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Archive: December ’08 on The Blog

She Loves the Necklace!

Posted by Matt on December 30 at 02:14 pm

As promised, I’m updating you all on Deidra’s Christmas present. As you probably guessed, she loves it!

Pretty Excited!

Pretty Excited!

To be honest, I think she knew that I was making her a necklace, but she had no idea what it was going to look like. She really likes the design and the stones used, but she loves the amount of time and thought that went into making it even more. In fact, she cried a little when I showed her all of my recent posts. I think she was truly amazed at how involved you were in the whole process. So, thank you so much for helping me make this a special Christmas gift for my wife!

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We’re Still Here…

Posted by Kevin on December 29 at 05:40 pm

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick post to let you know that The Lima Team is still alive and kicking.

We’re all taking it easy and trying to enjoy what’s left of the holiday season. I hope everyone has been able to find some relaxation and enjoy time with family or friends. We’re gearing up for what we expect to be a crazy January. We have so many awesome beads sitting in crates at the back of our office just waiting to be put on the web site. There are so many cool things — January is going to be very exciting.

There won’t be a weekly email or Lunch Specials this week. Also, don’t forget, The Lima Gift Giveaway ends at the end of this year (Dec 31). Get your free beads while you can!

We’ll be back in the office on a regular basis starting Monday January 5th with more fun stuff than ever.

Have a safe and wonderful New Year!

Kevin

Cookie Recipe Results!

Posted by riki on December 22 at 05:20 pm

Wow, what a great idea it was nice to have an assortment of holiday cookie recipes to make! I have to admit that baking all of them was really fun. Smelling the molasses and ginger in Bonnie’s Ginger Snaps among the scent of freshly grated lemon zest and ground almonds in the Lemon Almond Shortbread was a treat for my senses! The holidays really are a great time to experiment with new recipes because even if a not-so-tasty batch comes out, you can still throw it in the holiday cookie tin for relatives! Haha, just kidding.

I had never made no-bake cookies before, and I’m pretty sure they’re now my go-to recipe for when I need something sweet with items I have on hand at all times. No-bakes seem like they’d be fantastic for the summer months too, when turning on the oven can be a too-warm death sentence for apartments with no air conditioning! I hate to say it, but I’ve never been the festive cookie-maker. I mean, I’ve been known to get out my Hello Kitty shaped cookie cutters for the basic sugar cookie recipes and decorate them with red and green royal icing, but I’ve never had the chance to make an actual assortment.

ginger-snapsThe Winner: Ginger Snaps from Bonnie R

It was a close one, but these Ginger Snaps ended up being the winner of the first-ever Lima Beads Taste Test! I think everyone’s favorite thing about this cookie is the texture. When you first lay your hands on one of these tasty morsels, you’d think that they’re going to be brittle and crunchy. While there’s a bit of a crunch to them, they’re mostly chewy. Along with the texture of these cookies, the flavor and aroma is nothing short of spectacular. It’s the spicy, sweet goodness that you long for in a holiday cookie.

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My First 6 Months at Lima

Posted by rachel on December 21 at 03:27 pm

Well, it’s been almost six months since I started working at Lima Beads.  I was pretty overwhelmed in the beginning; there was so much information to absorb, that I was certain I would never make sense of it all.  

First of all, there are all of the stones. Thousands of them! Some are quite easy to recognize and have very logical names, as you all know. Others, well let’s just say I may have had a few nightmares involving gemstones in the beginning. Soon enough though, I began to remember them. I had no idea that I could learn so many stones, so quickly.  

Then there are the stock locations. I have nearly memorized the exact stock location for every product at Lima Beads. Someone might say “Hey, where is the Lemon Quartz again?” and I can immediately reply “5-K.”  

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What We Woke Up To This Morning

Posted by Kevin on December 19 at 10:31 am

Winter has technically been here for awhile, but it didn’t really feel like it… Until this morning that is. We woke up to the snowstorm that you’ve probably been hearing about on the news for the past couple of days. As promised by weather forecasters nationwide, it hit.

For those of you in warmer areas, this may be hard to believe, but we’re actually happy about it! It means a white Christmas, which is one of the few joys of Michigan winters. For those of us that don’t ski, snowboard, or own a snowmobile, a white Christmas is very important to keeping a positive attitude during the winter months :)

Here are some photos taken this morning from our office window:

2 plow trucks, a guy blowing snow, and a Starbucks. All winter essentials.

