Only a week and a half left! So much to do - so little time! My hubby and I made it safely to Chicago to see Straight No Chaser. They were better than expected! We also had our first Tappas experience and will definitely do it again! You get the most elegant portions and just enough for a nibble to satisfy your taste buds - then you're off to another dish with more yummy goodies. My favorite - bacon wrapped dates in a red pepper sauce. I could have eaten them all night long!
Here are the packages of fuzzy grungy candy canes I made for a local craft show in November. They are super easy to make (just a few twists) and soooo useful to add here and there to all of your holiday projects! Perfect for a vintage twist.
Tools and Materials
Pipe cleaners or chenille sticks (contrasting colors)
Your favorite grunging medium (i.e. shoe polish; paint glaze; distress ink; etc.) Or you can soak your pipe cleaners in a tea solution and let dry overnight.
Optional - cinnamon; glitter; artificial snow
1. Twist together two 6-inch lengths of pipe cleaner or chenille stick in contrasting colors (such as red and white or green and white). Twist uniformly to make neatly spaced stripes. Bend the top into a hook.
2. Put on gloves and use your grunging stain of choice to give your candy canes a more vintage/grubby look. Try applying to your fingers or paper towel then rubbing into fibers.
3. Add glitter, snow, etc. if so desired
4. Place on packages, cards, layouts, Christmas trees - whatever your little heart desires!
I have been obsessed with Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses! I try to limit myself - but they are just too scrumptious to pass just a few past my lips! There is just something about cool peppermint mixed with chocolate- reminds me of Thin Mint season! During my obsession, I stumbled across this recipe for Minty Mocha Cupcakes - the name alone makes my mouth water! And since this is the season for baking - I added it to my list! Hope you enjoy!
for the cupcakes (makes 24 regular sized cupcakes):
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tsp. espresso powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
for the frosting:
- 6 large egg whites
- 1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
to make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans (24 cupcakes) with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir together. Combine the milk, coffee and peppermint extract in a liquid measuring cup.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, and mixing just until incorporated.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
to make the frosting
1. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
3. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more.
4. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix just until incorporated.
Source: Annie's Eats