Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies in Baskets

Placed in decorated cellophane bags, I also placed them in zip-locks to keep them fresh till I give them away.

Made these for the older kids!! who can resist chocolate biscuits, worth making them just for the wonderful smell the house is infused with after the baking :-)

Recipe - makes about 30 (depending on size)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

9oz plain flour
3 oz Cocoa powder
8 oz margarine (block/hard)
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz light brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
chocolate chips

Blend the sugar and margarine till well creamed, add the milk and blend again. Mix in the flour, cocoa and chocolate chips. Place teaspoons of mixture well spaced on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake 10-12 mins Gas 4 180 c/350 f

Cool on the trays. Melt chocolate and spread on each biscuit and sprinkle with Halloween colour sprinkles. Bag when they are totally cold.

enjoy xx

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween baskets and Toffee Apples

I made these to hand out over Halloween. The are really easy, I designed them with my cricut but you could do it by hand or with a cutter. It is a circle as large as you can cut from a 12" x 12" piece of paper, draw a small circle in the centre and then use a cup, sellotape roll etc to mark a rounded line from the outer edge of the inner circle to the outer edge of the big cirle at even spaces round the shape. Cut along these lines, the inner circle represents the base of the basket so don't cut inside of it. ***look at the bottom of this post to see the cut file photo, it may help you understand these instructions with a visual aid to look at.***

Cut them out of pattern paper for the outside and plain card this makes the inside. Fill with some shredded cellophane and lots of sweets. Wrap the whole thing in a large piece of cellophave and secure with a ribbin bow and a tag.
Bring each section round so the point is inside and punch a small hole and secure with a brad, work round till you have the basket base.

Cut 2 strips of paper 12" long and about 1 1/2" wide. On one strip use an edge punch both sides to make a fancy strip, I used Martha Stewarts Drippy Goo punch as it looks like blood! then secure this to the plain piece. Attach each end to the basket again with brads. I cut some Halloween shapes, Bats, Cats and Pumkins to cover the brads but you don't have to.
The finished gift
Now for the toffee apples, mine are simple just sugar and patience! Prepare the apples by washing and drying well. Put the sticks in but don't push to far you don't want them poking out the top. Place on a baking sheet on a piece of lightly oiled parchment paper. Now your ready to make the toffee.

Put a load of sugar into a pan (about 1/2 a pound for 6 apples) it will depend on the size of the apples so no precise measures here. Put it onto a medium heat and wait, shake and tilt the pan occasionally so the sugar does not burn. DO NOT STIR WITH A SPOON. First you will get a lumpy look like this
as it begins to turn you will see lumps plus some nice caramel beginning to form, remember NO stirring!!

In about 20 mins it will all be dissolved and the toffee is ready to use, it looks like this. Turn off the heat but leave pan on the stove
Take an apple at a time and dip it into the caramel twisting it till its covered, allow excess to drain back into the saucepan and them place the apple onto the oiled paper. Leave to cool, about 5 mins then wrap in cellophane and secure with ribbon and a tag

Left over toffee can be poured over some nuts, when cool break into pieces and put into bags
I also tried some on bananas but it didn't work, the bananas won't hold the toffee and you end up with a mess :-( still tasted good though :-)
Use stamps to make some tags for your apples

Use small card bags filled with mini marshmallows and decorated with stickers to put in your baskets

Baskets crammed with goodies

Wrap them in lots of cellophane and tie, all ready for a lucky child to take home
I made a few cards to send as well. I used my Cuttlebug, papers, stickers and ribbon to make these.
Cute spider sliders, for my Grandson Noah and Baby George

The cut file is listed below (hope this works)

n.b. If you use this file please hide semi circle contours as shown in this picture (the small half moons) right click them and choose hide selected contour. The curved lines need a little extra cutting in places.

Halloween Basket Cut file