It’s Friday, I’m in Love

It might not have seemed like it on your end, but it was a long week for me!

Giveaways

The winner of this weeks TKB Giveaway is:

Email me at contact  [dot] gothique [at] gmail [dot] com!  Don’t forget to go here and enter if you haven’t already!

There are still two other giveaways currently running as well.  Check the link on the sidebar ➜

I’ll also be posting a couple more next week including one from Sleek.

Twitter

I’ve someone managed to get over 500 followers on Twitter!  And as promised I’m giving away a $50 Sephora gift certificate.  One random follower who Tweets the following phrase will be drawn on Monday to win!

Happy Holidays!  Celebrate with @_grey and LeGothique.

I was going to do it as just one random follower, but a lot don’t pay attention, and frankly, like I’ve said, I’d rather see someone who I knows follows loyally win something amazing!  This way I can just click over to my mentions and see who all entered.  You may Tweet the phrase once every 24 hours and each will count as an entry, giving you as many as three times to win.

Reviews

Holy moly, I have a ton to get done.  I’m working on one I thought I’d have done by yesterday, but it’s still in pieces.  I have a ton of errands to get done today since Christmas is in just over a week, so hopefully by tonight.

I’m meeting with someone at Mitsuwa for lunch today so she can translate some of the Japanese from the products I’m reviewing, so look for at least one Around the World review this weekend!

IMS

I receved an IMS package from Becca this week.  Don’t forget if you signed up in the latest round of sign ups, packages are due SOON!  The IMS page is here.  If I’ve received your swap your name is in italics.

The Links

I want one of these wigs.

This is pretty much my favorite thing ever today.

I‘m going to make some gingerbread ninjas.

I LOVE THIS BLOG.

Am I the only one who thinks this was as pretentious as it gets?

Your Turn

Got any good cookie recipes?  Vegan or not, doesn’t matter, let’s share!  I’ll put them together like my Cupcake Cook Book.

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35 Responses to “It’s Friday, I’m in Love”

  1. cupcake book i just got my friend for xmas you may enjoy called “vegan cupcake take over the world” they have so serious awesome recipes. I dont normally like vegan food, but I have celiacs.. so some of the ingredients I have and thought I’d give it a whirl.

    But today I will be making Peppermint Barks candies shaped into skulls for my husbands work. Unless he eats the all before Sunday!!

  2. Pecan Pie Shortbread Bar Cookies (with vegan variation)

    Shortbread:
    1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter (can substitute vegan margarine; use stick style, not the kind in a tub)
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (use a vegan sugar, and add 1 Tbs. molasses to each cup of sugar you need)
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Using a pastry blender, cut together all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps. Alternately, you can use a food processor.
    Sprinkle mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and with a metal spatula press evenly onto bottom. I recommend lining the pan with foil for easier removal and cleanup.

    Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Under-baking slightly is better than over-baking, since it will be going back in with the topping. You can always add to the baking time, but you can’t un-bake!

    While shortbread is baking, prepare topping.

    Topping:
    1 1/2 C pecans, chopped
    1/2 cup unsalted butter (can substitute vegan margarine, but use stick-style, not the stuff in a tub)
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/3 cup honey (can substitute cane syrup or other vegan syrup)
    2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream (can substitute a vegan ‘milk’, but use one with a higher fat content, such as coconut milk)
    hot Shortbread Base (recipe above)

    In a heavy saucepan melt butter and stir in brown sugar, honey, and cream. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, 1 minute and stir in pecans. Pour pecan mixture over hot shortbread and spread evenly.

    Bake in middle of oven until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into bars.

  3. Here is a recipe I found last year on the new York in Green blog for EARL GREY TEA COOKIES :O I made these last year, TWICE, because the first batch didn’t last very long. Maybe a day, heh. They’re now my favorite non-chocolate cookie, so I can’t make them often but I’ve sworn to make them part of my holiday baking… hopefully my grandkids will one day remember going to my house at Christmas and having those weird cookies with tea in them! And as a nice bonus: they’re vegan. I know, it’s amazing. Try them, they’re easy and awesome.

