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Evette Rios » 2011 http://evetterios.com Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 How To: New Year’s Noisemakers http://evetterios.com/12/30/new-years-noisemakers/ http://evetterios.com/12/30/new-years-noisemakers/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2011 17:12:04 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=3342 I can’t believe it but Christmas has come and gone. I can’t believe how much time flies. I spent Christmas together with my family in NYC and then headed out to Jackson, Michigan the day after to spend time with his family. It’s been a fun time, they have a veritable menagerie, 3 cats, 3 dogs and a giant blue and gold macaw. Stephen also surprised me this year with a terrific Christmas gift! 2 Japanese Shun knives, one Chef’s knife and one paring knife, all that Mario Batali told me that you need as far as kitchen knives go. Great advice since a good set of knives in the block costs a fortune.

Now it’s time to focus on New Year’s Eve. It’s one of favorite holidays of the year. The champagne, friends, snacks, music, parties; it doesn’t get better than that. When the clock strikes 12 you’ll want to be ready to celebrate, so make some noise with these party favors.

Here is how you make ’em!

Flatten a straw at one end using your fingers or a bone folder.

Cut the sides of the straw at an angle. This makes a reed that will vibrate in your mouth when you blow into the straw.

To make the amplifier make a template out of regular printer paper before diving into the better paper. Simply roll the paper.

Cut the corner off the wide end of the paper.

Use the shape as a template.

Roll the paper and use a piece of double-sided tape to tack the paper in place.

Secure the amplifier in the center and at the straw end with electrical tape. You can use almost any kind of tape. I like electrical tape because it’s stretchy and easy to position.

On this noise maker, I covered the electrical tape with contact paper.

I also punched holes in the end and tied bits of ribbon.

On another to hide the tape I glued cotton balls.

This looks so cute! I wish I had some red paper to do this. It would be just like Santa’s red, fir-lined suit.

Take some pieces of ribbon left over from Christmas gifts and glue them to the noisemakers.

Cut shapes into the end and glue some pretty glitter.

Cut a shape from leftover wrapping paper. Use double-sided tape to attach. Since wrapping paper is thin, glue might wrinkle the paper which is why tape works better.

Use the electrical tape as a design element. Add some stickers.

Attach rick rack by using a needle and thread.

Tie the thread into a double-knot. Use a nice color and you don’t even need to cut the ends.

Check out this video on Today on NBC with Kathie Lee and Hoda all about Handmade New Year’s Eve Decorations!


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How To: Send in the New Year, Incognito! http://evetterios.com/12/30/how-to-send-in-the-new-year-incognito/ http://evetterios.com/12/30/how-to-send-in-the-new-year-incognito/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2011 16:12:13 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=3266 Some ideas are made to be stolen. And this one is just one of those ideas. My friend Corinna Mantlo of Happy Homesteader and my pals Tony and Tiffany both used these for their Vintage Library Themed Wedding.

A while back, I went to an art opening in the East Village and Corinna made these awesome paper board mustaches. Her’s were so cool because you didn’t need a stick to hold them up. They just attached to your nose like this:


Nice ‘Stache!!

These masks require a skewer but I guarantee that they are TONS of fun! I made mine out of mat board and bamboo skewers, but you could use card stock and drinking straws for a simpler model.

The symmetrical masks are super easy, just fold the paper in half, draw half of the design onto the paper, cut it out and unfold it! If you’re using card stock for your masks this is all you need to do to make your mask. But, because I used mat board, I needed to use this technique to make a template.

When I unfolded my horned-rimmed glasses template, the nose opening was a little big, so I folded the paper a little and secured it with a little clear tape. Then, I traced the glasses shape onto the mat board.

Using a utility knife, I cut out the glasses.

Then, I made a mustache and goatee…

and a monocle…

some eyebrows…

a bow tie…

another pair of glasses…

and a classic mustache.

To make my monocle truly aristocratic, I glued some tiny glass beads. They have a great texture and sparkle.

