Thursday, December 20, 2007

Preparations 8 - Primped and packaged

Feels like we're entering the home stretch now. A little bit of wrapping to indulge in, some last minute distribution and the big day will be here.

Dishcloths have been ironed (what a hoot - I don't really understand 'blocking', but the wavy edges look somewhat straighter) and packed up with vanilla sugar and cookie cutters and a gingerbread house kit for good measure.

vanilla sugar wrapped
Chocolate pretzels baked (Mama? Why you making those poos?)

But he ate enough of them once they'd been dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled.

The recipe was from the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies special (thanks Michelle!) . Call it a little Christmas gift from me to you to say thank you for stopping by here and leaving such lovely comments.


1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

In a small bowl, combine flour, 1/2 c. cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, beating on low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove one dough portion from refrigerator; keep remaining dough portion refrigerated. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Sprinkle work surface with sifted cocoa powder, repeating as needed. Roll each portion of dough into a 9 inch long rope on prepared surface. Twist into a pretzel shape and place on a cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until just firm. Cool on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for one minute, and then transfer to to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.


ljmax said...

Wow, what wonderful creations! Thanks for the recipe.

lucykate crafts... said...

'why are you making those poo's?', that really made me laugh : )

my youngest is just entering that phase where they say 'poo pants' all day long, thankfully he's going off out with his dad for the day tomorrow ; )

Florence said...

Am loving the poo comment. They look lovely once dipped though...and not at all lavatorial.

My two were waiting at the window for friends to arriv and my little boy (who has worryingly shown no inclination for phonics, reading, letter recognition....the list goes on) shouted quite unexpectedly 'p for poo'. I was so delighted that I didn't spot the way that this might go....w for wee, w for willy, b for bottom... off to write my educational book now: teaching through toilet humour. Urg...I'm sure he's going to embarrass me with this...

How have I not managed to reply to your lovely email, and yet found time to write all this randomness? Sorry! So pleased you liked them and that the excessive use of bubblewrap was warranted. x

driftwood said...

the presents look great!
the recipe sounds delicious, but I couldn't possibly make them, because I'd spend the whole laughing and then not want to eat all the delicious poos.

Dallas said...

Those dishclothes look great! And thanks for the recipe.

Megan Young said...

My kids would love to eat poos, I just might have to get over my tired brain and make them some.

nuttnbunny said...

you rock!

samantha said...

Thank you Ali for another year of wonderful reading. I'm not sure if I can bring myself to make "little poos", but I really enjoyed the link to Sooz' post. Wishing you and your family a safe and joyous Christmas.

Lina said...

Love those pretzel poos. Happy holidays to you and your family.

martha said...

I love the vanilla sugar and the pretzel poos. My 3 year old would definitely ask that question! merry christmas!

Kitty said...

Beautiful photos ... amazing transformation from poo to biscuits too! The vanilla sugar, with cookie cutters look so classy.

Merry Christmas to you and yours :-) x

kristina said...

Very impressed with your Christmas gifts! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas :)

Cathy said...

Great presents. I've made vanilla sugar for my sister but would have had to start in February to get dishcloths knitted! The poo comment made me laugh lots. Thanks for the recipe, but I don't think my girls need any more encouragement to over use the word poo!
Hope you have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Cathy XX

julia said...

Tastiest looking poos I've ever seen - not, I hasten to add, that I've looked at many (only my own!).
Love the dishcloths, how I wish I could knit!
The coffee grinder was from good old ebay, there were a couple on when I looked, it cost about £18 inc postage but I love it, search under "vintage coffee grinder" - good luck!
Have a lovely Christmas and a great new year!
Julia x

Louise said...

Gosh you have been busy and everything looks fab. I find dishcloths easy peasy to block. I just pin them out on the ironing board on a towel, spray and leave overnight. Viola a nice straight dishcloth. Your knitting is very good Ali - really even. I can't wait to show Lucinda the poos - she will just LOVE them!

alice c said...

I hope that your Christmas is as Merry and Happy as possible.

Lucky people getting the dishcloths - they are a TOP gift! And so Christmassy with the star - to be kept for clean jobs only.

French Knots said...

Love the poos! My son is already far to interested in poo - he'd love these!
The dishcloths look much too nice to use.

julie said...

sounds like you're sorted. I love those dishcloths and the vanilla sugar looks wonderful with the cutter and festive string - well done! Thanks for the recipe - cute pretzels. Have a great christmas Ali x

beki said...

hee hee, the "poops" gave me a chuckle!

Lala said...

Hi Ali!!! Well... diped in Chocolate and sprinkled they look LESS like poos... LOL... thanks for the recipe! Love how you pkgd up the vanilla sugars (I LOVE European handwriting!!! So "different" than over here)... Have a wonderful holiday with your family!!!

Lala :o)

Lindy said...

Oh your chocolate pretzels look soo much better than mine. I made some the yesterday and mine really do look like poo!! They flattened out into a eeerm poo shape.

Leslie said...

I love your jars of vanilla sugar! What a great gift idea. Do you have an online source for that great red & white twine?