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January 30, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls For Two | Valentine's Day Gift Idea

I've had several readers ask me about preparing my "Homemade Cinnamon Rolls" for Two in my Wooden Baking Baskets, so I thought I'd share a quick how-to.  This is one of my favorite gifts to give - everyone loves a delicious cinnamon roll... or two.   Two cinnamon rolls fit perfectly into the medium-sized baskets.

Products Used :

Wooden Baking Basket - Medium

Cello Bag - Large

Emma's Room Pink 2" Grosgrain Ribbon

Sweetest Day Tags - Set of 20

As always...  My secret weapon to "homemade" bread is Rhodes frozen bread dough.  (This is not paid, by the way.)  It is found in almost every grocery store in the freezer department.  Over the years I have transformed the simple dough into Cinnamon Rolls, Monkey Bread, Pecan Rolls, Pizza Bread, etc. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
8-10 rolls

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 loaf of frozen bread dough (Rhodes brand)
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Egg Wash :
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of butter melted
1 cup of powdered sugar
milk, to thin, if necessary

Let the dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  You can also use your defrost setting the in microwave if you're in a pinch.  Each log of dough will make 8-10 rolls.  I put a little oil in the bowl, then put in the dough.  I flip the dough around a couple of times to coat it with the oil, so as it rises it doesn't stick to the bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

I set my oven at 120 degrees, put in a pan of warm water, and let it rise in the oven.  

I decided to throw another log of dough in after I took the first photos.  This is what they looked like after rising for an hour and a half.

I separated the two, then rolled each out on a floured surface.  I had the wooden baking basket out to make sure I was rolling it out to the correct size.

Butter generously.

Top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  You could also add raisins and nuts.

 Roll it up.  Then, cut them into 1 1/2" slices.  You should get about 8-10 rolls from one loaf.

And place two in a the medium basket with a liner. 

I brushed them with a little oil, then let them rise for an hour and a half.  Before they go into the oven, brush with an egg wash.

**Sorry for the bad lighting - I did these at night : )

They bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes - or until golden. 

I drizzled it with a simple mixture of melted butter, powdered sugar and milk to make a quick glaze.  I let it harden, then packed them up.

January 29, 2014

Decorating Blue Bird Sugar Cookies


How to Decorate 
Baby Bird Sugar Cookies

These birds might be my absolute favorite sugar cookie.  I've used them for every occasion - baby showers, wedding showers, Easter, Christmas, birthday parties and  Valentine's Day.  I originally shared this baby bird with you in 2010 for my sister's baby shower (warning: old photos!!) and then in 2011 (and reposted in 2012) for Valentine's Day.  I just love how the robin's egg blue bird looks with pink hearts - a very fun and cheery combination.  

Here is my sweet Emma helping me roll out the cookies.  I decorated the birds during her nap time - I like doing projects like this during her naps, I find it to be very relaxing, and much more rewarding than folding laundry.

These bird cookies might look complex, but they are very easy to make by just following a couple of steps - it is just about filling in simple shapes.

Below, I've outlined the steps for creating the bird at home.  I love using clear Fine Sanding Sugar to accent the wing with a little sparkle - any color of icing shows through.  Here are some of the supplies found in my store that you might find helpful : 

Packaging Supplies : 

Packaging options are endless, but my favorite way to display these is in a Kraft Cookie box - it really makes them look like a very special gift.

Begin with sugar cookies that have cooled - I use my favorite Sugar Cookie & Royal Icing recipe, found here, that is also included with the cookie cutter.

Begin with white Royal Icing and make the breast of the bird.

Next, use the blue icing and pipe an outline of the entire body.

Fill in with icing, then spread and smooth with the tip of a bamboo skewer or toothpick.

Let harden for 30 minutes to an hour before the next step.

When the body icing has hardened, pipe a wing on the bird and immediately... 

Sprinkle a generous amount of Fine Sanding Sugar over the wet icing wing.

Gently shake off excess.

Sparkling Wing!

To finish, add details like an eye, beak and feet.

