“Nutella Dream Pocket Cookies”

Hi guys!

Today I’m live-baking these amazing looking things called “Nutella Dream Pocket Cookies,” a term which seems to be coined by this blogger: http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2013/09/19/nutella-dream-pocket-cookies/

I came across Carla’s blog post on Pinterest of course, because as you guys know I find all of my projects on Pinterest. She was making these cookies as a tribute to her friend who passed away from Leukemia. I don’t have quite as noble a cause, but then again you don’t really need any sort of cause to make cookies, especially when Nutella is involved. Nutella is enough of a reason 🙂

Well, I think that I have this brilliant idea for how to make this recipe even easier than it already is. You see, Carla has her readers making the dough themselves, but I happen to have a box of pre-made puff pastry sheets in the freezer. I’ll make both kinds to see which one is better, because one is significantly easier and one is well, the right way.  

OH well considering the puff pastry needs 40 minutes to thaw, I guess I’ll start with the other kind. I guess I wasn’t supposed to try to unfold it yet…

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I think it should still be okay. The cookies shouldn’t be wider than that strip anyway. I set my oven timer for 40 minutes and set the puff pastry to the side so I could focus on the correct recipe.

For the right version, you need all this stuff: 

  • 6 tablespoons butter- you definitely need to soften it because the original recipe doesn’t say to, but then it tells you to mix it with both kinds of sugar and there’s no way that’ll work unless you soften it. I like, liquefied it, and I was worried it was too much, but it worked out fine. 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar- try to break it up as much as possible
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella- I feel like that’s hardly anything. I might be a little bit more generous with my Nutella. 

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Okay, so I softened the butter and I mixed it in with the two sugars until (essentially) smooth. The next step is to add in the egg yolk and the vanilla. Remember when I separated an egg for the first time? I love when new skills come in handy! 

Now I’m running into a slight issue because my brown sugar was really hard and chunky when I put it in the mixture, so there are still little chunks in it even though the rest of the mixture is light and fluffy like the recipe says it should be. I think I’m going to ignore it and move on…

Now I’m gradually adding in the flour. It’s getting more dough-like, exactly as it should, and I just tasted it. It’s DELICIOUS. I don’t even think it needs Nutella, I would eat it just like this. I gathered all the dough into a ball and flattened it into a disk, and now it’s in the fridge for an hour to chill. That’s actually a little annoying because I didn’t realize I was going to have to do that, but it gives me some time to focus on the puff pastry version of the recipe, which is ready to get started now that it’s defrosted. 

I tried to put the broken piece back together, but I’m not sure that it worked very well. Either way, like I said, I’m not sure that it really matters.

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I’m using a wine glass to get my circle shape, because I’m very resourceful, but I suggest using the lid of a mason jar. It’s equally resourceful but I just have more wine glasses available than mason jars. Somewhat odd but also somewhat fitting. If you have a circle shaped cookie cutter then that’s obviously ideal, but less resourceful. Now, make two circles, like this:

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Then, spread some Nutella on one of them, and sandwich them together so they look like an Uncrustable. Use a fork to make the pretty edges like the picture. 

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EXCUSE ME?! You don’t know what an Uncrustable is?? What kind of sad childhood did you have? I had two of these every single day for lunch in middle school. I would rip off the “crust” and eat it, and then eat the sandwich part. Love those things. OMG I want one right now. 

Sorry, I’m back from memory lane. My oven is at 350, and my cookies are formed. I’m putting them in the oven for 12 minutes to start; it says 12-15. 

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Well. It’s been 12 minutes, and they’re definitely done -____-

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That little half one that I made popped right open and another one just fell apart. I guess they call it “puff” pastry for a reason, duh. Okay, so that wasn’t my most brilliant idea. But actually, if you squish them down a little, they don’t really look that bad. Definitely not ideal, possibly a little sick looking, but not inedible. 

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And they taste pretty delicious, too. It tastes like a chocolate croissant; like a fresh version of the one that they have at Starbucks. I consider this a modest success. 

Now, since the dough I made by hand has been chilling for about an hour, I’m gonna go back to the original recipe. I spread some flour all over a rolling pin, and rolled out the dough so it was preeeetty thin. I used the wine glass technique again to cut out circles, and then did the same thing that I did with the puff pastry version. Spread Nutella on half of the circles and then put the rest of the circles on top, then smooshed the edges down with a fork so they look like Uncrustables.

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Now the second batch is in the oven!

