Saturday, December 08, 2012

T'is the Season to be Baking & Crafting, Fa la la la la, la la la la! #LMDConnector

 I don't know about you, but I've always found a certain charm in all things homemade.  No, seriously! There's something so special about a handmade card and knowing that someone put the time, effort, love, and thought into making your present.

Sure, a completely renovated basement and a new 53 inch TV would be great. Oh, and a trip to either Disney World or Hawaii would be greatly appreciated as well. Hubby, are you reading this?!

All kidding aside, in the past few years I've been all about the DIY gifts. Now that Little One is a little older and can  help more (Read: Not destroy the kitchen completely), it's really a lot of fun to create things with her.
For me, the Holidays are all about FAMILY.
It's about the turkey and stuffing,the Bûche de Noël, singing Christmas carols, watching Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the kids excited to see if Santa came to deliver presents and just being together. Of course, it's also a time for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas and the reason we celebrate. I remember going to midnight mass every Christmas. We haven't done that in a while since Little One wouldn't last until midnight.

For me, Christmas is all of those things, and it's also about the BAKING!

My husband finds it interesting that I love to bake, but I am not big into sweets. I do enjoy concocting things that make people happy. I pretty much bake only on special occasions.

Resurrected from the blog vault:  You may have seen some of these before, as I like to recreate these during the Holidays. Since it is the Season of Giving, I will share this recipe! I can't remember where I got the recipe. I've been making these since 2007 though!  When you see these, you'll know why I only bring these bad boys out at Christmas!


1 pkg cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c sugar
a pinch of salt (and over the shoulder for good luck. Kidding!)
1 pkg chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate, 6 oz)

1 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c water
1/2 c oil
1 tbsp vanilla

* Cute festive candies, sprinkles and other embellishments are the perfect finishing touch - along with your go-to cream cheese frosting.

  • Combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Add chocolate chips. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, water, oil, and vanilla. Make sure to mix well and until smooth.
  • Line muffin tin with paper cups. Fill 1/3 of the way. If you're feeling a little daring, fill 1/2 full.
  • Drop a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture into each cup.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Once baked, remove and let cool before icing and decorating.
Above: Cross section of the Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcake. The minty candy cane decorations are really festive and perfect for the Holidays!

Below: It's not Christmas without Shortbread Cookies!!! I used the same Holiday decorations/embellishments on these, but with a Royal Icing.

 As for the crafts, I love the idea of having Little One make a decoration for the Christmas tree each year. I also love reusing, recycling, and re-purposing items around the house.  These ornaments were made before Little One was born. After Hubs and I got married, I wanted a Christmas ornament for the tree each year. I made one for Hubs and one for me using old light bulbs.

This is a great thing to make if you don't know what to do with all those burnt out light bulbs! Don't throw them away!

What are your favourite Christmas recipes?  Do you also make Christmas crafts? What do you think of homemade/handmade presents?

For lots of fun holiday cookie and baking ideas, check out the LMD Facebook page. Pillsbury will be sharing their ideas from December 3rd to the 15th and Betty Crocker will be sharing their ideas from December 17th to the 31st.
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own


Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done and presented cupcakes

Christine McN said...

Thanks so much! It was a lot of fun!

Manager to Mom said...

Aww, this post made me feel all festive! Those cupcakes look delicious. I totally agree re: hand-made gifts - really shows thoughtfulness and they're one-of-a-kind! And for the less skilled among us (ahem :) there are ways to still be a little creative without needing a lot of talent. For example I'm making our daughter a big photo collage floor puzzle of her friends & family this year for Christmas (on the site Jigsaw2Order). She loves puzzles and photos, so she'll totally dig this (I hope!)

caninecologne said...

oh, that lightbulb snowman is so cute! i want to make one for next year!

i like your tradition of buche noel. we didn't grow up doing that here.

by the way, got your text re: bento stuff. will email you tomorrow about that. :)

Mom vs. the boys said...

I adore those little candy cane decorations for the cupcakes, sometimes it's the little things that make something special!

Mommy said...

You need to come bake me some cookies and put up my tree, and decorate it! I am so not festive but wouldn't say no to someone else doing!

Shayna Murray said...

I am not a crafty person but I am a heck of a cook and baking is one of the joys in my life so that's one of my favorite parts of Christmas! Growing up my mother and I spent months and months baking (and making hand painted chocolates), filling the deep freeze to put together tins full of delicious goodies to deliver to people in our community that otherwise wouldn't have such treats - elderly folks, people that had been ill, the long time bachelors, etc. etc. It was a lot of fun!

Cheryl Kirkness said...

I love creating baking treats and I love eating baking! I have a tough time not eating it all before I give it away to family. Those cupcakes you made look delicious! I usually bake for family and friends each year but I think I'll skip it this year. Hopefully no one wonders where their cookies & fudge are this year!

Christine McN said...

Awwww! I love the idea of a picture puzzle! What a great gift!!! Borrowing that idea from you for next year!

Christine McN said...

Thanks! Got your e-mail! I just got home from a concert, so I'll write you tomorrow! xoxo

Christine McN said...

Aren't those little candy canes adorable? I got them at Watkins'!

Denise G said...

Wow!! Those shortbread look like professional ones! I love homemade shortbread but not the easiest to make as the batter is really dry to work with. I love the lightbulb ornaments - you are very creative! You certainly have the true meaning of Christmas down and sharing it with your family! I love homemade as well. I think the same as you - thought was put in it!!

Little Miss Kate said...

Yum! We just spent the weekend doing our Christmas baking! Now I need to make sure not to eat it all myself.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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