Learn how to make the ultimate holiday treat.
These adorable gingerbread guys are great for a cookie exchange or kid-friendly holiday party.
1 Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
2 In a double boiler over medium heat, or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine and stir the molasses, sugars, cinnamon and ginger.
3 When the sugars have melted, add in the baking soda and stir. Once the mixture bubbles up, remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
4 Meanwhile, place the butter in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and slowly pour the warm molasses mixture over the butter.
5 With the machine running on medium speed, mix until the butter has completely melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6 With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour until it’s fully combined. Then lift the dough from the bowl and place it on a well-floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/4" thick.
7 Use a 5" gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut your cookies. Carefully arrange them, about 1" apart, onto two parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You will need to combine the scraps and re-roll the dough several times to use it all up.
8 Bake in the oven until the centre of the cookies are still slightly soft to the touch, about 10 minutes. If you prefer your gingerbread crunchy, bake them for a few minutes longer. Then transfer the cookies onto wire racks and allow them to cool completely before decorating.
9 Meanwhile, spoon the royal icing into piping bags fitted with plain tips, and let the fun begin.
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Excerpted from Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin. Recipes Copyright © 2013 Rosie Daykin, Photography copyright © 2013 Janis Nicolay. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House Canada, Inc. All rights reserved.
12 winter cleaning ideas
Things can somehow seem messier, dirtier and less organized during the winter months. Here’s how to tackle it in time to leave you feeling fresh for spring.
Get a head start on spring-cleaning
Hosting a New Year's Eve party is easy when you have these essentials! Image by: West Elm
If you’re playing host this New Year’s Eve, add a fun and festive touch to your party with these essentials.
It’s always hard to believe when a new year rolls around; does time fly or what? As we prepare to kiss 2016 goodbye and look forward to 2017, gather friends and family close to reminisce about the good times you’ve had and to welcome all that the coming year will bring. If you're planning to host this year's New Year's Eve party, we've put together some fun and festive essentials that will help make your celebration a success!
1 Gold Letter Party Balloons: No party is complete without balloons but these gold letter party balloons are a bit more grown up than the balloons of children’s parties! Use them to spell out ‘Happy New Year’ to add a dash of flair to your smashing soiree. Gold Letter Party Balloons, Urban Outfitters, $6.
2 Terrace Bar Cart: Fitted with four wheels, this bar cart is ready to move where the party goes! Featuring clean, simple lines, it’s the perfect portable cocktail station. Set it up with your favourite wines, spirits and glassware and your bar cart will turn out to be the star of the party! Terrace Bar Cart, West Elm, $349.
3 DIY New Year’s Party Hats: We love party hats but let’s be honest: Many of the ones you find at party stores are pretty tacky. So why not make your own? Amy Kim of the blog Homey Oh My provides the instructions for making these adorable, oh-so-chic New Year’s Eve hats that are bound to put you into the party spirit! Find instructions for these DIY New Year’s party hats here.
4 Harrison Cocktail Shaker: Look like a real professional when you mix drinks using this elegant cocktail shaker. It’s got a tight-fitting lid and a narrow base to make it easy and comfortable to use. And because of its ergonomics, it’s virtually spill-proof so you can toss and shake worry-free! Harrison Cocktail Shaker, Pottery Barn, $31.50.
5 Verve Martini Glass: Traditional martini glasses, while beautiful, often feel very delicate with those long, slender stems. This modern take on the classic glass shape adds a solid weight to the glass, making it easier to handle. The stem features bubbles in the glass, which add a playful touch. Verve Martini Glass, Crate and Barrel, $12.95.
6 B&O BeoPlay Portable Bluetooth Speaker: To keep the party alive, you’ll need to pump some good tunes and if all your music is stored on your phone, you’ll need a good speaker, too. This Bang & Olufsen speaker delivers not only superior sound quality, but a gorgeously designed device that’s as much for display as it is for practical use. B&O BeoPlay Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Apple, $499.95.