I painted the other masks.

and added other little details like glitter.

Once everything is dry, you can turn your creations into masks by adding a stick. You can use a dowel, a straw, or a bamboo skewer. If you use a skewer, make sure the pointy end ends up on the back of the mask instead of in the palm of the wearer’s hand.

Coat the stick in glue—I just dipped mine into the jar.

Secure with a little artists’ tape or masking tape. Let dry completely before using.

These are guaranteed to spice up your New Year’s party and make your holiday photos a hoot! Trust me!!!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip http://evetterios.com/12/21/spinach-artichoke-dip/ http://evetterios.com/12/21/spinach-artichoke-dip/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:26:59 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=3024 There are usually tons of holiday parties to attend this time of year, and you don’t want to show up empty handed. You can always bring a bottle of wine, but why not make something really tasty to go along with it? This dip is my party staple. Everyone loves it, and it’s so easy to make. You can even make it a day in advance.


• 10-oz chopped frozen spinach
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 14-oz. can medium artichoke hearts, drained
• black pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup shredded parmesan + more for topping
• 16-oz. sour cream
• 2 heaping spoonfuls mayonnaise (about 1/3 cup)
• Baguette

First, thaw your spinach. Just use the amount of water recommended on the package for cooking, but just cook it until it’s thawed. Let cool.

Mix garlic and artichokes in a bowl. Break up the artichoke hearts with a fork. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Strain the cooled spinach by squeezing chunks of it in your hands over the sink.

Once it’s all strained, add it to the bowl. Add 1/2 cup shredded parmesan and mix everything up.

Add sour cream and mayo. Mix together.

If you’re making this a day in advance, pack this up in a container until you will be serving it. This recipe makes about a quart, so you’ll need at least that size container.

About an hour before you leave for the party (or have your own party) preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Spoon the dip into a baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and dip is bubbling. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

If I’m going to someone else’s party, I like to buy a nice baking dish that I can give to the hosts. That way, when it’s time to leave I don’t have to retrieve my own baking dish, and it makes a nice gift. You can get really nice bakeware at discount department stores, so it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Serve the dip with slices of baguette, crackers or vegetables. This dip is so yummy and smells so good there won’t be any left by the end of the evening.

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Keep Track of Those Gift and Rewards Cards http://evetterios.com/12/18/keep-track-of-those-gift-and-rewards-cards/ http://evetterios.com/12/18/keep-track-of-those-gift-and-rewards-cards/#comments Sun, 18 Dec 2011 15:54:44 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2937 While I was doing some post holiday cleaning and organizing of all my paperwork, a seemingly never ending task, I noticed that I have a boat load of gift cards. I have cards with balances from when I returned stuff without receipts (which I often do), gift cards that I’ve received as gifts from friends and colleagues and they were all stashed in one corner of my junk drawer, out of sight and unfortunately out of mind.

It got me thinking, why don’t I devise a way to organize them so that I can have them in my purse at all times and actually use them instead of leaving them lying around.

So yesterday, after attending a funeral, picking up my brother Derrick from the airport and having a nice glass of wine, I got to solving the gift card conundrum, and I came up with (drum roll please) the Gift Card Key Ring! It took me 15 minutes to do, I think this is going to work GREAT for me, and I hope that it does for you too!

Gift Card Key Ring

Here is what you need:

– Gift cards
– A hole puncher
– Binder rings (you can get these at any office supply store)


1. First if you have the balance for each card, write it on the back of the card in permanent marker

2. Make a hole in the upper left of your first gift card

3. Line up the next gift card behind the first one and make a hole in the same place

4. Continue this with all of your gift cards

5. Organize them, if you have enough, group them by type, for instance I realized that I had 2 HomeGoods gift cards so I put those together, I also grouped my clothing cards and put my meal cards together.

