Wednesday, 17 2010
Have you seen The Cherry Blossom Girl blog yet? Of course you have! Dujour girls can sniff out anything pretty like a dog hunting for goodie bones. But, we still have to share. It is seriously amazing: endless inspiration in fashion and photography! The author of the blog, Alix, a recent fashion school graduate is also a fashion designer who does a little bit of editorial work on the side.
Every time I visit Alix’s site, I am blown away with what I find: beauty, glamour, and everything in between. These are a few of my favorites from The Cherry Blossom Girl blog…
Post contributed by Brittni of handmade and style blog papernstitch
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Tuesday, 16 2010
DIY via Paper Valise
- metal food cans (empty + washed)
- decorative paper (wall paper, graph paper, magazine tears, etc)
- glue stick
- Cut labels or other paper to the same height as your can.
- If the label does not go all the way around, no worries, cut another piece of coordinating paper to fill in the space ( my labels did not go all the way around so I cut a piece of vintage paper to fit the gap)
- Glue your label to the can.
- And voila! You’re done.
More tin can love:
- If you have the opportunity to purchase canned food products from an Italian grocer save those wonderful cans for desk storage. I am especially fond of the tomato cans
- Use the cans as they are, with the labels they came with. Elevate that bean can to a place of stature on your desk top- filled with pens + pencils
- Some cans do not have paper labels but have the logo directly printed on the metal-great for small flower bouquets, especially several of them grouped together
- the prettiest of pew markers–cover with decorative paper to suit your wedding colors or theme, fancy the exteriors with bits + bobs, a monogram perhaps
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Sunday, 7 2010
Don’t you just want to bake cookies, cookies, and cookies few weeks before the holiday? Although sometime pie baking could be really tempting. But baking cookies at this time of the year is pure pleasure. First, you want to do the bake tests, of course you don’t want to serve or give your friends and family a bad batch of cookies. Second, you can choose which cookie is the best…the best of all cookies. And third, you just want to spoil yourself with cookies and cookies and more cookies. These linzer cookies are a big holiday cookie. They are crumbly, nutty and buttery. And for more idea to make this holiday cookie even more holiday-ish, you can use different cookie cutters like stars, snowflakes or tree. And use different jam fillings like apricot, raspberry, cherry, marmalade, so you can have colorful linzer cookies.
LINZER COOKIES WITH BLUEBERRY FILLING
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole almond, toasted
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup blueberry jam, strained
1. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse almonds, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
2. Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Cut out squares with a round cutter. Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2-inch heart cutter; reroll scraps. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake rounds and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool.
5. Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares; top with cutout ones. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
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Saturday, 30 2010
post contributed by guest food editor Ayu
Halloween weekend, yay! I’m planning on having a picnic tomorrow, and I wished for a Halloween themed picnic but my friends want a colorful picnic. Being a good friend and picnic sucker I am, I’m going with the colorful picnic. Oh well. Okay, enough about the picnic, I’m so excited about the recipe I have to share so lets get down to this spiced apple tart! The original recipe was a Normandy apple tart from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours book, but my family and I cannot have an apple dessert without that hint of cinnamon or spice. Is it the same for you? So I added about 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the applesauce and another dash of ground cinnamon to the egg wash. Now if you are a non-spiced apple lover you can just follow the original recipe and use vanilla. The tart crust on the other hand, is a different story, its really good, its almost overshadows the whole apple tart itself. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Its perfectly crumby and shortbread-y, just perfect. Love it!
SPICED APPLE TART
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoon butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 pounds baking apples, such as Empire, Cortland, McIntosh, or Pippin
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (I omit this)
1-4 tablespoons sugar to taste
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 medium-sized, firm apples, such as Golden Delicious.
1 egg for egg wash (loosely whisk with a dash of ground cinnamon)
1/3 cup orange preserves
FOR THE APPLESAUCE:
1 Peel and core the apples, and cut into smallish chunks. Place into a 3 quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Add in the water, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, and stir to combine.
Cover the saucepan and cook the apples over the medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure none of the apples scorch.
If the water seems to be boiling away too quickly, you can add in a little more. Over about 20-30 minutes, the apples should start reducing and softening in the bubbling water. Don’t leave the pan unattended for too long or the water could boil over or the apples burn.
2. When the apples are soft enough to be mashed with a spoon, remove the pan from heat. Scrape the apples into a food processor and blend quickly to turn into applesauce – don’t process too long or you’ll liquefy the apples. The applesauce should still be thick.
