Friday, November 20, 2009

Homespun Holiday Recipes and Snowman Ornament

Happy Friday, my blogging friends!  What a busy week I’ve had and will have an even busier weekend!  Tomorrow Kory has bowling in the morning and after that, I’m meeting two of my sisters and three nieces for a late lunch/early dinner and then we’re all heading to the Christmas Connection at the Cleveland IX Center.  There are suppose to be 100’s of crafters there!  I can’t wait!!

On Sunday, we’re shampooing our carpets so they’re nice and clean for the holidays.  Plus, we’re going to pull out all of the Christmas decorations and go through them to make sure everything’s in working condition (especially the outside decor) and repair anything that needs fixed so it’s all ready to be put out on Thanksgiving day.

I have gone through a few boxes of my inside decorations and decided that I’m going to simplify my decor this year.  I’m going to rid of a lot of my stuff.  At first, I was going to let my sisters and nieces pick what  they wanted, but my daughter said that her friend might be interested in whatever’s left over because she’s newly married and they don’t have many Christmas decorations.  Brittney has been friends with this girl since middle school – they were even roommates all through college and I decided “to heck” with my siblings – they’re older and more established than Rachael – I’ll let Rachael have first dibs.  I kind of chuckled last year when she was telling us how they didn’t have much to decorate their tree with so she was baking gingerbread boys and stringing popcorn and cranberries to hang on the tree along with white lights and tying on some red bows.  I’m thinking, “sounds like the perfect tree to me!!” 


There was a radio personality that used to be on a Cleveland radio station that used to talk about wonderful recipes on air and then you could go on the station’s website and print them out.   One day, she was talking about these Oreo Truffles.  She kept talking about how delicious they were, but the best thing about them was that they were so easy to make.  Well, just hearing the word “Oreo” caught my attention!!  I had to try them!  These are VERY easy to make and absolutely delicious!!  I hope you give them a try.

Oreo Truffles

1 (12 oz.) pkg. premium white chocolate chips

1 (1 lb. 2 oz.) pkg. regular Oreo cookies

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into chunks

In a double boiler, over hot, not boiling water, melt the white chocolate chips.

Meanwhile, place Oreos and cream cheese in a food processor with a steel blade and process until it’s a thick paste, scraping sides a couple of times.

Roll into 1” balls and dip into melted chocolate.  Let dry on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and keep refrigerated.  Makes about 50.

**If you want the melted chocolate a little thinner for easier dipping, stir in a little vegetable oil until it’s the right consistency.  Also, for a festive look, sprinkle truffles with colored sugar or other small decorations right after you dip them.  They can also be placed in small foil or paper bon-bon cups.


This next recipe comes from Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa.  Once you try these marshmallows, you’ll never want to go back to the store bought ones again!  These are SO good!!  They’re also the perfect treat to top off your hot cocoa with!  The only drawback is…you need a stand mixer.   Also, pure vanilla extract gives it a much better flavor than imitation vanilla flavoring.

Homemade Marshmallows

3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. cold water

1 c. light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. water

1 T. pure vanilla extract

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 c. cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the the syrup.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 c. water in a small pan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin.

Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.

Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a sieve, generously dust a 9”x12” non-metal baking dish with confectioner’s sugar.

Pour the marshmallow mix into the pan, smooth the top and dust with more confectioner’s sugar.

Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.

Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them into squares.

Dust the cut sides with confectioner’s sugar.

* These are also delicious dipped in melted chocolate.

** A couple of years ago, I made these for my mom for Christmas.  She loves coconut, so instead of using confectioner’s sugar, I  used toasted coconut to dust the marshmallows with.  They turned out fantastic!!


As always, if you’d like to see who else is participating in Colleen’s (And Baby Makes Five) Homemade Holiday recipe Swap click here:



 As promised the other day, here’s a tutorial for making these snowman ornaments.



Supplies needed:


Styrofoam balls, whatever size you’d like

Paper Mache – white

Sculpey/Fimo modeling clay – terracotta

paper clips


whole peppercorns or allspice

large ziploc baggy

bowl of water

covered work surface

foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam

paper towels

First, make the nose by shaping a piece of the molding clay.  Take a butter knife and make marks on the sides to look like a carrot.  Break the toothpick in half and push one half into the nose.  Bake according to the directions on the molding clay’s package.



To make the hanger, push a paper clip into the styrofoam ball.


Put the desired amount of paper mache into a large ziploc baggy.  Following the directions on the packaging, add enough warm water to the mache until it’s the consistency of thick brownie batter.

IMG_1915(I was out of large ziploc baggies, so I used an old tupperware bowl.)

This next step is kind of messy.  Make sure you have paper towels handy and a bowl of water.