2 plow trucks, a guy blowing snow, and a Starbucks. All winter essentials.

 

There is snow much snow, this person decided to cross country ski to work.

There is so much snow, this person decided to cross country ski to work.

 

If you were in the path of this, show us your photos. To upload them, use the comment box below!

What I’ve Been Working on

Posted by Steve on December 18 at 01:00 pm

I know I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately, but it’s been for good reason. I’ve been working on some new features for the Lima Beads web site, and I wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the things we’ve got planned. We want to start off 2009 on the right foot, so we welcome your feedback and comments!

Start a conversation

One thing we’ve noticed while observing everyone interact on the blog is… everyone likes talking! And one of the recurring topics is the latest Fresh Picks that people are creating. So, we decided to make it easier to chat about the picks. Coming very soon… the ability to comment on Fresh Picks, right from their individual pages!

More Fresh Enhancements…

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The Necklace is Finished!

Posted by Matt on December 17 at 11:17 am

Front - click to zoom

Sorry it’s taken me so long to give you all an update on the status of Deidra’s necklace. As you could imagine, things get pretty crazy around here around the holidays.

If you’re not familiar with the situation, let me get you up to speed. For Christmas this year, instead of buying each other gifts, my wife and I have decided to make them ourselves. You see, we’re newlyweds making an effort to save some money for a new house.

Up until a couple of days ago, I hadn’t really touched the bead board since picking out the beads for the necklace and laying them out. Oftentimes, when I’m designing a graphic or new page layout for the website, I’ll think my product is really top-notch after I finish it. But after a couple of days, I’ll go back to it and think to myself: “What was I thinking?” I’m sure you all can relate when you’re designing jewelry.

This entry continues: Read the rest…

Vote for Your Favorite Cookie Recipe!

Posted by Ali on December 16 at 02:11 pm

On Thursday, we asked everyone to submit their favorite cookie recipe. We received 16 awesome recipes — they are all listed below. You can read the full recipes right below the survey to decide which ones are your favorite.

Now it’s time to vote for the recipes you think sound the best. Choose your 3 favorites below. We’ll tally all the votes on Friday and Riki (the baking genius of the Lima team) will bake the top 5 recipes. She’s going to bring them in on Monday (12/22) and the entire Lima team is going to do a taste test.

We’ll announce the winners on Monday afternoon!

Thanks to everyone that submitted a recipe, these all look so delicious. I’m sure we’ll be making them all at some point :)

Yummy Crunchy Cookies!

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 250 grams butter
  • 2 cups rolled oats

oven temp. 180 C. for 30 minutes

Mix flour, sugar, coconut and baking powder.

Melt butter and mix honey through.

Spoon butter mixture through flour mixture.

Have a tray with baking paper ready

Mix in rolled oats

Make small balls of mixture and put on baking paper and put in oven.

WAIT TILL THEY HAVE COOLED ENOUGH 

They are gooey when warm but satisfyingly crunchy when cooled! 

Now be warned!I have to bake them when the husband is out and then hide them. I have to defend them with my life! Generally before I have time to share them with friends they have vanished.

Oh and keep checking them in oven as one of my ovens needs the 30 minutes but the other only needs 25 minutes…

Ginger’s Chocolate Almond Butter Balls

This recipe is from Pillsbury’s Best Butter Cookie Cookbook, Volume II (20cents) circa 1950’s

  • Melt 4 squares Bakers semi sweet chocolate
  • Cream 3/4 cup butter and
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Melted chocolate
  • Add 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Stir in 1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped

Shape into 1 inch balls.

Roll in sugar

Bake

These cookies do not spread. Can place close together.

Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes

Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

recipe from Betty Crocker

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Raspberry jelly

1. Heat oven to 350ºF.

2. Mix brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg yolk in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white. Roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb deeply in center of each.

4. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Fill thumbprints with jelly. 

My mom makes these for me every year for Christmas. All my friends and family know that under no circumstances will I share, lol.

