I was in my element this afternoon.
The boys were out and I was ‘home alone’ … there was the mother of all storms blowing a gale outside, but did I care? Not one jot! Cos the central heating was turned up high and Bing Crosby & David Bowie were singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’ at full pelt, whilst I got to play with glue and glitter and wolf down a few home-made Christmas cookies! Did I mention the Drambuie? Well, that too.
The reason for all the glitter (and there was a LOT of glitter!) is this …
… a little bit of last minute present making in the form of a glittery, heart-shaped gift box to house a teeny, tiny teddy that I knitted for my God-daughter’s doll’s house.
I glued a wee suffolk puff to the lid as a finishing touch
On the subject of gift-giving, I baked a whole heap of stuff this week and enjoyed giving lots of home-made edible gifts to friends and family
Of course, I made sure to bake a little extra for us too 🙂
The girls at work got the little Zakka style gifts I made for them and I wished them all a Happy Christmas. I am now officially on holiday for nearly two weeks! Yay! I am sooo ready for a break!
Rather than wrap the presents, I made some little gingham bows from ribbon, stitching them to brown paper bags and then I put the gifts inside.
… and with the decorations up and the presents all wrapped, it really is starting to feel a lot like Christmas around here 🙂
The little felt Santa in the photo is another present for my God-daughter. His tummy is a cut out circle and the hole is covered over with some see-through netting, so that you can see all the chocolate coins he has gobbled up! There is an opening at the back of his neck to provide access to the chocolate and for refilling him.
So, as Christmas Day approaches, I will be signing off for a few days, but before I go I want to leave you with the recipe for my little Christmas cookies, which I call ‘Festival Pennies‘
- 130g (4.5 oz) chopped hazlenuts
- 250g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 55g (2 oz) caster sugar
- 55g (2 oz) cornflour
- 300g (10 oz) plain flour
- Zest of an orange, finely grated
- Few drops of orange essence
- Icing sugar
- Lightly grease a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180ْC (fan) / 200ْC / 350ْF / Gas mark 6
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Beat in the egg yolk, Cointreau and orange essence
- Stir in the orange zest and the hazlenuts
- Sift the flour and cornflour over the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to a firm dough
- Break off small pieces and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly into round ‘pennies’
- Cook in the centre of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes (do not brown)
- Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes
- While still warm (but not hot), roll the cookies in icing sugar and coat generously. I often roll them in the icing sugar a couple of times to give them a good coating. Sift extra icing sugar over the top.
If you don’t have Cointreau or orange essence, you can substitute for brandy and vanilla essence and omit the orange zest. Sometimes, I will also add powdered vanilla pods to the icing sugar to make them a little extra special!
Now all that remains is for me to wish you and your loved ones the happiest of Christmas times. Thank you all so much for your visits here, for all your lovely comments and support over this past year and to all who have bought my patterns.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each and every one of you! Natalie x