Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate French Macarons!

I apologize that these photos are not the best. I took these with the flash after midnight. I just couldn't wait until daylight to share these with you!

Tonight I made my second attempt at baking Chocolate French Macarons. My first attempt this past weekend was semi-successful. My macarons formed the coveted "feet" but following the baking time in David Lebovitz's recipe (15-18 minutes at 375 degrees) led my macarons to have a crunchy, solid texture. The perfect macaron has a crisp exterior and a soft interior. For my second attempt this evening, I used all the same techniques of my first attempt but followed Tartelette's suggestion (click for the PDF of Tartelette's Demystifying Macarons from Desserts Magazine) for how long--and at what temperature--to bake the macarons (10-12 minutes at 300 degrees). The result was perfection!

If are familiar with the popularity of the macaron among internet bakers, you are probably aware of the difficulty these little cookies give many bakers. While they only require a handful of ingredients, the success of the macaron is all in the execution. Egg whites must be aged and whipped to perfection, almonds must be ground to oblivion and the two must be married with the perfect amount of folding-not too many folds and certainly not too few. There are many ways these little cookies can go awry. Many bakers swear by the aid of a kitchen scale when baking macarons as the exact portion of ingredients is crucial to their success. I chose to use David Lebovitz's recipe for my macaron baking adventure simply because it was one of the only reputable sources I could find with a recipe for these cute treats that didn't require weight measurements. I, unfortunately, don't own a kitchen scale and therefore was afraid to try baking these for years. I had intended to take the plunge and try my hand at them last winter but never got around to it. I am so glad I finally tried these! Having done much research online, reading tips and techniques, I now feel fairly confident in my ability to bake macarons. The technique is surprising simply if you are cautious and utilize the many helpful tips out there. I would still like to get a kitchen scale before I venture into trying other macaron recipes. I am dying to bake some pretty pastel versions such as these gorgeous rose-infused white chocolate ganache macarons.

These are actually the first French Macarons I have ever eaten. Starbucks is apparently carrying them for a limited time this holiday season and I'd like to get my hands on some as a comparison. I really have no reference for what they are supposed to taste like, but mine certainly were delicious! They have a perfectly strong chocolate flavor but, having used semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache, they certainly aren't too sweet. They would be heavenly paired with a cup of coffee. When you bit into them, the crisp shell of the macaron gives way to a soft, smooth center and a thick layer of creamy ganache. What could be better?

I am so excited about the macaron baking adventure I'm setting off on. There are so many flavors and colors to create! The possibilities are endless.

Chocolate French Macarons
adapted from David Lebovitz and Tartelette
makes 12-15 macarons

Macarons:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, aged* at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream

Draw 1-inch to 1.5-inch circles about 2 inches apart on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper with circles on bottom, and line a baking sheet. Fit a pastry bag with a round tip (about 1/2-inch in diameter).

Grind together the powdered sugar, almonds and cocoa in a food processor until no lumps remain. Sift mixture to make sure all lumps are completely removed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a plastic or metal bowl), beat the room temperature egg whites until they begin to foam and rise. Continue whipping, beating in the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time until the egg whites are very stiff and do not move when the bowl is turned upside down, about 2 minutes.

Add the powdered almond mixture to the meringue mixture and begin folding the mixtures together using a flexible rubber spatula. Begin to fold quickly, but slow down after the mixture begins to come together. The whole process should take 30-50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the peak flattens on its own, you are good to go. If there is a small peak, give the batter a couple more folds and test again.

Transfer batter to the pastry bag. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet inside the circles, just until the batter reaches the edge of the circles. Rap the baking sheet a few times on the counter to flatten the macarons and remove any air bubbles. Let them sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until a skin forms (you will be able to touch the macarons without any batter sticking to your finger). While the macarons are resting, preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place macarons in the top 1/3 of your oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. You should notice that within the first 5 minutes of baking, your macarons will form the coveted feet!

Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet. Pair like-size macarons for sandwiching.

To make the ganache:

Heat heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. It should take 1-2 minutes for the chocolate to completely melt. Stop and stir the ganache every 15-20 seconds, stopping once the chocolate is melted. Stir ganache until chocolate is completely incorporated into the cream. Once smooth, leave your ganache to firm up at room temperature.

Once firm but smooth, spoon the ganache onto the bottom of a macaron, sandwiching it with another. Alternatively, you could pipe the ganache onto the macarons for a cleaner look.

Store any leftover macarons in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Enjoy!

