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5 Delicious Gift-Worthy Holiday Treats

15 Nov

Merry Everything Hanging Gift TagsThe baking season is upon us with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas.  Whether you’re baking something for your home, a holiday party or just to drop off at your neighbors, we have five homemade recipes perfect for the holiday season.  All of them come from us at The Stationery Studio!

 

Renee’s Macaroons 

 

Renee’s Macaroon Recipe  (originally from a Martha Stewart article)

preheat oven to 325
use parchment on your cookie trays
makes aprox 25 

2 egg whites
2/3 c sugar
2 T flour (substitute cake meal for Passover)
Pinch salt (I usually skip this)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 c shredded sweetened coconut. (I add extra sometimes, if there is just a little left in the bag.  I’ve never known if it’s packed down for measurements or more loose)
1/2 tsp coconut extract (or omit if you don’t have it)

1.  beat egg whites until stiff peaks

2.  continue to beat as you add sugar gradually

3.  beat in flour, salt and extract(s)

4.  Stir in coconut

5.  Drop by mounds onto cookie sheets – I use a small scooper to get them all the same size.  *You must use parchment paper on your trays.

6.  Bake @ 20 minutes or until slightly browned.  Sometimes mine take 25 min –
remove and cool

Optional – Chocolate decoration.
1.  Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
2.  Melt semi sweet chocolate chips in microwave 1-2 minutes (careful not to burn them) in a small pyrex or cereal bowl 
3.  once macaroons are cooled, dip the edges of each cookie in the chocolate and then place on parchment paper to cool again. 
4.  Place the whole tray of decorated macaroons in the refrigerator to get the chocolate to harden.

You can double or triple this recipe
**You can add a little extra coconut if you wish, I usually do

Our Green Sprigs and Buds Square Gift Stickers would look great with your macaroons when you gift them to friends and family!


Renee’s Mondel Bread

Mondel bread, a traditional Jewish cookie, is twice baked and known for its crunchy goodness.  It’s eaten all year round but often baked for holiday time. 
Ingredients:
1/4 lb. butter
2 Tbsp oil
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts  (if not wanted, just double the chocolate chips)
Directions:
-Beat butter and oil
-slowly add sugar and continue beating
-add eggs and continue beating
-slowly add flour and baking powder and continue beating
-add vanilla, lemon juice and cinnamon and continue beating
-add chocolate chips and beat until mixed
divide dough into thirds
roll dough out on floured counter to form 3 loaves
place loaves side by side on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment
bake at 350-degrees 45-60 minutes until browned
remove loaves and slice immediately into about 1″ slices  
once sliced, dip sides into a cinnamon/sugar mixture (optional) and then place cookies on cookie sheet with the sides facing upright.  The goal now is to brown/crisp each side. Watch carefully and bake just until the upright side is browned. Then turn each cookie over so the other side can be upright and place back in oven to brown/crisp that side. Each oven is different so just keep a good eye on the cookies when crisping them so they do not burn.
once all sides are browned, remove cookies to a rack to cool.  once cooled, you can dip ends into melted chocolate chips if wanted and then dip into sprinkles or chopped nuts or anything you wish for decoration.  Place back on parchment paper to fully cool on counter or in the refrigerator briefly.

Jennifer’s Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I make this holiday cookie every year and everyone asks for the recipe.  I originally got this from a Kraft cookbook and tweaked it a little but it’s really easy to make!
cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
cup sugar
Directions: 
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour; mix well. Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
2. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets; flatten slightly.
3. Bake 10 to 14 min. or until lightly browned. Cool 5 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Gingham Hanging Gift Tags
A great gifting idea is to try our Gingham Hanging Gift Tags tied to a cellophane bag of cookies.

Pumpkin Bread

Photo Credit: Onceuponachef.com

Recipe is from OnceUponaChef.com.  I’ve used this one for a few years and love gifting this to friend!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it, such as Pam with Flour or Baker’s Joy). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.  In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point — that’s okay.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Fresh out of the oven,the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.Merry Everything Hanging Gift Tags

Try wrapping your holiday breads with some pretty ribbon and adding our Merry Everything Hanging Gift Tags.  So festive!


Vaniljkakor (Swedish Vanilla Cookies)

Photo credit: justapinch.com

These are swedish cookies that I make for my family every Christmas.  The recipe I use is from justapinch.com.

Ingredients:

  • cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2cup powdered sugar
  • large egg yolk
  • tablespoon vanilla
  • 1cups sifted flour
  • 1cup lingonberries (or your favorite jam) 
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar well. Gradually add sugar, and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and flour, blend thoroughly. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Make a nice indentation in top of each cookie, I use the end (the handle end) of a wooden spoon for this. Put a little bit of jelly or jam into each indentation. Bake in 350º oven for at least 15 minutes or till pale golden yellow.

Cool, then sift powdered sugar over them.