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And they’re done! I may have overcooked them a little bit, because they look a little dark around the edges, but they look pretty good to me!

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I actually like the taste of the first ones better, but I like the look of these better. These are great too, don’t get me wrong, but the taste of the cookie seriously overpowered the taste of the Nutella. They taste like sugar cookies with a hint of chocolate. For my next batch, I think I’ll be even more generous with the filling for my fellow Nutella-lovers 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think of it. I always love getting messages and comments 🙂

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Day 21: Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

This recipe is too sweet for most people I know, but those words are not in my vocabulary, so naturally it’s one of my favorites 🙂 If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth at least one try, and this copycat recipe is a great way to do that.

Today my Christmas present from Lindsay, my best friend at school (you guys remember Lindsay; she knows how to make peanut butter cookies) came in the mail. It presented the perfect opportunity for me to make a nice hot drink for a cold winter day 🙂 

Actually, it’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit right now, in the middle of December, but who’s really paying attention. 

Look how cute it is!

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It was so funny because when I was online buying her present, I saw this mug and I put it IN my shopping cart but I decided that I didn’t have enough money for it at the moment, so I just bought her gift. I was upset though, because not only does this mug make a super cute tired face, IT TURNS INTO A HAPPY FACE WHEN YOU PUT A HOT DRINK IN IT :O Sure enough, this little guy showed up on my doorstep a few days later 🙂 It was a Christmas miracle 😛 And in her card she wrote something like “this was so cute and just a little bit corny so I knew you’d love it.” She knows me too well.

Anyway, since I now have an adorable coffee mug, I knew I had to make this recipe. All you need is apple juice, water, cinnamon, brown sugar, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 

You take the 1/2 cup of water, teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and simmer them in a pot for five minutes to make a cinnamon-y syrup thing. Mine looked like this:

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Then, you heat up your apple juice. I could have heated it up on the stove like I was told, but I didn’t want to get another one dirty so I did this instead:

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Whatever works, right? So once your apple juice is heated up, you add the syrup to it. The ratio they gave me in the recipe was 3 tablespoons of syrup for 12 ounces of juice. 12 ounces didn’t quite fit in the mug, so unfortunately I had to wake up my math brain, but it ended up working out. Once that’s all mixed together, you add your whipped cream and caramel syrup on top, and that’s it!

I’ve had three pins in a row work out for me. I think this is a new record. Here’s the final product, in my new favorite mug ♥

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See you soon!

Love, this happy girl 

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Day 20: Christmas Tree Pop-Out Card

For Day 20, I took on another pop-out card, but with a different style from yesterday’s. Remember those paper fans you used to make in the summer when you were a kid? You’d fold a piece of paper back and forth a bunch of times until you had one of these?

Well, this card is based on that exact same thing. Here’s the pin I based mine off of:

DIY: 3-D christmas tree card - Click image to find more DIY & Crafts Pinterest pins

See what I mean about the fans? This looked super easy until I realized that I had no way of really being able  to measure how big each fan should be. That was my biggest struggle with this project. But, lets start from the beginning, shall we? I promised you that I would tell you about my page-coloring breakthrough today. 

All you need for this project is card stock, regular printer paper, scissors, and some method of coloring the pieces. Instead of using colored pencils this time, I went to Microsoft Word on my computer and created a text box that filled the entire page. Then, there’s a button that says “shape fill,” and you click on it and choose the color that you want. I really liked the pale yellow that the pinner used in the example pin above, so I used a similar one. Then, all you have to do is print the page! It uses a lot of ink, but it saves us all from getting carpal tunnel so it may be worth it in the end. 

Now comes the fan part. Here’s what I ended up doing: I used the same coloring method to get a green piece of paper, and now I’ll show you with pictures. I’m not live crafting today, so I’ll be showing you with another piece of plain white printer paper. 

Fold it into 8 pieces, like this, by folding it in half, half, half, etc. Image

You’ll cut off one of these strips for your first fan, and then make it. That’ll give you your littlest top piece. Then cut off one and a half strips and do the same thing. Then two, then two and a half, then three, etc until you have five fans. That’s really all there is to it! Then you just glue them to your piece of card stock, and you can add a trunk and a star if you’re so inclined. Here’s a picture of my finished product, and I love it! It’s one of my favorite crafts that I’ve done because it almost looks like I could have bought it somewhere. Now all I need to do is put something on the front of it!