*To age egg whites, separate them from the yolks and store them, covered at room temperature for 1-2 days before using. After 2 days, store the egg whites in the fridge, making sure to bring them back to room temperature before whipping them for the macarons.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 5: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

The project for Day 5 of my Twelve Days of Christmas: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas comes from Disney of the lovely blog Ruffles & Stuff. If you are familiar with Ruffles & Stuff, you know about all the fantastic projects Disney dreams up! Disney's skill to transform objects from bland to fabulous are seriously inspirational! These "Granny Chic" Slippers are one of my favorite creations she has come up with. Starting off with simple ballet slippers you can get from Wal-Mart or pretty much any department store, you can create a truly fabulous and feminine gift! Disney's tutorial shows how to cut out and form gorgeous fabric flowers which are simply sewn onto the slippers. All the steps for cutting, forming and sewing the flowers can be found on her tutorial and they are so simple anyone with a pair of scissors, a needle and some thread could follow them. No prior sewing experience is needed to create these gorgeous slippers.

If you wanted to simplify the project even further, you could pick up some pretty felt or crocheted flowers from the craft section of Wal-Mart or from any craft store. You could simply buy a few flowers to coordinate nicely with the color of the slippers you pick out and sew the pretty ready-made flowers onto the slippers. Talk about a fast and inexpensive gift idea!

I think these are gorgeous and girly. With winter ahead, wouldn't it be nice to give such a warm and cozy gift?

Appliqué Your Way Giveaway


I wanted to share that there is a giveaway going on over at Nice until December 18th to win a copy of Kayte Terry's Appliqué Your Way. I've been wanting to start a little collection of various craft books and the sort. My current collection is rather sad and only consists of Alicia Paulson's Stitched in Time (which is fantastic, by the way). Appliqué Your Way is on my current wish list and with contributors such as Caitlin (of Nice), it's sure to be a great collection of projects!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 4: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

All photos are from Sarah of The Small Object.

Day 4 of my Twelve Days of Christmas: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas is another little project from Amanda of Bake it Pretty. Vintage buttons are all the rage and with so many folks collecting buttons these days, they make a gorgeous gift. Brightly colored vintage buttons in all sorts of shapes and styles look lovely on display in a glass container or worn colorfully on a sweater or blouse. But I imagine you never thought to consume them... until now! You see, those pretty buttons above are actually candy. They are so simple to make with the aid of a chocolate mold and they make fantastic gifts when packaged whimsically.

Amanda has a great tutorial on her blog with directions on how to use the chocolate molds and other ingredients (all of which can be found in the Bake it Pretty online shop) to make these precious little treats. You can make these buttons in all the colors of the rainbow and you can even add candy flavorings to make them in all sorts of playful color/flavor combinations.

Amanda even created the most charming little printable packaging (click for Amanda's printable PDF) you can staple to the buttons you bag up as gifts. Isn't that the cutest thing ever? While these look like something you'd find in the most charming confiserie, they are quite simple to make using Bake it Pretty products and Amanda's gorgeous tutorial.

I purchased a chocolate button mold of my own and several colors of candy melts and I can't wait to make little bags of buttons for my friends this holiday! I also bought several other chocolate molds--a few in particular that I am so excited about--and I plan to share my candy making adventures with you as soon as I receive everything and put them to use!

I can't wait!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One of a Kind Earrings in the Shop


I added four new pair of earrings to the shop this afternoon! All of them are currently one of a kind and, while a couple of them could be potentially reproduced, will probably not be available again. The pair above is my absolute favorite! I really, really wish I could keep these for myself.


I love the pastel palette of these earrings. There is something so soft and innocent about these colors! They are just gorgeous for winter.


I love the festive combination of mint green and bright red in this next pair. The little floral cameos are so delicate and sweet.


The last pair is romantic and playful. These are nearly identical to the second pair, only with a different color scheme. I've really been enjoying playing with various color combinations lately.

Photos are linked to the listings in my Etsy shop.

A Slight Obsession

Wool Felt Cloche, J.Crew $34.50

I am absolutely crazy about the sleek, classic look of a gorgeous cloche hat. The 1920's is quite possibly my second favorite fashion decade (just behind the 1950's, of course) and the cloche is one of my favorite accessories from the time. I love how beautiful and feminine they look when paired with sultry waves and a strong, sexy lip. They are playful and sweet and slightly mysterious. I just love them and I am crazy about the fact that they are currently back in style! I'd really like to add one to my wardrobe. These are some of my favorites that I stumbled across online.

