Pecan Sandies…a favorite!

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I’ll be honest…I can’t eat these because I am Gluten Free but I will tell you that IF I could, these would rate right up their with decadent chocolate brownies! Just the smell of the pecans toasted is delicious!

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This is a photo of the cookies baked. Note: I doubled this recipe easily since I am on a baking rampage for my “Women Illuminating the World” event on Sunday iy”h!
I hope these froze well:) …will let you know if they didn’t!

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Pecan Sandies Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten
Makes 22 to 24 Cookies

1 cup pecan halves (4 ounces)
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance Margarine)
½ cup demerara or turbinado sugar (I used turbinado – found at whole foods)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
24 whole pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the 1 cup of pecan halves on a sheet pan and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until toasted. Set aside to cool. Place the cooled pecans plus ¼ cup of the flour in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the nuts are finely ground.

Place the mixture in a medium bowl and add the remaining 1 ¾ cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder. Stir to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla and the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together.

Using a small ice cream scoop or your hands, form the batter into balls about 1 inch in diameter (1 ounce on a scale). Place the balls 1 inch apart on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Press a pecan half into the center of each ball, pressing the pecan halfway down into the cookie. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies turn golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.

Note: The cooled cookies may be stored in an airtight container for several days.

Here’s the SCOOP!

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and now…the scoop on Shavuos:IMG_3921 IMG_3885 IMG_3892IMG_3904

I thought I would share a very easy and fun component to our Shavuos Ice cream party!

We will be making these cute little envelopes of sprinkles, a variety of colors, sizes and shapes, and present these on our ice cream buffet table!

We will also be announcing to our Aleph Art Room students that whoever comes to hear the Aseres Hadibros will get to choose an extra special pack of ice cream sprinkles and toppings! (these will be a limited amount, and each packet will be different!  )              Some with marshmallows, some with gummies, some with twizzlers…etc.)

Take this to an added level and place a raffle ticket inside as well, for a variety of prizes.

You can also use this idea for adults, by placing a winning ticket inside for a specific prize, or chabad house ‘bonus’, like 2 free Challah’s for next shabbos, a Shabbos dinner for 4…etc.)

Just an added dimension that will encourage kids and adults:) to celebrate this special yom tov!

Too Tired to Bake?

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Re Package Candy when you just cant add another thing on your ‘to bake’ list!

Little brown packets cut at the top with scalloped scissors makes everything A-Okay!

Just add whatever you wish and place on a platter with a sweet sign!

Use this for birthday party decor a favors or any event that calls for something neat and sweet and…easy!

A nice centerpiece too!

Table Decor!

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It’s so easy to dress a table with just some simple sweet flowers and little bud vases!

These are my favorite, I own about 35 of them and bought them from crate and barrel for about $2.50

I use these all the time and as you can see here, by adding some of the food on the table, it adds a special touch.

So here, the Foccacia bread is placed in wooden baskets and then using little sushi dipping bowls, I added olive oil with fresh garlic and chili flakes for dipping the bread.

Lay it all out down the center of the table and now you have beautiful useful center pieces!

 

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I Scream for ICE CREAM!

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Just for the fun of watching the kids eyes and smiles…I bought a waffle cone maker and every year for Shavuos I make them waffle cones! It’s really easy and fun and adds to their Yom Tov!

DSC_0134 DSC_0124 DSC_0130I remember throwing all these things on a table erev Yom Tov (not thinking at all!) and snapping a couple pictures just to document what I was doing! (sadly, I didnt really capture how it looked but it was a great party!)

So for a fun Shavuos Ice cream party, here are some ideas:

  • Using colorful cups decorate buffet table with cups of sprinkles, cookie pieces, cone crumbs and chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff etc.
  • Add dulce de leche, chocolate syrup, maple syrup etc. to the cheesecake, blintzes table for added sweetness (like we need it!)
  • Use colorful paper straws to add to the fun!
  • Set up little wooden ice cream spoons on a platter for easy taking!
  • Add a ribbon garland with ice cream cone pictures made in preschool, hebrew school or your own home!

go to http://www.bakeitpretty.com for supplies or for cheaper supplies search online for cupcake paper liners and paper straws!

Gum Ball Machine Cupcakes!

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Made these for one of my kids birthdays a while ago and while I was looking through photos, this one caught my attention.

Every time I see it, it makes me smile.

Don’t know why…maybe it’s nostalgia of those childhood vending machines or maybe it’s remembering my child’s smile on that special day.

Just ice with a creamy mixture of confectioners sugar and a very tiny drizzle of water. Then the red gel icing as shaped above and then using your fingers, gently sprinkle the ‘gum balls’ in! (before the icing dries!)

Oh…and careful not to bump the container of sprinkles on the floor! They do bounce!

(been there. done that:)

p.s. I would probably make these again using a safe food colored icing/gel…back then, I wasn’t so careful:(

Jelly Bean Table Settings!

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So easy! Relatively inexpensive and guess what? even the adults enjoy finding their seats!

Purchase sealable packets from http://www.papermart.com according to the size you wish.

Fill will jelly beans, seal, and lay flat. Add label.

(I used about a 1/3 cup measuring cup full of Jelly beans).

Dont forget to write your kids names on theirs! They will feel so special even if they don’t attend the event!

Sensational Sweet Seating!