Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Cut out sugar cookies are a staple in our home at Christmastime. We make them every year but we’ve never made chocolate roll out cookies! When I found these fun woodland animal cutters I thought that a chocolate cookie dough would suit considering moose and squirrels are brown anyway.

Oh I had so much fun making these silly chocolate cut out cookies! We have been in a deep freeze here in northern BC so I felt my delicious little Canadian cookie friends needed to bundle up too. What’s more fun than plaid scarfs and toques on a chocolate squirrel? Not much if you ask me.

To decorate, I used melted, white candy melts which worked surprisingly well in a piping bag with a small round tip. Then, for the plaid effect I just coloured the hardened candy melt with red edible marker and drew crisscross lines in black edible marker. I’m not a very skilled cookie decorator when it comes to fancy icing so this method worked well for me and I think the results were pretty cute! The pompom on the top of the squirrel’s toque is a bit of mini marshmallow. I just cut it and it was sticky enough to adhere all on it’s own.

The recipe I used is a mix of this one and this one. This makes a nice sized batch of dough and only requires a little chilling time in the fridge to cool down that butter. The chill time means you get a nice, tender, flaky cookie. This dough kept it’s shape very well which is important when you want to use cookie cutters and it’s packed with lots of chocolate flavour!

Chocolate Sugar Roll Out Cookies
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 large 24 small
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted, softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients with a whisk.
  3. Add dry ingredients to bowl of mixer and stir on low until incorporated then increase speed to medium until mixture turns into dough.
  4. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  5. Roll dough to approx ¼ (no more than a ½) inch in thickness. Cut with shape cutters and transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 10-14 min until slightly browned at the edges - it's difficult to tell because these are chocolate cookies so keep a close eye on them. Allow to cool on the pan 5 min then transfer to a rack. Decorate when completely cooled.

Resources:

Ricardo cookie cutters available at Safeway Canada

Wilton Candy Melts affiliate link

Wilton Edible Markers affiliate link

Twelve Lovey Dovey Colouring Pages – Free!

I know it gets dicey this time of year what with the gift buying and the stocking stuffing and let’s never mind all the political stuff that’s flying around right now. Things are down right depressing when you think about humanity and all that we have witnessed of late. So, I thought I’d share this free download in the hopes of spreading some love.

It’s almost Christmas and it’s time to think about giving and connection and these free printable coloring pages are my gift to you! They’re chock full of my love and I hope they bring just a bit of peace and warmth as you sit and colour.

These lovey dovey coloring sheets are perfect to tuck into a stocking with a pack of pencil crayons or to take with you to grandma’s house. They’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I promise. Get them free!

There are 12 sheets in the download and you can save them to your desktop for printing out later. They will print on standard 8.5×11 sheets of printer paper. Go at them with pencil crayons or wax crayons or even paint. Whatever your heart desires. Tie them up with a ribbon and give them as a gift. Have your kids colour them and frame them in dollar store frames and you’ve got your teacher appreciation gift nailed. They’ll look great on an office wall, a true gift of love!

A Cozy Vintage Christmas

Hello and welcome to my home! I’m so glad you came! Last season I had an amazing time participating in the fall home tour with some other Canadian bloggers – our Canadian writers are some freaking talented and amazing peeps and I’m honoured to be a part of it again for Christmas! Big thank you to the DIY Mommy for organizing and hosting the tour. I wish you were all here in person, I’d give you a mug of hot chocolate (maybe with a little something extra in there) and we’d settle in for a cozy chat around the fire. That was my goal for our space this year – vintage, cozy, warm. And we need it! It’s -30C as I write this. Brrrrr!

Vintage Christmas mantle display

My favourite part of the home right now is the mantle. I made over an old clock housing I’d had kicking around for years and it just sings! The center is done in machine embroidery so it has fantastic texture and the housing was made over with acrylic white and gold craft paint. I added in some red berries and it’s the star of the show. Surrounded by bottle brush trees and vintage brass, the clock feels right at home on our holiday mantle. The birch bark wreath behind it completes the scene with more cozy texture.