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Love, 

Nicole♥

Day 19: Christmas Present Pop-Out Card

Hi, pinaholics!

For day 19 I’m going to show you one of my favorite Christmas cards. It’s based on this one here, but I had to change it a little bit because of my available supplies, or lack thereof.

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Basically, for this one you just need two pieces of card stock, scissors and whatever else you want to decorate with. I used colored pencils and my very favorite: glitter! 🙂 Here’s what you have to do:

First, you take one of your pieces of paper and cut about a half inch off of each side. This will be your inside piece that stays white. Then take your other piece, and color it however you choose. I liked the red, so I made mine red too, but I didn’t have red paper so  I colored mine with colored pencil the same way I did when I made the Reindeer in the Dark Card on Day 8. For Day 20, I get a little smarter, and you may have already come up with this idea if we’re in the same predicament, but if I have to be stupid until the next post, so do you.

Once your bigger piece of paper is colored to your liking, we start cutting. Or rather, measuring and drawing and then cutting. It gets a little bit tricky to explain here, so pay close attention. Take your small paper and fold it in half vertically (hot dog style, if you will). Then, draw this on the outside of it, on the creased side, and make that cut on the top if you want a little bow at the top of your presents.

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I made each present a half inch wider and longer than the last present. You don’t have to do it that way, but it worked out pretty perfectly for me. Next, you start cutting. Cut along the whole top line that you drew. And then see how the next line down is longer because it’s the top of the second present? Only cut up to where the END of the FIRST present would be. This picture might help you get it:

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Now, open up the card. See where the crease is? Re-fold the crease in the opposite direction, and crease the ends of the present so it has crisp edges. It’ll look like this:

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Look at your first present! How cute, right? Now, fold it back up, and we’ll do the second and third ones. You see how when you fold it back up, all that’s left of that top line of the second present is the part that we didn’t cut before? Now is the time to finish that line. Then, cut the next line down all the way to the end, just like the first line you cut. Open the card up again, do the same folding you did for the first one, and now you’ll have two presents! Repeat those steps again, and you’ll have three, just like this!

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The last major step is to glue the small piece of paper to the larger, colored piece of paper. Then, it’s up to you to decorate it however you want to! this is what I did with mine, and I love it!

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So that’s Day 19! Only six more days of the 25 Days of Christmas Craftactular. I just made that up right now. My God, I’m clever. Just come to me when it’s time to name your children.

Well, if that doesn’t scare you away, I guess nothing will, so I’ll see you on Day 20.

Love,

Nicole ♥

Day Two: Snowflake Peppermint Bark

Good morning pinaholics 🙂

Day two of the Christmas Spectacular is dedicated to a cute, easy recipe for peppermint bark. Well, that’s what it was supposed to be. You can decide for yourself whether or not I failed miserably. Here’s what you need if you want to do it the right way:

White chocolate chips- the lady in the pin used Ghirardelli, but Nestle was like 30 cents cheaper so guess which one I used?

Milk chocolate chips- see above

Waxed paper- I think parchment paper might work as well but if it doesn’t, don’t blame me.

About 12 crushed candy canes- I used mini ones and guesstimated, it worked out fine and you can always crush more if you need to.

A cookie sheet

A snowflake cookie cutter- or whatever shape you want your bark to be

Peppermint extract- this is debatable seeing as how I did it without it, but the recipe calls for it so you might as well use a couple drops if you have it

Okay, let me start by saying that the snowflake shape did NOT end up working out for me, and I would’ve had to take on an entirely different method if I wanted to incorporate that. So, even though the title says “Snowflake Peppermint Bark,” I’m going to tell you how I ended up making plain peppermint bark, and then I’ll tell you what I would’ve had to do to get the cute snowflake. Or at least, what I think I would’ve had to do. Take a look at my horrendous snowflake attempts:

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Ugh. Anyway, first, line your cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Then, melt your milk chocolate chips in the microwave for however long it takes to get them completely smooth. Spread them across your cookie sheet, and refrigerate that for about 20 minutes. When that’s done, take it out and repeat the process with your white chocolate chips. If you’re using the peppermint extract, add it to the melted white chocolate before you put it on. Also, heads up on this part: unless you use significantly more white chocolate than milk, it’s not going to look perfect. The hot white chocolate melts the cooled milk chocolate and the colors will mix a little bit. It’s okay. I was worried at first when I looked at mine:

