GINGERSNAP CARAMEL PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE



I found these gingersnaps… mainly purchased for the tin… and OMG they are so good! I thought that in order to not eat the entire tin in one day, I better use them for a pie to be shared. Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to turn these cookies into the crust for a gingersnap caramel pumpkin cheesecake! I had extra batter since I used a smaller springform pan, and made 6 minis- so cute and easy. I actually liked the balance between crust and filling on the minis better than the cake… both great, don’t get me wrong. If you have extra minis, they would be perfect to drop off on a neighbor’s porch (which I did) since many cannot get home to see their families. Effing Covid.

Gingersnap Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Scroll down for the mini version (you don’t necessarily need to make a crust for this- just use the unbroken cookie as the base).

 

Crust and cheesecake via The Pioneer Woman

Caramel sauce via The Brown Eyed Baker

 

 

Crust Ingredients (for minis you just need the cookies):

12 oz. (about 54) gingersnaps plus 8-10 extras for the topping – THESE are the best!

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 dash of salt

 

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup granulate sugar

6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

1 tsp sea salt

2/3 heavy cream

 

Filling Ingredients:

packages (8 0z. packages) cream cheese

1 1/2 c. sugar

can 15-ounce pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 whole eggs

2 tbsp. heavy cream

 

Equipment:

food processor (or ziplock bag and a rolling pin could substitute)

9″ or 10″ springform pan

muffin liners or ramekins if you’re making minis

parchment paper

rimmed baking sheet

 

1. Make the crust:

Lightly butter a 9″ or 10″ springform pan. In a food processor (or large Ziploc bag), crush gingersnaps. Add chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt, and pulse (or mix) until thoroughly combined. Press into bottom and sides of the springform pan. Chill crust for 20-30 minutes.

 

2. Make the caramel sauce:

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking as the sugar begins to melt. Some of the sugar will harden into clumps, but that’s okay – it will melt eventually – just keep whisking. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a dark amber color. At that point, whisk in the salt, and then add the butter all at once and whisk until it is completely incorporated into the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream (it will foam up when first added). Continue to whisk until it forms a smooth sauce. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before using.

 

3. Make the filling:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and spices and mix again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each addition. Add cream and mix until just combined.

 

4. Assemble the cake:

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I did not not do this and the caramel leaked through and burned my oven… yikes. Pour a little less than half of the caramel sauce onto the crust (I prefer more on top of the cake), moving the springform pan around so that it coats the sides and bottom. Save the rest of the caramel in an airtight container for the top of the cake before serving. Put the crust back in the fridge to set. Pour the filling into the caramel-coated crust and fill up to the top of the crust. If you have extra filling, see below suggestion for minis. Place the cheesecake on top of the parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake 350 degrees, 1 hour and 15-30 minutes until jiggly but not soupy. Cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight. Remove rim of the pan then use a spatula to carefully remove the bottom of the pan and transfer it to a serving platter. Pour the rest of the caramel sauce on top. Top with crumbled gingersnaps. Slice and eat!

 

For minis:

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place muffin liners or ramekins (lightly butter these) on the baking sheet. Instead of making a crust, just place a whole gingersnap cookie on the bottom of the liner. Cover it with a little caramel. When this bakes, the cookie and caramel will fuse together into a soft delicious crust. Fill each about half way with the cheesecake filling. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes until jiggly but not soupy. Cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. They look cute in their liners or ramekins plus… it’s easier… no need to transfer! Top each mini with remaining caramel sauce and crumbled gingersnaps before serving.

 

xo

Leah

RBG COLLAR

All rise! This easy DIY Ruth Bader Ginsburg collar is the perfect halloween costume honoring the notorious RBG. Use whatever material you have around the house- felt, paper, an old sweatshirt, whatever. I cut this out from a reusable grocery tote bag and taped jewels on.

On this other version (modeled by my brother lol), I just drew lines and circles with a white paint pen. You can also jazz it up with jewels or pearls.