    Earl Grey Tea Cookies
    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup white sugar (make sure no bone char tho! Use organic cane sugar to be sure, it works fine)
    1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (or powdered sugar or icing sugar)
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp Earl Grey tea (tea from about 6 or 7 tea bags)
    1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened and/or cut into chunks
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp water

    Preheat oven to 375 (you don’t have to do this right away tho, because the dough needs to chill) and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
    In your food processor, combine sugars, salt, and tea. Pulse to pulverize tea- bagged tea is already pretty fine so you won’t need to do this for long.
    Once the original mixture has become homogeneous, add the flour and pulse again. Continue to pulse until the majority of the mixture is moving like it’s a liquid.
    Add your butter, vanilla extract, and water.
    Pulse until the mixture becomes a dough.
    Next, divide the dough in half, and place each half in a ball on its own sheet of plastic wrap.
    Roll each ball into a log approximately 12 inches long, wrap, and chill in your fridge for about 30 minutes. Now’s a good time to turn on your oven, if you didn’t already do it.
    Once your rolls are nice and cold and firm, unwrap from the plastic wrap and slice about 1/3″ thick. Place on your parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets about two inches apart. They don’t really spread much though, so you can crowd them if need be.
    Bake in pre-heated oven for 12 minutes and/or until the edges become golden brown. Remove and let cool, preferably on wire cooling racks after the cookies have been out of the oven for 5 minutes or so, but you can always slide the parchment paper, cookies and all, on to your countertop too.

    She goes on to say that they’re better when cold, and are gross while still warm, and she’s kind of right; they ARE better once completely cool, as they get all crisp and yummy, but I enjoyed them warm, too.

    Here’s a link to the source, in case anyone wants to go see the shiny pictures of each step: http://newyorkingreen.blogspot.com/2009/10/veganmofo-day-ten-duke-of-earl-grey.html But really it’s a straightforward recipe, if you can make shortbread cookies, you can make these, no problem. I’m gonna make them with green tea and (hopefully) blackberry sage tea this year too, just for fun. If you’re so inclined, you can also freeze the rolls of dough and they’ll keep in your freezer for months, so you can make small batches of cookies whenever you like!

  4. I’m so excited for the makeup swap! Can’t wait to try some international products!

    I’ll have to go thru my cookie receipes and see if I have anything good to submit. I love the gingerbread ninjas!

  5. Hopefully you’ll be doing another IMS!

    I made Red Velvet Whoopie Pies last year and they were amazing! I got the recipe from this site: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/heart-shaped-red-velvet-whoopie-pies/

  6. This is not my original recipe, I found it online but it is TASTY!

    Red Velvet Chocolate Chips Cookies

    1 box Red Velvet cake mix

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1/3 cup vegetable oil

    3/4 cup chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350.

    In an electric mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll into balls and bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

    Makes about 24 cookies.

    • I modified this recipe. I made 3 batches like above, and just made 3 batches with the following, which I prefer. It’s still credited to the lovely blog:
      http://www.howsweeteats.com/

      1 box Red Velvet cake mix
      1/2 cup egg beaters
      2 teaspoons vanilla
      1/3 cup vegetable oil
      3/4 cup chocolate chips

      Preheat oven to 350.

      In an electric mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
      Mix until a dough forms.
      Fold in chocolate chips.
      Roll into balls and bake at 350 for 16 minutes.

      I then iced half of the cookies with buttercream icing. They’re delicious!

  7. Here’s a link to the Red Velvet Elvis cookies that I made last year:

    http://5secondrule.typepad.com/files/redvelvetelvis.pdf

    These cookies are fit for a King… royal red velvet banana cookies sandwiched with rich, peanut butter buttercream filling. Elvis may have left the building, but he’d come back for more of these. 🙂

    • Here is the recipe without the link and formatting. Enjoy!

      Red Velvet Banana Cookies

      INGREDIENTS:
      2 cups flour
      1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
      1/2 tsp. baking soda
      1 tsp. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. salt
      5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
      3/4 cup granulated sugar
      1 large egg
      1 Tbsp. red food coloring
      1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
      1/2 cup buttermilk
      1/2 cup mashed ripe banana

      DIRECTIONS:
      Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

      Using a mixer, beat 5 tablespoons butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, banana, food coloring, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until smooth.

      This “dough” will look more like a cake batter. Fill a gallon-size freezer bag with the cookie batter and cut a hole in one corner. Pipe “walnut-sized” dollops of batter onto a Silpat- or parchment -lined cookie sheet. Bake until the cookies “spring back” when touched, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool. Once they are cool, sandwich them together with Peanut Butter Buttercream. Elvis would want it that way.

      Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe adapted from Wilton)

      INGREDIENTS:
      3 Tbsp. solid vegetable shortening
      3 Tbsp. butter
      1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
      1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      2 cups (approx. 1/2 lb.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
      2-3 tablespoons milk
      Makes: About 1 1/2 cups… this is ample for filling the cookies.

      DIRECTIONS:
      Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

      Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.

      Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies. Uh huh, uh, huh… thank you very much.