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But they all sort of look like that on Pinterest so it’s no big deal. Before you refrigerate it for the second time, add your crushed candy canes to the top. Then put it in the fridge for another 20 minutes, and voila! You have peppermint bark. Now, here’s where my fatal flaw was. I thought it was going to be a really easy thing to just use the cookie cutter and stamp out snowflakes. Well, it’s not easy. The bark will crack, and you’ll have a million tiny pieces of chocolate that look nothing like a snowflake 😦 I ended up just breaking it all into pieces that look like everyone else’s peppermint bark and calling it a day. It tastes great. In fact, I think it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve made, but it just isn’t cute 😦

What I probably would’ve had to do to get the snowflake shape is use the cookie cutter to shape the melted chocolate before I refrigerated it. That means I either would’ve had to have several cookie cutters or several hours to spare, neither of which were available to me. If they’re available to you, that’s awesome! Send me pics of your not-failed attempts at peppermint bark, and I’ll be sure to feel bad about myself. Send me packages with your actual peppermint bark and I’ll feel a little bit better. Here’s a picture of the final product! I put it in this cute little Christmas box to bring back to school for my friends to try 🙂

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Happy holidays, loves!

Nicole ♥

Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes!

Guys. I’m dropping out of college and opening a bakery. Seriously.

Not seriously, but I feel like I could after this project.

This week, I was determined to make these Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes that I found on a pin that took me to this website: http://makebakecelebrate.com/thanksgiving-dinner-cupcakes/ . I made all of them except the sweet potatoes, because I didn’t have any marshmallows and no one would have understood that one if I just did it without them. Now that you’ve seen that picture, take a look at my slightly modified but still adorable version:

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Even though I’m obviously a master fondant sculptor, I guess I’ll go through them to make sure you get the full effect of the cuteness. Starting top left and going clockwise: mashed potatoes with gravy and a pat of butter, a turkey leg, stuffing, green beans and corn with butter!

So this endeavor started like, a week ago when I started trying to figure out how I was going to get a hold of all the ingredients I needed. This is definitely the biggest project I’ve taken on, and I hope it’s not bigger than you guys were expecting of me. I think you guys can do it though. It took a lot of time, but all of the steps are easy enough that I know you can do it. And it was a great Saturday afternoon project! If you’re ever bored on the weekend, this is a fun way to pass the time. Saturdays at my school are boring. I go to a suitcase school and all my friends are home. I, however, am two hours away so I need a lot of these time-passing projects.

… try doing homework? Yeah, let’s just move on…

Anyway, it took me forever to acquire all of the ingredients. I ended up getting the cupcake mix and vanilla frosting at Walmart, the eggs and butter at 7-11, and the fondant and icing colors at Michael’s. It was also one of the more expensive projects, but it shows in the result so I guess it’s worth it. You can get the fondant in the colors that you need, but that’ll give you WAY more than you need for this project, so I suggest getting these products. Not necessarily these brands or anything; this is just what I picked up.

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This way, you can buy one little box of fondant for like $7 and then icing colors to dye it whatever color you need. I only used half of the box of fondant for 15 cupcakes.

SO..the very first step is to bake the cupcakes. I did this in my laughably small and poorly equipped dorm kitchen. I forgot cupcake liners at Walmart, so I was praying that the kitchen would have them, and I ACTUALLY FOUND SOME but they were mini. Who in the world, may I ask, uses mini cupcake liners, and what in the world are they for? Regardless, I had to just butter the cupcake pan and do without liners, which worked just fine.

Also, it’s so funny when you’re baking in a dorm. Students just come by and look longingly inside at the food you’re making that didn’t come from the dining hall. So many people came by going “OH MY GOD IT SMELLS SO GOOD IN HERE!” and I was like yeah, that’s just me making the cutest cupcakes you’ve ever seen. Here’s a picture of the little guys while they were baking:

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After I baked as many as the batter would allow, (it was around 20 or so but I ate the ugly ones and some were sacrificed for the stuffing ones so there were 15 to work with) I brought them back to my room to finish the project there. I set up three stations, and by stations I mean paper plates. There was one place for frosting, one for yellow fondant and one for green. I thought that was the least messy way to do it. By the way, you’re about to get REALLY freaking messy.