Ring & Peal Cloche, Anthropologie $48

Applique Cloche, Urban Outfitters $38

Cloche To Your Heart, ModCloth $49.99

I adore them all! I just love girly winter accessories. Winter is my favorite time of the year for fashion. Cozy cardigans, gorgeous coats, soft scarves and pretty tights inspire me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 3: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

The third Handmade Holiday Gift Idea comes from Amanda of Bake it Pretty. These cupcake ornaments are super cute and can be customized to all sorts of beautiful colors. These would look so retro and festive on a white or pink tree! I'd love to make a few to place around my kitchen even after the holidays. Grouped together on a pretty cake stand, as in the photo above, these would be a darling centerpiece for a holiday gathering. Sparkly and whimsical, these would make great little stocking stuffers or small gifts. Amanda even suggests using mini versions as decorations for presents themselves! In the spirit of my Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas, these ornaments require a manageable list of supplies and are super simple to create!

Check out Amanda's post on the Bake it Pretty blog for a list of the supplies you will need as well as a full step-by-step tutorial on how to craft these sweet treats!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Laundry Just Got a Whole Lot Cuter!

In hunting for more great handmade gift ideas, I happened upon a pattern inspired by this amazing vintage clothespin holder. The project comes from Hannah of Made With Love By Hannah and is so unbelievably adorable I squealed! I mean, seriously, how cute is that clothespin holder? I don't think I've happened upon anything this quite darling for some time.

Hannah's post provides a material list, printable pattern and a few step-by-step photos of the project. While I have never been terribly fond of line dried clothing (is it just me or do they become itchy and stiff?), I'd love to find a use for one of these darling holders. I am seriously smitten.

Here is the clothespin holder that Hannah created from her original vintage treasure. I love her choice of folkish fabrics. Perhaps I'll find something around my studio that could be stored in one of these adorable holders...

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Holiday Baking

Yesterday afternoon I continued my holiday baking. This time I stepped things up a notch and made Spritz Cookies, Snowball Cookies and Chocolate Bon Bon Drops! I had been planning to make Spritz Cookies for a while as they are my hubby's favorite Christmas cookie. I used a simple recipe from Betty Crocker because, in all honesty, my hubby likes plain and simple. Unfortunately I think we both agreed that these were too plain. I think next time I make Spritz Cookies I'll incorporate either some orange zest or some cinnamon in the batter to give them more depth.

I was pretty satisfied with the Snowball Cookie recipe I used. It had been a while since I had had these cookies and I honestly couldn't compare this recipe to others I've had before from memory. They had a great, pleasantly crumbly texture and a nice pecan shortbread flavor. I meant to add a teeny bit of cinnamon to my batter but didn't make a note on the recipe and totally forgot to add it in my following the recipe. I'll definitely try the cinnamon in these next time as I think the subtle hint would be a really lovely addition.

You probably know these cookies as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes. Really, they go by so many names! All you need to know is that they are absolutely delicious. I called them Snowball Cookies because they certainly look like little snowballs and I find that name much more befitting to the season.

Next up was the star of the day, in my opinion. The Chocolate Bon Bon Drops from King Arthur Flour were incredible, as I expected they would be as I have yet to try a KAF recipe that disappointed. Seriously, folks, their Fudge Brownies are insane! The recipe suggested using a teaspoon cookie scoop for these. I only have a tablespoon and a half scoop in my collection at the moment. The result was a slightly bigger cookie (the recipe makes 24, I got 18). I baked mine a few minutes longer than the recipe and the result was a rich, decadent cookie! Still warm out of the oven these were incredibly soft and fudge-like. Seriously moan-inducing, folks. You make a simple vanilla glaze which is applied while the cookies are still warm which leads the glaze to run over the surface of the cookie. After these cool down they set up a bit but still retain their soft texture. If you are a fan of super soft brownies, you will love these cookies! I plan to make these again soon. I really love the fact that the recipe makes a manageable number of cookies and the portions in the recipe actually lend very well to being halved, if you want even fewer than two dozen. Trust me though, you won't want to halve this recipe. I most certainly will be making these again with my Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa once it arrives. I used some plain ol' Hershey's cocoa for mine as that was all I had in the pantry at the time. I imagine the flavor will be a thousand times better with a richer cocoa. King Arthur Flour, I love you and I will forever sing your praises.

Snowball Cookies
adapted slightly from Epicurious
makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cups pecans, finely chopped

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then pecans. Divide dough in half, form each half into a ball, then flatten slightly. Wrap separately in plastic wrap; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar by sifting it into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Working with half of the chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in powdered sugar, coating completely. Transfer coated cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. After cookies are completely cooled, coat them a second time in the powdered sugar before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.


