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Hey It's Lyss!

DIY Christmas Tags

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Over the summer I bought a bunch of simple paper tags pretty much  because they were on sale and cute. But I have been waiting for something to do with them. UNTIL NOW

I broke out my water colors, and the glitter and ribbon I got from the Target dollar section. NOTE: this is not an ad ( I think you have to have more than like five followers for someone to want you to advertise for them haha, but Targ if ya see this and want to give me free glitter, there are no complaints here)

Okay here is the easiest tutorial ever. -That is the beauty of watercoloring and glitter, they don’t need much work to be beautiful.

 

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The supplies in their natural habitat

 

Okay are you ready for your directions?

Step one: Get supplies

Step two: Take up as much table space as you possibly can. Oh and you should also probably light a luscious smelling candle

Step three: Use some type of brush tool to swipe a thin layer of modge podge on some of your tags. This is where you can be creative, sprinkle the glitter on the whole thing, half of it, in a pattern. GO WILD

Step four: Let those dry and fill two glasses of water. -One is for watercoloring, the other is for drinking. I mean ya gotta keep your creative brain hydrated!

Step five: I put a piece of paper under all the tags I was going to watercolor so I didn’t have to stay on the tags. Also once again this is where you get to be creative and choose your colors, how intense you want the hues, the design and all that good stuff.

 

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The watercolors themselves

In retrospect I wouldn’t have put the tags on black paper because it kinda bled on some of them. But the fronts sure look cute!

 

Step six: Go eat a cookie or two and then string some ribbon or string through your beautiful tags. Then even if you give someone a crappy gift, at least it will be wrapped pretty!

 

Granny’s Molasses Crinkles

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Okay two words: Breakfast cookies. I have to admit I am partial to pretty much any cookie for breakfast, but these one are the OG of breaky cookies. Crispy outer edges, yet delightfully chewy, sweet, spicy-these cookies have it all.

Story Time

Starting when I was a wee little Lyss, every 4th of July week my Mom’s side of the family would all meet at the family cabin on Donner Lake. In the mornings, and by mornings I mean glassy smooth lake, sun just beginning to rise, air still carrying the night chill, yeah, so early AM, my cousins and I would get up and fish.

Those mornings are to this day some of my dearest memories.

Bare feet dangling off the edge of the dock, sun warming our backs, and devouring the breakfast of champions- cookies and coffee. Yeah I was probably far too young to be drinking coffee. But the cabin has big and mini versions of those green tin cups with the white speckles, and the adults would have coffee in the big ones, and us in the little ones. It doesn’t get much cuter than that.

So I’d grab a couple sugar dusted cookies in my small hands, fill up my small green cup with mostly cream and sugar and just a bit of coffee, and walk down to the dock and eat cookies for breakfast with my dad.

That’s why this cookie recipe is one of my dearest.

This recipe was my Granny’s, and now I have it, and I am sharing it with you, because these cookies are meant for making memories and for the people you love.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

For Rolling

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Despite the fact that a large portion of cookie recipes call for whipping butter and sugars together, I stopped doing that. Partly because I pretty much always accidentally melt the butter instead of just softening it, partly ’cause I am lazy, and partly because I think mixing the sugars with melted butter for cookies makes them chewier. So step one melt butter, mix with sugar
  3. Add egg and molasses. Stir all that together
  4. Make a nice little mountain of all the dry ingredients on top of the wet mixture. Combine! (NOTE: This makes a pretty sticky dough, you can chill it if you want to make it easier to work with). (ANOTHER NOTE: the other day my dough was kinda dry…distracted baking… so I added a bit more molasses and they turned out  A-Okay. They are a pretty forgiving cookie I’ve decided).
  5. Mix the sugar and cinnamon for rolling, plop dough balls into sugar, plop sugared dough balls onto greased cookie sheet, plop cookie sheet into oven, bake 9-12 minutes, let cool for a hot sec-literally, then plop cookies into your mouth. YAY
  6. Invite some friends over, brew a pot of coffee, and build your own memories around a plate of these cookies ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rollin’ with the Homies

 

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Homemade cinnamon rolls with a maple cream cheese frosting

I LOVE cinnamon rolls. But far too often when I buy one I am disappointed. Whether the dough is too dry, the frosting is just fluff or the filling itself is blah. Basically a bad cinnamon roll is a travesty.