Speculaas

Recipe from House on the Hill website(with my slight modifications)

  • 3/4 cup softened butter, preferably unsalted
  • 2 cups brown sugar (spooned, not packed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, cloves, ginger, cardamon, and nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • grated rind of one orange
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
  • shaved or sliced almonds for undersides and milk for tops

Cream butter and brown sugar together; add egg, almonds, then salt and flavor ingredients, and finally work in flour. Add 4-6 tablespoons milk to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes. Roll, print and cut out as in general directions, or if you have Speculaas molds – prepare by spraying with non-stick spray or oiling and wiping off excess (done once for the whole batch).

Flour molds (for every use), knocking out excess. Press dough into mold, then cut excess dough off flush with back of mold with a wire or knife. Unmold carefully onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheet which is sprinkled with the shaved almonds. Brush with milk. No drying is needed before baking.

Bake at 350 degress for 10-12 minutes. Yield 30-90 cookies depending on size.

I made these for the first time last weekend and they were amazing. I took them to an event and everyone was thrilled with them! I’ve attached a photo that I took after they were done. It was really fun using the mold…challenging, but fun.

Turkey Balls

“A buzz in every bite”

  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 C Wild Turkey
  • 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 C crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 C chopped pecans

Mix in a large bowl and roll in 1″ balls. Roll the balls in more powdered sugar and voila! No baking!

Ann Giza Knapp’s Kolachys

  • 1 8-oz package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 lb Butter
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Jam (Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry or Apricot work well)

Combine the cream cheese and butter with the egg yolks. Mix in the flour to form a dough. You can cut them together with a biscuit cutter or pulse in a food processor. Chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares. Alternatively, you can make 1-inch diameter balls and flatten them. Place on cookie tray. Make an indentation in each cookie. Place a dollop of jam in the indentation.

Bake for 35 minutes or until cookie is light golden (about the color of amber).

The recipe for these cookies came from Poland with my maternal grandmother. In fact the original says to cut the flour into the butter/cream cheese. However, I modernized it to use a food processor. 

They are a family favorite. In fact, my brother says that it’s not Christmas until my package of Kolachys arrives in the mail.

Elf Keepers

(Santa’s elves work tirelessly for just one of these yummy bars!)

  • 1 (14 oz.) package caramels
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 (18 oz.) caramel cake mix (Duncan Hines is best)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups walnut halves or pieces

Cook caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk over low heat until caramels melt, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine remaining 1/3 of evaporated milk, cake mix, melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir just until blended. Spread half of dough into lightly greased 9” square pan. (Remaining dough will stiffen as it sits.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 min.

Pour caramel mixture over brownie layer in pan. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Divide remaining half of dough into 6 portions. Shape each portion into a 4” circle. Place circles over walnuts in pan, overlapping slightly. (Dough will spread during baking.) 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill thoroughly before cutting. Makes 15 brownies.

Exquisite Chocolate Mint Sticks

  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp peppermint extract
  • ½ cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8” or 9” square pan. In double boiler, combine chocolate and butter. Heat over hot but not boiling water until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, melted chocolate mixture and peppermint extract. Add flour and salt, beating until blended. Stir in walnuts. Spread in greased pan. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool in pan. Prepare Mint Frosting (recipe follows). Spread top of cooled brownies with frosting. Refrigerate until frosting is firm. Prepare Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows). Drizzle over frosting – tilt pan until glaze covers surface. Refrigerate 10 minutes, then cut into 2”x 1” sticks. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 32 cookies.

Mint Frosting

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, room temp.
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp. milk or cream
  • 1 ¼ tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 – 3 drops green food coloring

In medium bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, milk and extract until smooth and fluffy. stir in food coloring.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. butter

In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate and butter. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Cream Cheese Dainties

  • 350* Yield 4 dozen
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 3OZ cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed rice
  • cereal (rice crispies)
  • Red & green candied
  • cherries

Cream margarine, cheese

cheese & sugar well. Add flavorings, mix well.

Add flour, small amount at5 a time.

Chill 1-2 hours.

Shape into 1 inch diameter balls, roll in

crushed cereal. Place on

ungreased cookie sheet.

Press a cherry down into center of cookie.

Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.

Cool completely.

These are favorites with my family during Christmas holidays. My grandson likes to help, especially rolling the dough into balls & ’smashing’ the cherries into the ball!!

No-Bake Fudgy Cookies (formerly Thompson Cookies)

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 lb margarine (do not substitute with butter spreads)
  • 1/3 Cup cocoa
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups wheaties or other breakfast cereal OR
  • 3 cups, if oats (not instant oatmeal)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

To prepare the setting pan, place wax paper on top of open newspaper to the size of approximately 20” long. A different option is to place the wax paper on a couple of cookie sheets, but when the newspaper is used, there is nothing to clean.

