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December 13, 2011

English Toffee Bars


For a cookie exchange this month I made a bar cookie that I've had every year but never baked myself: my mom's English Toffee Bars. It's certainly one of our traditional cookies each year, and mixing bar cookies with cutout kinds adds visual contrast. This has a shortbread base, with the layer of chocolate and toppings that would be easy to vary if you want to mix it up each time you make it. I use dark chocolate to suit my personal taste and would use cashews on top if I were making it only for myself.


English Toffee Bars

1 c. Butter
1 c. firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
6 plain Hershey Bars
1 c. finely chopped Pecans

Cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then vanilla, salt, and flour. Spread cookie mixture on ungreased 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan and bake 25-30 minutes in 350 degree oven.

When this comes out of the oven, break up the Hershey bars and set them on top of the cookies. Place back in oven a minute or two, just long enough to soften chocolate. Spread chocolate evenly over cookie crust. Sprinkle with pecans. Cut into bars when cool and chocolate has set.


If you're interested in seeing photos from the event itself, go here. The recipes are posted on various blogs with links below.




December 11, 2011

Plastic Canvas Needlepoint Pen Holders


I've made about a dozen of these pen/pencil holders for Christmas presents this year--fast, easy, and handy to have in your purse or backpack so you can always find your pen. I used a chenille yarn to make them a bit fancier. The box stitch is goes quickly so this project is fun to do while watching television or relaxing in the evening.

What quick projects are you handcrafting for the holidays this year? Please leave a comment or link on the blog! Happy holidays.

December 1, 2011

Day of the Week Kitchen Embroidery


I love the way these embroidered day-of-the-week kitchen towels were recycled as framed artwork! It sets a sunny tone and is a great way to memorialize a relative's handiwork. Whimsical bordering on the kitschy, this is a perfect fit for a dog-walking client of mine.

How do you protect embroidery to make it last through generations? Feel free to leave a comment below, or send your favorite picture to my email!
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