So I learned how to make my own. And by learned I mean I looked at one of my favorite blogs Yammie’s Noshery and found a decadent and foolproof recipe that pretty much makes the cinnamon rolls of your dreams-well at least mine.

Soft, chewy, yeast dough envelopes the sweet cinnamon butter filling, and a flavorful and creamy maple frosting tops these dreamy rolls. Like I said they’re the things of dreams.

Another perk of this recipe is that in the realm of yeast dough breads this recipe is a quickie. The dough only rises once, and then bakes for about 20-25 minutes.

You can also save some manual labor by using a mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. But I personally like kneading it by hand because I get to put a little extra love in it.

So how bout I just stop talking and give you what you’ve all been waiting for:

The Roll Recipe

  • 2 cups milk- I use 2% or whole. I probably wouldn’t use fat free. (I mean if you’re going to eat a cinnamon roll, then eat the damn cinnamon roll)
  • 1.5 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 1/2 cups flour-white all purpose
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Filling Ingredients

NOTE- my filling(down below) is different than the original recipe as I like a mix of brown and white sugar, added a little vanilla, and didn’t melt my butter all the way/used more butter.

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons cinnamon-dependent on taste

The Roll Directions

  1. Heat milk to between 110-115 degrees. A cooking thermometer is helpful here. But if you don’t have one, use your finger and the milk should feel hot but cool enough to not burn you. Add the yeast and let it react for about five minutes. If your yeast isn’t reacting it’s either because your yeast is old, or your milk is too hot and killed the yeast, or too cold.
  2. Add the milk yeast combo to a big bowl and then add brown sugar and butter.
  3. Add flour cup by cup. Mixing on low in between
  4. Add salt
  5. Knead for 10 minutes.
  6. Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place* until doubled in size. – *NOTE-I live in a drafty house in the frigid city of Spokane and so to speed up the rising process, I turn on the oven for a couple minutes as if I am preheating it and then stick my dough in the warm oven to rise.
  7. Roll out to a half inch or so. This is dependent on how many layers in your rolls you want.
  8. Combine filling ingredients and spread evenly on dough. Roll into a mega log. Cut giant roll into about 2 inch segments.
  9. Bake at 350 for 18-24 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients

  • NOTE-  I adjusted the glaze recipe a bit too.
  • 4 oz plain cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Basically just combine everything and mix until smooth and creamy. The original recipe says to whip it till it’s fluffy, but that’s only if you want a big mound of thick fluffy frosting on top. Though I’m more of a melty gooey kinda girl, so I like to smother mine in frosting while they’re still warm. But hey that’s just my dream status roll, you do you.

P.S. This recipe makes more than the eight pictured in the cute red dish up top. I just had a certain fondness for the festive red pans and so I used two pans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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So I’m all about warm and gooey, fresh from the oven cookies, but sadly cookies don’t always get to be enjoyed that way. And far too often cooled cookies simply just cannot compare to the wonders of their fresh melty counterparts.

I created this recipe to give those fresh from-the-oven cookies a run for their money.

Cream cheese and cornstarch keep them soft long after the warmth has seeped out of their chewy edges. Normally they just get a plethora of white chocolate chips but in light of the holiday season I added a sprinkle of tart, red, dried cranberries.

They are of course delicious straight from the oven, but they are also a perfect treat to bring to a dear friend or to a holiday festivity.

Just MAKE SURE to almost underbake. -to keep them moist and chewy.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. plain cream cheese
  • 10 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Soften butter and cream cheese
  3. Add sugars and vanilla. Whip to combine
  4. Stir in eggs
  5. Add in dry ingredients. Mix to combine
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries
  7. Eat some dough
    1. ** I am not responsible if you get salmonella. But I have eaten cookie dough for as long as I can remember and have never gotten sick from it.
  8. Place dough in rounded mounds on cookies sheet and chill for 20 or so minutes
  9. Bake about 10 minutes-different ovens will cook differently. Or until golden and dough looks set. REPEAT: DO NOT OVERCOOK
  10. Take off hot sheet and put on cooling tray
  11. Eat. Share. Enjoy.

 

Chocolate for President

Whether you are celebrating or mourning today, I made these brownies for you. Because everyone needs a little more kindness and chocolate in their lives.

