Only 49 days until Christmas. 49. Days. Until. Christmas. Hello...can you hear the beginnings of a little panic in my voice?
Not to worry...we still have 49 whole days to get ready! And if you've been getting ready for several months, it's not so bad!
My Christmas prep has slowed way down, what with the new job and all, but now it's time to get cracking. So, in a flurry of Christmas spirit, I've decided to do my very, very best to post everyday on this blog between now and Christmas. But don't get mad at me if I miss a day or two here and there! And, hopefully, I'll be posting useful things, like recipes, craft tips and ideas and of course, lots of pictures!
So, for today, here's a quick little craft that I found in a Susan Branch book called Autumn from the Heart of the Home. It's a "Cookie Man"!
First, measure all the dry ingredients for Ginger Crisps (recipe below). Combine sugars in one reclosable plastic bag and the rest of the dry ingredients in another. Set aside. With pinking shears, cut out a gingerbread shaped cookie man from 2 layers of heavy brown paper, like a paper sack. On one ("the front"), sew on buttons and draw on mouth with a red crayon. On the "back", write out the cookie recipe. Include baking instructions. On a sewing machine with red thread, sew the two sides together, leaving the head open. Place flattened bags of dry ingredients inside Cookie Man. Sew head closed. Punch a hole in his hand and tie on a cookie cutter. Sign and date the back.
I am going to try to make one of these today, while I'm home with a sick little one (it's Benjie, and really, I think he just needed a "mental health" day, because the upset stomach of early this morning appears to be MUCH BETTER, as he is lying on the loveseat, wrapped in our favorite quilt, the one we all fight over, and enjoying one of his favorite intellectual, educational tv programs, "Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy?"). But since I don't sew I'm going to make it big enough to glue the edges, then use a red Sharpie marker to "stitch" around the edges. If I get it done-I do have a few other things I want to do, too-I'll take a photo and post it later.
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. molasses
2/3 c. light corn syrup
4 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until light. Add molasses and corn syrup and stir well. Add in the rest of ingredients and knead until smooth. Chill well. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to less than 1/8" thick. Cut with floured cutter. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes. Cool and store in airtight container, or freeze them (they thaw in just moments, per: Susan Branch).
Don't those sound yummy? I imagine it would be ok to use any cookie recipe that you choose...a gingerbread mix would be good, and so would a sugar cookie mix.
Whatever you do today, have a good time doing it. Put on a little Christmas music, or pop "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" into the dvd player and have a blast!
Tomorrow-a few little decorating tips to make things merry!!