Sifted Couture

Baking and sweet stuff

Archive for the category “Crafts”

Make Your Own Cupcake Toppers

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Cupcake Toppers are a great idea for Weddings, Birthdays, Graduation, Baby Showers, and just about any Holiday. They are also so easy to make. If you have an event coming up, and when isn’t there one, you can dress up your cupcakes with toppers made by you. If you care crafty then you probably already have most of these items at home.

toppers

What you need:
2″ Paper Punch
1 1/2″ Paper Punch
(these can vary depending on which size you prefer)
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Stick
Scrapbook paper in at least 2 colors (card stock is best, but not necessary)
Stickers/Cut Outs
Lollipop Sticks
Optional: Ribbon for added decor

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Use your smaller paper punch and cut out a circle in the scrapbook paper. Place a sticker on this circle. Use your larger paper punch and cut out another circle on a different color of scrapbook paper. Use your glue stick on the back of the smaller paper and stick it in the center of the larger circle.

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Next, use your hot glue gun and put just a little on the upper portion of the lollipop stick. Place your circles on the lollipop stick at about to the center of the paper. You can tie a little ribbon on the the lollipop stick for added decoration. Although they look just as cute without. If you put a small foam adhesive on the back of the sticker it will make the sticker look 3D. Pops right out at you and looks professional. Finally, place it in the center of your cupcake. Everyone will be wowed by the look of your cupcake toppers!

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Imagine how pretty these are going to turn out!

Sorry for being slow on posting. I have really been having a hard time with the white balance on my camera lately. Everything is coming up yellow. I have adjusted the white balance, tried using a bunch of lights, and tried changing all of the settings. It has been cloudy outside and I need some pure daylight! I have another post that I am working on right now and I cannot wait to share it with you!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Pretzels in a Cup

Along with the Cookies in a Jar gift, I am also giving my friends Chocolate Covered Pretzels! I’ve never made these before, so I searched the internet. Normally when I make things I will search high and low to compare recipes and tips from readers. I thought melting chocolate and dipping pretzels would be easy enough that I didn’t need to. I was a little bit wrong.

I think this is the link where I started. Chocolate Pretzels by Robin Miller.

Chocolate Coated Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels (read my tips)

1 bag Log Pretzels
1 bag each of Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet and white)
Double boiler/Microwave/or 2 saucepans
Chopped Nuts
Sprinkles or whatever garnish you want. Think cookies! coconut! candies!

Melt the chocolate over low heat in a double boiler or 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave.
Dip the pretzels in to the chocolate.
Add garnish.
Place dipped pretzels on wax paper and allow to harden.

Wrap in clear gift bags and tie with a ribbon for gift giving. These are also great in glasses as decor/treats at a party.

Tips! What I learned (some of it the hard way): White chocolate burns and is the hardest to melt correctly. As you can see, I have no white chocolate on my pretzels. I don’t have a double boiler, but 2 saucepans work just fine for this. So does the microwave. Put your wax paper on cookie sheets, so that you can move the drying pretzels around easily. Place them outside to chill (if it is chilly outside, of course). If you don’t have a dipping jar large enough, or just don’t want to transfer the chocolate to one, use a spoon and pour it down the pretzels sides. If you noticed, the recipe from Food Network says over medium heat, both Ghirardelli and Hershey’s bags said to use the lowest heat or simmer.

I wasn’t sure of the consistency of the melted chocolate, and I know it can burn or solidify easily. My pretzels aren’t as smooth as some you may see on the net. You can’t tell with the ones covered in crushed peanuts and sprinkles. However, they all taste good and your friends don’t care! I’m meeting a couple of mine in an hour to give them their gifts! We’re going out for Mexican.

Pretzels Wrapped

Cookies in a Jar

cookies in a jar

I wanted to give my friends something hand made this Christmas. I really like thoughtful gifts, though I have been known to be gift card giver. Those are nice, too, because the recipient can get what they really want. Anyways, friends started mentioning these gifts in a jar. Actually, Pina Colada Cake in a Jar. Which sounds really delicious. But, for a Christmas gift (even though my friends would love a Pina Colada) I am giving them chocolate cookies in a jar. I searched for several recipes and finally found one that had 99% good reviews. And yes, I tested them and they are yummy! I’m not a nut person so I just changed the chocolate chips/chopped pecans amounts. Also, other recipes that I checked out had 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda/powder. So, I adjusted this recipe to 3/4 teaspoon. One of the complaints (and there was only one about this) was too much baking soda/powder. Someone else mentioned adding one more egg. I didn’t try that.

I found the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips on sale! And when I was opening my Arm & Hammer Baking Soda box I noticed something on the back. For buying 2 – 1 lb. boxes of these I get a one year free Better Homes & Gardens Magazine subscription! These boxes were $0.67 each and I get a year’s free subscription to the magazine. That is a winner!

I used a funnel to pour the contents in one by one. After packing down each item in the jar I would wipe the side with a paper towel. The pour in the next color. I used wrapping paper and a ribbon to pretty up the jar. And then I printed the ingredients on the back of scrapbooking paper and tied it on. On the card I noted all of the ingredients in case they wanted to make this recipe again. I read that you should use this within 3 weeks or the brown sugar gets super hard. Make sure to tell your recipients that! They will appreciate it.

Original Recipe

Remember I changed a few things, and you can too! I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cups white chocolate chips. Then I topped it off with M&Ms candies. I cut down the baking soda/power to 3/4 teaspoon each.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fill in rest with M&Ms Candies

Directions

Mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a funnel, pour into a 1 quart wide mouth canning jar. Pack each layer down firmly. Next layer dark brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa, white chocolate chips. semi-sweet chocolate chips, and candies.
Make a recipe card with the following instructions: Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 2. Empty cookie mix into large bowl. Thoroughly blend mixture with hands. Mix in 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 egg, slightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Shape into walnut size balls, and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. 3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then move to wire racks.

cookies in a jar complete

Fun Finds

The other day I ventured over to A.C. Moore for their big sale. I found some really cute stickers with cupcakes on them, of course. And some for the holidays. I kept myself from going crazy, but I really wanted to! There was also a paper pack called The Sweet Stack. The pages are full of cakes, cupcakes, and other sheets that all have to do with sugar! I love it! And it was on sale too. The final thing that I purchased was a 2″ scallop punch. Can you guess what I will be doing with all of this?!

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