Make Homemade Cookie Butter (With Any Cookie!)

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)Yes. Yes, it's true. All your problems are solved now that this information has come into your life. Cookie butter from any cookie, people! I hope you appreciate the hours I've spent with cookies over the last couple of days—all the tasting and sampling of cookie after cookie. It was all for you guys! But seriously, we wanted to bring you a recipe that would work for any cookie. So we searched until we found the perfect base for our cookie butter, and I think we found it!

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)    Cookie Butter (with any cookie!), makes 1 1/2 cups
Adapted from Buttercream & Chantilly Factory

2 cups cookie crumbs
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
water as needed

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)  First you'll want to make your cookie crumbs. If you have a cookie with no creamy middle filling (like a chocolate chip or sugar cookie), then you can put them straight into the food processor. If you do have a filling (like an Oreo or Nutter Butter would), then you'll want to open the cookie and scrape out the filling with a butter knife first. You want a dry crumb to work with, so the filling has to be removed. Some cookies have a solid middle that you can't open and get to (like a Milano cookie), but I think that would be OK since the chocolate chip cookies have some chocolate bits mixed in and they turned out fine. Place your cookies into the food processor and blend until it forms a very fine powder. You'll need 2 cups, so just keep blending cookies until you get there (since all the cookies are different sizes or have two sides per cookie, the number of cookies needed won't be the same).

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)          Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)        In a small saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted, and then stir in your sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk until it's all melted together. Starting with 1/2 cup of the liquid, pour it into your cookie crumbs and mix together with a spoon. Keep adding small amounts of the liquid until the cookie butter is just wet enough to stay together. Depending on how dry the cookie is to begin with, you'll need more or less liquid. Really buttery cookies (like the sugar cookies) didn't need nearly as much as the drier Oreo cookies, so just keep checking and stirring as you add the liquid.

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)      Once your cookie butter is blended, allow it to cool in the fridge for an hour or two. If you want to, you can actually stop at this point, and it will taste delicious. But if you want to make the cookie butter smoother and easier to dip things in, then remove the cookie butter from the fridge and stir very small amounts of water (start with 1/8 teaspoon) into the dough. At first it will look like the water is separating from the dough, but just keep stirring and mashing. You should start to notice that the cookie butter loosens up a bit as you stir in more water. Keep adding and stirring until you get to a consistency you like and refrigerate the mixture again.

Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe) Make Homemade Cookie Butter With Any Cookie!! (click through for recipe)     Store your cookie butter in the fridge and it should be good for at least a week or two. It may be good for even longer but it usually doesn't last long enough to find out!

I love all my cookie butter children equally, buuuut, the Oreo is my secret favorite. I am addicted to chocolate-covered pretzels, so you can imagine how good dipping pretzels into the Oreo cookie butter is. (Elsie ate it with apples one morning for breakfast!) And of course, spooning the cookie butter into jars and adding a simple paper label makes your homemade treat the perfect gift! Especially if you make it from their particularly favorite cookie...which in my case would be the orange-flavored Milano cookies. What cookies would you use to make yours? xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Try This: Wine Cork Bulletin Board

Wine cork bulletin board via A Beautiful MessUsing wine corks in craft projects is almost as common as Mason jars. Seriously, type "wine cork crafts" into Pinterest and you'll see. It's a whole thing. We drink and use wine in cooking at our house pretty often, so I've hoarded a fairly decent collection of corks over the past few years. And this, coupled with my growing obsession to personalize my desk area at work, lead me to start scheming about making a bulletin board out of wine corks.

Recently I've started taping up lists and reminders above my desk. Which looks, well, sort of junky. So I knew a bulletin board would come in handy. 

Cork bulletin board from A Beautiful MessI wanted to keep it simple, so I simply purchased a shadow box (on sale!) from a craft store in order to house my corks. I started to fill up the shadow box and quickly realized I didn't have nearly enough corks. Dang it! 

Thank goodness for eBay. I ended up needing right around 170 corks to fill the 12" x 12" shadow box I had.

How to make a wine cork bulletin board from a shadow boxHow to make a wine cork bulletin board from a shadow box The shadow box had a black backing, so first I glued in a piece of white foam. I was concerned that the black would show through once I had all the corks in place. But it ended up not mattering much. You can't see the back once all the corks are glued in.

