Sunday, July 29, 2012

Homebirth Picnic Cookies

cut out cookies house, heart, tea potThere was to be a picnic for families who have had homebirths today. It was pot luck. I personally am not a big fan of pot luck...maybe because I don't usually get lucky at such events. ;) I have a couple things I like to bring, either fruit salad or pasta salad. I wasn't too excited about purchasing needed items or the cutting involved with either option.

I had been informed we had bananas that needed to either go in muffins or were headed to the trash,  Muffins it was. I thought the muffins would be an acceptable picnic offering, except that my family loves these muffins and would prefer to eat them all instead of saving them for the picnic.

Then I got an idea. As often happens with these things, I get an idea and want to run with it, whether I have the necessary items or not. I thought I could make gingerbread cut out cookies and maybe somehow cut them in house shapes with hearts in the center. I did a quick search and found that what I imagined exists in a cutter made by Ann Clark. I remembered that Ann Clark cookie cutters are sold at my local grocery store and I needed molasses for my cookies anyway.

I was excited to find the cookie cutter display, but they did not have the cutter I wanted. I considered just getting something else and also using what I had at home. Then I recalled the cookie cutter making kit I had from last year and decided I could maybe convert a cutter into a house. I knew I had a number of heart cutters already. I purchased a crown hoping to convert it into a house and a tea pot because it was cute.

Once home, along with my husband's help, we converted the crown into a house. The cutters are a heavier duty metal than the metal from the kit so it was a bit harder to reshape the cookie cutter, but it worked well enough.  The house ended up being pretty big and would probably be even better a touch smaller.

I made the cookie dough and let it sit overnight.

In the morning along with my girls' help, we made houses with hearts, tea pots with hearts (Sydney's idea), little girls and boys, and lots of hearts.

The gingerbread recipe is so easy and always comes out great. It's a soft cookie due to the shortening I'm sure. It comes from the Motherhood and Apple Pie cookbook.

The cookies were well received. I'll have to keep them in mind for another picnic.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Indoor S'mores

A week or so ago I saw the Moody Fashionista's post about S'more pops. I hadn't heard of making S'mores this way.  Had I had any graham crackers, I would have been trying something similar that day.  Then I did a little search and found lots of creative people are mixing graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows together in different ways.  Another recipe that looked worth trying was one for Magic S'mores Bars.  But ultimately the one I loosely followed was a recipe for Chocolate Covered S'more Pops 

I still needed graham crackers and while I was at the store, I figured I'd simplify things further by using Fluff.

I started with the graham crackers, spread Fluff on one side, sandwiched them and finally dipped them in melted chocolate chips.

While I was working, some graham crackers broke not on the lines.  I took a little chocolate one one side and Fluff on the other and I was eating a S'more!

The extra chocolatey outside is good, but the back to basic S'mores made with melted chocolate and Fluff was just right.  I bet it could be further simplified with Nutella on one side and Fluff on the other. :)

While I am a camper and do enjoy a properly toasted marshmallow squished between Hershey's chocolate and graham cracker, I can still appreciate an indoor S'more alternative.