Christmas Cinnamon Roll Reindeer Breakfast {Or, The Illusion of Being Busy}

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Well, it’s that time of year again . . . when it’s actually NEXT year (January) and I still have yet to post any of my Christmas projects or recipes. Never mind Halloween or Thanksgiving . . .

And when I took a close, sobering look at my blog, I see that I haven’t updated it in over six months.

Six MONTHS, people.  And not just that, but I haven’t been updating my Facebook page either, let alone Twitter or Pinterest.

I seem to be a tad behind.

So here I am:  feeling the need to make arguments for how busy I am.  And of course I’m busy – but aren’t we all?  I could make a very long list mentioning my full-time job and my two young kids, and how I moved recently and adopted a new kitten and how my schedule and stress levels were completely thrown off when Hurricane Irma rolled through . . .

But those are all just excuses.  We find time for the things that are important to us.  And this blog is important to me.  Sharing crafts and books and recipes that connect me to my children is important to me.

So here I am.  I also realized that this past holiday season I remade a lot of old recipes (already posted here) with my kids and don’t have a lot of new things to post, but there ARE still things to share.  And I’m going to make the time for it.

Starting with these Cinnamon Roll Reindeer, because, I mean, aren’t these just the most adorable cinnamon rolls EVER?

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls 2

This past holiday season I spent a lot of time striving for recipes and crafts that embraced simplicity.

These yummy treats are a representation of that.  In the picture below you can see the 3 things I used to make them:  Grands cinnamon rolls, miniature candy canes, and M&Ms.

I made sure to unwrap the candy canes ahead of time, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the plastic wrappers before my coffee kicked in, but other than that task, these were thrown together in no time.

I used the Grands because they have little pockets, so to speak, to slip the candy canes into.  They’re made in a roll shape instead of the little cake-like cinnamon rolls that are one solid piece.  This way the candy canes just slid right in and were supported with no problem.

After baking the rolls according to the package directions, apply the icing.  Before the icing hardens, add two M&Ms for the eyes and a red M&M for a Rudolph-like nose.  Put two candy canes on each side of the “head” to represent the antlers.

You’ll need 4 candy canes per roll.  So if you have a package of 5 rolls like I did, then you’ll need 20 miniature candy canes.

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls 3

I served these with some sausage and fruit.  They were a lot of fun and certainly enjoyed by the kids.  I plan to make these a regular tradition.

Happy Baking ;)

Roaming Rosie Signature

 

 

Advertisements

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

So my daughter came home from school with one of those individually wrapped, soft, iced gingerbread men cookies that had red and green sprinkles on it.

I love those things.

And I suddenly realized I hadn’t made gingerbread cookies in years.  Seriously:  years.

So I tweaked an old recipe, rolled out the dough thickly, and dipped them in some royal icing that got a touch of sugar sprinkles.

Uh… YUM.

And I made them miniature.  I did this mostly because I was looking for an excuse to use the miniature cookie cutters I bought on clearance last year, but it turned out to be a wonderful idea.

Bite-sized deliciousness.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Look at all the spices and all that sweetness!

You can just tell they’re going to be awesome.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

It’s a soft dough.

This means it needs to go in the fridge for at least 2 hours before you roll it out.

And you’ll need to sprinkle lots of flour over the counter before you roll it out, and flour the rolling pin, and probably add a little more as you’re rolling.

But that’s okay:  there isn’t that much flour in the recipe itself, so using the extra flour to roll it all out without sticking makes it just the right consistency.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

And you really need to roll them out quite thickly to get that pillowy softness in the finished cookie.

Nearly a half-inch.  At least a quarter inch.  At minimum.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Once the cookies are cooled, just dip them in the royal icing.

Use a fork to stir the icing in between dipping the cookies, and also to scrape excess icing off of the cookies just after dipping them.  You don’t need to scrape the fork directly across the surface of the cookie – just close to it.  If there’s too much icing, it’ll ooze all of the edges and make a mess.

A thin coating is really all you need.  And it spreads as it sits.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Be sure to add the sprinkles before the icing starts to harden.

I usually dip about 3 or 4 cookies before sprinkling them.

To make my red and green sprinkles, I simply mixed some red and some green sugar sprinkles together in a small bowl ahead of time.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Don’t they look yummy?

I could seriously have eaten all of the cookies by myself.

Luckily, I had help.  :)

But the recipe makes a ton.  Like 12 dozen miniature {1-inch} cookies.  Enough to feed an army.  Or 2 or 3 over-stressed moms.

Either way – seriously worth a try.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Red and green sugar sprinkles

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg with a mixer until creamy. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, switching to mixing by hand. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Generously sprinkle flour over prep space, including the rolling pin. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/2-inch thickness, using extra flour if necessary to avoid sticking.

Use mini cookie cutters (or regular sized cutters, if desired) to cut shapes from dough. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dip cookies into icing, wiping off excess with fork while cookie is still upside down over bowl. Immediately sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugar sprinkles.