6. Now open up the binder ring and slip it through the holes in each of the gift cards and Ta Da! You have a key ring with all of your cards that won’t be cluttering up your wallet and you can just throw into your purse!

No more losing those gift cards! Now go out and spend those little babies, after all that was what they were intended for!

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Holiday Tips that Don’t Cost a Dime http://evetterios.com/12/17/holiday-tips-that-dont-cost-a-dime/ http://evetterios.com/12/17/holiday-tips-that-dont-cost-a-dime/#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2011 19:01:54 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2908 How can you make every holiday party time more meaningful and memorable? Here are some of the ones that I am going to try to incorporate into my holiday gatherings.

Bring photos

These give you a ton of good material for stories. They are a great way to share what has been going on with one anther, spark up a conversation and create new memories.

BYOF- Bring Your Own Food

Whenever possible bring something that you have made yourself to your next gathering. Regardless of how much family may bug us at times, family, in all of their incarnations is by far the most important thing in the world to us, and we all love to share with one another. Whether your experiment with holiday food ends up a mess or a success, either way it makes for colorful memories.

Bring Pets

If you’ve got em, and they are well behaved, flaunt ‘e,m. Pets can bring out the best in everyone. Sneaking Baloo some tasty scraps is a pastime that I am often surprised how many family members really get into.

Throw a Tasting Party

Tasting parties are a great idea for holiday shin digs. Basically the gist of it is, you get a few varieties of the same tasty things, for instance if you choose chocolate, taste chocolate at your tasting party. If you are worried about the cost of a tasting party, throw it pot luck style and have everyone bring, their favorite chocolate, for exampls.

Learn how to use the self timer on your camera

Everybody loves to use the self timer, its exciting. Especially after a couple of cocktails

Bring Jokes

Think of one good joke or a funny story to share with the fam!

Deck the Halls

If you get some holiday music and make some holiday smells

Let me know what all of you plan to include in the rest of your holiday shin digs!

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A Peace Signed Shaped Wreath http://evetterios.com/12/17/a-peace-signed-shaped-wreath/ http://evetterios.com/12/17/a-peace-signed-shaped-wreath/#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:49:11 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2918 There is just something about wreathes that makes me want to mull cider and sing carols. For me, they are the external expression of internal cheer. It must be from growing up in Bed-Stuy, in the projects of Brooklyn. There, putting a wreath on your door was the only way we could deck the halls – halls painted that police-precinct-grey/beige (or greyge as I like to call it), and in desperate need of cheering. So with no house to put lights on, or animatronic Rudolph and his hooved pals up around, the wreath on the door was the universal sign of “Hi! I welcome the Holidays, and you.”

I make a wreath or two every year for a charity donation to DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS . We send them to our chapters in Dallas and Kansas City, where they are auctioned to benefit those living with AIDS and HIV.

But this year – not to get all Kumbaya on you or anything – I thought that a little peace sign would be a much more fitting holiday expression than just your regular wreath-shaped wreath. And since I love almost all things that appear handmade – I’m even thought the Blair Witch had great décor – I decided to go for a more crafty look.

I fell in LOVE with all the felts at my local fabric store, Jem Fabrics (it is truly outrageous), and grabbed some chilly colors (white grey and turquoise-y blue, my fav color ever). Felts arent’ just cool, they are easy. They don’t fray when you cut them, and exude that “Yeah, I wear patchouli oil, and so what?” vibe.

So here are my project thrills and spills for making a felt piece foam wreath:

What You Will Need
– A wreath form in foam
– 2 pieces of rectangular foam, roughly (_ X _)
– Hot glue gun
– 1-1/2 yards of background color felt
– 1 yard of each other color
– 2-1/2” ribbon in corresponding color
– Foam cutter
– Scissors
– Pen
– Straight pins
– Needle and thread (optional)

So, first things first. The size of your circular form will be the size of the wreath. Measure the empty center part of the peace sign (diameter for you non-geometry challenged, out there) and cut the rectangular piece to fit. Then glue it in using your trusty hot glue gun.