And I mean chocolate for president, am I right or am I right?

  • Chocolate doesn’t discriminate(unless you’re lactose intolerant-but that’s what dark chocolate is for)
  • It’s good for your heart-pair it with some red wine and you’ll be feelin’ good
    • woot woot antioxidants
  • It makes happy and sad days better

I could go on, but I’d say that chocolate is a already looking PRETTY good

So in the theme of things, here are some triple chocolate cake bars, with a rich chocolate ganache, topped with mini choco chip cookies. And oh did I mention they have a classy swirl of peanut butter and cream cheese?

The base chocolate cake is Brick Street Chocolate Cake from Through Her Looking Glass. Though for this I halved the recipe and poured it in a sheet pan.

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Chocolate peanut butter- or choc pean as I lovingly like to call it, is one of my favorite combos, so I thought I’d spice up this recipe a little.

I added cream cheese to the peanut butter to cut the sweetness a tad and keep things moist. (Yes I know manya you have an aversion to that word, but for cake’s sake it’s fine!

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I whipped the peanut butter and cream cheese together, but melting them together might’ve worked butter…better

Next came the very precise and technical step of mixing the two. As in take a knife and swirl it around in there.

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I promise this will taste better than it currently looks

Bake that baby. At 350 degrees. 15 or so minutes.

Then compliment yourself as all your housemates come in and tell you how heavenly the kitchen smells. This is the perfect time to accept bribes.

Make some ganache. I would’ve taken pictures, but all my fingers were covered in chocolate (or in my mouth as I was licking them off)

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I had these mini chocolate chip cookies that I was eating like I was the cookie monster and Sesame Street let me stop being the veggie monster and go back to eating chocolate.

So I crunched them up and put them on top of the bars, because obviously there wasn’t enough going on!

Recipe for the half of original recipe

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter-1 cube
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 eggs-I used 1 egg plus a yolk, but you can be  more precise if you want
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (I used one cup all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
  • 1/2 baking cocoa-unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 small box chocolate pudding-1.5 oz dry mix
  • 1 + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips-or however much your heart desires
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 oz plain cream cheese

Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla
  3. Add in eggs
  4. Add in dry ingredients and buttermilk
  5. Stir chocolate chips in
  6. Pour in greased cookie sheet-assuming that your cookie sheet has a lip and isn’t flat
  7. Whip cream cheese and peanut butter together, plop on batter, then swirl in
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes
  9. Cool for 15 or so minutes and then flip onto cooling rack

Ganache Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter-1/2 cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa-unsweetened
  • 1.5-1 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons heavy cream-I used half and half

Ganache Directions

  1. Heat water, butter and vanilla
  2. Stir in cocoa powder-it gets weird and thick but trust the system
  3. Stir in powdered sugar-it will thin and get creamy as you stir more
  4. Add cream
  5. Pour on cake
  6. Lick spoon (and fingers and bowl)

Final Directions

  1. Eat cake
  2. Be happy

 

Hey It’s Me, Lyss!

Oh hi everyone!

(And by everyone, I mean  my hoards of fans I’ll have when I obviously become rich and famous. hah. yeah….)

Well in case ya didn’t gather by my very original blog post title, this is my first post!

Okay, but for real, I am really excited about this. For awhile it has been a dream to start my own blog. But I kept waiting for a perfect opportunity to start, though then that turned into it’s own excuse, and here I am a few months after I made this blog, just now writing my first post.

I kept waiting till I had more time, or knew more, or had a better camera(haha aka an actual camera not a phone), or could decide on that perfect font combination. But mostly, I think I was afraid to put myself out there. I mean dreams are a lot safer when they are nestled in your heart.

But that’s the thing. Kept inside, dreams are just that: dreams.

The little devil on my shoulder asks me what the point even is, especially with so many prominent, lovely and creative bloggers out there. Yet I can’t help but think that maybe one day I could be one of those bloggers. And despite my opening comments about becoming rich and famous, that’s not what drives me(especially because then I might get harassed for wearing the same pants three days in a row). But, if my blog, my life, my stories, my creations, make just one person feel inspired, less alone, or even simply smile, then this adventure would be worth it.

So I would be delighted and honored if you’d be a part of this journey with me.

Ever so sincerely,

Lyss

 

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