Work small amounts of paper mache onto styrofoam ball.  Periodically, dip your fingers into the water to keep the mache from sticking to your hands.  When the ball is completely covered, wet your fingers and smooth out all of the lumps.  Take the nose and push into the ball.  Push whole peppercorns into the mache for the mouth and, depending on the size of the styrofoam ball, use peppercorns or allspice for the eyes.  The finished snowman above has peppercorns for eyes - the one below has allspice (they’re a little larger).



Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and bake in a 200 degree oven.  For the first couple of hours,  turn the snowman periodically to prevent it from sticking to the foil.  Smooth out any flat ridges. Drying time varies – about 4 - 6 hours.

When snowman is dry, brush him with coffee to stain him.  Place him back in the oven to dry – maybe 15 – 20 minutes.  Repeat process until you reach the desired darkness.

If you want to make a shelf sitter, omit the paperclip and while the paper mache is still wet, push down slightly on the ball to flatten the bottom so he’ll sit flat.  While drying, keep turning but don’t smooth out the ridge on the bottom.

The snowman pictured above on the foil pan is going to be a shelf sitter.  He’s not completely done yet, so I’ll post a picture of him later.

wirebtrswetdiva  I hope everyone has a great weekend!  I have so much more to share with you, but I’ll leave it for other posts!

Until Next Time. . . Kris


  1. Thanks, Kris! I think I could even handle this!

  2. Thank You for sharing your tutorial. This will be a must on my to do list :)

  3. One bite of those Oreo Truffles and you are addicted. I make these every year. As a matter of fact I am making some tomorrow for a babyshower on Sunday. I'm going to drizzle blue chocolate over them since the shower is for a boy. (You can also just crush the oreos with a rolling pin and stir with the cream cheese in a bowl. Takes a little muscle but it works just as good)

    Love the snowman. Sounds simple enough to make. I might have to make this a project for me and my daughter.

    Thanks Kris for being so inspiring.

  4. What an informative post Kris!....Thank you for taking the time to post it!....the truffles and homemade marshmellows sound super yummy!


  5. Cute Cute Cute!!! Im gonna try this with the kids this weekend! Thanks Kris!! Have a great time with your sisters this weekend.

  6. Oh Kris I love them. I am sooooo going to make these. Thank you for sharing them with us. I am so far behind with EVERYTHING that I'll probably be making them Christmas Eve, but who cares I gotta have them!!!! The oreo truffles sound delish, and I saw Ina Garten make those wonderful homemade marshmallows on her show. Chocolate dipping them sounds just wonderful YUM! Have a fun weekend with your sisters and nieces! Hugs, Loretta

  7. Kris thanks so much. I had run out yesterday and got all the supplies. A few questions? Do you think I could cut the ball in half for ornaments so the back is flat for hanging? Do you cover the whole ball in mache? I'm also thinking I might add a touch of mica flakes to make him sparkle? What do you think?

  8. Kris,
    thanks for another awesome tutorial ~ those are adorable & I have all of the supplies here. Those oreo truffles ~ I for sure have to make those & when I do my goodie baskets I'll add some of those. Rachael's tree sounds so simple & perfect.
    Have fun tomorrrow.

  9. Kris,
    Thanks for the great tutorial! I do believe I will be making the oreo's and gotta try the marshmallows...yummmm!
    I love the adorable! You are truly inspiring!!
    Have a fun time with your sister's and niece's tomorrow...can't wait to see what you find amoung all of the vendors!

  10. Kris.....LOL, ok back to the store for me to get some balls and mache!
    I am still trying to catch up with you. I finally found 2 oranges the other day at Walmart, only 2!
    They have lemons too, I should get some of those.
    I already have some pineapples and greenery..........see where I am going with this!
    Have a good weekend!

  11. Thanks for all of the great tips, Kris! Have fun at the Christmas show and I hope you get lots of goodies to show us.
    The truffles sound yummy! I might just have to give those a try.
    Have a great weekend.

  12. Hope you have a great time at the show and find something you just can't live without. Thanks for the tutorial as well and lordy slap my thighs thanks for the recipe, lol.

    YSF - Karen

  13. Hi Kris!....Thank you for responding to my quest for advice....I know there are kids in high school who have fancy cars just given to them and of course he has pointed that out to me! LOL....I think they should work for what they have but everyone's a little different aren't they!....thanks again!

  14. Great recipes and a wonderful tutorial! I love to use that type of papier mache for snowmen. The texture is great for that!

  15. Poppin in to wish you and your family a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, Kris!
    Have a beautiful day♥

  16. Hi. Did you make your bee skep that's in the picture that you have outside?? I love it !! If you did can you tell me how you did it? I'd like to try to do this. I love your blog site and crafty ideas. Thanks Deb


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