WHAT YOU NEED:

fabric / felt / grocery bag / old shirt

paint pen / paint / sharpie

scissors

string

hole punch

extra credit: jewels or pearls (I used strong double stick tape)

 

  1. Print out templates. To cut out and trace on another material, click HERE. To print out in black and white and use as your actual collar (like if you’re printing it to use on paper), click HERE.
  2. Cut out collar and trace
  3. Punch holes in either corner and string
  4. Decorate!

 

ROSH HASHANAH TREAT BOARD

Happy New Year to those who celebrate! I created a cheese-board-like creation with my favorite Rosh Hashanah treats: homemade challah, honey cake, and apples & honey. Also this wooden platter is the PERFECT size, food safe, and $39. Scroll down for the recipes!

HONEY CAKE

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

INGREDIENTS

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • cup vegetable oil
  • cup honey
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • eggs (at room temperature)
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup plus 2 TBSP brewed coffee (warm)
  • ½ cup plus 2 TBSP orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray then line with parchment paper, leaving an inch overhang on each side.
  2. In a large bowl (no need for an electric mixer), whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee, and orange juice.
  3. Stir together with a wooden spoon or spatula until all ingredients are well-blended, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes. The cake should be SLIGHTLY jiggly. I like to set my timer to 30 minutes and check 3 minutes at a time. If it jiggles like pudding, it needs a couple more minutes. I hate dry bread, so undercooking it a tad keeps it moist.
  6. Immediately grab the parchment paper and pop out of the pans so it doesn’t keep cooking in the pan. See how the photo has that yummy looking puddle in the middle? That’s the good stuff. The bottom of this cake bakes up FAST, so you really don’t want it to burn.

RECIPE NOTES:

This recipe can be made in two standard loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9- or 10-inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9×13-inch sheet cake, but baking times will differ.
Now onto the challah…

 

CHALLAH

This is my favorite challah recipe! IT. IS. SO. GOOD. Our family friend, Carol, shared this recipe with my mom and me, and we will forever be grateful. Chewy and slightly sweet. Spread butter on a slice and drizzle with a little honey. I usually like to braid a 4 part braid and form into a ring so that the challah bakes evenly all around (SEE POST HERE), but I wanted it smaller for the board- see this braiding technique for a round challah HERE. We traditionally bake a round challah for holidays.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp honey
1 pkg yeast
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs (+ 1 egg for egg wash – see notes for alternatives)
4 c bread flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dissolve 1 tsp honey in 1/2 c. warm water in large mixing bowl which has been rinsed with hot water.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, let stand 10 min.
  3. Stir in oil, 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, 1 tsp honey, salt, eggs, and 2 c. flour. Beat well.
  4. Stir in remaining 2 c. flour. Dough will be sticky.
  5. Knead 2-3 minutes with a bread hook attachment or turn onto a floured board and knead.
  6. Round up in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. It should have doubled in size. Gently put finger in top; if dough stays indented, it’s finished. If it bounces back, continue to rise.
  7. Punch down, cover, let rise again 45 min.
  8. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Divide into sections and braid (ring instructions HERE, round instructions HERE), tucking in the ends.
  9. Cover, rise 20-30 minutes.
  10. Brush with beaten egg yolk and 1 tsp water (or sub- see below). Optional: sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  11. Bake 400 degrees 15-20 min. The last 5 minutes or so, you can cover the top with foil so it doesn’t get too brown. Put a toothpick in the center of a braid and check for doneness. My mom and I like to under bake it just a tad so it doesn’t dry out- we like it a tiny bit gooey but it’s all to your preference.
  12. Eat! Delicious with butter and /or honey. Perfect the next morning for french toast.