I also recommend using some kind of super glue or other quick-dry heavy duty glue. I plan to push and pull tacks from these corks, so I want them to stay in place!

How to make a wine cork bulletin board from a shadow box  Once I had glued in all the corks, I decided to paint a few of the ends different colors. I like the overall rustic look, but the deep red/purple ends that a few of the corks had (from wine) didn't really match the aesthetic of my desk area. So I just brushed on a few different colors of craft paint.

Cork bulletin board from A Beautiful Mess Wine cork bulletin boardAlthough I could have easily just bought a small bulletin board for my desk area, I love the personality and color that this one brings to my space. What about you, have you ever made a project from wine corks? Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Jacket Weather

Red leaves + jacket weatherAutumn is in full swing here in Missouri. It's the little in-between things that make this season so great. Testing cozy recipes, breaking out jackets and coats for the season, hot tea and extra snuggles from our pups. 

I also LOVE when all the leaves start changing colors. Some years are more colorful than others (which I think has to do with rainfall or something). Every year when the leaves turn bright red and orange it always makes me think of our dad. He isn't exactly a photography enthusiast although I've gone with him more than once to drive around our town to find the best colorful trees in the autumn to snap pictures of. I don't think he does this every year, but it was certainly an obsession for a little while. And he had a knack for finding the most colorful trees. I think the obsession grew in part out of his love of plants and gardening. Anyway, the leaves changing colors always makes me think of him.

Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather Red leaves + jacket weather We are working with the super nice folks over at Golden Tote for this post. If you haven't heard of them, they have a pretty unique business model. Essentially, you choose 1 or 2 items, tell them your style, and they send you a whole goody bag of clothing and accessories! Here's what we're wearing from our October Golden Totes, all of which is available on their site now—

Elsie's wearing: Vegan Leather Jacket, Zipper Leggings (surprise item)

Emma's wearing: Stylish Sophisticate Dress, Fall Cardigan (surprise item)

Red leaves + jacket weather          Cheers to hot apple cider and crunchy leaves. xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with Merit from The Signature Collection

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Day of the Dead Candy Party Tray

Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!           Halloween is right around the corner, can you smell the sugar in the air? Day of the Dead is also coming up. If you're not familiar with this Mexican holiday, it's also celebrated on October 31 (through November 2nd) and is a time of remembrance for family and friends who have passed away. Sugar skulls that are decorated with lots of color are used as gifts as well as to honor the dead. The sugar skull broke tradition from being the only form used, and can now be seen in other cultural ways portrayed by beautiful artwork, makeup, and costumes. 

Best party candy tray ever!!!!Which brings us to the sugariest sugar skull you've ever seen. I made a sugar skull out of Halloween candy for a party platter! Just under one ton of candy was used to make this thing. It didn't last very long around here, but it was fun to make. Here's how I constructed this sweet party platter that is guaranteed to be a hit with both the living and undead this season.

Supplies:
-You're going to need candy! Lots of it! Pick all kinds of different colored candy. If you look at a traditional sugar skull, you'll see that is full of bright colors. Of course chocolate bars can act as the dark areas. They have white chocolate reeses now, so those with white chocolate chips can be your whites. I used a lot of Airheads and licorice for color. There are so many options I didn't even use, like jellybeans, candy corn, and sweet tarts.

-parchment paper or foil, to line platter
-a tray or plate big enough to hold a bunch of candy
-references—I searched for sugar skulls online and found a bunch of reference images. I picked about five or six that I liked and used them as a guide.

Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!           Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!           The first thing I did was make a rough sketch of a skull, which acted as a guide for the initial candy placement. Then it was just a matter of unwrapping and placing the candy. Of course I had to eat a piece every once in a while, for the sake of quality control, you know. I did the chocolaty dark background first, then worked my way in. The white skull background came next, then the colorful details. It took a bit of time to complete, but I think it was worth it! Luckily I had some help from Laura, she was able to lend a helping hand when I was tired of looking at the thing (I may have been sugar crashing, now that I think about it.)

Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!           Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!            Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!                 Day of the dead skullmade out of candy!            I would suggest making this pretty soon before your party. The candy started melting right off the bat, making everything look kind of droopy and sticky. Once it was put together, it was fun taking it apart! I bet you could make other types of images out of candy. What would you make? -Josh

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua Rhodes, Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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