Now you need the “spokes” of the peace sign. I put the rectangular pieces under the wreath and marked them so that I knew where to cut them.

Cut them using your foam cutter and fit them in around the center of the peace sign. Then glue them in place! You should now have the finished peace sign form. –

Put the form down on a piece of felt and trace the outline of the peace sign onto the felt. You will want to do two of these one for the front and one for the back of the wreath. Then cut it out giving about 1” allowance on all sides.

Then glue the felt onto the front and back of the wreath. Make sure not to put too much hot glue. The hot glue tends to melt the foam so less is more.

Glue the edges down onto the edges of the wreath. You may need to cut it in the corners to make it easier to wrap.

I found a wide ribbon, about 2-1/2” to finish off the edges. Just glue that bad boy down to cover your funky edges and your good to start decorating!

I cut out tons of felt flowers, I wanted a wintery look, white grey and turquoise.

It’s fun to layer the flowers for a fuller look. Just pin them into the wreath where you want them to go and glue them down one at a time.

Now you can get a little crafty with your flowers, I did a few different flower shapes.

Then for the flower centers I did a few different things, all super easy, trust me.

I cut strips about 1” long and 3” wide. Then I cut fringes into one side. I rolled them up and glued them to get these pom pom looking flower centers

I made these spongey looking centers by doing the same thing but cutting a stip 2” long by 3” wide and folding it in half the long way before cutting my fringes.

You can even add a little stitching to the flowers like I did here.

Then before your ready to enjoy your wreath, you’ve got to create a way to hang it first, right?

Glue a ribbon to the back of the wreath in the center of where you would like it to hang. Of course, I just realized now that I put the hook in the wrong place on the wreaths. I hope I didn’t actually leave them like that…

Then once you’ve got your wreath covered as much or as little as you’d like, You’re ready to enjoy it!

I dug this project so much that I decided two smaller wreaths as gifts. Check them out!

(Insert Orange Gift Wreath.jpg)

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Guía de Propinas Para Navidad http://evetterios.com/12/14/guia-de-propinas-para-navidad/ http://evetterios.com/12/14/guia-de-propinas-para-navidad/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 01:20:11 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2961 Es importante dar gracias a las personas que nos ayudan tanto durante el año, y para muchos de ellos una propina es apropiado. Pero cuanto regalas? Aquí tengo unos consejos:

1. Debes de calcular un presupuesto. No debes de sentirse obligada a dar mas dinero de que se permite. Si el presupuesto suyo no da para propinas, considera regalitos hechos in casa, como galletas o tarjetas hecho a mano. Recuerde de que un mensaje cariñosa es una Buena manera de expresar su gratitud para los esfuerzos.

2. Escribe una nota. Cualquier regalo debe de ser acompañado con una nota. Dos o tres frases seria suficiente

3.  Si das propina para el servicio regularmente, no tienes que dar un regalo durante las Navidades. Por ejemplo si estacionas el carro en un garaje y siempre le das unos cuantos dólares a el encargado, no tienes que dar una propina Navideña, En vez de dar una propina, considera dar un regalito.

4. La Ubicación- La cantidad de propina que debes de dar depende si vives en unas ciudad grande. Muchas veces el promedio de propina es mas alto en ciudades.

5. Por cuanto tiempo has conocido a la persona?

6.  Si conoces la persona bien?


Aquí esta mi guía de propinas para Navidad:

Cartero– El servicio postal no permite que carteros reciben propinas, pero le puedes dar un regalo, de $20 dólares o menos

Niñera – El pago para unas noche y un regalo sencillo desde los niños

Estilista– El costo de un recorte

Superintendente – $20 – $80

Portero– $15 – $80

Persona Habilidosa “Handyman” – $15- $40

Empleada De La Casa – Hasta una semana de pago y una nota

Home Attendant o Los Que Cuiden A Los Enfermos – Debes de verificar con la agencia si es apropiado darle una propina. Muchas agencias no lo permiten.