Close up vintage clock centerpiece

Mixing woods, metals and pretty much everything gives an eclectic feel which I adore. I am never good at sticking to a colour scheme because I love it all so, I pick what I love and put it out and somehow it works. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware of my love for copper. When I found this candlestick at the thrift shop for next to nothing I had to grab it.

Vintage copper candle stick

Yes, yes I painted the oak mantle! This is the same deep blue that I’ve used in our kitchen. This open concept space feels much more balanced now that I’ve pulled this colour over to the living area. I’m pretty happy with it and it was done in about an hour. There’s more I would love to do to the fire place but it will wait until I have a good chunk of time to deal with it.

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This brown chair. Oh this chair. It’s about 10 years old and it’s a terrible magnet for pet fur. I’ve tried to get rid of it so many times but you know what? It’s my spot. It’s comfy and it’s right by the fire and it’s good quality construction. I’m going to try to recover it or make it a slip cover or something in the new year but for now I’ve dressed it with a cozy crochet blanket (pattern here) in Hudson Bay colour yarn and a felt poinsettia pillow that I made with my Brother embroidery machine.

Vintage Coleman Thermos Collection

On the other side of the fireplace is the old German radio (no, I won’t paint it even though the finish is not so perfect) and I am so happy to have it back in our space! It spent far too much time in the garage waiting to have it’s leg fixed. It was broken in the move and honestly, the movers might as well have taken my heart and stomped on it. I love that thing so much. On top I’ve got a little vintage Thermos collection and some more copper. Cozy!

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Is there such a thing as too many bottle brush trees? Too many brass deer? Too many mixed metals? Nope. Like the felt machine embroidery coasters? You can download the file free here.

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Our tree is a traditional live tree that we’ve decorated with family ornaments from years past. I recently replaced our haggard angel with a red star and my husband was none impressed. The angel will be fixed so it can be used again next year. It’s nothing precious but we have had it a long time and she had a way of settling into our hearts.

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Traditional red pulls the Christmas theme all together in the space.

red cardinal Christmas ornament

I added some wired ribbon and it looks great with our ornaments. My daughter brought home a star with her precious face on it from pre-school oh…5 years ago and I’m so happy to have our memories hanging from the branches of our tree.

traditional christmas tree

On the other side of the room is the dining hutch dressed in twinkle light garland and the typewriter table, the typewriter has been replaced with a wee festive sled that I DIY’d.

christmas-dining-hutch

Moose, check. Bottle brush trees, check. Red berries, check. It was a quick and fun craft for a chilly afternoon.

Vintage inspired holiday sled ornament

I had loads of fun with DIYs this year and love this copper bundt pan wreath – tutorial here I did earlier. It’s so cute with the star shaped lights!

diy-vintage-winter-wreath-copper

Well my friends, thank you so much for coming by to see our cozy, vintage inspired Christmas home. I hope you enjoyed the tour and I hope you’ll follow on Instagram or Facebook to see what I have in store for the fire place and brown chair on my to-do list. I want to say thank you to Brother Canada for helping me create the pillow, coasters and clock face for this holiday season. It’s been incredible working with their machine and I will have more embroidery file downloads coming for next year.

vintage home tour

Now please do go on through the rest of the tour participants listed below – there are some incredible things to see! You won’t be disappointed!

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Monday

northern style exposure
The Learner Observer
The Uncommon Law
Heather In Heels
Clean and Scentsible
THE SWEETEST DIGS

Tuesday

Amidst the Chaos
Brooklyn Berry Designs
lemon Thistle
Suburble
Life is a Party
PMQ for two

Wednesday

Love Create Celebrate
Satori Design for Living
A Pop of Pretty
So Much Better With Age
VinYet ETC
Woman in Real Life

Thursday

The DIY Mommy
Fresh Crush
Time With Thea
A Pretty Life
Home To Heather
Nalles House

Friday

This Little Estate
Craftberry Bush
The Happy Housie
Kimpowerstyle
Elliven Studio

How to Download from Netflix

Netflix announced BIG news yesterday! If you’ve always wanted to watch Netflix content when you’re off line, on a plane or just visiting a spot with a spotty connection now you can! It’s easy too. If you’re using an app on your device that allows the feature you should see a splash screen when you load Netflix up. I saw this on my Android phone and on the iPad. Not on my PC via the web.

how-to-download-netflix

In your Netflix menu, search for a show you wish to download and touch the little i symbol as shown below.

