Chocolate Covered Cream Cheese Heart Cookies

creamcheesecookie

We got over a foot of snow yesterday.  This winter has been brutal!  We’ve had storms every week for the last month and a half.  Although I am ready for spring, I do love a good snow day.  The kind where there’s no place you have to be…you spend the day cooking and sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and the remote…love those days.  I spent yesterday making some yummy Valentine treats.  These are one of my favorite cookies!  I love this cookie because it tastes delicious and it holds its shape.  You know how you make sugar cookies and they turn out like a big blob and look nothing like the shape of the cookie cutter you used??  You will not have that problem with this cookie…you don’t even have to space them out on the cookie sheet.  I make these for every holiday, not only Valentine’s Day and sometimes I add food coloring depending on the holiday.  I’ve made pink hearts in the past and have even done white chocolate  but decided to go with the black and white look this time.

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons shortening

Directions:

1. Combine sugar, butter, cream cheese, vanilla in a large bowl.

2. Beat at medium speed using electric mixer.

3. Add flour and mix well.

4.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.  (I usually make my dough the night before and leave it over night but you don’t have to)

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

6. Roll out dough to 1 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  It also helps to flour your rolling-pin.

7. Cut out using lightly floured cookie cutter and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

8. Bake 7-10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.

9. Let cookies cool completely.

10. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in double boiler over a low heat.  The shortening is important, it thins the chocolate and prevents lumps.  Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate.

11.  Refrigerate on cookie sheets until chocolate is firm.

Enjoy!!

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xoxo,

Geralyn

Diningroom Wainscoting Reveal

The wainscoting is finally finished and I’m loving it! I thought I’d show you the progression of the dining room so far since it’s one of the rooms that we’ve done a lot to.
Here’s where it started:

Dining Room Before

This was right after we bought the house.  We didn’t move in for two weeks because we painted and had the floors stained and refinished.

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The paint color is Benjamin Moore Santorini Blue.  The floors were stained a dark walnut.  We were debating on going dark with the floors and I’m so glad we decided to do it because I love how they came out.

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In December, our friend, who is a carpenter, and his wife did the wood work for the wainscoting for us.

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After this was complete, I started filling in all the nail holes using wood putty that I got at Ace Hardware.  You just spread some over the nail hole using your finger and then use a metal scraper to get the excess off.

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The sunroom is not original to the house, so this door going from the dining room to the sunroom was still there.  I wanted it gone and hubby was able to make that happen.

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After all the nail holes were filled in, I taped all the edges using ScotchBlue Painters Tape.  Next, it was time to caulk.

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When cutting the tip of the caulk, cut at a 45 degree angle.  The caulk comes out much neater this way.  I caulked along all the edges, being sure to wipe off any excess as I went along.

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There was already an existing chair rail in the room and what we found after taking it down was that it was not level all around the room.  In fact, it was far from level in some areas.  That left parts of the wall exposed that had old wallpaper that had never been taken off and some damaged sheet rock.  Nothing a little spackle can’t fix.  After the spackle was dry, I sanded all the areas that were spackled and where the nail holes were filled to ensure a smooth surface for painting.

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I needed two coats of Benjamin Moore Paint and Primer in One to cover the blue paint.

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I’m not gonna lie…the prep work and painting took a long time…mostly because I would get bored and stop after and hour or so.  My attention span for this sort of stuff is…Oh look, a squirrel!  This is why I always have more than one project going on at a time.  It was all worth it though…I love how it looks! This room is coming along.  We’ve painted, refinished the floors, changed the lighting, added wainscoting, removed the door, hung shelves, and I refinished the buffet. We’re still waiting for our table that we’re having made out of old barn wood.  We went to see the progress this weekend and it look amazing.  Now I’m on the hunt for chairs.  I want something similar to this.  I also have some ideas for art for the empty wall but need to wait until the spring to do it.

xoxo,

Geralyn

DIY Clay Hearts

clay hearts

For every holiday I’ve dressed up the branches of my dining room table centerpiece.  Here it is on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to make yet another Pinterest inspired project.  I am more than a little obsessed with Pinterest.  You can check out my boards here.

For this project you will need:

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First, roll out the clay using a rolling-pin.  My rolling-pin was upstairs, so I just used a large paint tube.  Next, stamp different designs using your rubber stamps into the clay.

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Use cookie cutters to cut out heart shapes.  I used two different sizes.

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I used the end of a paintbrush to make a small hole on the top of the hearts.

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DSC_0704Next, you are going to follow the directions on the clay package and bake the hearts in the oven.  I baked mine for 15 minutes in a 250 degree oven.

After the hearts cooled, I painted them with Martha Stewart Pearl Paint.  Once the paint was dry, I tied a string through the hole for hanging.  I used a black Sharpie to color in the letters.

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xoxo,

Geralyn