7 Square Appetizer Plates: These square appetizer plates are a stylish addition to your party. Perfect for all those finger foods you’re serving! Plus, in white and gold, they easily complement any decor or tabletop theme. Square Appetizer Plates, Pier 1, $3.96.
8 Pink, Blush and Gold Tassel Garland: Add a really festive touch to your New Year’s celebration with this tassel garland. Handmade with tissue paper, this garland measures five feet and has 17 tassels. It’s an easy way to add a touch of glamour to your party decor! Pink, Blush and Gold Tassel Garland, Blush Bazaar on Etsy, $20.
Get ready for the new school year with these popular items!
We've put together our list of cool products that will make this school year even more stylish and productive!
Love it or hate it, back to school season rolls around like clockwork each year! And as you prepare to send your kids back to school this fall, you’ll want to make sure they’ve got everything they need for a successful start. We’ve rounded up 9 of our favourite back to school essentials that are as functional as they are fabulous!
1 Cloud Nine backpack
Back to school means a new school bag! This super stylish ‘Cloud Nine’ nylon backpack from Sol and Selene is just what your style conscious student is looking for. With interior compartments to keep everything organized, adjustable back straps and light gold hardware finish on its exterior, this backpack is as chic as it is sensible. Cloud Nine Backpack, Sol and Selene, $90.
2 iPad Pro
Available in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models, the new iPad Pros are lighter and more powerful than ever before. Boasting the brightest, least reflective screen on the market, this is way more than a fun gadget for kids. It harnesses all the power of a personal computer and will be any student’s BFF this school year. iPad Pro, Apple, starting at $799.
3 Expander File Folder
Keep chaos and disorder at bay by investing in the right tools to get the job done. This expanding file folder is the perfect solution to loose leaf paper. On top of a student’s desk, it will help them keep paperwork organized and will help create a tidy, calm environment in which to study. Expander File Folder, Indigo, $12.60.
4 Triple C Power Card Ultra Thin Charger
The main reason your teen has a cell phone is so that you can keep in touch with them, are we right? Well, the phone does no good when it’s as dead as a doornail! This super thin portable phone charger will help make sure that their phone always has juice and you can always reach them. Triple C Power Card Ultra Thin Charger, Anthropologie, $36.
5 Sushi Cat Notebook
Students need notebooks, obviously and we just can’t think of any reason not to get these ones. They feature cats dressed up as sushi. Enough said! We think you might win the ‘Parent of the Year’ award if you surprise the student in your household with a set of these adorable notebooks. Sushi Cat Notebook, Urban Outfitters, $8.
6 Mixit Lightning to USB Leather Tassel
A USB drive is always handy to have, whether for downloading homework assignments or to share music and photos with friends. This leather tassel hides the lightning and USB cables within its leather straps but also keeps them easily accessible at all times. Just attach to your school bag and go! Perfect! Mixit Lightning to USB Leather Tassel, Belkin, $19.99.
7 Aqua Greek Key iPhone 6 Plus Speck Case
A smartphone case is an essential. You don’t want to run the risk of shattered screens or worse, a completely ruined phone. This stylish iPhone 6 Plus Speck case designed in Jonathan Adler’s signature style of bold pattern and confident colours is just the solution to keep your teen’s phone protected. Aqua Greek Key iPhone 6 Plus Speck Case, Jonathan Adler, $55.
8 Les Femmes Calendar
This gorgeous desktop calendar is perfect for the sophisticated teen who has an eye for style and an appreciation for all things Francais! Plus, perhaps a paper calendar will get her to look up from her phone every now and then! Les Femmes Calendar, Tictail, $12.
9 Nom de Plume Ballpoint Pen
We know, we know … students today do the vast majority of their work on computers but surely that doesn’t mean that actual writing instruments are obsolete! This gorgeous pen will not only come in handy in class but is a signature item that she’ll hopefully cherish for years to come. Nom de Plume Ballpoint Pen, Kate Spade, $36.