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From there you will see the list of episodes in a series and the download icon next to each one.

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Not all content will be available for download immediately and I’ll speculate that the Netflix Original Content will be available first. This is great news for people who fly a lot and want to take their favourite series on the go. I also see many, many moms taking content on the go for their toddlers. I mean, grocery shopping has got to be easier with Paw Patrol in the cart. Right?

Copper Inspiration

You know how one thing leads to another and before you know it the glue gun is out? That’s how I got here, to this place with this vintage copper bundt pan wreath. You see, I’d found these sweet copper star lights and they were amazing against the dark blue of my accent wall but they looked a little bit lonely hanging there on their own. They needed a buddy. They needed just one more thing.

copper-wreath-inspiration

These copper pans are easy to find at thrift shops and they aren’t expensive at all. I found this one in a second hand shop so I paid a little more than thrift store prices at $8 but it was absolutely the perfect thing so I coughed up the cash and brought it home. At the dollar store I found a pack of little pine cones and the birdie too. I also used a couple of sprigs off a vine of artificial red berries I already had and a bit of ribbon. So all in, this baby cost me around ten bucks and I think that’s fantastic.

how-to-make-a-copper-bundt-pan-wreath

There really isn’t much to say in the way of ‘how to’ here. Find your bits and glue them on with a hot glue gun. I laid mine out on the kitchen counter to get an idea of how I wanted it to go together. I love red berries and they go so nicely with the copper. They are easy to work with as well because they’re wired. Just clip some off with some wire snips or strong scissors. I went with a less is more approach but you could make it as full and glamorous as you wanted really.

 

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To hang, loop some ribbon through the center and tie in a bow. A single nail in the wall was more than adequate to support this copper wreath. This was a super fast DIY and I just love the end result. It’s festive enough for the holidays but I can leave it up all winter long with these little star twinkle lights.  Above is what it looks like during the day and below is in the evening with the little lights on.

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I’m in such love with all of this that I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to take them down in the spring. I don’t have to ….do I?

Have you tried these?

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It’s a super busy time of year isn’t it? We’ve had karate tournaments, parent teacher interviews, holiday preparations and more. In between that stuff boxes have been arriving and when I opened this particular box everyone got excited. “Don’t eat all of those when I’m at work,” my husband said wagging his finger towards the coconut macaroon ones. Coconut is his absolute go to when it comes to treats.

My kids have been chomping at the bit to get at these too but I’ve kept putting them off because I needed to taste test them myself, all scientific like, you know…..for work. Ahem. I waited until they were at school then I carefully opened all three bags and one by one, pulled a bite from each. I wallowed in the silence and sipped some coffee in preparation for my little indulgence. It felt like an indulgence but really it wasn’t, LÄRABAR bites are are made from real food with 8-9 simple ingredients like dates, nuts and chocolate and there’s only 13g of sugar in FOUR bites.

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My favourite is the mint chocolate. These are so good that I’m going to put them out for the holidays along side the cookies and pretzels. My weird friend Kyla suggested that I build a tower with them. I laughed at first but actually, it would be kind of impressive! They’re awfully pretty don’t you think? It’s nice to have an option that is a bit less sugary for me to pick at as I trim the tree and deck the halls.

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Of course, the kids came home from school and immediately assessed that I had done my taste test and that these snacks were now on the open market. “Yes,” I said, “You can have some. But only a couple!” Two or three bites is a perfect after school snack because they are a sweet that won’t ruin their dinner. They think they’re getting a treat (which they are, they’re delicious) when in reality, I know that they’re eating something that’s good for them.