  8. My fave: Pumpkin Biscottis

    Pumpkin Biscotti Recipe
    Print Options

    * Print (no photos)
    * Print (with photos)

    Ingredients

    * 2 1/2 cups of flour
    * 1 cup of sugar
    * 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    * 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    * 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
    * Pinch of ginger
    * Pinch of cloves
    * Pinch of salt
    * 2 eggs
    * 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
    * 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

    Method

    1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

    2 In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.

    3 Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)

    4 Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

    Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy.

    Makes approximately 15 cookies.

  9. I don’t make cookies so I don’t have any good recipes. Sorry. :/

    Have to say I love The Pickled Herring! Great blog! Definitely checking it out this weekend a bit better!

    And I want this hat – http://mintymix.com/item_109/Soft-Bear-Open-back-Hat.htm it’s SO cute! ❤

    p.s. I can't believe I missed Eviiiilllll 😦 It looks so great. I would name it 'Damn, am I HOT!' 😀

  10. My absolute favorite cookie recipe is this one (sorry it is not vegan!): Clementine’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – http://www.ghirardelli.com/bake/recipe.aspx?id=1028. I usually leave out the nuts and for the nutmeg, I not only double what the recipe calls for, I use freshly ground. It really makes the cookies something special. I have even been known to sneak some flaxseed meal in there, and no one ever noticed.

  11. I, sadly, don’t have a recipe to share. 😦 But some of these are amazing so far! 😀 The Pickled Herring is an awesome blog, too…thanks for sharing! ^__^

  12. I would totally go for one of those wigs if it was solid pink. I’ve always wanted pink hair! (I blame Jem and the Holograms)

    I love the gingerbread ninjas. 😀

    And yay for 500 followers! Congrats!

  13. I LOVE this recipe, it’s just a simple sugar cookie recipe but it’s the best I’ve found! I always get compliments when I make these and they never last long!

    http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-buttery-cut-out-sugar-cookies-w-icing-that-hardens-261889

  14. I bought a non-stick aebleskiver pan for myself last December when Williams-Sonoma offered a special and have used it throughout the year. My SO prefer them with savory fillings like ham & cheese or jam & cheese whereas I prefer sweet fillings. Aebleskiver is pronounced similar to ebbel-skewer but my SO likes to mispronounce it in American English as the word is spelled.

    My favorite simple cookie recipe is: 1 cup nut butter (any nut, crunchy or smooth), 1 egg, and sugar to taste (white or brown, ranging from 1/2 cup up to 1 cup). If you want, you can add 1 tsp vanilla extract. You can bake them at temperatures ranging from 325 to 375. Although I’m a usually stickler for precise baking by weighing all ingredients (yup, on a scale) and following directions exactly, I find these cookies are difficult to mess up because they’re so simple and contain no gluten-forming flour.

  15. This is my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I got it from everydaydish.tv. I make them as presents and everyone loves them. No one can believe it’s a vegan recipe 😀 I usually use grapeseed oil instead of canola oil. They taste better that way.

    1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
    1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
    1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
    1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
    1⁄4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
    1 – 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1⁄4 cup canola oil (a little generous)
    1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not over-mix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

    Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie. For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of the spelt flour to the dry mix (the amount needed varies with brand of spelt flour and whether you are using a refined spelt flour versus a less processed spelt flour).

  16. Hi, first time commenter here… I just found your blog and I LOVE it!!!! Since you linked to the pickled herring blog and it’s about scandinavian stuff, and I happen to be Swedish, I thought I’d post a swedish cookie recipe. These are quite different from american cookies but very nice nevertheless… Not too sweet, and tender rather than chewy. I got this recipe from a swedish book that I TREASURE, it’s called “Vinterns Goda Ting” (the Good Things of Winter) about the joys of the winter season, by Anna Bergenström.

    GRANDMA INGA’S COOKIES:
    For a batch of 45(they are, like most traditional swedish cookies, small) you need:

    50 grams of whole almonds
    50 grams of whole hazelnuts
    200 grams of butter, room temperature
    0.45 cups granulated sugar (1 dl)
    1.25 cups plain flour (3 dl)

    DIRECTIONS:
    Pulse almonds and hazelnuts almost to a powder, in food processor. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar, add the nut and almond powder and then the flour. Quickly work together to a dough. Roll into hazelnut-sized balls and place on baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper. Flatten each ball into a disc using a fork dipped in flour. Bake in preheated oven at 390 degrees(200 degrees Celcius)for 10-12 minutes or intil golden and firm.

    This is my favourite cookie for the holidays (any holiday)! Thanks again for a great blog!