Put first four ingredients in a 3 qt. sauce pan. While stirring constantly, on medium low heat, mix the ingredients and melt the margarine. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to boil. Lower the heat to medium; Boil for 1 to 4 minutes, without stirring, until it reaches pre-softball stage, described as follows: When 1 tsp of mix is placed in a cup of cold water, then lifted with your fingers, the mix will form a heavy strand but not yet a soft ball.

Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla. After mixed, add the cereal. (I always use oats.) Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper in the shape of cookies. Allow to set. Store in air tight container.

These scrumptious cookies have a long history in our family. I changed the name because the original name, Thompson, was not descriptive of the creamy, fudgy texture of these cookies. It all began when we were rambunctious, loud teenagers and Nancy Thompson’s mother would make these cookies to quiet us down. It worked because we would quietly nibble them while watching The Monkees or Get Smart. Could not talk with those luscious cookies in our mouths. 

Cut to 50 thousand or so years later… Today as an adult with adult children of my own, over the years and for many events, I had often made them. Sadly, four years ago, our 19 year old son passed on to a better world and I have not baked anything or celebrated any holiday since that time. This year something changed. I started feeling more fortunate and thankful for the family and love that I do have and felt like baking again. What did I make? You guessed it. Both my husband and adult son are most happy that I chose these cookies… I cannot keep them in the house very long, but I found they last longer if I hide some for myself or if I doubled the recipe, another day longer could pass before hearing, “Can we have Thompson cookies for dinner tonight?” We all love them! These are truly a special comfort food.

But, why are they disappearing so fast?

Ginger Snaps (from the Ginger people)

My husband says that these are addictive. The pieces of candied ginger add an extra spicy hot taste. I like the heat of the ginger so I use more than the original recipe.

  • 3/4 butter
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 1/4 c dark molasses (can increase to 1/2c)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tea ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tea ground ginger (you can use 1/2 tea if you prefer)
  • 1 tea ground cinnamon
  • 2 tea baking soda
  • 1/2 tea salt
  • 3 1/2 oz crystallized ginger chips (minced)

Cream butter and sugar; add egg continue mixing; mix dry ingredients together and add to wet; mix well together and then add ginger chips.

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour then put rounded teaspoons of dough on pan and bake.

(If you have a Splat mat it will prevent the bottoms from burning.)

Bake @ 375 8-10 minutes makes 3 dozen These are best after cooling and getting crunchier. Dough also freezes well.

Monster Cookies

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 tablespoon light Karo syrup
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 12 oz. crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 and 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 4 oz. chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. plain m & m’s

Mix first 7 ingredients together then add peanut butter,oats,choc. chips and m&m’s.

Bake @ 350,bake til gooey about 8 to 10 mins.

I baked these cookies for my husband’s football team he coaches and they lasted about 4 seconds. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lemon Almond Shortbread

These are my favorite cookies. They are good with cold milk, hot coffee or even red wine. Also, because the cookie logs can be frozen, you can keep one in the freezer for cookie emergencies!

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar

1. Grind almonds, lemon peel and 1/4 cup flour (I use a blender) until nuts are finely ground.

2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add nut mixture, then stir in remaining flour, cornstarch and salt.

3. Form into two 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter logs, wrap in waxed paper or clingwrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice, about 2 hours. (You can also freeze at this point. If well-wrapped, the frozen logs will keep about a year.)

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut chilled or frozen log into 1/3 inch slices, place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake approximately 20 minutes.

Gluten-free version:

Replace the flour with 3/4 cup rice flour plus 4 tablespoons potato flour.

Pistachio-Rosewater Cookies

From the book Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Total Time 35 minutes

Yield 32 cookies

Introduction

Pretty as a picture, these delectable disks are studded with jadelike pistachio nuts and are delicately scented with rosewater. Lime juice and zest add a little citrus kick. A perfect end to your Persian feast, or even just some Middle Eastern takeout.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp. rice or soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. rosewater
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with vegan shortening or margarine.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, rice or soy milk, rosewater, vanilla, lime juice, and zest. Add the cornstarch and whisk until dissolved. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Mix well.