All three LÄRABAR Bites flavours are gluten free, vegan, dairy free and kosher so they’re the perfect offering no matter who you have visiting at your home this holiday season. If you haven’t tried these yet pick up a bag!

Felt Christmas Coaster DIY

free-machine-embroidery-pattern-felt-christmas-coasters

Oh you guys! I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN with machine embroidery! If you’ve been following on Instagram then you’ll know I’ve been working to learn what it’s all about. Brother Canada kindly sent me their Innovis 990D to play with. They also sent me PE Design 10 software so I can make my own embroidery designs. The process has been so much to learn but also incredible. The feeling of having an idea, then sketching it out on my iPad, then embroidering it out in real life and holding it in my hands is such a thrill. I’ll never tire of it!

felt-holiday-embroidery-coasters

Now that I have a few projects under my belt I feel confident enough to offer this little design file as a free download so you can use it in your embroidery sewing machine. You’ll be able to make these fun, festive felt Christmas ball coasters in no time. The download file has complete instructions and file formats for various machines for you to enjoy.

diy-machine-embroidered-felt-coasters

This design was pretty simple and I was able to put it together with the built in motif stitches in PE Design 10 in not too much time. I’ve designed it so that you can stitch this in multiple colours or all in one colour. I preferred mine all in white stitching on bright felt but you can do whatever you wish!

If you have an embroidery machine then I hope you’ll download this and have a go at making these fun coasters! If you don’t, I hope I’ve piqued your interest into the possibility of what can be achieved with one.  The Innovis 990D comes equipped with quite a few Disney images plus borders, motif stitches, flowers and lettering too. I’ll keep sharing what I make with this machine, it’s inspired a whole new sort of crafting for me and I’m super excited to share it with you guys.

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Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

If you’re looking for something new to add to your Christmas morning brunch or if you want something to take to a neighbour during the holiday season then this is it. These sweet buns taste like the holidays but are a nice alternative to the usual cinnamon and ginger flavours. They aren’t staying in my ‘holidays only’ recipe box however because I think these would be fab at any time of the year!

cranberry-orange-christmas-rolls

This recipe starts with a sweet brioche dough. Brioche includes eggs and butter for a rich, tender dough that is perfect for sweet rolls or dinner buns. It rises well and tastes heavenly on it’s own, never mind with orange and cranberry added in!

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After your dough has risen on the counter, roll it out to about a 10×14 size rectangle that’s about a half inch thick. The filling is then layered in before rolling it up and slicing.

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Roll up these gorgeous buns and place them in a 9×13 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray for their second rise. Most brioche recipes call for refrigerating the dough first before rolling and forming the buns. I didn’t do that and I had no problems with how these turned out. If you wanted to though, you could refrigerate the dough overnight before rolling, assembling and allowing the second rise in the morning. This would be a great tactic for getting these on the table for Christmas.

cranberry-orange-sweet-rolls

I glazed these with a simple icing sugar glaze but you can leave them bare – they’re sweet enough to do so. It’s up to you. These sweet cranberry and orange rolls are amazing when they’re still a little warm and perfect to put on your brunch table for Christmas morning. They’re a nice alternative to the standard cinnamon bun!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls
Recipe type: Sweets, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Dough
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Filling
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large navel orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Glaze
  • 1½ cups powdered icing sugar
  • ¼ cup cream or milk
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
Instructions
  1. Dough
  2. Fit your stand mixer with a dough hook
  3. Add your yeast to the milk, stir and set aside. If your milk is cold from the fridge, zap it for 30 seconds or so in your microwave before you add the yeast.
  4. Add the sugar, flour and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer and stir to incorporate. Add the eggs, butter and yeast mixture. Stir on low until incorporated and then turn the machine up to med/high to knead the dough. Allow it to run about 5 min until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and makes a ball on your hook. If the dough sticks to the sides and does not leave a clean bowl, sprinkle in some more flour about a tbsp at a time until it comes together. If the dough is dry and does not form a ball, add a tbsp of milk at a time until it comes together.
  5. Remove the dough to your counter top and knead by hand to form into a nice round ball. Cover in a bowl and allow to rise on your counter 1 -2 hours or until doubled in size. If you wanted to bake these in the morning put your dough into the fridge overnight. Otherwise continue by making the filling.
  6. Filling
  7. Add all filling ingredients to a small pot and cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar has melted. Allow to bubble for 3-5 min but stir well as you do so. Set aside to cool.
  8. Assembly
  9. After your dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface to about a 10x14" size that is about a half inch thick. Spoon your filling over the dough, reserving 3-4 table spoons of liquid in the pot.
  10. Roll into a log and slice 12 buns. Carefully transfer sliced buns to a prepared pan and pour the remaining filling liquid over the top. Allow a second rise until the buns are at the top of the pan - about 45 min to an hour. Bake at 400 for 13-15 min.
  11. Glaze
  12. Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the mostly cooled buns. Serve.