 Jardinero – $20-$50

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Sugar Cookie Tree Centerpiece http://evetterios.com/12/12/sugar-cookie-tree-centerpiece/ http://evetterios.com/12/12/sugar-cookie-tree-centerpiece/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:51:39 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2643 Sugar cookies are easy to make, fun to decorate, they are GREAT to have the kids decorated, and they are just about the most versatile cookie there is. Plus, almost everybody likes them which makes them such a great gift. Of course, you could give your cookies in a fancy box, tin or jar, but I thought making them into ornaments for a small tree would be much more dramatic, and makes a nice centerpiece as well.

Cookie Dough

First, you will need to make your cookies. If you have a hand or a stand mixer it only takes a few minutes to make the homemade dough, so it’s worth taking the time to make them from scratch instead of buying a store bought mix. Here’s a recipe I have been using for years:

With your mixer, cream:
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp, vanilla

Once the mixture is creamed:
add 1 egg
and beat until light and fluffy.
Mix in 4 tsp. milk.

In a separate bowl, sift together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine flour mixture with butter mixture mixing by hand with a spoon. Turn the dough onto a piece of waxed paper and form a tube or a ball. Wrap the dough in the paper and chill for at least an hour.

Once the dough is chilled divide it in half and keep half in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Roll the dough on a floured surface until it’s 1/8″ thick. You can cut your cookies using a cookie cutter, but I just used a drinking glass which gave me a nice circular shape.

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees and bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then move them to a rack to cool.


I almost hate to cover my beautiful cookies with frosting, but I knew what I was getting into when I started this project, so I’ll just have to get over it.

I make my frosting using a mixture of powdered sugar and milk—and a tsp. of vanilla. Basically, I start with about a cup and a half of powdered sugar and add the milk one tablespoon at at time until the mixture becomes a thick liquid (kind of like the consistency of Elmer’s glue). Then I add the vanilla. This frosting is great for cookies going in a gift box or jar because it hardens after a while, so the cookies don’t end up sticking together and your designs don’t get ruined like they would with a creamy frosting.


While the frosting is wet you can add colored sugar or candy which will adhere to the cookie when the frosting is dry. Make a pastry bag by cutting a small hole in the corner of a sandwich bag and your designs will level out once dry.

Making the Ornaments

Wrap each cookie with plastic wrap and twist the wrap on the back side of the cookie. Cut off any excess. Use a sticker or a label to keep the plastic wrap closed. Using a needle and thread, tie a piece of string to the plastic wrap.

Decorating the Tree

I bought this 24″ tinsel tree for $8 dollars at Target which makes this impressive gift an inexpensive one too. Decorate it with your cookies and wrap a dish towel or piece of fabric around the bottom as a tree skirt. You could even add a strand of lights to give the tree some sparkle.

However you choose to decorate it, your friends and family will love this yummy, handmade centerpiece.

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Snowflake Brownies http://evetterios.com/12/11/snowflake-brownies/ http://evetterios.com/12/11/snowflake-brownies/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2011 15:53:37 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2862 I love brownies (especially ones made from scratch), but they can look a little boring by themselves because they’re just a big, brown square. Here’s an easy decorating tip to make them look really special.

First, bake your brownies. I’ve been using this really delicious recipe for years. It’s from Rosie’s Bakery: all butter, fresh cream, sugar packed, no holds barred baking book by Judy Rosenberg (http://www.amazon.com/Rosies-Bakery-All-Butter-Sugar-Packed-No-Holds-Barred/dp/0761106332). How can you go wrong with a title like that?