3. Roll the dough into balls about 2 teaspoons in size (a bit smaller than a walnut) and dip the tops into the chopped pistachios. Press down with two fingers; the dough will flatten a bit and the pistachios will collect on the bottom.

4. Place the cookies, nut side up, about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. You should be able to fit 16 on a standard baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes; they will be soft but will firm up as they cool.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

Notes

You can replace the pistachios with almonds. The easiest way to chop them is by pulsing them in a food processor several times.

This content is from the book Veganomicon by Isa Chandra

Chewy and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How do I do this you ask? Butter and lots of it.  

I used to be crazy for Martha Stewart when I was in college, once I graduated and entered the real world I realized that there wasn’t enough time in the day to be as perfect as Martha.

This recipe however is delicious and relatively easy, but make sure the eat these cookies within a few days, they will start to lose their chewiness.

This recipe will make approx. 30 4″ cookies

I prefer to use organic free range ingredients wherever/whenever possible and I typically use sea salt rather than standard table salt. It’s up to you whether you feel comfortable crossing Martha Stewart 

Also depending on the time of year a few dashes of All Spice makes the cookies extra special.

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I recommend Godiva chips)

Preheat Oven to 375°

Combine flour, salt & baking soda in bowl and set aside.

Beat butter in a electric mixer until smooth. Add sugars and beat until well mixed and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well mixed, but don’t over do it. Add in the flour mixture from earlier until well mixed.

Now you can add the chips – mmm! (you might want to buy an extra bag of chips because if you’re anything like me I get a handful and the cookies get a handful)

Place golf ball size lumps of dough on a non stick cookie sheet about 3 or more inches apart. Once the cookies start to bake they really spread out.

Bake for 8 minutes, rotate your cookie sheet after 4 minutes.

Your cookies should come out golden brown and super thin with a chewy center and crunchy edge.

Oreo Truffles or Carolina Snowballs

  • 1 pkg. Oreo cookies, finely ground (you can use double stuff, regular, or peanut butter)
  • 1 – 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
  • 1 pkg. White or Milk Chocolate baking Chips

Microwave the Cream Cheese for 15-20 seconds until soft. Blend crushed Oreos and Cream Cheese together well with fork. Place in fridge for one hour.

Roll into bite sized balls then dip into melted chocolate and cool on wax paper.

If you’d like, decorate with colored sugar or drizzle with left over chocolate.

The center of these truffles looks almost exactly like mud, hence the name: Carolina Snowballs.

Cookie Recipes. Whose is Best?

Posted by Kevin on December 11 at 01:52 pm

Everyone on the Lima Beads team loves cookies. It’s that kind of love that leads to long discussions, just about cookies. I’d have to say that my favorite is the no-bake cookie. I don’t know why, I know it’s probably the easiest cookie to make, I’ve just always loved them. I don’t think we’re the only ones that think more about cookies this time of year. The smell of baking Christmas cookies is filling the house and eating too many cookies is suddenly more acceptable than at any other time of year! Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie?

Chocolate Mint Cookie mmmmm......

Chocolate Mint Cookie mmmmm......

The coffee shop across the street sells a chocolate cookie dipped in mint. I took a picture with my phone and showed our resident super baker, Riki. She said that she had actually tried that very cookie from the coffee shop and that it wasn’t very good. She claimed that she could bake a much tastier version of this cookie, but I’m still waiting for her to prove it to me…

Our love of cookies gave us an idea. What if we could get everyone’s favorite cookie recipes together and choose 5 to make? This would not only lead to a lot of fun with our customers, but also give us an opportunity to eat cookies. We all liked this idea immediately.

If your favorite cookie recipe is a Christmas cookie, that’s awesome, but it doesn’t have to be a Christmas cookie. It could be a chocolate chip cookie, an oatmeal raisin cookie, or some delicious kind of cookie that we’ve never even heard of!

Here’s what we want to do:

Include your favorite cookie recipe in the comments below. On Monday (12/15) we’ll put up a survey that will allow everyone to vote for the recipes they think sound the best. Based on those results, Riki will bake the top 5 cookies and the Lima team will do a blind taste test to see which cookie is the winner! With your recipe, be sure to include:

  • A name for your recipe (for the voting)
  • The recipe
  • optional: Any photos of the completed cookies you may have
  • optional: Any supporting information about how tasty these cookies are — how everyone demands that you make them every single year!
  • You can submit multiple recipes, just make sure they’re in separate comments.
Be as specific as possible, because Riki will be baking the cookies from these instructions. We’ll be including some of our own recipes. You can probably guess what mine will be — not that you need a recipe to make them :)

Let The Decorating Begin

Posted by Ali on December 07 at 07:30 pm

For those of you celebrating Christmas this year – we’re getting down to crunch time.