christmas-brunch-sweet-rolls

Free Colouring Page Download

Hi friends! I’ve been doodling quite a bit lately with this Amaziograph app on my iPad and it is such good entertainment! I thought that turning these into colouring pages would be fun so I did one and here it is. Free to you for visiting me now and then because I appreciate that so much. If you like it, let me know and I’ll continue to offer them for downloading.  Enjoy!

free-adult-coloring-pages

To print: Click on the image above. You will need Adobe Acrobat or a similar PDF viewer. When you print the file click on “fit” under page sizes and handling, in order to fit the image to an 8.5 x 11 standard sheet of printer paper.

Tack it up on a cork board.  Tuck it into a frame.  Stick it to the fridge.  It’s up to you. This file is free to you for personal use because I appreciate that you stop by now and then.

Basic Canister Makeover

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You might have canisters like this in your home and if you don’t then you know someone who does! These basic glass canisters with stainless steel lids are so fantastic for storage in the kitchen. They’re easy to clean and hold pretty much anything you can toss their way. Canisters like these ones from Wayfair.ca aren’t just for the kitchen though! I’m in the process of setting up a sewing and craft room and things are getting hairy in there. I was in HUGE need of a way to store my sewing bits and bobbins because it was a giant mess and things were becoming hard to find. These canisters are just what I needed but I decided to #DIYMyWay and spiffy them up a bit.

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As I’ve shared a few times on social, Brother Canada sent me a sewing and embroidery machine so I thought this was a great way to jump into a project and get my feet wet. I started on my iPad by hand lettering an idea of the text I wanted to use. My machine has fantastic pre-loaded fonts but I wanted these to be a bit more personal and I love the hand lettered items we are seeing lately. From my iPad I loaded the graphic into the embroidery software and I added the little thread spool and thimble graphics too. After that, I set up the simple muslin fabric in the embroidery hoop and let the machine do its thing!

notions-back

Here’s the back so you can see what I did. I used a tear away stabilizer and ironed the edges down for a straight edge. I added a little ruffle on the top and bottom and stitched it into place. This project is a great way to use up some fabric scraps and you can make them in any colour theme to suit your room. I sized the labels to measure approximately 3″ wide but you can customize them to any size you wish.

notions-ruffle

Once the labels were complete I simply attached them to the canisters with hot glue. As a beginning seamstress this was a fun project to learn about the functions of my machine AND make something useful to help me stay organized. I also hot glued a pin cushion tomato to the top of the ‘notions’ jar for easy access. Now it won’t roll away on me!

machine-embroidery-canister-labels

I’m so pleased with how these turned out! Grab a set of canisters and use them in a creative way – they’d make a wonderful gift for someone who needs a bit of organization in their life too. I can’t wait to further explore what this embroidery machine can do and now I’ll be organized as I figure out which foot to use when and how to do a button hole.

wayfair-basic-canister-storage

I chose to leave the ruffle off the button jar because I wanted to add buttons as decoration instead but really, there is no end to what you could do with these basic glass canisters. These would be great in any craft room to hold paint and craft supplies too. I might need to order another set!

 

*thank you to Brother Canada for providing equipment to facilitate this post