How To Assemble A Stunning Cookie Box !

New Year's Cookie Box
New Year’s Cookie Box

As much as I love to bake, I also love the creative process of packaging said baked goods — and, nothing does it better than a cookie box!

Cookie boxes have been around for a long time, including old-fashioned tin boxes, cardboard bakery boxes, holiday-themed boxes, and basically any container you can get your hands on.

But, have you ever assembled a cookie box that contains separate compartments for cookies and other treats? They’re so easy and fun to put together, and the presentation can be quite spectacular. You just have to check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration!

New Year's Eve Cookie Box
New Year’s Eve Cookie Box

Here are my tips for assembling a stunning cookie box:

  • have a theme. It’s so much easier to know how to compartmentalize and what to include when you start with a theme
  • keep a large shoe box or other large shipping box on hand for special occasions. You can even use in-season packaging, like a wooden clementine crate, or an old cookie tin to which you add compartments or smaller boxes
  • wrap a plain box with kraft or wrapping paper. You can also paint a wooden box, or use a deep dish baking pan. If the plain box is sturdy and elegant, like the one I used here, then there’s no need to adorn it
  • collect smaller boxes and containers from around the house, such as: cardboard jewelry boxes, tins, jars, old drinking glasses, bowls, etc
  • choose boxes that are different shapes and sizes
  • use tissue paper to add color and height to the box and treats
  • wrap cookies in bakar’s string or place in clear cello bags
  • use a combination of store-bought and homemade goodies, as well as in-season fruits
  • if you’re transporting or shipping the box, make sure you have a lid or safe way to cover the cookies
  • wrap with twine for a rustic look, or use ribbons

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A Confirmation Brunch For My Daughter

FullSizeRender-13When I was 13, I had my Confirmation at our church.  My 8th Grade Catholic friends and I had attended weekly catechism classes during the year, culminating with a retreat and ceremony.  That weekend, I also received a letter (that I still have) from my parents that reduced me to tears because it talked about how I was growing up.  My sponsor and role model was a family friend and someone I see and speak to all the time about life, friendship, and advice.  Getting confirmed was a big deal and something I remember very clearly as part of my Catholic upbringing.

So, with my daughter’s Confirmation coming up this Wednesday night, I wanted her to celebrate the religious journey she has been on for the past 13 years.  Because everyone loves brunch foods, we agreed on a Saturday morning Confirmation Brunch.

But, first, what is Confirmation?  In the Catholic Church, Confirmation is one of the 7 Sacraments (Baptism, Communion, Confirmation, Confession, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders).  According to American, sacraments ‘are ceremonies that highlight what is sacred, significant, and important to Christians‘.  In particular, Confirmation is about being sealed with the Holy Spirit.   During the ceremony, each confirmant will be anointed with oil and the phrase ‘be sealed with the Holy Spirit’ will be stated.  The Protestant Church also celebrates Confirmation.

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Matzoh Crunch!

IMG_6585This week is Passover and you may have seen Matzoh Crunch in your grocery store or bakery.

I first saw this recipe when David Lebovitz (chef, baker, and cookbook author) appeared on the Martha Stewart show about 10 years ago.  It looked very easy to make, and it is!

Up front, I should say that I make this dessert all year round and get special requests from my kids and friends.  Matzoh Crunch is the popular name and David Lebovitz’s version is called Caramelized Matzoh Crunch With Chocolate.  Basically, it’s a cracker base with a caramel/toffee topping and chocolate.  What’s not to like?!

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