WW: DIY Tassel Garland Banner

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23.4.14

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For my sister’s wedding back in February, I was in charge of setting up and decorating her dessert table and gifts table. Her wedding took a lot of manual labor from everyone and it turned out wonderful in the end despite all the stress that came from it in the beginning.

I wanted to make something simple for the front of the tables that was easy to carry and not very fragile (we had to lug all of our goods to Santa Barbara, which is about an hour and a half drive from our house). A tassel garland banner was perfect!

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You can mix and match colors to create the perfect combination for your event. It’s definitely a bit time consuming, but the end result is impressive. Did I mention it’s extremely cheap to make?

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All you need are scissors, tissue paper in whatever colors you plan on using, twine, and some washi tape. Total cost of this project? $8 for the materials, which is enough to make five banners plus some in my case. That’s about $1.60 for each garland banner long enough for a six feet rectangle table. Actually, it’s even less since I had a TON of twine leftover.

Bottom line? It’s a steal.

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I happened to stumble across a pack of tissue paper at Marshall’s that had all of the colors that I needed. It had scalloped edges, but that’s not necessary for this project. Regular tissue paper works just fine, if not better. The way to read the pictures are from top to bottom, left to right. Let’s start!

1. First, cut your twine to your desired length. Set aside. (not pictured)
2. Lay out your tissue paper nice and flat.
3. Fold it in half horizontally.
4. Using your scissors, cut 1 inch strips from the bottom (you can do thinner strips if you want skinnier tassels) toward the fold. Make sure to stop cutting about two inches from the top.

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5. After you’ve finished cutting your strips, unfold the tissue paper and lay it out flat once again.
6. Turn the tissue paper so that the uncut center is perpendicular to you. Start rolling the paper in the center until you’ve rolled the entire tissue paper, with the cut edges on the end.
7. Twist the middle and fold it in half.

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8. Place the twine through the twist that you’ve just created.
9. Wrap a piece of washi tape around the center of the tissue paper to keep it intact.

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10. Carefully fluff out the tassel ends until you get your desired look.

That’s it! Repeat steps 1-10 about a million times until your garland is full. Make sure to evenly space the tassels apart so you get a uniform look. Here, I’ll show you again how to do it:

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Ta-da! Now keep going!

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Happy tassel garland making!

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

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22.4.14

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I usually never make shortbread. Shortbread cookies have never caught my interest because they’re usually quite plain and crumble easily. This recipe, however, is no ordinary shortbread cookie.

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These cookies have chocolate AND espresso! That’s one heck of a combination, folks.

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I love that these are squares rather than your normal circles. You could even get creative and use a cookie cutter to cut out particular shapes since these don’t spread at all after baking. Oh, the possibilities!

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I used Baker’s Joy non-stick baking spray with flour in order to make sure these cookies glide off effortlessly from the sheet. It definitely did its job! There was no cookie scrap left behind.

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This recipe comes adapted from from Use Real Butter.

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Baker’s Joy is actually running a promotion called “Which Sweet Treat are You?” starting today (April 22nd) through May 5th. By taking a quiz online, fans will get to discover what their baking personality is. Each personality is a different sweet treat. Are you a cookie? Or perhaps a cake or a pie?

You can take the quiz as many times as you’d like for a chance to win a daily prize and be entered to win the Grand prize. What exactly are the prizes, you ask? Well, daily prizes include $50 gift cards plus a year’s supply of Baker’s Joy. The Grand prize is a $500 gift card, a KitchenAid mixer, AND a year’s supply of Baker’s Joy. How about that? Give it a try here!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Baker's Joy non-stick baking spray

Directions

  1. Mix the instant espresso powder in boiling water and set aside to cool.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until completely smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and espresso. Gradually add in the flour until just incorporated. Don't overmix!
  4. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  5. Transfer the dough to a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, unzipped, and roll the dough into a rectangle that fills the bag, about 1/4 inch thick. Remember to turn the bag to keep the dough as smooth as possible. Once done, press out the air and seal the top of the ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a cookie sheet evenly with Baker's Joy. Set aside.
  7. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (throw away the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares.
  8. Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/04/espresso-chocolate-chip-shortbread-cookies.html

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Peepsters Stuffed Cookies

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19.4.14

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You may have seen on my Instagram earlier this week that I was trying to figure out something to make with all the Peeps for Easter. Bunnies and chicks were all over my kitchen!

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It didn’t take me long to spot these Peepsters. I have never seen or heard of them until now. Curious as I am, I immediately ripped open the bag to see what they were.

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They’re dark (also comes in milk) chocolate bites with a marshmallow flavored creme in the center. The pastel foil wrapping is perfect for your Easter candy dish.

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I went online to the Peeps website to see if they had any recommendations for baking with Peepsters. Sure enough, I found a cookie recipe to try.

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It’s basically a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but instead of using regular chocolate chips, you replace them with cut up Peepsters.

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The inside of the Peepsters didn’t melt away while baking, thanks to a couple of hours in the freezer.

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I threw some Easter sprinkles on top to make the cookies a little more festive.

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Overall, it’s a simple and wonderful recipe from Peeps. The cookies were chewy, definitely on the sweeter side, and had a cooked brown sugar taste.

I started making the cookies as directed in the recipe by rolling the dough to cover all of the Peepsters, but that got a little difficult. I ended up stirring the pieces into the dough ball, not worrying whether the dough was covering each piece of chocolate or not. Honestly, I didn’t notice a difference between the two versions. Make your life a little easier by carefully stirring the chopped Peepsters into your cookie dough rather than trying to fully cover each piece.

Peepsters Stuffed Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 bag PEEPS® PEEPSTERS®
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut each PEEPS® PEEPSTERS® candy piece into quarters. NOTE: For best results, freeze the pieces for 2 hours before beginning recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  4. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Gradually beat in flour mixture until combined.
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop cookie dough and press 4 – 5 pieces of PEEPS® PEEPSTERS® candies into the dough. Cover the pieces of candy with the dough and roll into a ball.
  8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/04/peepsters-stuffed-cookies.html

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