12 Days of Home for the Holidays: Michelle Cummings

My guest today for the 12 Days of Home for the Holidays is Michelle Cummings.  I call her the Faerie Dust
Queen.  Michelle and I "met" through the Fiskateers online community.  I love her blog.  I was hooked when I saw her bird's nest necklaces.  She and her husband are marvelous photographers.  Michelle is a mixed- media artist, instructor, and Freelance writer. I believe that Michelle can make most any craft  as you can see on her blog, Faeire *Dust* Dreams.
Welcome Michelle!

Michelle Cummings


My favorite thing about the Holidays is the baking. Every year I look forward to when I can put the extra leaf in the kitchen table, cover it with tins of cookie cutters, parchments paper and racks for cooling. Some years we do up to 15 different types of cookies. The process usually takes up a whole week! And sometimes we just focus on the rolled out cookies, because they are so fun to decorate! Ice cube trays come in handy for holding all sorts of fun cookie decorations such as raisins, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed candies, red hots and other colorful delights. For a nearly mess proof decorating with kids, place their soon to be decorated cookies on a large plate and place this on a larger tray, collect any loose sprinkles and decorations for later.

Use your circle and fall leaf cutters to make fancy ornament cookies!

When we are near done, we like to fill plates or tins with our creations and deliver them to our neighbors. I let Dyllan wear his jammies, apron and santa hat for the delivery. :)

Here is a recipe for my favorite cut out cookies.

Cream Cheese Cookies

Preheat oven to 370*

Ingredients:
1- cup soft (room temp) sweet cream butter
1- 8 oz. (room temp) package of cream cheese
1 1/2 - cup sugar
1 - egg
1- teaspoon vanilla
1/2 - teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2- cup flour
1- teaspoon baking powder

* Beat butter and cream cheese.
* Add sugar and beat until fluffy.
* In  a separate bowl, mix egg, vanilla, and almond extract.
* Add to sugar. Mix well.
* In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
* Add dry to wet, 1/2 cup at a time, beat until mixed.

Divide dough in 1/2, wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for 1 1/2 hours in the fridge.

- Roll out dough 1/8" on a lightly floured surface, cut with favorite cutters, place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before adding frosting.
Makes approx. 7 dozen rolled out cookies.

Frosting:

1- Tablespoon meringue powder. - (You can find this in the cake decorating section of your favorite craft or specialty store.)
2- Tablespoons of 'cold' water
1- cup powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, beat meringue powder and 'cold' water with a electric mixer on medium speed until peaks form. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until more peak form. Beat for 1 minute. Spoon icing into piping bags or into small containers with matching lids.
Add colored food coloring, mix well and attach lid to keep icing fresh until ready to use.

This makes 1- cup of frosting. Make as much needed for amount of cookies you'll be decorating.
 
* tip- Metal or glass mixing bowls are best for meringue peaks , whether you are beating egg whites or using powder. Plastic can retain fat and grease, which inhibits the volume of the peaks. Whichever type of bowl you use, be sure it’s spotlessly clean.

Happy Holidays!
~ Michelle Frae ~ Cummings
Mixed Media Artist
Faerie Dust Dreams on Esty

I'm in love with this recipe and all the tips for decorating with children.  Thanks Michelle!  Tomorrow's guest is Cheryl Waters.

Comments

  1. Oh, Michelle, what fun you and your family have baking! Have a Merry Christmas!
    Sandy #4165

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  2. great ideas~what fun!!!enoyed your post!

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  3. I bake for the neighbours too! At Christmas time.

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  4. What a great tradition!

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  5. YUMMY!! Very fun and colorful!

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  6. What a great post and Dylan is so sweet. I love watching you as a mom. You really love your son and I can always tell Michelle. I'm grateful to call you friend and always love another peek into you! Great post!

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  7. HI..love this recipe Michelle...and have enjoyed a few swaps with you as well...your son is adorable! we also do the cookie thing..LUV IT! too fun and funny! but...its the memories...tyvm

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  8. Sharing cookies, so much fun. I used to bake a lot at Xmas, it was great. I no longer can do so much but do try a little something now and then. Sharing them with friends is the best part!

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  9. Thanks so much for the recipe! I've actually decided to start adding recipes to my website's posts too. It really helps the readers engage instead of just admire.

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  10. I love sharing Christmas cookies/candies at this time of the year. It is nice getting to know Michelle and her son is precious!

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