    ~Emilie

  17. I can’t cook for crap but hot dayum, I want that wig!

  18. I need that wig in my life!

    This recipe is simple and yummy.
    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/12/toffee-bars-recipe.html

  19. I’m really interested to see how the poll for the Top 10 turns out. I’ve not commented on it because, well, I don’t really have anything I’d consider a real favourite at the moment, besides a scent which is Linden Leaves ‘In Love Again’ from their Aromatherapy Synergy rage, but it’s not sold specifically as a scent anymore anyway.

    My favourite cookies are ANZAC biscuits.

    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    2 cups rolled oats
    125g butter
    3 tbsp golden syrup
    1 tsp baking soda
    3 tbsp boiling water

    1. Heat oven to 180°C. Place flour, sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl and mix.

    2. Melt butter and golden syrup, and dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Add wet ingredients to the bowl and mix.

    3. Press spoonfuls of the mix onto prepared baking trays, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

    I like to put the oats in a whiz for a few seconds before adding them to the mix to make them a little smaller, and to use flaked coconut instead of shredded. I think it produces a nicer texture in the finished biscuits.

    I often give these as gifts. When I do I like to add chopped glazed cherries, and once the biscuits have cooled I half dip them in chocolate.

  20. I’m obsessed with chocolate-covered blueberries, so I made a cookie that tastes just like them! (Not vegan) **NOTE: Dried blueberries are prohibitively expensive for some reason! Anyway …

    ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks), melted
    ¼ melted semisweet chocolate chips
    2 ½ cups granulated sugar
    ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened for baking)
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp vanilla
    4 beaten eggs (or 1 cup egg substitute)
    3 cups flour (no need to sift)
    2 cups dried blueberries
    1-2 cups chocolate chips (your choice, depending on how rich you want them to be!)

    Preheat oven to 350°F

    Combine melted butter and chocolate in large bowl. Add the sugar and mix. Then add the cocoa, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the beaten eggs and stir thoroughly. Mix in the flour, the blueberries and then the chocolate chips.

    Place rounded teaspoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet.

    Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove them to a wire rack to complete cooling.

    Makes approx. 50 cookies that taste EXACTLY like chocolate-covered blueberries

    • ***That’s supposed to say 1/4 CUP melted chocolate chips – it’d be pretty boring if it was 1/4 of a chocolate chip ^.^

  21. Wow. I just read that entire gift list at Gala Darling and can honestly say that I hated all of them. I wouldn’t want ANYONE to get me any of those things as gifts.

    Some of them were just ridiculous. Oh, yes, please, what I need is a metric crapton of stuff with my initial on it, to make my life complete.

    Also: “I like art based around words” yes, it’s called TYPOGRAPHY. That’s a particularly good word.

    endrant.

    I can’t make cookies but I make a super lemon drizzle cake.

  22. OOOooh I don’t cook, just burn stuff. I’m awesome at that.
    Step 1, turn on the oven
    Step 2, put junk in
    Step 3, if it’s not burned around the edges, I wasn’t the baker.

    • I just remembered I do have a favourite cookie and the best part is, you don’t bake anything!

      Chocolate Macaroons! Or Haystacks, we just call them macaroons though.

      CHOCOLATE MACAROONS

      2 cups sugar
      1/2 cups butter or margarine
      1 cup coconut
      1/2 cup milk
      3 cups oatmeal
      6 tsp cocoa

      Melt the butter and cocoa powder first to get it smooth. Add milk and sugar.

      Bring to boil over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add coconut & oatmeal.

      Plop onto wax paper and leave to cool. They get more solid as they cool off.

      Coconutty goodness!

  23. Wow, yay! I just emailed you. Thanks so much 😀

    I make these lemon bread-y cookies sometimes that I really enjoy, but I can’t seem to find the recipe anywhere. It must be buried in my bookshelf in some folder. x_x I hope I find it because I don’t remember where I got the recipe.

  24. thebirdofparadise December 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Grey,

    You didn’t ask for beauty blog suggestions this week, so I hope you don’t mind me submitting this suggestion.

    I think she has a blog, too. But as my link suggests, I follow her on YouTube.

    What do you think? On one hand, I don’t really know the criteria that you are seeking, so who knows if Klaire will appeal to you. But, if I were to take a wild guess, and assume that you find many other YouTube tutorialists* to be a bit, ahem, VERBOSE, then you might find Klaire to be a refreshing alternative.

    *not a real word, but you know what I mean.

    Back on topic. The wig is to die for, and I did like some of those gift suggestions (the pink schwinn, some of the hair accessories) But I really disliked her writing style. Way too pretentious. Blech, no thank you.

  25. I asked for that wig for XMas!

    My favorite place for recipes is Angry Chicken. I just like her blog in general but she often either provides her own or links to a lot of amazing recipes.

