Monday, 18 December 2017

Baking With Littles: Eggnog Logs - Plus a Review of Violets in May!

I have a two-in-one for you all today! I am happy to share both my favourite childhood cookie recipe that my own mother made almost every year for Christmas and a review of this gorgeous set from Violets in May!

Every year I make cookie batch after cookie batch to give away to visitors and bring into the workplace. My mother is a homemaker, and soaking in all the beautiful things she did in the kitchen was always one of my favourite things. Baking is deeply imbedded in my childhood, so much so that my greatest heartache when I moved to Australia was not getting to continue our tradition every year.

Many other women in my family are also big bakers. I have my gorgeous cousin Angie, who is also a homemaker and one of the most creative bakers I know. There is my southern Granny Dee, who whips up delicious goods every holiday, and my Aunt Jules, who recently spent hours in the kitchen with me for a bittersweet family get together in my late father's honor.

Needless to say, I cannot do a holiday without baking.

Without further ado, here is the Taste of Home Eggnog Log recipe that my mother has made every year for as long as I can remember. She puts Red Hots on the tips of each cookie, and it's a beautiful touch. I've put my own twist by using a star tip to pipe the frosting.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


FROSTING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • Ground nutmeg


DIRECTIONS

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the nutmeg, egg and extracts; mix thoroughly. Stir in flour. If necessary, chill dough for easier handling.

On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into 1/2-in.-diameter rolls; cut each into 3-in.-long pieces. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

For frosting, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups sugar and extracts; mix well. Beat in cream and remaining sugar. Frost cookies. With tines of a small fork, make lines down the frosting to simulate bark. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

How to make it child friendly:
  • Let your little one hold the mixer or pour pre-measured ingredients into the mixing bowl.
  • Do not skip the chilling! Even 15 minutes will make it easier for little hands to handle
  • Let your little one do the rolling out into little logs - even if they turn out uneven, the pretty piped frosting will hide it!
  • If old enough - let them squeeze the bag as you pipe the frosting.


Remember, little ones do not need to be present through it all. Children get bored, and tired adults run out of patience. Feel free to have them help you mixed the dough, then bake all the cookies yourself and have them help you pipe a few. Or have them only do the rolling out. It's up to you, just do what is fun and involves their little hands. I made sugar cookies for the office this weekend, and Selene helped hold the mixer and did the cookie cutter shapes. That's it, and it was stress free :)





And now for this gorgeous set from the ever so lovely Violets in May. 

Though it is too close to Christmas to order it, I wanted to review these anyway because they come in many different fabric patterns!

First, there's the Dolly Top. This top is actually quite a crop top. It's made out of such structured and light fabric that it doesn't tug at your net at all, and can be worn criss cross in the front. It buttons in the back as well, making for a beautiful fit and adorable detail. This one comes with tiny pompoms along the bustline (which Aurora loves, let me tell you!), however not all of the other Dolly Tops do. Each one is unique in final touches. You can request custom sizing as most items are made to order. 

The gathered skirt is also very comfortable and flares out beautifully. I wore a petticoat in this shoot, however you can get away without one! Make sure you order according to your measurements for the skirt, as if it is too loose your top can pop out because it is cropped! The beautiful Lola Diamond - pinup model and creator of Violets in May - is very quick to answer sizing queries. If you want to know - just ask!


The top is available in other colours here, and the skirts can be found here. 
I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I know from experience that this time of year can be both beautiful and difficult. As a year comes to a close, it is always a time of reflection on the joys and sorrows of the year past. For me, it's always been a time to both miss family overseas, and celebrate with the one that I made. This year in particular, it is filled with thoughts of the many family members that we lost this year.

For others, it can be a time of deep loneliness. It can be a time for grieving. Reach out to one another, and be kind from the bottom of your heart.

Thank you so much for reading.

xo
Miss Betty Doll









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