**********

For the free printable PDF version of the recipe, click here:  Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

How to Make “Snowy” Floridian Reindeer Footprints

How to Make Snowy Floridian Reindeer Footprints from RoamingRosie.com

These fun “Snowy” Floridian Reindeer Footprints were inspired by a conversation with a friend.

He was telling me about how they used to make reindeer footprints in the snow on Christmas Eve when they lived up north, which reminded me of when one of my other friends made Easter Bunny footprints with flour across her living room floor last year, and I realized………

Whoa.

I could totally make reindeer footprints with flour!

And glitter!!!

And my kids were even more excited then I was once they saw them.

You see, I’d had quite a few conversations with my 4yo about Santa.  One of her main concerns was how he was going to get into the house without a chimney.  Which was clumsily explained away with some mutterings about him climbing through windows or something.

That led to her insisting that we not only cover the lawn with the “reindeer food” that she got in school {a combination of oatmeal and green glitter meant to attract the attention of the flying reindeer}, but that we also leave open the window and glass door blinds to make sure that Santa could see inside.

And after all of her worrying, I thought it would be nice to leave some “proof” behind that Santa – and his reindeer – DID, in fact, make it to our house on Christmas Eve.

I used flour to represent the snow that stuck to the reindeer feet when they were up north where it’s cold, and the glitter was because the reindeer are magical.

How to Make Snowy Floridian Reindeer Footprints from RoamingRosie.com

What I did was mix together some flour and glitter, and then sprinkle it over the front walk with a small mesh colander.

To Make the Reindeer Footprints, you’ll need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup fine silver glitter
small mesh colander
cardboard cutout of reindeer feet

And I would totally upload a reindeer foot template if I had one, but as you can see in the photos, I simply took a thin piece of cardboard, drew a couple of circles on them, drew a triangle in the tops of those circles, and used a box cutter to very carefully cut out the shapes.

Grandmas wasn’t fully convinced that that’s what reindeer footprints would actually look like, but I thought it was pretty spiffy.

Anyway, mix together the flour and glitter, and cut out your cardboard template ahead of time.  If it’s not going to rain, you could make the footprints late Christmas Eve – especially if you think your children will awake before you on Christmas morning.

To transfer the footprints to a sidewalk/patio/balcony/etc., scoop the flour mixture out of the bowl with the small colander and shake it gently over the template until the cutout hole is covered.  Lift template and there’s your footprint!

Ours lasted for about 4 days.  And there’s still a bit of glitter floating around.  :)

Roaming Rosie Signature

Do You Wanna Build an Olaf Doughnut Snowman?

Do You Wanna Build an Olaf Doughnut Snowman?

For a little winter fun, I made some snowmen doughnuts for my girls that mildly resembled Olaf.  Vaguely.

Anyway, these little guys were made by placing 3 small white powdered doughnuts on a plate, smooshing some broken pretzel pieces into the sides of the middle doughnut for arms, placing some milk chocolate chips upside down inside the bottom two doughnuts for buttons, and an orange peanut M&M inside the top doughnut for a carrot nose.

I then added mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.  Since they don’t stick, what I did was make a hole with a toothpick where I wanted the eyes and mouth pieces to go, and then I could gently push the miniature chocolate chips into the doughnut where the holes were, with their pointy tips facing down.

It may not be my finest piece of artwork, but the smiles on my girls’ faces were enormous.  :)

Roaming Rosie Signature

When I Love You At Christmas {a book review}

When I Love You At Christmas:  a book review at RoamingRosie.com

Really, to be perfectly honest, I could talk about books every day.  But today I wanted to share with you a Christmas book that we’ve been reading quite a bit, because, you know … it’s Christmas!  :)

The picture book When I Love You At Christmas, written by David Bedford and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie, with its brief but charming text and adorable paintings is a delightful read for young children.

It’s a cute story narrated by a stuffed lamb telling us about how much he loves his little girl.  He goes through all of the activities that the little girl engages in around Christmastime, such as when she is wrapping presents, baking cookies, writing out Christmas cards, acting in a nativity play, and getting excited about Christmas day.

The double-page spreads are decorated with bright watercolor artwork and the text itself if very simple, but also very sweet.

One of the aspects I love about the story is how the girl gets so excited about Christmas, but she’s always thinking of others.  The book demonstrates things that are sharing activities, like wrapping presents, baking cookies, and sending out Christmas cards.  Things that emphasize a spirit of love and giving.

Even though the girl has trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve because she’s anticipating the big day, and even though she rushes quickly to find her own presents on Christmas morning, she takes the time to share a present with her stuffed lamb, too.

The lyrical text is short enough to hold the attention of toddlers and preschoolers, the illustrations are detailed enough to give their eyes plenty to explore, and the underlying message is subtle but lovely.

My girls, who are about 2-1/2 and 4-1/2-years-old, love it … but so do I!  This is definitely going to be a regular for us around Christmas, but is still worth a read throughout the rest of the year, too.

*Update:  I know the picture says you can get the book from my Usborne site, but it has been discontinued.  There are, however, sometimes copies available on Amazon.

