Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas made by hand

One of my very favorite Christmas decorations is this angel, which was made by  the daughter of one of my dearest friends.  I received it about 12 years ago and have hung it every year since then.  It represents the simplest, yet most important part of the holidays for me—receiving a gift made by the hand of a child.  It is also a constant reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Yesterday  Ally and I made Christmas cookies, a favorite tradition for many during the holidays.  What a wonderful gift these little treasures would be for anyone on your list.  We used this very simple, yet delicious, sugar cookie recipe: The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies.  Please note that you can substitute Earth Balance for the butter.

For decorating I made a simple buttercream frosting:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup butter or Earth Balance (room temperature)
4 tbls milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff)
Food coloring

Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer.  Add confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat on high speed until fluffy (about 5 minutes)

We divided the frosting into 3 bowls and made a batch of green, red and kept one white.  You'll  need 3 pastry bags and frosting tips and the coupling device or tip holder.  Here's some tips on how to decorate using a pastry bag.

Fill each pastry bag, squeezing the frosting down to the tip, then tie off with a twist tie, and place each one in a tall glass.  This will keep them neat and orderly during the decorating process.

I let Ally do all the decorating:



 Ally's beautiful creations, all made by hand:

May your holidays be blessed with the joy of receiving a gift, created by hand.

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