Monday, 17 December 2012

Stampin' Up! Cookie Stamps - A foolproof tutorial!

The fabulous Cookie Stamps in the Annual Catalogue and the Holiday Mini are lots of fun to use, and with a few little tips and tricks, anyone can create a perfect batch, first time!

Firstly - the recipe:
It's important to have a recipe that won't puff up too much during baking, as this spoils the imprint.
The cookie set comes with two recipes, and with a little tweaking I'm sure they are great.  However, who needs to be mucking around with conversion from sticks of butter to grams at this frazzled time of year?
Luckily, the recipe I tried first was a real winner, and here it is (with a few modifications from the recipe I found at Lovely Living)

Sugar Cookie Recipe - Australian Metric Measurements

250g of soft butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups  plain flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda

 Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.

Add vanilla extract

Add eggs one at a time, mix well after each egg is added.

Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl

Add sifted flour mix to the butter/sugar mix about half a cup at a time 

Continue mixing until the mixture forms a dough

Turn out of bowl and knead until smooth.

 Bag the ball of dough and refrigerate  - the fresh soft dough is too sticky and soft to work with

(amount of time varies with how rushed you are...  30 min at least, you can speed the process up a bit by flattening the ball and popping in the freezer a few minutes... )  Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 200degC, a little less for a Fan Forced oven.

 Pinch off balls of dough about the size of a 50c piece, place on tray covered with baking paper

Prepare a saucer of about half icing mixture and half cornflour

With the handle attached, grind the chosen stamp into the saucer, then flick the rim of the stamp to remove excess.  A bit messy, but saves lots of frustration!

Holding the stamp directly above the ball, centred as well as you can, smoosh it down firmly until the edges of the dough appear at the sides of the stamp

Use a finger to help separate the stamp and flattened cookie if needed.

Re-dust, repeat! 

The cookies do spread a little during baking, so be sure to allow some room.

Bake at 200degC for about 5 minutes, or slightly longer - you are aiming for golden on the edges without too much browning.

Cool on tray a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool

Package up in gorgeous little bags like those in the Holiday Mini, and watch tummies rumble as you hand out these delicious gifts.

In a real hurry?? (like your daughter tells you she needs a plate to take for party day at 9pm the night before...)

Here's the quickest way to whip up a batch:  ALDI Christmas Gingerbread Cookie Mix (a whopping $1.99 if I recall correctly)

I got some of this to try for quick gingerbread men, but thought it was worth a try given the short time frame.  I decided to be scientific in my approach and just leave the recipe completely unchanged - all that needed to be added was an egg and a tablespoon of water, mix, then knead into a dough, ball up, and repeat as above with the cornflour/icing mixture.  Perfecto!  Good to know!

I hope that helps solve some of the kitchen dramas I've heard about, these stamps are so much fun they are worth a second try.  Let me know if you've got any other suggestions we can add to this tutorial.  Happy baking!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Clearance Rack Blitz - be fast for this!

Never before have we had a "Clearance Rack Sale" in Australia!
This sale is where products that have been retired are available again at heavily reduced prices, strictly while stocks last.

I will be placing an order today, to maximise the chances of getting the products I want, so have a quick look through and get back to me ASAP with your must-haves!  (Consider it a Christmas present for yourself maybe??!)

Here's the link to the PDF

I'm off to toss a few items into my cart, and to send out a newsletter to my lovely ladies!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Stampin' Crop Day - the final one for 2012

Just a quick post to let you know the last Stampin' Crop Day will be held THIS SATURDAY 15th December
Time:  10am-5pm
Where:  My place @ Cherrybrook
Cost: $15 for the day including bottomless tea/coffee, grazing lunch, use of my stamps, tools and casual instruction.
What to bring:  A plate of Christmas goodies if you feel so inclined (optional!), your basic stampin tools such as trimmer, any projects you've got in progress

RSVP:  Essential!  Please call or text me at 0403 175 790 so I can prepare enough spaces and treats!

The rush of pics is the set of 5 cards we made in the last Card Class, simple and fast!  Don't you wish you came now??  LOL :D 
Also, the final pic is to remind me to tell you about my find at Aldi.  The gingerbread man mix they have there (I think it's a whopping $1.99) makes PERFECT Stampin Cookies, as per pack instructions.  I think there was one egg and a tablespoon of water, then mix into a dough.  The patterns came out sharply, and stayed after baking,  not to mention they tasted pretty yummo too!  Super fast and easy - and we can all do with some of that this time of year...