RECIPE NOTES:

I always run out of eggs for the egg wash! You can sub with melted butter before you put it in the oven then a little when you take it out. I also spread a little honey on top to really take it to the next level.

xo

Leah

MY GO-TO YELLOW CAKE + MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

I updated my go-to yellow cake recipe! This cake is m-o-i-s-t, slightly dense but light, buttery, and absolutely delicious. I promise it’s easy and WAY better than boxed. The marshmallow frosting is nice and gooey and not as sweet as you’d think. The flavors go really well together! Scroll down for the recipe, but READ THESE NOTES FIRST:
  1. If you want your cake to taste fresh and delicious, use fresh and delicious ingredients. I know that sounds like common sense- but seriously- use GOOD and real (read: expensive) vanilla extract, use the best butter, eggs, milk, etc. It truly makes a difference.
  2. UNDER BAKE this cake. My rule of thumb is set the timer 5-10 minutes under what the recipe says and keep testing every 2-3 minutes. The cake should be firm with a little JIGGLE when you gently shake the pan. It will KEEP COOKING in the pan!! Put a knife in the middle and it should come out with crumbs on it- NOT clean. Clean means you probably over baked it. But still eat it. Obviously.
  3. IF YOU OVER BAKE IT and the bottom is brown, wait for the cake to cool then take a serrated knife and skim off the brown. Brush the milk soak on it, and it should help the moisture level.
  4. For the reason above, please please please line your pan with parchment paper buttered on both sides! Even I have over baked my cake (who meeeee?) and needed to resort to the cake shaving!
  5. For lazy baking, I use an 11×13″ baking pan you’d normally use for brownies. It’s one layer and easier to store than a layer cake. Still line with parchment and butter in case you need to pop it out.

CAKE RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temp
2 3/4 cups bread flour (I just always bake with bread flour, but you can use all purpose!)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (to make your own, mix 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp white vinegar and let it sit for 5 min)
2 tbsp good vanilla extract
Milk soak: 1/4 cup milk + 1 tsp vanilla
parchment paper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 9″ round pans or 1 9×13 pan with parchment paper (butter pan, place parchment paper down, butter parchment paper).
  3. Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Beat butter for 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly.
  5. Add flour mixture on lowest speed one cup at a time, alternating with milk. End with the flour mixture.
  6. Add vanilla and mix well.
  7. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake about 20 minutes in the 9″ rounds or 30 minutes in the 9×13 pan until a knife inserted in the center comes out with crumbs. DO NOT over bake- the secret to the yummiest cakes (see notes above). The cake should jiggle a tiny bit in the middle like firm jello (not gooey pudding) and be the slightest golden brown.
  9. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5-10 minutes only, then flip out on a wire rack covered with parchment paper and cool completely.
  10. Mix milk soak together and brush over the surface of the cake before frosting.

MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

1 cup salted butter, room temp (or add 1/4 tsp salt to unsalted butter)

14 ounces Marshmallow Fluff

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

* If frosting a sheet cake, I like to halve the recipe since you’re not covering as much area. This frosting is rich!

 

  1. Mix butter on medium speed until smooth. Add in the Marshmallow Fluff and mix for an additional minute, or until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium and mix for another minute. Add food coloring if you want.
  3. Scoop a small amount and drop onto the cake. Take an offset spatula or knife and cover the surface of the cake- it’s ok if crumbs get mixed in- this is called the crumb coat! Let that set.
  4. Scoop and drop the rest of the frosting on the cake and spread. Top with sprinkles!

RECIPE: FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES + JOSHIE’S 3RD BIRTHDAY

Joshie turned THREE! We had such fun day at my parents’ house, mainly directed by him since he’s in a SUPER bossy phase. Hilarious when it’s directed towards his brothers… not so much when it’s directed towards Jeffrey and me. My parents’ ordered this big balloon display from STL Balloons and an ice cream truck to come by!! He was shocked, and we all had so much fun. Since it was just the 7 of us, I didn’t really go all out like I usually would. Just a few details and lots of sugar. Joshie loves dinosaurs and the color blue which became the loosly-based-but-also-the-pandemic-so-whatever theme.

