I have always had a thing for miniatures. I started collecting tiny trinkets when I was a little girl, and when I see an opportunity to shrink something down to dollhouse size, I just can’t help myself. These Itty Bitty Figgy Puddings make adorable table favours, and couldn’t be easier to create.
Take a dome shaped chocolate, drizzle a bit of royal icing on top, and decorate it with teeny tiny holly sprinkles. I was lucky enough to happen upon these Wilton Holly Mix Sprinkles at HomeSense last year. You can find them at some bulk or craft stores, but if you can’t track them down, design your own topper out of candies or fondant.
For the icing, mix together 1/4 cup of icing sugar, a pinch of cream of tartar, and about a teaspoon of water. Adjust the proportions of water and sugar until you have a nice thick consistency. Dollop a little on top of each chocolate, and press in a pair of holly leaves before the icing sets.
Now, these may not be the most delicious item on your dessert tray (royal icing and chocolate isn’t exactly a winning combo), but it’s what’s on the outside that counts, right? If you want something a little more gourmet, you can experiment with different icings, but I found that for an authentic look, royal icing worked best.
Can’t you just picture your beautiful holiday table with a little figgy pudding waiting for each of your guests at their seat? And to give you an idea of just how teeny these are, here’s one more photo.
Day 5 is bringing you another thrifty handmade gift. This one is super easy, so even kids can get involved. I’ve had this idea in my mind bank for over a year, and holiday gifting gave me the extra push I needed to put it together. It’s based on a craft that I LOVED as a kid. Do these things look familiar?
I grew up calling them ‘Hama’ beads, but it seems like the ‘Perler’ brand has taken over. I guess a lot can happen in 20 years. You can find them at most craft stores, but believe it or not, IKEA sells them for way less! You’ll need some of these, as well as little peg boards (the green things in the photo below), some waxed paper, an iron, and some sticky backed craft foam (if you can’t find adhesive craft foam, you can attach it with double sided tape or glue).
Work out a design on your peg board. When it’s finished, carefully place a sheet of waxed paper on top (waxy side down), and iron it on medium heat for about 20 seconds. Slowly peel back the paper, and tip the disc off of the pegs. The heat from the iron melts the plastic beads together.
When you’ve finished ironing all of your coasters, stick them, ironed side down, onto the sticky side of your craft foam. Cut the foam around the coasters with a pair of small scissors. Make as many as you’d like, and try out lots of different patterns. The finished product has a fun, kitschy, retro feel, and makes a great addition to a funky apartment.
A few tips: when you move the boards around before ironing them, use EXTREME caution. Picking up these tiny beads from the floor is a nightmare! Also, keep an eye on the beads as they’re melting. You want them to be fused together, but not over melted.
Welcome to day 4 of my 12 Days of Christmas posting! After seeing a ton of these adorable cakes popping up online, I thought I would give it a try. Just alternate layers of white and red cake (I used a mix and added 1 tbsp of red gel colour and 1 tbsp of cocoa to half of my batter), and you have an easy candy cane effect. It’s always fun to have a little surprise to cut into.
I iced the cake in white buttercream. It was my first time colouring buttercream icing white with food colouring, and I was surprised by how much colour it required. The effect is great if you want a pure white look without using shortening though (shortening is gross. always use real butter in your icing!).
The decoration on the top is simple: take 10 mini candy canes (or more depending on the size of your cake), and pair them together in hearts. Instant cute holiday appeal.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing another last minute handmade gift idea; see you then!
For day 2 of my 12 Days of Christmas, I’m sharing my version of a fall favourite at the ‘Buck. It is super rich and festive tasting, for a fraction of the markup, and it’s topped with a deliciously frothy cream cheese whip. This recipe will make a cozy serving for two. You’ll need:
- 2 cups of strong coffee
- 2 cups of milk
- 6 tbsp. of canned pumpkin pie filling
- 4 tbsp. of sugar
- 1 tsp. of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup of whipping cream
- 2 tbsp. of Philadelphia Whipped cream cheese
- 1 tbsp. of sugar
Combine your milk, 4 tbsp sugar, pumpkin and spices in a small pot, and whisk them until hot and frothy, but not boiling.
Meanwhile, whip your cream until it is stiff, then add in the cream cheese and sugar.
When your milk mixture is nice and hot, divide the coffee between two large mugs, and pour the milk mixture over top.
Top each serving with a healthy dollop of cream, and garnish with a dusting of cinnamon if you like.
While sipping away on your budget latte, you can dream up all the lovely gifts you’ll buy with the money you’ve saved.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a fun do-it-yourself gift for friends and family who envy your chops in the kitchen.