Chocolate Bon Bon Drops
from King Arthur Flour
makes about 2 dozen

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream OR half and half OR milk (I used heavy cream)
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)

Place all the cookie dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until a soft, smooth dough is formed. Remove from the bowl, and shape into a 3/4" thick disk. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape the dough into small balls, about the size of a a large gumball (a teaspoon cookie scoop is a huge help here). Space evenly on the cookie sheets, leaving about 2" between cookies. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully to avoid scorching the bottoms.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the pans while you prepare the glaze. For the glaze, blend the sifted confectioners' sugar with the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. This glaze will be thick, almost icing consistency. If you use half and half (or milk) and vanilla extract, the glaze will be much thinner and not as rich.

Using a teaspoon, portion the glaze over the barely warm cookies. You can pipe the glaze from a piping bag or zip-top bag with a corner cut off as well (this is what I did). Top with chocolate pearls, slivers of maraschino cherry, or chocolate sprinkles (I skipped this step as I had none of these). Store any leftovers at room temperature for up to a week.

Day 2: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

The second post in my series The Twelve Days of Christmas: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas is an idea that was inspired by a project from Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart provides a very pretty tutorial on a great way to incorporate recycling in your handmade gifts. Martha's tutorial suggests reusing remnants of old candles, which I think is a great idea! I just hate it when I have a fantastic candle that, for whatever reason, doesn't burn all the way to the bottom of the wick. It's quite easy to collect scrap candle bits for this project if you are like me and burn candles often. You can simply collect the extra bits throughout the year, keeping them in a ziplock bag until you are ready to melt them down and give them new life.

If you don't have any old candle bits laying around, don't fear. I didn't last Christmas when I decided to make some teacup candles of my own. Instead you can quite easily find great candle supplies at stores such as Michaels. They carry large containers of microwavable soy wax which makes creating these teacup candles a total breeze (a lot easier than the Martha Stewart version, if you ask me). Following the directions on your wax, you can simply microwave it in a glass container--I suggest a large glass measuring cup to make pouring the melted wax into your teacups easier--and once the wax is melted you may add any scents or dyes that you'd like. Wicks, scents and dyes can be found along side the microwavable soy wax in your local craft store. This is where you can really customize the candles! Pick your preferred scent and you could choose to leave the candles white or dye them to match the colors of your teacups. The teacups themselves could be new, or you could search second hand shops such as Goodwill for some great vintage ones! I found some pretty vintage teacups with a simple Asian-inspired design last winter when I made these candles. They were quite cute! Once you have your wax melted, scented and dyed, you are ready to pour the wax into your chosen vessel. Martha Stewart provides a helpful hint of using wooden skewers to help suspend your wick properly in your teacup while you pour the wax and wait for it to harden. After you pour the wax and it hardens completely, you are ready to trim the wick and package your pretty little gifts! I think these would be absolutely darling packaged in little cupcake boxes!

This project is as simple as choosing your teacups, purchasing your candle supplies, microwaving, stirring and pouring! The simplicity of this project is unbelievably when compared to the elegance of the finished product. You could easily make several of these in an hour. Just think how sweet it would be to present a lovely teacup candle to each of your girl friends! They are so chic and remind me of something you'd find at Anthropologie.

If you decide to purchase second hand teacups, or even use some old ones you may have around the house, this gift idea can be quite inexpensive! I believe my soy wax, wicks and chosen scent (vanilla, please) came in under $10. Also, might I note that there are always 40% off coupons for Michaels floating around online. I found my teacups at Goodwill for around $1 each. I was able to make 4 teacup candles with a single container of soy wax. The teacup candles are a really fun, feminine gift! And as an added bonus, after the recipient burns their candle they will have a pretty new teacup to add to their collection.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Indulging

Okay, don't tell my hubby, but I've been indulging (quite modestly, I might add) a bit recently...

It began when I decided I needed a new pair of gloves as the only pair I had somehow, unfortunately, ended up in the wash and shrunk. I knew I wanted something simple but with a bit of a feminine flair. I first began looking at Anthropologie to see if I could find any lovely, but affordable options. I stumbled upon their Ring-Around Gloves in a lovely shade of blue. And at a reasonable $24 they were a great contender! Before I could commit, I clicked over to Target and started looking around there. Then I saw a section for cashmere gloves and that's where I found the beautiful cashmere gloves that were surprisingly inexpensive!

Aren't they pretty? Simple but the scalloped edge/button detail at the wrist adds just enough interest so that they don't seem boring. I ordered these beautiful gloves and I can't wait to get them so I can put them to use. I hope they are as soft and warm as I imagine they will be. And I was finally able to indulge my love for cashmere, even if it is small scale. I hope they pair well with the pretty new coat I am getting for Christmas from my mom. I have really been wanting to get back in the habit of reading more so I'm thinking about taking weekly walks to the downtown library to pick out a new book each week and, you know, perhaps a cookbook and craft book or two, so I will surely be needing these little gloves to keep my hands warm and toasty.

