December 2018 - Dimples and Tangles

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIE DOUBLE DOOZIES - BLOGGER COOKIE EXCHANGE


Can you believe we're less than a week away from Christmas?  I honestly can't!  My shopping is *this close* to being finished, I have menus made and *almost* all of my grocery shopping completed, and I'm starting to bake!  


(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

Today I'm excited to be joining a group of bloggers for a virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Camila of Effortless Style.  This is the next best thing to us all being able to sit around and much on our favorite cookies together, so I'm anxious to see what everyone else is sharing for the party today, too!  



I decided to share one of our stand-by favorites today... Christmas Sugar Cookies but with a twist since I've made them Double Doozie style!  You know, those delectable treats that you get at the mall?  We make our own at home!   Because all of the frosting is on the inside, these are a little quicker to assemble than regular decorated Christmas sugar cookies since you don't need to spend tons of time making the tops look pretty.  I just add some sprinkles to some of the tops before baking and call it good!



If you don't have a favorite, this is the sugar cookie recipe I've been using for several years since my friend shared her recipe with me.  It makes a soft but sturdy cookie great for decorating, and it tastes divine (I'm convinced the almond extract is the key)!  I usually double the recipe while I'm at it and freeze 1/2 of the dough for later.



Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (plus a little more for rolling out cookies)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat sugar and butter together in mixer until creamy.  Add egg and beat to combine, then add milk, vanilla, and almond extract and mix together.  Combine dry ingredients and beat in a little at a time until all are well incorporated.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4" thick.  Cut out desired shapes and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Cookies will firm up as they cool, do not over bake or allow to brown.



Want to know the secret of one of my favorite baking shortcuts?



A 12 pound tub of buttercream frosting!!!  I purchase one of these at Sam's once or twice a year, usually around this time of year before the holidays and several upcoming birthdays.  I use it on those birthday cakes, chocolate chip double doozies, brownies... it's amazing how handy it comes in when I need to send a last minute treat somewhere for something (and for $16 I'd spend way more on the ingredients to make it myself)!   ;)   It doesn't need refrigeration and keeps for several months in the pantry.  Sam's offers it in a variety of colors- except white for some reason.  I'm not sure why that is, but I buy the lightest color I can (usually a pale yellow) and just add coloring gel to get the color I want.  (If you like the idea but can't use this much, consider splitting some with a friend!)

If you don't want your own 12 pound tub of frosting, you can definitely make your own or use a small store bought tub for this recipe too. 

I thought I'd continue the theme of our jewel toned Christmas decor (start this year's Christmas tour here), so I mixed some icing in a variety of colors.  I like this gel food coloring and chose a few colors to use from the set.  If you've never used gel coloring before, it just takes a little bit and the colors are more intense than liquid food coloring.  They usually darken a little bit more after they sit for a while too.   


Using a 1/2 ounce scoop or 1 ounce scoop (depending on cookie size), scoop out frosting onto a cookie, then lay another cookie on top and gently squeeze together to spread frosting.  On oddly shaped cookies it might be necessary to spread frosting to the edges a bit before sandwiching cookies together. 


Sometimes I like to squeeze the cookies together enough to make the frosting ooze out the sides just a bit, then cover the edges with sprinkles too.  



Although the cookie isn't overly sweet, the frosting inside will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!  I think these would be perfect made with mini-cookie cutters, too...  bite sized cookies would be just right.





You guys... I think I've been at this blogging thing too long, because just as I was wrapping up this post last minute I realized I already posted this recipe for Valentine's Day!  #oops  When I thought of doing Double Doozie Christmas Cookies for the exchange today I recalled posting something similar in the past but honestly thought I had posted about Chocolate Chip Double Doozies.  Oh well, too late to do something different for today, I guess I need to be better about checking my archives next time!  #lessonlearned  So, please forgive the repeat if you remember this from before, just consider this a reminder to try this yummy recipe!


Thanks so much for joining me for the Cookie Party today!  Be sure to stop by and check out the recipes from these other talented bloggers participating today as well- 



If you're looking for even more great cookie recipes, here are some of my other favorites- all crowd pleasers!







And although not technically cookies, these Bon Bons are a family favorite at the holidays.  My daughter and I are ready to make up a batch today!  (If you're an Almond Joy fan you'll love these!)




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20 GIFT IDEAS UNDER $20


You guys, Christmas is only 2 weeks away from TODAY!!!  Are you finished shopping with everything wrapped under the tree?  Or are you like me and have barely even started???  Today I'm sharing 20 last minute gift ideas each under $20, all that still have time to arrive before Christmas!  You're sure to find some ideas for that teacher, neighbor, hostess, friend or family gift you're still searching for.