Here are some of the other versions I've made throughout the years...

Here are the Easter Cookies from last year - still love these and all of those fun eggs!
I made these for Jill's Baby Shower four years ago - it was a January shower, so did snow birds in creams and greys.

Here is the easy-to-pin strip!

January 24, 2014

New Valentine's Day Products

Emma helping me with the new header shot.  She also said, "Mommy, be careful, get down."
Finally!  I feel like I've just finished my final exams.  The last three weeks have been filled with ordering, designing, styling, baking, crafting and now (finally) posting Valentine's Day bliss.  I've added a lot of new products and restocked many of the favorites from the holidays.

You can see the entire Valentine's Day collection, here.

My goal is to be able to provide you with everything you need to create beautiful gifts, so I've added lots of new ribbons, twine and tags.  Below I've featured some of my new favorite things for Valentine's Day, but I'll be posting blogs with step-by-step instructions for creating in the next week. 

Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm for my store - it is such a fun venture.  I've loved getting to know all of you through your orders and kind notes.  I hope you find something that helps you create something beautiful, make a friend smile, have a special moment with your family or make your day brighter.  Yay for a holiday all about LOVE : )


Baby Bird Copper Cookie Cutters, $14

These Baby Birds have been one of my favorites for the last 8 years when I first found it at a local boutique.  I've used it for baby showers, wedding showers, Valentine's Day and Easter.  They are irresistibly charming - and so versatile.  I've featured them on the site on several occasions and receive countless requests for them.

These cookie cutters are extra special, as they are made from copper - the most traditional metal for cutters.  They are a truly heirloom quality cutter that can be passed down for generations.  I love collecting copper cutters - and I love thinking that Emma will be using them with her kids and grandkids as they make holiday memories as I did with my Mom and Sister.

The cutters make fabulous gifts, too.  I've packaged each cutter with a recipe card of my favorite Sugar Cookies and wrapped them in a cello bag with a bow and a tag - ready for gifting.

Vanilla Bean Paste, $12

This is a thick, gel syrup that is packed full of real vanilla bean seeds - you can use it in the place of Vanilla Extract in any recipe.  Add the power of real vanilla beans and those luscious black specs of vanilla beans to coffee, whipped cream, sugar cookies, custard sauce... 

Kraft Coffee Bags

These bags are great for just about anything - especially for homemade gifts.  The inside is lined with a plastic film to keep the bag from getting stained.  You can fill it with truffled popcorn, homemade chocolates or, my favorite, vanilla sugar.  The tabs fold over the top of the bag to hold it secure.

Vanilla Sugar Labels

I've printed these on my favorite sticker labels.  They are a creamy white color printed with a medium pink.  They look great paired with my Kraft "Coffee" Bags filled with Vanilla Sugar... a very easy and beautiful no-bake gift.

Valentine's Day Tags & Cards

I'm crazy about these.  My favorite part?  The backs - printed with stripes.  I had our wedding invitations printed this same way - it was such a fun way to add some whimsy to our otherwise classic invitations.

Be Mine Medium Cards : Can be folded over treat bags, or used as a folded card.

Sweetest Day Tags :  Pre-punched ready to be strung on a ribbon.

Sugars & Sprinkles

I love using simple white and clear sprinkles on my baked goods.  Many of my readers have commented how much they like the sprinkles that I use on my cookies and cupcakes, but they haven't been able to find them.  I've packaged these in glass jars to make your baking pantry look great, too.

Three Options Available,
7 ounces each - $10

Fine Sanding Sugar
Coarse Sanding Crystals
White Nonpareils

Wooden Baking Baskets

I've restocked these baskets - a best seller for the holidays!  I have some new recipe ideas for them coming soon!
Tablet & Le Pens

I have 6 new colors added - including some great colors for Valentine's Day!


I have a lot of new fabulous colors added to my Grosgrain and Double Faced Satin collection.   Now that so many of you have a huge roll of kraft paper from my holiday collection, you need lots of ribbon to go along with it!

Hope you find something you love!

Here is an easy-to-pin strip!

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