 

Since Joshie oddly doesn’t like chocolate, I made him my favorite sugar cookies and frosting but made them into easy bars. Like I said… pandemic whatever I’m not rolling and cutting these into shapes! SO simple and delicious. The cookie part is soft and fluffy and not too sweet. The frosting is from this recipe for swig cookies since I wanted that thicker frosting. SO good. If you’re using this cookie recipe for cut out holiday cookies, you might want a thinner frosting that dries. This recipe pairs really well together, but it’s not great for stacking and packaging. More just for eating.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE RECIPE!

 

For the party hats, I cut out a spikey shape, scored the edge, folded it, and used double stick tape to secure it to the side of the party hats.


I made Joshiesaurus tattoos- he loved them!! Purchase in my shop HERE.

I got the little dinosaurs (natural plastic, non-toxic) HERE and then just put them in a 3 shape on a grocery store cake.

Social-distanced ice cream truck party with cousins and neighbors!

Georgie being weird and charming.


Momtern and Dadtern!

Now for the cookie recipe that everyone loved!

COOKIE RECIPE:

  • 1 c. butter or margarine (or half and half) room temp
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 tbsp whole milk, room temp
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 3 c. flour (I always bake with bread flour but AP is fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Mix butter and sugar til fluffy 2-3 min.
  • Add egg and mix well.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Slowly mix in dry ingredients alternating with milk.
  • Mix until just combined.
  • For bar cookies: press dough into a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper, press plastic wrap on top of the dough, and chill for a couple hours or overnight.
  • For cut out cookies, press dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap, chill for a couple hours or overnight. Flour the counter and dough really well. Roll out super thin if you want them to keep their shape otherwise they will puff up and be delicious, but not perfectly shaped. Might want to add a little more flour to the dough as you roll it out. Make sure to pop them back into the fridge or freezer once they’re shaped and on parchment lined baking pans before you put them in the oven to bake.
  • Bake 350º for 10-12 minutes until BARELY golden- for real. Don’t over bake these! They will continue cooking in the pan after you take them out of the oven.
  • Once cooled, use the parchment paper to peel the bars out of the pan, ice, and slice. Again, chill if you want cutting to be super easy.

 

FROSTING RECIPE:

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk**

Mix all but food coloring and milk together until fluffy. Add food color if you want. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time if needed to thin out or soften the frosting. Spread onto cookies once cookie has been completely cooled.

Keep in an airtight container room temp for a couple days or frozen to keep perfectly fresh.

 

Here’s what the cookies look like rolled and cut before decorating. A little soft and fluffy, a lot yummy!

 

xo,

L

MY FAVORITE PASSOVER RECIPES

I weirdly love passover food. I eat matzo year round. I love mixing horseradish with haroset. Like a weirdo. Since I’m a vegetarian, I really only make a few things for Passover and let my parents do the main courses. During this quarantine, my poor husband and kids are stuck with the few things I CAN make. Jazzed up Mazto ball soup, Haroset, matzo bark/crack, chocolate covered macarons, and matzo brie (for breakfast). Turns out with some roasted vegetables and potatoes, it makes for a pretty good meal!

 

HAROSET

I really don’t measure! This is just an approximation. My Grandma says to use 1 apple per person. Make sure there’s enough wine to fully coat all of the mixture. The apples will soak up some of the wine, so you’d rather overdo it a little bit then have it be dry.

 

3-4 large honeycrisp or sweet apples, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 cups sweet red wine (or any red wine + a few TBSP brown sugar)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

 

– Mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge while you make the rest of the dinner. Stir several times so that all the apples get coated.  The flavor gets better as it sits and the apples get soaked.

– Serve with matzo

 

 

HOMEMADE MATZO BALL SOUP (VEGETARIAN)

I make mine vegetarian but also roast some chicken, shred it, and add to everyone else’s bowls. Quarantine style… I defrosted chicken breasts, placed them on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, then baked them in the oven for 15 min. Shred and add to the bowls who want chicken!

You can add as many or as little vegetables as you want. It’s mostly about the seasoning and the matzo balls.

I’m NOT a fan of the pre-made soup mix. It’s too salty and not enough flavor for my taste. If that’s all you have, consider at least adding these veggies and seasonings to the broth!
Makes about 6 servings

 

1/2 cup matzo meal

2 eggs

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp water

1 tsp water

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 heaping tbsp minced garlic

lots of dried or fresh seasoning: I added a couple teaspoons of  THIS spice which is absolutely magical, but you could recreate it with salt, freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns. I also added about 1 tsp thyme, and a dash of dill. I’m the only one who loves spicy things, so I add crushed red pepper just to my bowl.

2 – 32 oz boxes of vegetable broth

 

Make the matzo balls:

Add eggs and oil to a medium bowl and whip with a fork. Mix in matzo meal, water, and salt until combined. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes while you make the soup.

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium.

Add diced vegetables and cook for a few minutes until just softened, maybe about 5 min.

Stir in minced garlic and dried/fresh seasoning and cook a few more minutes.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

While you wait for the pot to boil, grab the matzo ball dough from the fridge.

Using a cookie/ice cream scoop (anywhere from 1″-2″), scoop up the dough then roll it in your hands to make sure it’s packed together.

Drop in the matzo balls in the soup then cover the pot tightly with a lid.

Simmer for 40-60 minutes.

Top with a little parsley and crushed red pepper if you want… but no one in my family likes either 🙂

 

 

MAZTO BARK / CRACK

CLICK HERE

 

 

CHOCOLATE COVERED MACAROONS

This one is based on Ina Garten’s but a little less sweet. CLICK HERE

 

 

MATZO BRIE

So many good memories growing up eating my Grandma’s crispy matzo brie around passover, and my Grandpa’s more eggy version. Both so good with pure maple syrup!!

For 1 serving:

1 1/2 boards of matzo

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

sprinkle of cinnamon

butter for the pan

 

Heat up milk in the microwave about 1 minute- I like to use a large glass pyrex or just a microwave save large bowl.

Break up the matzo in large pieces and put them into the hot milk for about 30 seconds just to soften the matzo.

Drain most of the milk out.

Add in eggs and cinnamon, and mix together.

Heat up butter in a skillet on medium, then pour in the matzo mix. I like to mix it up a bit to make sure all sides are coated and crispy. Or you could make it pancake style if you like a fluffy, eggy consistency better. Done when golden brown and egg is fully cooked. Top with a shake of cinnamon and maple syrup. Yum!

 

HAPPY PASSOVER!!

xo

Leah

RECIPE: NANA’S GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

Lightly spiced and lightly sweet, these soft ginger molasses cookies are the BEST. They’re super pretty and stack well, so they would be nice holiday gifts for neighbors or teachers! I make these every December just like my nana and mom did. Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for topping)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1 egg, room temp and beaten

1/4 cup molasses

3 cups flour (I always use bread flour, but use what you have)

3 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

 

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. cream butter and sugar until smooth, about 5 min.
  3. mix in egg and molasses
  4. add dry ingredients gradually until just combined
  5. scoop dough with a cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll into a ball in your hands first, then roll in granulated sugar (I put the sugar in a shallow bowl so it doesn’t get messy)
  6. bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until cracked and golden.
  7. let cool for a few minutes on the tray… then eat warm!

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME – BABY HOPPER, STRANGER THINGS

You already know my love for Hopper… and his shirt. If the MUG wasn’t enough, I just HAD to get Joshie a toddler version of the shirt. The problem? No one makes them! What, are we living in the Upside Down? I got Jeffrey the grownup version HERE, but had to paint a shirt for Joshie. It was easier than I thought, and only took maybe 2 hours and that was to let the paint dry.

 

To be honest, Joshie is more of a Dustin (DUSTIN DIY HERE with my middle one Max!) but this had to be done. If you’re more of an Elle, you can make ELEVEN’S EGGO WAFFLE PURSE DIY HERE.

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

Fabric paint: pink, green, white (see below for color suggestions)

* Paint brushes – 1 thick for the bigger areas of dark pink and green, 1 thin for the accents in light pink and light green

Black fabric marker or Sharpie

Mustache or face paint

White toddler button down shirt (or would be soooo cute as a collared onesie!)

* Jeans

* Brown belt

 

MIX YOUR PAINT:

START PAINTING:

At first you can unbutton the shirt and lay it flat, but eventually you’ll want to put it on a hanger while it dries. You can add detail on it that way if you’re impatient like I am!

It’s not a perfect match, but it doesn’t need to be. The less precise you are, the better it looks in my opinion. Just be confident in what you’re doing, and it’ll magically just work out. Or at least that’s what works in my brain!

I tried to stick on the hairy mustache, but Joshie was NOT having it. I had to draw it on with face paint instead.

Toddler Hopper to the rescue! Happy Halloween!

xo

-L

HOW TO THROW A GAME OF THRONES PARTY IN ONE DAY + FREE PRINTABLES

The easiest, laziest, and CUTEST Game of Thrones finale party ever! You can throw this together in an afternoon and still impress your guests.

Scroll down for free printables of all of the food signs pictured!

Set up a candy and snack bar with these clever treats! Add these tootsie roll eggs for DRAGON EGGS! Soooomeone in my family ate them all before I had a chance to take a photo.

For the main dishes, make some LITTLE CHICKEN FINGERS (chicken fingers and vegetarian chikn’ fingers), THEON’S FAVORITE TOY (hot dogs or pigs in a blanket and veggie dogs), and HIGHGARDEN SALAD (just a salad with chopped veggies).

For dessert, you’ll have the candy bar and you could also make SANSAA’S FAVORITE LEMON CAKES (a box mix of lemon bars).

Finally, add some DORNISH WINE (any kind of wine)! Maybe even some spiked limeade with a little green food coloring for WILDFIRE.

No detail is left out here. Tie this VALYRIAN STEEL tag on a mason jar full of utensils.

Download FREE PRINTABLES here: 1 | 2 | 3

If you have time, this is our favorite CARD STOCK to print on and the best PAPER CUTTER.

You can stick the food tags on place card holders or simply place by the food. THESE are cool for every day use but also Game of Thrones appropriate. $10 for 20 and Amazon prime!

 

If you want to see my Game of Thrones party in action, check out the GOT story highlight on our instagram account!

xo

– L

RECIPE: HAMENTASHEN

 

DELICIOUS, SOFT, SUGAR-COATED HAMENTASHEN

 

Hamentashen are a traditional three-cornered cookie we (Jews) make on Purim! I grew up in St. Louis, MO. There was this great Jewish bakery called Pratzels, and I would look forward to their hamentashen every year. Most other recipes I’ve tried are crunchy, crumbly, dry, or tasteless. But this bakery K I L L E D it. They were soft, filled with a delicious pie filling situation, and covered in sugar. Sadly it closed, and I’ve been trying to re-create the recipe ever since. UPDATE: our amazing instagram family found it HERE! Still try mine too… they are seriously amazing if I do say so myself!

 

Today I had a lightbulb moment! My favorite sugar cookie recipe is soft and delicious.. what if I used that for the dough? All the recipes online are really really different. Is this weird? Well I just went for it. I thought, if this doesn’t work out with the first tray, I’ll just make sugar cookies for the boys and enjoy the raw dough because OHMYGOSH it is absolutely delicious! Spoiler alert…. this dough makes incredible hamentashen and has the soft consistency like Pratzels! Mazel tov, me!

 

IMPORTATANT NOTES:

  1. You really really need to chill the dough. Try and make the dough the night before or at least chill for a couple hours. Divide the dough in quarters and wrap each in saran wrap. No need to make them into disks. The dough is super soft but keeps it’s shape.
  2. Keep the dough chilled for the whole process. So that means roll the dough out and cut the circles. Chill in the freezer. Add the filling and shape. Put the tray back in the freezer. THEN you can bake. They will keep their shape so much better.
  3. Don’t overfill the cookies or have the topping be runny. I used about 7 chocolate chips / 3 cherries from the pie filling WITHOUT the juice. Actually this picture above was before I blotted the filling a little with a napkin.

 

RECIPE:

1 c. margarine (I know, right? Just trust me), room temp

1 c. granulated sugar

1 egg, room temp

2 tbsp whole milk, room temp

2 tsp real vanilla extract

3 c. flour (I always bake with bread flour)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Optional: handful of sprinkles if using

Filling: I used bittersweet chocolate chips and THIS filling- so good!

A little extra granulated sugar for the outside of the fruit ones

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.

Mix butter and sugar til fluffy 2-3 min.

Add egg and mix well.

Add vanilla.

Slowly mix in dry ingredients alternating with milk.

Mix until just combined.

If you’re adding sprinkles to the dough, mix it in at this time. I took half of the dough out and kept it plain, then added the sprinkles to the second batch.

Divide dough into quarters, wrap tightly in saran wrap, and chill overnight or at least for a couple hours.

Take one ball out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured board, 1/4″ thick.

Cut 3″ circles and place on a parchment paper-lined tray.

Chill in the freezer while you work on the next tray.

Once chilled, fill each circle with a SMALL amount of filling. I used about 7 chocolate chips OR 3-4 cherries (try to keep the runny parts to a minimum).

Form triangles and pinch the corners together slightly to make sure they don’t fall apart and spill all the filling!

If you’re making fruit ones, I like to gently dip the triangles in granulated sugar.

Chill again in the freezer again for 20 minutes or so. The longer they’re chilled, the more they will keep their shape. If you’re making way in advance, just keep covered in the fridge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until very very very slightly golden. The whole point is to keep these SOFT so please don’t over-bake them. Cool on the tray for a couple minutes only, then slip the cookies still on the parchment paper off the tray to cool completely.

 

Mazel tov, you’ve made delicious hamentashen!!

 

xo

Leah

MELTS VALENTINE

Melts are basically toddler crack. They’re just dehydrated yogurt and fruit, but for some reason, all of our kids go crazy for them… even our big kids! This year, Joshie AKA Lil Intern is giving these Melts packs to his friends. We’ve linked all the materials you’ll need below. You could easily staple the tag to the Melts bag that they come in, but this is just one step cuter!

1. Purchase:

BAGS (unless stapling directly on the Melts bag they come in)

 PINK MELTS

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

 

2. Download your cards HERE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Fold the card in half, add melts in the clear bag, fold the top of the bag a little, and staple the card on top. Or staple the card to the top of the melts bag that they come in.

 

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

WARM FUZZIES VALENTINE

I don’t know why kids go crazy for pompoms, but they do! We use these as currency in our house. It’s so weird, but they’re colorful and fun and hey- it’s better than giving your kids candy all day long! These would be fun to give to teachers as well since they could totally use them for their students! Throw a few in each bag and call it a day.

1. Purchase:

CLEAR BAGS

POM POMS

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

WASHI TAPE

 

2. Download your cards HERE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

* When printing, make sure to set the scale to 100%! That will make it so the size of the card is exactly half of the paper, and you can just make one simple cut down the middle of the paper. It also fits inside the bag much better at this scale.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Pop the card and pom poms in the bag, seal with cute washi tape, and you’re done!

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni