Wallpaper has been a room game changer for centuries. Originally invented in China and coveted by the Arabs, wallpaper traveled with the trade caravans in Portuguese galleons. Through extraordinary journeys over time, it has advanced from the printing processes of the Industrial Revolution into todays world of digital imagery.
With our ever-progressing fabric technology in today’s world, we have seen two fabrics emerge as intelligent superheroes in the design industry. Sunbrella and Crypton have evolved into fabric products that lend homes not only beautiful style, but sustainable functionality as well. What are those capabilities and how are they different?
Sam’s Chocolate Snowballs
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Mix together flour, salt, and cocoa, and add to above and blend well. Add nuts if desired. Roll into quarter sized balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool then roll in powdered sugar.
Kristen’s Rum Balls
2 cup finely crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter - melted
1/3 cup light rum
Line airtight container with waxed paper. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine wafers, granulated sugar and walnuts. Add butter and rum. Stir until well blended. Mixture will be crumbly. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Let stand one hour. Re-roll balls in powdered sugar before placing in prepared container. Store in refrigerator.
Mary Jo’s Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles
1 box Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s
1 package low fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
¼ cup crushed hard peppermint candies, plus a little more for sprinkling
1 pound dark chocolate
Process Joe Joe’s in food processor until crumbly. Add chunked cream cheese and crushed candy cane and process until combined, but not overprocessed. Shape into 1 inch balls and place into freezer. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Place ball into the chocolate and roll around in the chocolate with a spoon or fork. With a fork, remove the truffle while allowing the excess chocolate to drip, then carefully place onto a sheet of waxed paper.
As soon as you drop the chocolate onto the wax paper sprinkle immediately with the crushed candy cake (A good job for your elf if you have one). Allow to set.
Truffles will last a few days kept in a covered container in the refrigerator and are fabulous right from the fridge. Brought to room temperature they are just as good.
Sarah’s Swedish Ginger Cookies
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
Combine butter and sugar and mix. Add egg and mix. Add molasses and mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill dough for 4 hours minimum in refrigerator, or overnight.
Roll into small balls, dip top into Pearl Sugar. Bake on cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.
Kate’s Yum Yum Bars
1 stick butter
1/2 C Sugar
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
Cut together with a pastry blender.
Press in to the bottom of a 9X13 pan and bake for 12 min at 350 degrees.
1 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 C Coconut
Blend - put over crust. Bake 10 min.
2-3 Large Hershey Bars
Melt in microwave or double boiler.
Pour over coconut.
Let cool completely, cut, serve.
Amy’s Almond Crunch Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
1 1/2 cup toasted corn cereal like chex
4 oz almond bark
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat 1 cup shortening with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually adding sugars, beating well. Add eggs and almond; beat well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir until blended. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture mixing until just blended. Slightly crush corn cereal, only to the point there aren’t large pieces (but not too small, you’ll lose the ‘crunch’) Carefully stir in oats and cereal.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop dough on a cookie sheet 2” apart. Bake at 325 degrees 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.