Next I finally treated myself to some bareMinerals makeup. I saw a great deal on television some time ago for a five-piece starter kit for $29.99. I decided to try it as I had tried a smaller brand of mineral makeup several months back after utilizing an offer for free samples. I absolutely loved the mineral makeup and had really been wanting to try the mother of all mineral makeups since. I can't until I receive mine and give it a try!

My last little splurge as of late was from my dear King Arthur Flour! With all the holiday baking I've been dreaming of, I have been dying to get my hands on some more King Arthur Flour ingredients.

This time I decided to try their Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa which promises to provide a rich chocolaty flavor and a deep black color! Cocoa is one of those ingredients where it really makes a huge difference to use high quality products. I see some killer brownies in my future! I will definitely be saving some of this cocoa to use in the absolutely amazing Andes Mint Brownies that I am including on list of goodies I am baking for my friends this Christmas.

Then, of course, I had to get some Espresso Powder to put to use in my chocolate baked goods to enhance the chocolate flavor. I am excited to try this out. They claim that if you use between 1/2 to 2 teaspoons in your recipe you won't notice any coffee flavor but it will simply help to enhance the chocolate. If you use 2 or more teaspoons you can create a great mocha flavor. My hubby hates coffee, so I am hoping that this powder is indeed magical and merely plays a silent, but supporting role in my chocolate treats.

And finally I wanted to get some Vietnamese Cinnamon. I received a Penzeys spice box as a wedding present and it included the most amazing cinnamon! Once you try good cinnamon the stuff from the supermarket just isn't the same. I am so giddy about having some of the good stuff at my fingertips again. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices.

It is probably a bit silly just how excited I am to receive these ingredients and put them to use. Baking is such a fun science! I wish the package would magically arrive on my doorstep in the next few hours as I am doing some serious baking this afternoon and would love to be able to use my fancy new cocoa! I am baking Spritz Cookies, Snow Ball Cookies and Chocolate Bon Bon Drops (from none other than King Arthur Flour). I'll post pictures and recipes later this evening!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lace and Lights

How seriously gorgeous is this Paper-Doily Wreath from Martha Stewart? I just love how whimsical and feminine it is! I think it would even be pretty for non-holiday decor. There are tons of wreath projects over at Martha Stewart. Unfortunately I won't have any time this holiday season to craft one of my own, but for those who do, there are all sorts of beautiful wreaths to be inspired by.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 1: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

I decided to start a little series The Twelve Days of Christmas: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas. From now until Christmas I will share with you twelve of my favorite handmade holiday gift ideas that anyone--even the most craft challenged individual--could create. A little encouragement to motivate everyone to get in the spirit of giving handmade this holiday season.

When I saw a post by Bridget of Bake at 350 for this Brown Sugar and Spice Body Scrub and immediately fell in love! I love giving handmade gifts for the holidays and this scrub would make a fabulous present for all the girly girls in your life. You could easily whip up a big batch of this scrub, separate it out into pretty little containers, and have one to give to each of the beautiful women you know.

Doesn't that just look divine? What woman doesn't love pampering herself with luxurious bath and body products! I have been so impressed with all the beautifully packaged bath & body products that have popped up all over Etsy the past couple of years. There are now so many great options for all-natural beauty products. Many of the great products we all love can easily be whipped up in an afternoon after procuring a few ingredients. When packaged lovingly with sweet little handmade labels and a decorative accent or two, these homemade treats make great gifts!

The recipe for this Brown Sugar and Spice Body Scrub seriously could not be any easier! It could be effortlessly doubled, tripled, quadrupled... to make a large batch for multiple recipients.

The recipe comes from C & H Sugar and is part of a great selection of homemade gift ideas.

For a single batch you'll need:
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup pure cane sugar
3/4 cup almond oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
16oz. glass container with lid

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk all dry ingredients until thoroughly blended. Be sure to break up any lumps from the brown sugar or spices.

Stir in the almond oil. Spoon into the glass container and secure with lid.

How simple is that? And if you are like me, you already have all the ingredients at your fingertips with the exception of the almond oil. I have a feeling you could easily find almond oil at your local health food store, or perhaps even at Michaels. I'd like to try to get my hands on some soon to whip up a big batch of this scrub--some to give away and some to keep, of course!

Stay tuned as the Twelve Days of Christmas continue with many more fantastic handmade gift ideas.

All photos are from Bake at 350.
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