What are some of your favorite holiday treats?  Explore our personalized Christmas gift packaging to add a unique and festive touch to all of your handmade goodies this year!

XO,

Jennifer

Meet Our Newest Tastemaker: Maureen Abood

14 Feb

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest Tastemaker, Maureen Abood. Maureen is an award-winning blogger and author of the award-winning cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen. Her recipes, stories, and products have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, among many others.  We fell in love with not only her recipes, but her eye for details.

We asked Maureen to share one of her favorite recipes and she was quick to suggest her popular lebanese fattoush salad.

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

LEBANESE FATTOUSH SALAD

The recipe is printed with permission from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh and Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen (Running Press 2015)

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 20 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 8
RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD

I could eat this salad every single day and still want more! See how it’s done in my video, right here! Get the Fattoush Kit for the vinaigrette here! Find the recipe for the pita chips here. You can add cucumbers and any other vegetables you have on hand to this salad. The more the merrier!

Print

INGREDIENTS

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk the lemon, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt, 1 teaspoon of the Garlic Mint Salt, 1 teaspoon of the sumac, and olive oil until it is thoroughly combined.
  2. In your big salad bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, onion, radishes, and pita chips. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette, tossing it to evenly coat everything. Dust the fattoush with the remaining Garlic Mint Salt and sumac, fresh mint, and serve immediately.

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

You can find all of her recipes in her award-winning cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen.

While Maureen is known for her cooking, we also think she has excellent taste in details.  As our Tastemaker, she has chosen classic, elegant personalized items that reflect her sense of style.  You can see all of her Tastemaker picks on our site and let them inspire you to create your own.

“I love to treat myself to personalized stationery every year for my birthday in February. The fun is spending some time selecting the style, fonts, paper and the ink colors, and then the little surprise when I receive them of how beautifully they turned out. This year I designed a heavy-weight letterpress flat card with a contrasting lined, addressed envelope. One of my favorite color combinations is green and blue, so when the set I ordered arrived in such happy colors with the artisan beauty of the letterpress and substantial weight of the card in hand . . . well, I can’t decide what’s better: getting to be the one to write on these stunning cards, or being a recipient of such a beautiful piece of stationery. It will be a pleasure to write my birthday thank-you notes, and the many lovely sentiments my people deserve in the year ahead.” ~ Maureen

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little about Maureen!  You can learn more about all of our Tastemakers on our site and their personalized picks.

XO,

Jennifer

 

Q & A with Tastemaker Elizabeth Mayhew

31 Aug

Elizabeth Mayhew

Meet our Tastemaker Elizabeth Mayhew!

Photo: Elizabeth Mayhew Instagram

Elizabeth Mayhew is currently the Brand Editor for Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired brand, Draper James, a contributing editor at NBC’s Today Show and a monthly columnist for The Washington Post. She also is the author of FLIP! for Decorating (Ballantine). She has worked for a number of publications including REAL SIMPLE, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and Woman’s Day.

We are inspired by her Instagram posts which usually involve beautiful scenery shots and gorgeous baked goods. She has a keen eye for unique {and memorable} hostess gifts. We hope you enjoy getting to know her!

Q.

What is your favorite thing about being the brand editor for Draper James?

A.

I love working with the dynamic and very talented staff of Draper James. From the design team to the store associates, everyone who works at the company embodies the positive Southern values that Reese Witherspoon, the company’s founder, established from the beginning. It’s a happy brand, where grace, charm, kindness, and good manners are prized. Plus I love the clothes!

Q.

What is one thing anyone can do to update their home?

A.

Install dimmers on all of your light switches! The proper lighting can easily transform a room from looking like an overlit hospital waiting room to a warm and inviting sitting room.

Q.

We know you love to bake. What is your favorite dessert to bring to a get together?

A.

I bake every weekend and post images on Instagram, so my friends who follow me usually call to put in an order. My go-to dessert to bring to a party is some sort of pie, mostly because pies transport easily. The variety I make depends on the season—fruit pies for summer, cream pies for spring, and nut pies for fall and winter. I get the most requests for my lime pie (you could use key limes too, but they are harder to find).

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mayhew

Q.

You are the queen of an amazing hostess gift. What is your one go-to that’s always a hit?

A.

I have three go-to hostess gifts: if I plan well ahead, I like to order personalized guest towels from The Stationery Studio. If I have time the day or night before a party, I will bake a sweet bread, like banana bread and wrap it up in a dish towel so that the host has breakfast the next morning. If I have no time, I draw from my stash of Draper James Orange Blossom Special Candles—it’s my favorite scent!

Banana Bread

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mayhew

Q.

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

A.

I love to bake of course (see above!), but I also am a big reader. A few of my recent favorites are: A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles, The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee, What She Ate by Laura Shapiro, and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. And if you haven’t read the Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, you should!

Book images: Amazon