Taste and add sugar to taste – traditionally this applesauce is not meant to be very sweet, but you can add at your discretion.
3. Pour the applesauce into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate until it is no longer warm before using. You can keep the applesauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
FOR THE TART SHELL:
1. Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. Do not let the dough form one giant ball or it will be be overworked – just keep checking after every pulse and when the dough pieces looks like they will stick when you press them together, stop.
2. Butter a 9-in tart tin with removable bottom. Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You probably will not need all the dough – save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard or it will become tough – just enough for it to form to the tin.
Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell. You do not need pie weights. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. Let cool on a rack until room temperature.
BAKING THE APPLE TART:
1. When you are ready to finish the tart, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Fill the tart shell with the applesauce almost to the top of the crust and smooth the top. Place the tart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.
2.Peel and core the two apples. Cut each apple in half and then again lengthwise. Cut each apple quarter into about 7 slices – they will be quite thin.
Arrange the apple slices over the top of the applesauce in a pleasing pattern. I found that the apple slices shrink a bit while baking so be sure the edges overlap the tart crust and each other enough.
3. Make a egg wash by beating the egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the egg wash over the apple slices.
4. Bake the tart in the oven for about 40 to 50 minutes. The applesauce will puff up a little bit and the apples slices will turn golden and slightly burnt at the edges. When the apple slices are soft enough to be pierced by the tip of knife, you can take out the tart.
5. Remove the tart and let cool on a wire rack. If you’d like to glaze the top of the tart, mix the orange preserves with a teaspoon of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Brush the glaze lightly over the top of the tart.
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Wednesday, 20 2010
courtesy of Nice Package
PAPER DOILY GARLAND
- 5 free minutes of time (or less)
- Delicate Paper Lace Doilies
- Baker’s Twine (or other thin twine)
- Double-sided tape (optional)
Take your paper doilies and fold them in half.
Cut the length of Baker’s Twine that you’d like and sandwich your twine inside your folded doilies. Space doilies out as desired. The doilies will stay put pretty well, but continue to the next step if you want your doilies to be a little more secure
Note: Use double sided tape to secure doilies (place a piece inside each doily and press to adhere).
Hang and enjoy!
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Sunday, 17 2010
post contributed by food editor Abi
This may seem like your average boring cupcake (or is there such a thing??)… but don’t be fooled by the typical title; these little guys will blow you away. They stole the show when I made them for a baby shower recently, and seconds were had by all. The chocolate cake is the easiest and most moist cake you’ll ever have (and it happens to be vegan too). And the frosting… THE. FROSTING. I’ll just say.. you may not even need a cupcake, just a spoon. It’s light and airy and down right delicious. I’m not a frosting kind of girl whatsoever… I usually scrape 3/4 of it off, but this is different!
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 cups cold water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.
- Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet.
- Pour the batter until the cups are two thirds full and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before frosting.
For the frosting:
enough for 24 cupcakes
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy. Refrigerate for about an hour. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Take the Dujour Baking Challenge! Which one of you daring readers will take on Abi’s claim that this frosting is the best? Be bold. Be daring. Go bake! Then come back to this post, our Twitter, or our Facebook and share pics or stories of your daring challenge for a chance to win a Dujour Baking Care Package!
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Sunday, 17 2010
post contributed by guest food blogger Ayu
It took me about one year to finally bake these cookies, and boy did I regret it. If only I’ve baked the cookies from the first time I bought Martha Stewart’s cookies book, I’d be famous by now. In my opinion, these chocolate crackles are the perfect cookie-slash-brownies cookies. They are very chocolaty, cakey, fudgy and chewy. They are really good with everything, tall glass of cold milk or a big cup of coffee or even a pretty cup of hot tea. But I personally like tall glass of cold milk. And now I’m thinking about making peanut butter chocolate crackles cookie sandwich, you know, a dollop of sweet salty peanut butter frosting sandwiched between two chocolate crackle cookies. Oh my, heaven! Or maybe, I’ll throw in one or two cups of peanut butter chips to the dough and call it, heaven on earth. But for now, I’ll enjoy these cookies, by it very perfect chocolaty self and call it a day.
CHOCOLATE CRACKLES COOKIES
adapted from Martha Stewart
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
1 1/3 cup light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Chop chocolate into small bits. On top of the stove, set a heatproof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate over medium heat. Set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add the melted chocolate. Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk. Mix on a low speed until just combined. Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
3. Divide each quarter into 16 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar, coating thoroughly. Place the cookies on a Silpat-lined baking sheet two inches apart. Bake until the cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Transfer from oven to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
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