Okay, at your frosting station you’ll need a paper plate, a bowl for mixing, and the brown icing color that came in the package from the picture. You’re gonna be using all vanilla frosting to make it easier, but you’ll be dying some of it brown. Your mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and stuffing all need to be iced white, so go ahead and do that. Now, in your mashed potato cupcake, take a spoon and dig a little hole in the center. Not too deep, but into the cake part. Now take a little dollop of brown icing and drop it in! There are your potatoes and gravy! In the original, the baker used caramel syrup, but this was easier, less messy for the eater, and just as cute in my opinion. We’ll do the butter soon. Next, pick out the one that you want to be your turkey leg, and ice that one in brown.

That’s all for the frosting station! Right now you should have five frosted cupcakes. Three completely white, one brown, and one white with some brown in it. You’ll also need one un-frosted one. I’m assuming that you’re only making one batch of these, even though that may not be the case. Now, we’ll move on to the yellow fondant station, where you’ll need a paper plate, a chunk of fondant (the size of the chunk depends on how many you’re making) and your yellow icing color. This is where you get messy, but it’s fun! Take a few drops of the yellow icing color and mix it into the fondant, kneading it with your hands until it’s all worked in. If you need more, feel free to use it until you get the shade of yellow you’re looking for, but the stuff is so concentrated you probably don’t need as much as you think you do.

Now you start shaping your little pieces! First, we can finish the mashed potatoes. All you need for this one is a thin square a little bit smaller than your gravy. It might be a little sticky, but I think that once the icing color dries a little bit it got easier to work with. Just place the square right on top of the gravy pool, and voila! Mashed potatoes with gravy and butter. I don’t actually put butter or gravy on my mashed potatoes but I’ll admit it looks much tastier in cupcake form.

Let’s do the corn next since it’s also yellow. Start rolling out long yellow pieces about the length of the cupcake.You’ll probably need 6-7 of those, and some need to be longer than others if they’re going across the middle vs. the sides. Now, flatten them out a little, but not completely, and then get a toothpick .Or, if you’re a very resourceful college student like myself, you’ll get a tooth flosser. Gotta do what ya gotta do. Now just make little indentations in the fondant to make it look like individual corn kernels, and lay them on top of one of the cupcakes with white frosting. I’m under the impression that frosting helps the fondant stick, but I could be wrong because the pat of butter for this cupcake sits on top of the fondant. By the way, make another pat of butter and sit it on top of the fondant. If you’re having trouble following, take a look at the picture at the top of this post to help you out.

And don’t worry about your hands! The icing colors wash right off, most of it without even using soap. Once you’re done making the mashed potato cupcakes and the corn cupcakes, you’ll be done with the yellow fondant, so you can go ahead and wash your hands. You’ll want to get that off before you start working with the white fondant again, because just touching it with dye on your hands will color it.

Now, we’re moving on to your green fondant station. Take another chunk of fondant, again the size depends on how many you’re making. The set of icing colors I bought was a set of primary colors, so mix the blue and yellow to make green, and then do the same thing you did to dye the fondant yellow. Wanna see what my hands looked like after this step?

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That’s how you know this was a fun project. I think my hands are permanently tinged green. Once you have the shade of green you’re looking for, start rolling them into what you find to be acceptable green bean shape. Once you have around 8-10 of those, find your toothpick and make lines down the middle of them, like you can see in the picture at the top of the post. Just place them on one of your two remaining white cupcakes however you like, and that completes your side of green beans!

The last thing you have to do with the fondant is for your main dish, the turkey leg. Cut off a decently thick slice of fondant, maybe about a quarter inch. Use your toothpick to draw out the shape of half a bone and then punch it out like you used a cookie cutter. If you have a tiny bone shaped cookie cutter, go you. I just used the toothpick kind of like a saw and did what was necessary to reshape it after it was out. Then, place it in your brown cupcake! I suggest putting it off to the side as opposed to right in the middle. There’s your turkey leg!

Finally, we’ll do the stuffing. I saved it for last not because it’s best, but because it doesn’t require fondant. In fact, it’s probably the worst in my opinion, in terms of looking like what it’s supposed to. Remember that plain, unfrosted cupcake I mentioned way back at the beginning? You need it now. I want you to just crumble it up, all over the top of the last white iced cupcake you have. All it is, is chunks of cake on top of the frosting! To make it look darker, like real stuffing, I took the most well done parts from the bottom of the plain cupcake and put it at the top. I think that people will at least be able to tell what it is in context with the rest of them.