The Christmas season has officially begun at our house. Boxes of decorations have been brought up from the basement and my dining table is full of ornaments just waiting to be hung on the tree.  I organize my ornaments much like my beads, by style — old world ornaments, hand blown glass ornaments, icicles, balls, colors, wood, glitter, handmade, etc…

Kevin and I got our Christmas tree yesterday. We went to this little place out in the country and picked out the biggest tree we could find that would actually fit into our house. It’s only about 7 feet tall because we had to leave room for my big sparkly silver star at the top. We always bring it in and let it sit for one night so the branches can fall down to their natural positions.  Tonight, we’ll put all of the lights on and then hang the ornaments. The intoxicating smell of pine has already made its way through our house and I LOVE IT! How do you feel about this – real tree or artificial tree? If I didn’t love the smell so much, I might get an artificial tree, the needles are a mess!

As I unpack my boxes I have come to the conclusion that I might have too many decorations and not enough surfaces or places to hang everything. I am going to have to get creative. I blame this on after-Christmas clearance sales. I’m pretty indiscriminate when it comes to where I will shop so long as the merchandise is cool and the prices are cooler.  I’ve gotten rolls of Martha Stewart wrapping paper for .50 per roll at Kmart, candles and mercury glass from Pottery Barn for 75% off, beautiful blown glass ornaments from the Weed Lady (a local florist) . . . I could go on and on.  Deals will be great this year I’m sure, but where do I stop? Everyone is going to keep coming up with new great holiday sparkle to tempt me and if it’s a super good price, I absolutely have to buy it – right?

This is definitely my favorite time of year.  The textures, sparkle, scents of pine and spices, and awesome contrast of colors are just some of the things that I like about this season. It’s a magical time of year for kids and adults alike, but sometimes it also seems to be the most stressful time of year. I find myself worrying about having the house ready to entertain guests, what gifts to buy, making it to all of the holiday parties, and these days – even the economy. I need to get creative with our gift giving to save some money this year. When it comes to my female friends and family, I usually give the gift of jewelry — they love it and I get to do something I enjoy. Although I usually end up rushing to put all of the pieces together in the 2 days before Christmas, I still find it relaxing! Is anyone else a procrastinator with holiday jewelry?

Here’s hoping we can all remain calm this year…

Good luck!

-Ali

PS – Let’s see some photos of your decorations!

December FAQs

Posted by Steve on December 03 at 09:39 am

Hello Lima Beaders! Here are answers to some frequently-asked questions we get around the holidays. If you have questions of your own, add a comment and we’ll do our best to answer you!

When should I order so my package arrives by Christmas?

Here are a few guidelines to help make sure your order arrives before Christmas. If you live in the US, you should place your order by December 17th if you choose our normal (Priority Mail) shipping. If you’re a really late shopper (like me), you can order up until December 23rd at 3pm EST, but you must select UPS shipping to make sure your package gets delivered on the 24th (there are no deliveries on the 25th). This is expensive, but possible!

For international customers, you should place your order as soon as possible, because it’s difficult to tell how long it will take once the package reaches your country. We also offer UPS shipping to many countries, which is speedier in case you need to place your order closer to Christmas. The sooner, the safer!

Does Lima Beads have gift certificates?

Sure we do! You (or your friends and family!) can buy a gift certificate right on our web site. You can personalize the “To:” and “From:” right online! The shipping guidelines above apply for gift certificates, too. Get more information here.

When does the free gift promotion end?

You can choose a free gift with every order through December 31, 2008. We can’t offer rain checks for the free gifts, so make sure to place your order before the promotion ends!

Will here be Lima Lunch Specials over the holidays?

Our Lunch Specials will continue to be sent out every Tuesday, right through the holidays–rain, sleet, or snow! :) If you don’t already get the Lunch Specials (deals e-mailed to you during your lunchtime), sign up here!

Have a question? Ask it in the comments!


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