Here’s what you need:

3 1/2-oz. unsweetened chocolate
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Grease an 8″ square pan with oil or butter. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool for five minutes. Pour sugar into a mixing bowl and pour chocolate/butter on top. Mix with a mixer until blended (about 25 seconds). Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time with mixer on medium-low speed. Mix until velvety. Add flour on low speed and mix for 20 seconds. Finish mixing by hand. Add nuts if you want (I never add nuts; I feel it ruins a good brownie). Bake 25-30 minutes until a thin crust forms on the top and a tester comes out with a moist crumb. Let brownies sit 24 hours before eating (this is the hardest part).

Once the brownies are completely cool, use a butter knife to gently ease the brownies out of the pan. When cooked properly the bottom should be nice and smooth. I guess I should have left my brownies in for a few more minutes because when I coaxed them out of the pan, the bottom stayed in the pan. I scraped it out and squished it into the hole and kind of put them back together.

The snowflake needs a smooth surface to look its best, so I decided my brownies needed a topping to cover up the filled in crater. I turned my oven back on, topped the brownies with chocolate chips and put them back in the oven for five minutes. Once the chocolate chips soften just spread them out with a knife as evenly as possible.

While you’re letting the chocolate cool, a stencil can be made for the snowflake.

Take an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and cut it into a square.

Take the extra strip and cut it so it’s 7″ long (the size of the bottom surface of the brownies). Fold it in half. Roughly draw what you want one arm of the snowflake to look like. Then cut out the shape and unfold.

Trace the shape onto the square of paper. Then repeat two more times rotating the shape so it becomes the snowflake.

Cut the snowflake out.

Place the snowflake stencil on the brownies and sift powdered sugar over it.

Carefully remove the stencil and your brownies will look amazing. Just cut into squares and enjoy!

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A Latin American Cookie- Alfajores with a twist! http://evetterios.com/12/05/a-latin-american-cookie-alfajores-with-a-twist/ http://evetterios.com/12/05/a-latin-american-cookie-alfajores-with-a-twist/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2011 16:15:46 +0000 http://evetterios.com/?p=2759 A few weeks ago I stopped by La Duni Latin Kitchen in Dallas, Texas. Duni Borga, the co-owner and pastry chef taught me how to make the traditional Latin American cookie, Alfajores! Only Duni gives it a wonderful twist, 3 different fillings, Chocolate, Homemade Nutella and of course, Dulce De Leche and a chocolate topping!

The Cookie


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt 2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz.)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract



18 oz. dark semi sweet dark chocolate

6 oz. milk

4 oz. heavy whipping cream

2 oz. corn syrup


1. Mix milk,heavycream and cornsyrupinapot and place onstove top to simmer.

2. Remove from heat, add chocolate slowly and mix by hand making sure all chocolate is fully melted.

3. With immersion mixer fully immersed into the chocolate mixer finish mixing. Make sure not to add air bubbles to the mixture.

4. Place in a bowl cover tight and refrigerate overnight till set.


Dulce de Leche

Containers may be purchased at any Latin Super Market or in your specialty stores.


Home Made Nutella


Use the same recipe for the chocolate filling except substitute the dark chocolate for milk chocolate

Before mixing with an immersion mixer add 1 1/2 cups of finely ground blanched and toasted hazelnuts and then finish mixing well with the immersion mixer.



4 cups of melted to tempered chocolate. (milk, dark or white)



Mixing, Baking and Assembly Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Have cookie sheets ready covered with parchment paper.

1. Sift together flour,baking powder and salt

2. Soften butter and sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment, (do not over mix)

3. Add egg and vanilla till fully incorporated

4. Add flour and heavy cream. Continue to mix till fully incorporated.

5. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

6. Roll dough on a flat-floured surface to 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-22 minutes till golden

8. Set to cool on cooling racks.

9. Take one cookie on bottom side up and spread with a knife desired filling, place another cookie bottom side down on top creating a sandwich.

10. Dip into melted chocolate till fully covered. Shake excess chocolate off and place onto parchment paper till chocolate sets.


Here is the Downloadable PDF of the recipe!


And here is the link to the segment I did on La Duni Latin kitchen on The Chew on ABC!

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