(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)





1- Blue and White Succulent Planters- Love the contrast of the wood base on these, the perfect size to tuck a plant here or there.

2- Layered Bar Necklace- any kind of layered necklace is so popular right now, this one comes in two colors and is great quality for less than $10!

3- Fiskars RazorEdge Shears- I have a dedicated pair of shears just for cutting stems.  They need to be super sharp and kept clean and free of bacteria so that cut flowers will last longer.  I love this pair!



4- Stainless Steel Water Bottle- my daughter carries one of these every day to school.  Her water stays cold all day and the larger size minimizes the need for refills while at school, yet it still fits in the side pocket of her backpack.

5- Cable Knit Beanie with Fur Pom Pom- comes in tons of colors, super warm and comfortable and I always get compliments on it!




6- Cozy Plaid Scarf for Him- soft and warm, truly helpful in keeping warm in frigid temps!

7- Tassel Keychain- a standard accessory around here, but the size of this one is an unbelievable deal for $10!  I own 2 and keep one clipped to a lamp or basket handle, and the other is clipped to my bag right now for a pop of fun! This is the perfect stocking stuffer for gals any age on your list!



8- Whiskey in a Teacup- I've been reading this and really enjoying it.  Reese shares a lot of family memories and talks decorating, recipes, and life in the South.

9- Layered Y-Necklace- another quality staple piece for an amazing price, teens to any age will love it!

10- Floral Coaster Set- pretty and playful!

11- White and Gold Polka Dot Vase- I bought this but in a different style and love using it with my Christmas decorations, but it will be the perfect patterned piece for year round use.  Available in 3 or 4 different shapes.

12- Novelty Socks for Him- I think every male teen (and adult) on my list has patterned socks on their wish list! 

13- Pom Pom Slippers- Available in 6 colors and oh so cute!  I own two pairs and wear one daily, so comfy!



14- Super Bright Small LED Flashlight- we own this as well and the boys love it.  Great size to keep tucked in your car console too. 

15- Code Names Game- I've proclaimed our loved for Catch Phrase, but several of you also recommended this game for group gatherings.  With thousands of 5 star reviews, I'm ordering it for a "family gift" and excited to try it out at our next group gathering.

16- Gold Bead & Shell Earrings- light weight and versatile!



17- Work Gloves for Him- these are a favorite in our house and a new pair is always appreciated.

18- Terry Cloth Lined Shower Cap- fits well and terry cloth lining helps protect your curl and hairstyle for a few extra days.

19- Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays- a favorite of many, always nice to have new recipes to try! 

20- Flair Colored Pen Set- perfect for color coding those new planners that will be pulled out in a few weeks.










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2018 CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR- FRONT PORCH, ENTRY, BREAKFAST NOOK, AND PATIO


Happy Friday!  Whew, has this week been Christmas Tour overload or what?  I hope that you've enjoyed the festivities and have gleaned a few great ideas for your holiday home!  Today I'm sharing the final portion of my Christmas Home Tour, let me show you around the Front Porch, Entry, Breakfast Nook, and our Patio!  I'm happy to be a part of the Christmas Home Tours organized by Marty of A Stroll Thru Life.  She always does such a good job of gathering a stellar group of bloggers to share with you and I'm honored to be a part!

If you're coming from Decorating Delirium, welcome!  Jennifer is a kindred spirit with her love of color, blue and white, chinoiserie pieces, a thrifted find and a good DIY project.  I'm excited to see her tour today, be sure to check it out with me.  But first, stay for a minute and come on in!

(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)


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IT'S A COLORFUL LIFE CHRISTMAS TOUR WRAP-UP


Today is the last day of the "It's A Colorful Life" Christmas Tour, and I'm blown away by the spaces that were shared this week!


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2018 CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR- DINING ROOM AND KITCHEN


*This post is sponsored by Hobby Lobby.

Hello friends, welcome to part 2 of my 2018 Christmas Tour!  Today I'm delighted to be sharing my Dining Room and a few Christmas touches in the Kitchen.  Since I'm sure I single-handedly help keep them in business, especially at Christmas, I'm so happy to partner with Hobby Lobby for this post.


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IT'S A COLORFUL LIFE 2018 CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR- LIVING ROOM


Hello, and welcome to Part 1 of my Christmas Home Tour for 2018!  I'm thrilled to be kicking off a brand new blog hop party today that I'm co-hosting with Rachel from Pencil Shavings Studio...  "It's a Colorful Life!" You might remember that we hosted a local Colorful Christmas workshop recently where we shared our best ideas for decorating with color at Christmas time, and that morphed into hosting this fun tour celebrating colorful Christmas decorations!



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