  26. I liked a couple of Gala Darling’s gift suggestions, but I know what you mean about pretentious. There’s something about her that’s kind of… I don’t know how to say it, but very hard to relate to.

    This recipe for Chocolate Sandwich Cookies is not vegan unfortunately, but it is delicious! (I wonder if it would be hard to tweak it to make it vegan?)

    Here’s a picture to give an idea of what they look like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/18335810@N00/2106264786/

    And here’s the recipe:

    1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
    2 eggs lightly beaten
    1/2 cup canola oil

    Mix ingredients together. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Roll dough into small walnut sizes. Try to make each cookie even.

    Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

    Remove from oven & let cool.

    Filling:
    1/2 – 1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese – softened (leave on counter at room temperature for 30 minutes)
    1/4 cup margarine
    2 cups icing sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla

    Mix together in a saucepan and cool. Spread between cookies.

  27. My Favorite cookie recipe is
    http://annies-eats.com/2010/10/01/pumpkin-butterscotch-cookies/
    They are really yummy cakey cookies that taste like Fall!
    Ohh I really want to make those Scandinavian treats on that blog. That toffee looks particularly yummy.

  28. OMGosh I love that wig lol…
    Those ninja gingerbread cookies sound wicked cute!

  29. I’m commenting here since I don’t want to mess up the comment numbers for those people who’ve entered the Lychee giveaway: that post led me to check put Epically Epic company and… oh, me, oh, my! They’re making their products with my favourite type of scents – edible ones!

    I must have drooled over the piña colada soap for a good few minutes!

    The combination of Espresso, Clove & Orange soap tickles my curiosity, I can’t imagine what it smells like – I’d love to smell it. Oh, and the bluebell, violet, blueberry and vanilla one sounds interesting, too. (And they’re all lookers 😀 .)

    Thanks for featuring those wigs and the Pickled Herring – bookmarked both sites.

    Cookies are the hard, flat things, right (never picked up on the English nomenclature of sweets)? I more of a cakes and granola kind of girl. Oh, and savoury pies, yum n_n !

  30. I’m commenting here since I don’t want to mess up the comment numbers for those people who’ve entered the Lychee giveaway: that post led me to check put Epically Epic company and… oh, me, oh, my! They’re making their products with my favourite type of scents – edible ones! I must have drooled over the piña colada soap for a good few minutes! The combination of Espresso, Clove & Orange soap tickles my curiosity, I can’t imagine what it smells like – I’d love to smell it. Oh, and the bluebell, violet, blueberry and vanilla one sounds interesting, too. (And they’re all lookers 😀 .) Thanks for featuring those wigs and the Pickled Herring – bookmarked both sites. Cookies are the hard, flat things, right (never picked up on the English nomenclature of sweets)? I more of a cakes and granola kind of girl. Oh, and savoury pies, yum n_n !

  31. I made Christmas cookies for all of my friends this year and the star of the show were these jam cookies:

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 egg yolk
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    preserves of your choice

    1. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt for 8-10 minutes (using “low” on an electric mixer)
    2. Add the yolk to the butter mixture and beat well.
    3. Add the flour and slowly combine until the dough is just moistened and completely blended together (too much mixing = dry cookies).
    4. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 30-60 minutes (I chilled for three hours and the dough was hard as a rock)

    After Dough Has Chilled:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. With your hands, roll the dough into little balls (about two inches in diameter)
    3. Using your finger (or a chopstick), make a small well in the center of the cookies.
    5. Fill each well with whatever preserves you like.
    6. Allow the cookies to bake for 10-15 minutes (they’re ready when they look firm and slightly golden around the edges).
    7. Let the cookies cool a bit on the cookie sheet Place on a plate/cookie rack/etc. and allow the cookies to finish cooling.

    NOTE: I also made shaped cookies from cookie cutters – and if I had the same cookie cutter, just smaller, I would make a cut-out to frame with jam in the middle of the bigger cookie 🙂 Those cookies take a little extra longer in the over, by about 3 minutes.

    I want to give you another because this one can be easily modified to be vegan if you have vegan chocolate chips:

    THE PERFECT COOKIE

    3 organic very ripe bananas
    1/2 cup Trader Joe’s creamy organic peanut butter
    2 TBS canola or coconut oil
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
    2 tsp. flax seed meal
    3/4th c. rolled oats
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. salt
    3/4th cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 325F.

    BOWL ONE: mash the bananas with the peanut butter, agave nectar, oil and vanilla.

    BOWL TWO: Stir together the flax, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients along with the chocolate and stir until combined.

    Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet, or one that is sprayed with nonstick spray, and bake for 12-14 minutes, until just set.