Merry Christmas!!!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Save

How To Make Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments … with Glitter!

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

I wanted to make some homemade Christmas ornaments with my kids this year, and I LOVE cinnamon, so these were kind of a no-brainer.

But… something seemed missing from the traditional cinnamon ornament recipe… OH!  I know:  glitter!!

Yup.  Glitter makes everything better.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

I love the smell of these things.  And not all recipes use cloves, but it helps enhance the scent, so I totally used them.

I even used cinnamon applesauce instead of regular applesauce.  Don’t know if it made much difference, but, you know, they’re the same price and all, so why not?

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

It’s great because you just mix everything together.  Super quick.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Admittedly, they were a tad bit difficult to roll out.  I would suggest that this is a job for an adult and not a young child.  The dough is a bit stiff and you have to be careful not to roll it so quickly or roughly that you end up with too make cracks.

This isn’t like cookie dough where you can smooth it out easily.  If there are big ol’ cracks in your ornaments when you put them in the oven, there will be big ol’ cracks when you take them out.  Cracks that will probably make your ornament snap in half when you pick it up.

You’re only using the oven to dry these and not to bake them, so make sure that when you put them in they look how you’ll want them to look when they come out.

You could actually air dry them….. probably.  But I live in Florida.  Hello, humidity.

We used the oven.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter
Also be sure to be GENTLE when removing the ornament dough from the cookie cutters.

Let your Little Ones cut out their shapes, but make sure either you or a kid with LOTS of patience slowly pushes the ornament out.  Or it will break before you even get it to the pan.

And – another warning – ovens + these guys = STEAM.

So when you open your oven door to check on the ornaments, please, please, please stand back so that you are not hit with a face full of cinnamon-and-clove-laden steam.  TRUST ME.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

You can decorate them before baking them, too.

I only did a couple:  you can see the star that I traced with a dotted pattern I made with a toothpick, and also in a couple of ornaments, I used the end of the wooden skewer to draw my daughters’ initials.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Oh, and don’t forget to make a hole in the ornaments before you bake them.  So you’ll have somewhere to hang the string.

We used “metallic tinsel cord” but you could use kitchen twine or ribbon or a thin hemp cord.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Aren’t they adorable?

They’re even better in person.  The glitter is much more prominent, and the aroma – ah, the cinnamon!

*sigh*

Christmas bliss.  :)

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon glitter
1 cup cinnamon applesauce

Preheat your oven to 200°F.

Mix the cinnamon, cloves, and glitter in a bowl. Stir in the applesauce.

Knead gently to make sure everything is incorporated. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on the counter (like you would flour before rolling out cookie dough) and roll out the cinnamon dough to about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters and gently transfer ornaments to baking pans lined with parchment paper. Use a wooden skewer to very gently make a hole in the ornaments for hanging.

Gently reroll and knead scraps of dough. Roll out and cut more shapes, being careful there are no large cracks in the dough.

Bake for 2 hours, flip and bake for another hour. Allow to cool on pan.

Thread pieces of twine or ribbon through the holes to hang ornaments.

**********

And click here to print the PDF version:  Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

 

Roaming Rosie Signature

“Thanks a Latte” Teacher Christmas Gift Tags

Thanks a Latte Gift Tag for Teachers:  FREE PRINTABLE from RoamingRosie.com

This is really one of those posts that should have been finished waaaaaaaay before Christmas, but, well … it wasn’t.  Things are, you know:  busy.

I’m sure you know.

And there will totally still be some Christmas-themed posts appearing after Christmas, too………

Anyway, when I was shopping around for a gift for my daughter’s teachers, I was having a hard time deciding what to do.

I thought a Christmas themed mug filled with coffee would be nice… but what if they didn’t drink coffee?

I kept the mug idea, but added some tea and hot cocoa to the coffee.  And candy, of course.

But what about a gift tag?

There are a ton online, but none said exactly what I wanted.

So I made my own.

Thanks a Latte Gift Tag for Teachers:  FREE PRINTABLE from RoamingRosie.com

Here you can see that I got these adorable snowman mugs {at Target} and filled them with Starbucks VIA Christmas Coffee packs, a couple flavors of individually wrapped tea bags, and some hot cocoa mix {with mini marshmallows}.

I also stuck in a couple of candy canes and 3 or 4 Lindt chocolate balls.

Then I put the whole thing into a “cookie bag” and tied it off with some curled ribbon, tying the tag onto one of the ribbon strands.

It looked pretty cute, and I’m kinda kickin’ myself for forgetting to photograph the finished gift.

Thanks a Latte Gift Tag for Teachers:  FREE PRINTABLE from RoamingRosie.com

Anyway, if you need a tag that mentions “latte” {for coffee} and “tea,” then these are for you!

Thanks a Latte Teacher Christmas Gift Tags

Oh, and I purposely didn’t add an outline shape to the tags on the PDF printable.  That way you can cut them out in the same shape I did, or as squares or circles or whatever compliments your gift.

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature