spiced oatmeal cookies with brown butter icing recipe

Last weekend I baked 5 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange with my workout friends. The cookies were chewy and rich, and our kids loved them. Food allergies are an everyday part of our family. My husband is allergic to tree nuts and our son is allergic to peanuts. I love the rich, nut-like flavor brown butter gives (without the nuts!) And though it would be fun to share the recipe with you.

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

 (adapted from Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup cranberries (optional)

Brown Butter Icing

1/2 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons water

Sanding sugar (optional)

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay parchment paper on cookie sheet. Using a mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in bowl until fluffy. Add egg and beat until mixture is well blended. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, cranberries, and vanilla. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for around 8 minutes. Drizzle with brown butter icing.

Icing

In small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. (It took my butter 5-6 minutes to brown) Remove saucepan from heat, stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Stir in 3 tablespoons of water to making icing drizzle. Add sanding sugar to top for extra sparkle. 

I doubled my recipe to make enough for the cookie exchange and ended up with extra dough (frozen for later!) I made half of my batch without cranberries (our kids' preference!) and half with cranberries. I read reviews that the original recipe's icing was too sweet and adjusted mine recipe accordingly. 

Sooo good, let me know if you try it!!

Family Friendly Christmas DIYs

1. Printable Holiday Envelopes at this heart of mine 

2. Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe (yum!) smashed peas and carrots

3. Simple Cardboard Reindeer created by Michelle of mollymoo

4. DIY ornaments with an acrylic paint marker at the crafted life

5. Peppermint Brownie Bites (an easy brownie mix recipe) at Bright Bold & Beautiful

6. Rustic wooden chalkboard by Lacy of Living on Love

7. Fun printable houses and trees at Smallful

8. Candy cane garland uses simple pipe cleaners at Design Improvised

9. Finger prints Christmas tree (adorable!) at Nalle's House

10. Salt dough ornaments. We made these two years ago, they continue to hang beautifully! 

Today I am highlighting some awesome family-friendly holiday projects. Depending on your little one's age, these projects may require some supervision but are simple, fun, and easy to customize! 

I really enjoy crafting with our five and seven year old. It admittedly does not happen quite as frequently now that they are in school, but Christmas break is the perfect time to create, make an ornament, and bake! Do you have a  favorite? I know our kids would enjoy making the brownie bites!

 

Looking for more DIY Christmas gift ideas? Read here and here

Friday Links

We decorated our tree yesterday! Our kids eagerly pulled out ornaments one by one and placed them in the tree. "This one has my name!!" our little guy exclaimed. They discovered a box of pinecones in the garage (I had planned to make a garland) and decorated with those too. It was a gift to watch their creativity.

A few years ago I would have controlled the "style" of the tree (only gold ornaments, ect. ect.). But my new motto is: life is short, enjoy and embrace creativity. Our kids call the tree "famous" and say Santa is going to bring them 100 gifts because he will be so surprised. 

A few favorites from around the web..

Haeley's simple holiday card display. I want to try this!

A gold leaf pinecone garland.

Foraged wreaths behind the scenes. Beautiful, Emma!

Kids art supplies on a budget.

MJ's 6 ways to rock at sending Christmas cards. (I need to order ours!)

Elsewhere

Sharing some thrifty decor inspiration at the Habitat ReStore blog.

12 Days Handmade Christmas! Check out all the projects and several more to come!

Cookie Jar Snow Globe DIY

When I think of handmade, sewing projects or a plate of cookies float into my head. I don't sew or bake cookies very often, and I choose to think handmade means heartfelt and unique. A gift purposed for the recipient. Something a little artistic.

Snow globes have been on my list to try for years. I originally considered a mason jar globe, but when I spotted cookie jars I was in love! They are small and easy for children to shake and the wide mouth of the jar simplifies gluing in the trees. 

Supplies

mini trees and holiday accessories 

canister with glass lid. 

white or clear glitter

strong glue. (next time I would use waterproof epoxy)

baker's twine

water

Glue trees and accessories  to base of jar according to glue directions. After drying, sprinkle glitter liberally in each jar. Add water. Cover with lids and seal with super glue. Shake! The green trees did tint the water, the gold trees remained clear.

The supplies are simple and the project is easy to customize with different accessories and jars. Mini trees are high on my favorite list this time of  year! 

This DIY project is part of the 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 bloggers with 12 handmade gift ideas! Follow along at #12dayshandmadechristmas.

December 1 – Rustic Wooden Chalkboards with Living on Love
December 2 – Fabric Candy Cane Ornaments with Crafty Mally
December 3 – Cookie Jar Snow Globes with Tag & Tibby
December 4 – DIY Bath Caddy with Down Home Inspiration
December 5 – “You Are Home” US Ornament with Natalie Creates
December 6 – Fat Quarter Cloth Napkins with That Moxie Girl
December 7 – Painted Decor Blocks with Classic Play
December 8 – Footprint Reindeer Aprons with The Caterpillar Years
December 9 – DIY Hostess Gift with Buzzmills
December 10 – Emoji Onesies with Frock Files
December 11 – Dried Fruit Ornaments & Garland with Maker Mama
December 12 – Salt Dough Frame Ornaments with Small + Friendly

12 days of Handmade Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family! We lived far from family for years, so this year was our children's first thanksgiving with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. It was wild and fun. And now suddenly it is December and the season for Christmas!

I am thrilled to announce the 12 Days of Handmade Christmas. For the next 12 days talented bloggers will share 12 different handmade projects to inspire the Christmas season! Visit Lacy at Living on Love for Day One, a simple wooden chalkboard plaque tutorial.

December 1 - Rustic Wooden Chalkboards with Living on Love
December 2 - Fabric Candy Cane Ornaments with Crafty Mally
December 3 - Cookie Jar Snow Globes with Tag & Tibby
December 4 - DIY Bath Caddy with Down Home Inspiration
December 5 - "You Are Home" US Ornament with Natalie Creates
December 6 - Fat Quarter Cloth Napkins with That Moxie Girl
December 7 - Painted Decor Blocks with Classic Play
December 8 - Footprint Reindeer Aprons with The Caterpillar Years
December 9 - DIY Hostess Gift with Buzzmills
December 10 - Emoji Onesies with Frock Files
December 11 - Dried Fruit Ornaments & Garland with Maker Mama
December 12 - Salt Dough Frame Ornaments with Small + Friendly

Etsy Favorites gift guide

It is my joy today to introduce you to some of my favorite Etsy shop owners! The holidays are approaching and several shop owners are offering generous promo codes. I managed a vintage goods Etsy shop for two years and I know they work hard to provide handmade and one of a kind gifts. 

1. sara moore

Sara creates stylish products for the modern-day family including custom phone cases, notepads, and paper goods. Use code FALALA25 for 25% off anything in the shop, now through December 2nd. 

2. ora dale 

Ora Dale Handmade specializes in handmade crochet accessories for women, children, and the home. Christa's jar cozies and earrings are adorable. Use code BLACKFRIDAY14 for 20% off now through November 30th.

3. Mandy England

Earlier this year I purchased necklaces from Mandy and they made perfect gifts. Her shop includes beautiful prints and hand lettered necklaces. Save 20% with the code TAGANDTIBBY through Thanksgiving, November 27th. On Monday, December 1st, save 50% off all prints with code ALLTHEPRINTS

4. the little red trunk

Kate lives in Minnesota and we worked together on treasury lists when I ran my shop. The Little Red Trunk is a modern day e-mercantile with a mix of handmade and vintage. From cast iron frying pans to knit baby socks her shop is a fun place to visit! Use code FALALA15 for 15% off through December 6th.

5. wit & whistle

Amanda offers witty greeting cards, stamps, and jotters. We purchased pillow covers from her shop a few years ago and they are well loved! She will have 15% at witandwhistle.com or 10% off everything in the Etsy shop with code TISTHESEASON2014, Friday through Monday. 

6. wifey singer

Happy, colorful jewelry for everyday. Hannah sells handmade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Several pieces with czech glass and vintage. Receive 20% her shop with code TAGANDTIBBY through 11/30.

7. larking.

Courtney creates jewelry from original vintage illustrations including Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen, and Peter Pan. Necklaces, earrings, and hairpins. Use code LARKINGHOLIDAY in the shop for 15% off Friday through Monday. 

8. Courtney Khail Watercolors

Courtney was my roommate at Alt Summit last summer, she is hilarious and an incredibly talented watercolorist. Her shop includes nature inspired original artwork, note cards, and stationary sets. 

 9. Oh, What Love

This shop includes antiques, crafts, and paper goods. Mariah loves antiques, she even owns an antique mall (!) check out her shop for antique cameras, pendants, postcards, and soap dispensers. Use code TAGTIBBY10 for 10% off in the shop now through 12/25/14. 

10. The Lovely Words

Melissa shares beautiful prints including quotes by C.S. Lewis and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her shop was born from wanting to teach her little ones that words matter. Use code HERECOMESSANTA in the shop for 15% off now through November 26th. 

11. Squeaky Clean Crochet 

 Squeaky Clean Crochet is run by 11 year old Abigail, who is saving up for a mission trip with her family. The shop includes handmade crocheted coasters, potholders, and dishcloths. With any purchase over $7 you will receive a thank you discount code for 20% off the next purchase.

Please visit the shops, spread the word, and consider buying one of a kind pieces for your holiday gifts this year!