Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate!

I've been in Missouri visiting family over winter break. Gotta love it!

I have several posts in the works, but didn't bring my computer with me, so they'll have to wait til I get back home in Tallahassee.

Vanillekipferln: German Almond Crescent Cookies

I'm here to let you in on a little secret of mine.

Are you ready?

Are you SUUUURE?


I make the best cookies ever.

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement. But seriously these cookies are so good. They're requested every Christmas by all the family, and sometimes I make them throughout the year just for myself!

They're an old German recipe, often made during the Holidays. I used to make them to sell for the German Club before things went to sh*t there. Anyway they're seriously tasty. Of course, anything this delicious isnt exactly the most healthy, but hey, its Christmastime, who's keeping track? ;)

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup Butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • ~ 1 cup Almonds (slivered work best)
  • Powdered / Confectioners Sugar (for dusting)
  • Food processor (optional)
  • A large bowl
  • Mixer (optional, I've done it by hand with a fork before)
Now please note in the photos of the preparation, I made a TRIPLE recipe of these because I wanted to have enough to go around. (Thats how good these things are!) They already make a fairly large batch, so just be aware. Alright then, on we go..

First things first, the almonds. Now I know the ingredients says 1 cup, but a little extra definitely wont hurt. I usually just get these 1 1/3 cup bags and use the whole bag. (In this case, I had a 1 1/3 cup bag and a 1 2/3 cup bag, giving me 3 cups for 3 batches.)

Grind them up fairly small in a food processor. Now, back when I lived in a dorm and didnt have a food processor, I just smashed the almonds by hand and that worked fine, the dough was just very crumbly. So whatever works.

Add your 1 cup of butter (yes, that is a lot of butter) and 2/3 cup of sugar in the bowl and cream them together. The mixture should get fairly fluffy, but not overly so or you'll end up with very crumbly cookies.

Then add a tablespoon of vanilla extract, and a tablespoon and a half of almond extract. Mix these in well. Starting to smell good, huh!!

At this point I realized I needed a much bigger bowl if my triple batch was going to fit...

Ok, now this part can be a little difficult. Add the 2 1/2 cups of flour and the chopped up almonds and mix it all together as best as you can. It might be too tough for a mixer (mine definitely couldnt handle it, but yours might be higher quality..)

The dough you end up with will be crumbly, but the butter should hold it together nicely when you go to shape it. If seems too sticky, add a little more flour.

It would be around this time I would suggest preheating the oven to 350.

And here comes the fun part; time to get messy!

Take about a tablespoon or so of the dough. Roll it into a ball, making sure to squish it so it holds together nicely. Yes, you're going to get greasy.

Now take that ball and roll it between your hands to make a log shape. It should be about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick. Gently fold that log into a crescent shape, as shown.

Lay those puppies out on a slightly greased cookie sheet. They dont spread a whole lot. but try and leave some space between them. The ones I have below are probably a little too close together, but I was trying to fit as many as I could since I was making such a huge batch.

Pop those puppies in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. They're not going to brown too much unless they're burnt, but they'll be darker than the dough.

I didnt get a photo of them out of the oven, so you'll have to use your imagination on this one. Put them on a cooling rack for a while until cool to the touch. Sometimes I leave them a little warm still so the powdered sugar sticks better, but its really up to you.

Roll the cooled cookies in powdered sugar. Eat the broken ones. This part is mandatory. There will be no sub-standard cookies here.

Aaaand they're done! Give them out to all your friends and relatives, they're sure to delight. OR just eat them all yourself, I've done that one too!

DIY T-Shirt Bracelet #2

So I promised in my last post that I'd talk about the other version of the t-shirt bracelets I made next time. Well that was like 2 weeks ago, and I'm finally getting around to doing just that! Things have been hectic around here with Finals week coming up and such so I havent really had the time.

If you want to read about how I made the first version, you can do so here.

So lets get started on the loopy version 2! (Ignore my terribly chipped nails please! I'm way too impatient to ever let them dry all the way and they ALWAYS get messed up!!)

I used the same sort of strips in this one as the last one. Take your old t-shirt and cut off the bottom hem. Then cut strips about 1/2 - 1 inch wide across the bottom. I cut these at one side so they would be one long strip instead of a circle. Then grab both ends and stretch the strip out to make it longer and sort of curl up. My strips ended up being about 4 ft. long. You can see one in the photo below.

Now you're going to want to make a small hole in one end of the strip. Just fold over the very tip and cut a small snip on the fold.

Take the un-snipped end and feed it through the snipped end to make a loop. Pull the end though the hole until you have about 4-5 inches out.

Now just coil up the remainder of the loop by twisting/folding so it is a bunch of loops laying on top of eachother. The number of times you can do this depends on the length of your strip and how big around it needs to be to slide it over your hand and to your wrist. Remember the fabric will stretch some, so dont worry too much about it fitting over your hand, just make it the tightness you want it to lay on your wrist.

Now you're going to take the excess fabric you pulled through and wrap it around the loops to hold it all together. Start off a little bit away from the base of where your excess goes through the hole, then wrap towards the base until you have the end of the side with the hole completely covered. Leave a little bit of the end unwrapped. About 1 - 1.5 inch will do. You might want to give the loops a bit of a twist here so they hold together a little better in the finished product. Unless you want it to look like all separate strands, in which case, dont! Itall depends on what you want it to look like!

 Find the needle with the biggest hole you have. Feed the end of your unwrapped fabric through this hole like you would thread. (This is where that big hole come in handy.)

Now you're going to secure the end by pushing the needle through the coils of itself where it is wrapped around, and pull it through. Be careful to only go under the coils, but not stab through any of the fabric, because then your strip wont fit!

Pull it pretty tight and snip off the extra fabric.

And now you're done! The finished product should look something like mine below. You can kind of see how I had twisted the strands together so they wouldnt flap apart in the earlier step. If you want to extra secure where it is held together, put a dab of hot glue on the end. Depending on how tightly you wrapped it around you may or may not need this.

Here it is paired with the braided version I did in the first post!

For reference, my boyfriend got the one I made for him very dirty at a construction job. Since it was made of t-shirt material, I figured I could just pop it in the wash along with laundry and it would be fine. Good news: both versions held up great after going through the wash. So if you ever need to clean yours, just throw it in the laundry!

I'd love to hear about and see any versions you make! If you have any other suggestions for what I can do with the rest of my t-shirt, please let me know! I love feedback!