linzer Cookie  that is a nutty shortbread sandwich cookie filled with raspberry jam.  I decided shortbread + strawberry jam would a great combo for this Valentine's Day treat.  If you are a novice cookie decorator, this is a perfect project for you since it is just one solid color, and mostly jam.  You can see I even did some with powdered sugar sprinkled over instead of icing - even easier!

Of course the packaging of these cookies is my favorite part.  Here is a list of supplies used : 

I also put some in Rectangle Window Boxes (Set of 10 for $10) - great for neighbor gifts, teacher gifts or to drop off for friends.

I used my favorite basic shortbread recipe.  It is so simple to stir together and takes no time at all.  Unlike my soft sugar cookie recipe, shortbread cookies are a bit sandy and crumbly.  The keep their shape perfectly when they bake because there is no egg, baking soda or baking powder.  I made it during the day, put in the refrigerator then rolled them out with Emma after school.  Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator!

For the sandwiches, you'll need solid hearts for the bottom and a heart with small cutout heart for the top.

Shortbread Cookie Recipe
(this made 16 large heart sandwiches)

3 sticks of butter, room temp
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer until pale.  Add vanilla and mix in.  Add flour and salt together and stir together slowly just until combined.  Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator for 30+ minutes, up to 2 weeks.

Roll out on a floured surface.  Cut out with cutters.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet (keeps from sticking without spray + easy clean up!) in 350 degree for 12-14 minutes, just until edges start to brown.  Cookies should be firm.

Let cool, then ice with a simple butter icing... we tinted ours a very pale pink to contrast with the deep strawberry jam.

We used a disposable pastry bag (100 for $14) for the icing.  Just cut a small snip off the end - no tip needed!  We used another bag in the same fashion for the jam.

Butter Icing Recipe

1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of milk
3-4 cups of confectioners sugar

Melt butter and milk together in the microwave.  Stir in confectioners sugar.  Add more milk to thin, or more confectioners sugar to thicken.

I heated the jam in the microwave for about 15 seconds to make it more melty - then it sort of molds to the inside of the cookie and sets up.

Use a little pink icing like glue to stick the top heart to the bottom heart.  Then, fill with Strawberry Jam.

If you run out of icing patience, sprinkle some tops with powdered sugar : )

These are perfect for adults with less of a sweet tooth - nice with tea or coffee... or breakfast : )

Last year, I made these with the Copper Cutters.  They are very expensive, so this year, I'm offering a set of three inexpensive cutters that can be used in the same way!  Yay for fun, inexpensive hearts... not everything has to be expensive to be great : )

Rectangle Kraft Window Boxes, 10 for $10 

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