We’re thankful for you, but what are you thankful for?
Win a set of 8 Lilly & Louise watercolor “thank you” notes!
To enter, simply:
1. Follow @lillyandlouise on Instagram.
2. Repost the contest photo, telling us what you’re thankful for.
3. Be sure to tag your post with #lillyandlouise and @lillyandlouise!
Contest runs from Nov. 12-19th. One entry per contestant. Winner will be chosen and announced on Tues., Nov. 19th @ 12pm PST.
We can’t wait to see what you’re thankful for!
We’re excited to share our 2013 Holiday Greeting Collection! Yep, it’s that time of year, friends–if you can believe it! We’ve added some new designs and retired some old ones. Feel free to peruse our greetings and contact us with any questions! Download the catalog here.
Lilly & Louise wishes you and yours a joyful holiday.
Of the pile of invitations we created this year, a good number of them starred our furry four-legged friends. Above, some Texan pups (long lost relatives of Peachy and Skip, perhaps) send their well wishes.
My other half (not Peachy, the other other half) has a sweet spot for coconut, so this year during my holiday baking spectacular I worked some toasted coconut into the kitchen activity in the form of toasted coconut shortbread. It’s still a simple, classic cookie, just with a little added zest and texture. The coconut aficionado approved, I hope you will, too.
Toasted Coconut Shortbread
from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup (about 1.5 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until coconut is light golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, then grind in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender until coarsely ground.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in toasted coconut. Gather dough together, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough disk on lightly floured work surface to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutters, cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps and reroll; cut out additional cookies.
Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.)
So these may not look so appetizing from the photo…well, maybe they do…anyway, looks aside, they’re amazing! You know those cookies you buy from the bakery and always wonder ‘how the heck to they make these?!’ (ahem, double chocolate chip cookies from Central Market in Austin, TX), well, the code has been cracked…I’m convinced it’s in the melting of the butter and chocolate step. Try it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Chocolate Toffee Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped*
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional, but highly recommended)
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto sheets, spacing two inches apart. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt, if you’re using it. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)
Get ready. You’re in for a treat…in between holiday card design deadlines and other important stuff, I’ve been making a mess in the kitchen. A holiday baking spectacular…multi-tasking, perhaps, but I just can’t help myself (it’s been rainy around here, too, which makes me even more inspired to bake!)
In day one of my holiday baking spectacular I made Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. Now, I LOVE Girl Scout Thin Mints, but I can’t stomach the minty green color of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (like a certain little brother I know that eats it for breakfast regularly). These rich, dark chocolate delights are subtly minty. Just perfect for the holidays.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
from Joy the Baker
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks.
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda and keep close at hand.
Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended. Beat in the peppermint. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate pieces. (The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you’d like, you can freeze rounded tablespoons of dough, ready for baking. There’s no need to defrost before baking – just add another minute or two to the baking time.)
Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake the cookies – one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point – for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are set around the edges; they may still be a little soft in the middle. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
As you may have noticed, I love to make gifts. And as you also may have noticed, I have an excess of lemons. So…lemony gifts = lemon jelly! This was my first attempt at making jelly. After a few recipe trials and errors, and with the help my experienced mother-in-law and our Jack Lalanne power juicer I made lemon jelly!
I had a bit of extra fabric from Ikea from a table cloth I made, and it was perfect to top the jars. I designed a little label and attached it with rafia, and ta da, handmade and homemade Christmas gifts! And tasty, too.
4 cups filtered lemon juice, or juice with an electric juicer that removes most of the pulp and seeds
7 cups sugar
2 (3 oz) pouches liquid pectin
In an 8-qt stainless steel pan, over medium high heat, heat the juice until warm. Add the sugar and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.(This is a slow process but necessary.) Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of both pectin pouches. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Quickly skim off any foam and immediately ladle the hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe there jar rims and threads and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a 200 degree water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.
Yield: 7 to 8 half-pint jars
Growing up, my mom made these cookies every Christmas (sometimes I’d get to help). So, these cookies have quite a nostalgic effect on me. This is the second Christmas I’ve made them, and I hope to carry on the “tradition.”
These aren’t just any old thumbprint cookies…the dough and the chocolate is super soft and tasty! You (and the friends you share them with) will definitely be back for more!
Enjoy, and thanks, Mom.
Childhood Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)
1. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
2. Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Chill.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press thumb in each cookie leaving an indentation. Bake at 300 for 20 to 25 minutes; do not brown. Cool on wire racks. Place about ½ tsp. chocolate frosting in each cookie indentation. Yields: 3 ½ dozen.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine sugar, cocoa, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil 1 ½ to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Beat until mixture is of spreading consistency. (it also thickens as it cools, so you may have to work rapidly if it gets too thick, but don’t use when too thin or it will be runny). Yield: 1 cup.