heart biscuits
photography Tiffany Mumford

Here’s a little project that was left over from our Everything Alice book (there just wasn’t enough room!) These Stained Glass Heart Cookie Pops are the perfect treat to make for someone special on Valentines day. This recipe makes around 20 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

YOU WILL NEED
1-2 packs hard boiled sweets (simple fruit sweeties work well)
115g butter, softened
55g golden caster sugar
180g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp milk
2 heart shaped cookie cutters (one smaller than the other)
lollipop sticks
ribbons to decorate
Icing pens, most supermarkets sell these in little packs of 4 colours … they look like this

1. Pick out all the red and pink sweets from the packets. Place them in individual plastic bags and whack with a rolling pin till they are broken up into small pieces

2. Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Sift the flour into the mixture and add milk. Use your hands to mix everything together to form a ball.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/ gas 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Remove from fridge and roll dough out onto a floured surface till it is about 5mm thick.

5. Use the larger of the two cookie cutters and cut out a heart shape. Use a cake slice or palette knife move the cookie shape to one of the baking trays. Place a lollipop stick underneath the cookie at the tip of the heart. Then use the smaller cutter to cut a heart shape in the center of the cookie. Repeat with all the cookie dough.

star biscuits
(Hope this picture doesn’t confuse you too much it’s from when I was making Emerald City Cookie Pops for our other book Everything Oz. (They didn’t make it into that one either! but they are tasty.))

6. Fill the holes with some of the crushed sweets. Try not to leave any on the cookie dough as it will burn and turn brown.

star biscuits2

7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the biscuits are just golden. The sweets will melt as the cookies cook and form the glass window effect.  Allow to cool and make sure the sweets have rehardened before you transfer them to a wire rack.

8. When completely cool use the icing pens to decorate, leave the icing to harden then tie a ribbon and a gift tag around the stick with a special love note written inside.

heart biscuits2

photography by Tiffany Mumford

witch candles

It’s almost the start of the winter festivities … Halloween, Bonfire night, that other one that happens towards the end of December, so there’s lots of crafting opportunities coming up.

If you’re looking for something a little special to put in your window to draw the trick and treaters closer (or scare them away) try this candle topper project taken from our book Everything Oz.

i'm melting candles

click to enlarge

They’re made using wax pellets, candles and cookie cutters. So when you’ve finished making biscuits for your little hobgoblins why not give these a try.

 I’m Melting … Witch Candles

YOU WILL NEED
Wax pellets
Black candle colouring
Medium lead-free wire wick
An old sauce pan
A tin can or metal jug
Plastic jug
Baking tray with sides
Baking parchment
Witch cookie cutter
Black table candles
Toothpicks

1. Place the wax pellets or beads in an old tin can or metal jug. Place the can in an old saucepan, if necessary resting on a trivet. Fill the saucepan with cold water to just below the rim of the can. Bring the water to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer until the wax melts. When the wax is molten add some black candle dye.

2. Line the baking tray with parchment. Pour the black wax into the lined tray, leaving a small amount in the can. Allow the wax to cool till it is pliable and soft to the touch.

3. Using the cookie cutter. press out two witch shapes per candle and peel away from the parchment. Place a length of wick on the inside of one wax shape, about one third should be visible above the witches hat and two thirds on the wax. Lay a wooden toothpick on the bottom third of the witch. Press them into the wax firmly.

4. Using the leftover wax, stick the second wax witch shape on top of the first, matching up the contours and sandwiching the wick and toothpick in between. Allow to cool.

5. Cut the tops of the black table candles and place in a microwave for 10 seconds to soften the wax

6. Make a hole in the top of each table candle by skewering with a toothpick. Position the witch-shaped candles in the tops of the table candles by slotting the toothpick into the hole.

Here are three great sets of cookie cutters…

cookie cutters

1. Halloween cookie cutters £2.79 Lakeland Plastics
2. Wilton Halloween cookie cutters £4.00 John Lewis 3. Wilko Embossing Cookie cutters £2.50 Wilko

And here are some places to get the wax supplies…

thorne.co.uk (for wax pellets, wicks and dyes)
candlesontheweb.co.uk (pretty self explanatory!)
ikea (for black pillar candles)

and here’s where you can find out more about Everything Oz

everythingozbook.blogspot.co.uk

 

Happy Halloween!

Sick-Pumpkin

First a little apology… Sorry to my subscribers who are getting this post for a second time as I accidentally sent it out last week due to a slip of my big fat fingers! Seeing as I hadn’t actually given Lizzi and Hugo their gift then it didn’t seem right that the world got to see it before them.

Anyway, continue.

Hugo and Lizzi get married

Hurrah Hurrah! Two of my most wonderful friends got married a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful relaxed wedding down in sunny Helford with invites sent by text message (bit like organising a rave), a brass band trumpeted Lizzi down the ailse with a rendition of The Floral Song (them being Cornish and all), the marriage certificate got turned into a paper aeroplane and flown across the reception at some point in the night and there was no gift list.

I know our presence rather than our presents were what really mattered on the day but it didn’t feel right that they didn’t have anything to open … Everyone loves a gift.

On the long train journey home from Cornwall I got all inspired to make them this wall hanging commemorating the day and their gorgeous family. I used lots of leftover scraps of fabric and had fun practicing my freehand machine embroidery skills on the applique motif of The Shipwrights Arms where the reception was held.

Lizzi and hugo

Here’s how I did it.

Personalised wall hanging

Looking at it in these pictures I’ve realised that I really should embroider the date somewhere on the hanging, so I’m off to do that now.