It was the cover that caught my eye

It was the cover that caught my eye… #9

For the first time, Amazon sent me a recommendation that was appropriate. Even though I’ve never purchased a Philip Pullman book from the site, they emailed me to let me know he had a new book out- Grimm Tales: For Old And Young. The hardback cover is just perfect:

I’ve put it on my Christmas list, but I’m not sure I can wait that long!


Weekly Inspiration- The MK Handmade & Vintage fair

A couple of friends, the husband and I took a trip to Milton Keynes shopping centre last weekend to check out the handmade and vintage fair.

Packed with the kitsch, the cute and the unconventional, it was a veritable feast of inspiration for someone like me! The stalls all looked fabulous and there were some really great examples of homemade fare on offer. Looking around just made me want to go home and make things!

One of the best things was that there wasn’t a stall in direct competition with the products I make and wandering around I kept thinking how well they would fit in with the whole feel of things.

The team aboard The Craft Fantastic sadly found out about this fair too late to bag a stall, but we’re super hopeful to get one next year!

Craft Knitting Paper Stationery

More on Folksy!

I’ve added more festive Christmas gift tags to the Craft Fantastic Folksy shop!

I’ve also added some knitted hair bows:

You can check out the shop here.

Baking Chocolates Tutorial

Weekend Baking- “Florentines”

A hot, sticky September afternoon is perhaps not the best time to try making these, but I’d got it into my head that I wanted to try. So I did. I know these aren’t proper Florentines, but I couldn’t think what else to call them!

I started by tracing some circles on a sheet of baking paper. I used what I thought was a suitably sized cookie cutter:

This went onto a baking tray. I melted some chocolate and used my teeny ladle to scoop it inside the circles. If you’re careful, you should be able to dollop in a nice circle- let it stop about half a centimeter from the edge of the circle. Doing it this way meant there was room for the mixture to spread a little when I gently ‘dropped’ the tray a few times onto the work surface, to get rid of the air bubbles.

I was worried about putting too much on, but I think I got it about right! They were thin, but still substantial enough to be satisfying to bite into.

After they’d set a little but the chocolate was still nice and soft, I sprinkled on a nice mix of dried fruit and seeds. I found a little bag in Asda that had a good mix of tiny seeds, bigger seeds and different coloured dried fruits:

I left these to set in the fridge; I’d let to say it was until they were nice and firm, but I’m afraid we just couldn’t resist and tried them while they were still a little melty!

Baking Chocolates Tutorial

Weekend baking- Oreo Wonderfuls

“What shall I call those things I just made?” I asked my husband. “Oreo Wonderfuls” said he. Ok then. Since I can’t think of anything to call them, Oreo Wonderfuls it is.

I started thinking about making these after watching Lorraine Pascale make her cheaty cake pops, where she combined Oreos and chocolate spread. After a quick browse on the internet, I found lots of similar “recipes” that used cream cheese instead of the chocolate spread. This seemed like a far better idea, as we use the light version cream cheese in our house and can thus pretend that these aren’t actually that bad for you.

Basically, all you need is:

  • Oreo cookies
  • Cream cheese
  • Chocolate

And you’re good to go. You’ll need roughly twice the weight of Oreos as you do cream cheese. I used 8 oz Oreos and 4 oz cream cheese, which made 20 bite sized balls.

Ready? Go:

Put your Oreos in a food processor, blender, or bag if you don’t have either of those. It helps if you take the cookies apart first. Pulse (or bash with a rolling-pin, if you have them in a bag!) until you have fine crumbs.

And the cream cheese and blend together until you have a nice even gooey lump of deliciousness.

Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray or similar. Roll the mixture into little balls the size of your choosing and place them on the tray, then pop this in the freezer for a while to firm up.

While they’re in there, you can start melting your chocolate- I find it easiest to do in the microwave, but a double-boiler works too of course. You need to get it as runny as you can, but keep heating in small amounts and stirring, so you don’t over heat the chocolate.

Once it’s ready, you can start dipping! I just used a spoon and dropped the cookie ball into the chocolate, rolled it a bit then took it out- they’ll need to go back on the baking paper covered tray, by the way, so keep it handy.

When they’re all coated, you’ll need to stick them in the fridge for a while to set. If you’re feeling fancy, once they’ve been dipped you can cover them in nuts/sprinkles etc. to make them look even more exciting. Personally, I quite like the rough-coating look, so I left mine be:

These are so easy and so delicious, I think I’ll be making them quite a lot.

Craft Origami Paper

Now on Folksy- Christmas origami gift tags

Get yours here.


Birthday Weekend Baking- chocolate frosted cupcakes.

The husband chose cupcakes for me to make for his birthday, with chocolate frosting.

I made a simple sponge recipe, like the one I used for the reindeer cupcakes earlier this year. As my boy likes Bailey’s, I tried replacing the 2-3 tbsp of milk with Bailey’s- which tasted YUM in uncooked batter form, but sadly by the time they were baked it couldn’t be tasted at all. Sad face 🙁

After covering with chocolate butter icing, I decorated using some cupcake stencils- using icing sugar to stand out against the chocolately topping:

Cute, huh?