Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Creativity

One of my early Christmas memories, is from 30 or more years ago. We were living in Middle Sackville, (outside Halifax), I can't remember for sure if it was our church or the community center that organized this event; but we went and made all kinds of wonderful Christmas Ornaments. I remember making a number of these cute little angels, (center angel); they still hang on my tree at Christmas.

So, as I was browsing this Christmas, I found this kit that made 2 similar angels...
I thought it would be so much fun to make these with the girls...they were NOT fun. They were way harder to make, and the girls could do little more than cut pieces and hold glued parts together. I will say, after I went out and purchased a new glue gun, things were smoother. They are very pretty, but I will see if I can still find the materials that we used when I was a child. Otherwise, we have learned that some memories are not easily duplicated!
Now, for all you little dollar stretchers out there...

These very lovely, (I think), and very yummy treats were all made from 1 package of 3 frozen Cinnamon loaves.  For you local girls, I picked them up last week for $2.99 at Taste of Country. Michael LOVES Cinnamon rolls, actually one of the few sweets he enjoys. I figured, for a quick treat on the weekend, I would thaw them out and cut them into cinnamon rolls.

Sat. morning, I took my thawed loaves out of the fridge; but instead of simple cinnamon rolls, I raided my pantry and used my imagination to come up with three wonderful treats. With a few leftover cherries and pecans from earlier baking, I made the Swedish Tea Ring. This is traditionally something my mom made (from scratch) for Christmas morning, it is frozen now for Christmas morning.

With, some orange flavored Craisins from my pantry and some cinnamon and sugar, I made the Cranberry cobble-stone loaf (sliced the loaf into rolls, and cut each into 4 pieces, tossed them in cinnamon and sugar, and piled them in my loaf pan...sprinkling craisins at the 1/2 way point). Also frozen...for a Christmas tea...yet to be announced.

The final loaf, I made into traditional sticky buns with maple glaze...they were devoured by three little people who came home to warm cinnamon smells after a cold morning of delivering papers.

So, at $1.00 a a few left over ingredients...and only about 15- 20 min of prep time, I'd say these were my bargain recipes for the season!
I should have taken them all out of the oven about 5 min. sooner...but I am still pretty impressed.


Holly said...

The angels are pretty...sorry that they were such a pain to create!
The baking looks "oh so very yummy"!!

Amy said...

WOW!! JEN!! I've been amazed...
I DEF!! need to try I don't enjoy cinnamon stickies..but Mike LOVES them...PERFECT!! Thanks!!!!

Shari said...

I've bought those loaves at Taste of Country but they didn't seem to rise very well. They were tasty but very heavy. Your however sound wonderful.. must be the cook!!

As a teenager I made Swedish tea rings and jelly braids for Christmas and gave them as gifts to the families I babysat for.. Jen, you're taking me down memory lane.

Jen said...

Don't follow the directions on frozen bread products.
I warmed my oven to about 150, turned it off and put the cut and arranged breads in to rise. I leave them until they are nice and big...probably about an hour....they were nice and light.
I have had your experience too though.

Roxanne said...

YUM! Yes, I remember Shari making these. I think she even entered a baking contest with this entry.

Amy said...

ok Jen....
help a budding baker (I'm learning!!) and fill me in on those yummy icings????

Jen said...

OK Amy...Go buy the frozen loaves. Let them thaw in their bag in the fridge over night.
When you are ready to bake...use 1 loaf at a time.
You will probably have to cut the bag off as they will have started to rise.
Slice into 1/4" slices. Now, if Mike likes them more like a sticky roll, melt some butter and spread on bottom of 9x13 pan...sprinkle with brown could add raisins nuts or choppped cherries at this point.(or any combination)

Place sliced cinnamon rolls on can skip the extras above, and just put the rolls on a baking sheet, or use the 9x13.

Find a warm spot...this is where I usually heat my more than 200, turn it off, and put the buns into rise...leave until nice and big.

If you want to make the wreath, just arrange the slices in a circle on a large pizza pan...stone is best...not quite touching. Add cherry and pecan halves, (push them down a little) and let raise like the others.

Bake after they have risen at about 325. Maybe 20 min. keep an eye on them, they should be nice nad golden...mine were a little over done.

Icing...simple glaze: 1 1/2 cups approx. of icing sugar, slowly add milk just until you have a drizzly icing...not too runny though. I added almond for the loaf and the tea ring...I substituted maple for the almond in the cinnamon buns.

Drizzle on cooked and slightly cooled breads...very easy...go for it girl, I have faith in you! Call if you get stuck.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for leaving more details. Hope to try it! Looks so yummy!!!!!

Amy said...

mmm..thanks Jen!! I am going to try them tonight..I appreciate the step by step--if I do it once I'll be good to go!!

HEY--do you have a really good sugar cookie recipe?? Hannah wants to make some for her teacher--I usually do shortbreads--but was thinking she might like to help cutting them out and decorating, and have heard sugar cookies are good for this????Thanks!

Rhonda said...

No post or pictures yet about your trip today??????????