So that was my biggest undertaking so far. It took me about four hours overall, not including travel time for the ingredients. It was less than $15, and I still have plenty of icing color and fondant left over for another project. I actually don’t know if I can save fondant, so that might be a waste but at least I have more dye for next time.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week, and I hope that we can all remember the real meaning of this day. Honestly, take a minute to be thankful for what you have. I know everyone says that every year, and even sometimes not at this time of year, but how many times do you really sit down and do it? I know I don’t do it as much as I should. I’m thankful for my amazing, supportive family, my friends from home who still manage to keep in touch even though we’re all over the east coast, my friends at school for making me feel so at home, and I’m thankful that I have a passion and the inspiration to keep it going. After all, that’s what keeps this blog alive! 🙂

So, next Sunday is December 1st, and that could not be more perfect. Obviously, that’s the usual day that I post, but for the month of December, I’ll be posting a new craft or recipe EVERY DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS. I told you you were gonna be overwhelmed by all the Christmas. You didn’t even know what you were in for. You still don’t even know what you’re in for. You won’t even know which things to try because there’ll be so much. Oh yeah, get ready.

See you in the Christmas season!

Love,

Nicole

PS- Gobble Gobble

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Pumpkin Place Cards!

In reality this craft is in no way a “card,” but I was pretty sure you guys would know what I was talking about if I put it that way. We always have Thanksgiving at my house, and every year my mom and I try to do something cute to tell everyone where to sit. It’s not that they couldn’t figure it out by themselves, but we have fun with it. One year we glued pictures of our guests’ heads onto pictures of turkeys. This year, I found this craft on Pinterest:

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It was inspired by a pin I saw that used this idea, but then when I clicked the link it took me to a blog, and once I finally found the post where she did this, it really only got me a link to where I could buy a kit. I didn’t want a kit. Where’s the fun in that? So I hunted around a little bit, and ended up finding a blog that did something extremely similar, just not pumpkin themed. The girl was doing some simple DIY decor for her apartment. When I pinned it to my “For the Blog” board on Pinterest, I put the link in the description to that final blog where I actually got the instructions.

SO…my available resources were rather sparse this week. I happened to have card stock because I bought a big pack of it a few weeks ago, but (oddly enough…) it wasn’t orange. Luckily, last year on a random trip to Michael’s I came across a simple 6 pack of washable paint, and I knew it would come in handy so I bought that too. Of course, there was no orange so I had to mix red and yellow. For future reference, it takes a whole lot more yellow than red to make a good orange. Clearly I have to go back to third grade art.

Why do you guys read my blog? I have zero clue what I’m doing.

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Anyway, after I finally got an acceptable orange, I literally just painted full sheets of paper. I only did one side, and it worked out just fine. It probably actually worked better that way, because on the unpainted side I used a pencil to mark where I was going to cut, etc. It just basically looked like this:

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I don’t think it has to be perfect. The streaks aren’t a problem at all, and it’s really hard to make sure there are none there anyway. Don’t worry about it. Then, after you let the paint dry, hold the paper horizontally (I believe the technical term when I was growing up was “hamburger” style versus “hot dog”) and cut the paper into strips about 1 inch wide. You should end up with about 11, but to make one pumpkin you only need 4. Cut those strips in half, and you should have 8 little ones.

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Now, take your little strips and punch holes in both sides with a hole punch. Take a piece of string (I used green embroidery floss) and string it through both holes. To secure it, I just taped it down because it was easier than tying a knot big enough to cover the hole. Pull the string tight enough that the paper bends, making this shape in the picture below. I know this step is kind of confusing. I hope the picture helps.

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It looks the same on the bottom as it does on the top, so don’t worry about that. Now just gently pull the strips apart, and you’ll have your round shape! It should look like this:

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And now for the little leaf! It’s the most important because it’s the part that the name actually goes on. I just used a regular piece of paper for this part because I didn’t want to waste my card stock on such a little thing, but I did just wing the shape. I just drew a raindrop shape on a piece of paper, colored it with a LIGHT GREEN sharpie, and then cut it out. I emphasize LIGHT GREEN because the dark green was too dark and I couldn’t see the name at all. But before you put the name on it, punch a hole through the round side, not the pointy side. Then you can write the name on it. Then, with the slack that you have from the string, tie your leaf to your pumpkin. And that’s the final step! If you’d like, you can cut off the excess string. Here’s a picture of my leaf right before I put it on

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Cute, right?! This one actually ended up breaking because there was so little room between the hole and the edge of the paper. I had to make a bigger leaf and hole punch it again with some more space.

So tell me, HOW CUTE IS YOUR PUMPKIN?!