Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/02/13

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SANDWICH COOKIE POPS!





Sandwich-Cookie Pops



   Combine a Chambord-spiked cookie, raspberry buttercream, and white chocolate to make a sophisticated treat.






Sandwich Cookie Pops

ingredients
  • 1 1/4
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1
    teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2
    teaspoon salt
  • 1/2
    cup butter, softened
  • 3/4
    cup sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon Chambord or milk
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla
  • 1
    Raspberry Buttercream, see below
  • 1 1/2
    pounds white chocolate or white candy coating, chopped
  • Red non pareils
directions
1.In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside
2.In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until creamy and smooth. Beat in Chambord and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture.
3.If dough is too sticky, cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a 12-inch-long roll about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.
4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the rolls into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Place 50 lollipop craft sticks 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Place one dough slice on the top portion of each stick. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Bake remaining cookie slices without sticks. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
5.Spread a slightly rounded teaspoon of Raspberry Butttercream on the flat sides of the cookies with sticks. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down.
6.Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 3 minutes until just melted, stirring after each minute; cool slightly. Holding pop by the stick; carefully dip and spoon melted chocolate over to coat; let excess chocolate drip off before placing on waxed or parchment. Sprinkle with nonpareils; cool. Makes 50 lollipop cookies.

To store:
  • Layer cookie pops between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Raspberry Buttercream
ingredients
  • 1/2
    cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2
    cups powdered sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon Chambord or milk
  • 2
    tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
directions
1.In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar; Chambord or milk, and raspberry preserves. Beat in 1-1/2 cups additional powdered sugar.


TIME BALLS, FROGS, ACORNS AND PICKLES, WELCOME THE 2013 NEW YEAR!








   On December 31, 2013, people all over the world will welcome in the New Year watching the 2011 Time Ball drop in Times Square in New York City or by dropping objects like pickles and acorns to pursue prosperity in 2013. Many celebrations focus on time balls to calculate and welcome the New Year. Other towns and cities across the country drop a variety of items, according to local tradition or just plain tradition. Talbot, Maryland will feature a Crab Drop at its first night celebration, Mobile, Alabama will drop a twelve foot moon pie at its New Year's Eve celebration, and Atlanta, Georgia, will drop an 800 pound peach at its celebration to ring in 2013.






The 2013 Times Square Time Ball

The Times Square ball that will drop on December 31, 2011, measures 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11, 875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of varied sizes. The crystals produce millions of vibrant colors and countless patterns, and the New Years Eve celebration at Times Square produces millions of excited spectators to count down and welcome the New Year.



New Years Eve Celebrated in Times Square is a Century Old Tradition

   People celebrated New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it took until 1907 for the tradition of the New Year's Eve Ball to begin. In 1907, the first New Year's Eve Ball which measured five feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds descended from the flagpole on top of One Times Square. Jacob Starr, a young immigrant metalworker, built the ball from iron and wood and lit it with one hundred 25 -watt bulbs. For most of the Twentieth Century, the company that Jacob founded, Artkraft Strauss, lowered the ball every year.
   The New Year's Ball has descended every year since 1907 except for 1942 and 1943, when officials cancelled the ceremony because of the wartime dimming of New York City lights. Despite the absence of a ball, crowds still congregated in Times Square and welcomed the New Year with a minute of silence. After that chimes rang from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower, a continuation of earlier Trinity Church celebrations where crowds gathered to "ring out the old, ring in the new."





Ball Dropping Symbolizes Time Passing

   The idea of a ball "dropping" to symbolize time passing goes back into the mists of time far distant from Times Square to Greenwich, England. The English installed the first time ball on top of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. The time ball would drop every afternoon at one o'clock so that the captains of nearby ships could accurately set their chronometers which were essential to navigation.
   After the time balls had proven themselves at Greenwich, about 150 of them were installed around the world. The United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. carries on the tradition. Every day at noon a time ball descends from the flagpole. In Times Square every year a time ball descends on the stroke for midnight to symbolize the coming of the New Year for over one billion excited people around the world.





People Drop Everything from Pickles to Acorns to Welcome the New Year

   Millions of people watch the time ball drop in New York's Time Square and millions more watch more unusual items drop to welcome in the New Year before their eyelids close over the New Year.
   Mount Olive, North Carolina, is celebrating its thirteenth annual New Year's Eve Pickle Drop on December 31, 2013, at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Streets. The New Year's Eve pickle descends the Mount Olive Pickle Company flagpole at 7 p.m. midnight - that's 7 o'clock EST-which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. Festival organizers say "that way we are official, we shout Happy New Year! and we don't have to stay up until midnight!"
   Since 1992, Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, has earned its title, "The City of Oaks," by literally dropping an acorn as a symbol of new beginnings every New Year's Eve. The 2013 Acorn Drop marks the 22nd  Anniversary of Raleigh's First Night New Year's Eve Celebrations and the Acorn Drop. The acorn weighs approximately 1,250 pounds and measures about ten feet, and instead of investing in a gigantic acorn  storage unit 364 days of the year, the town of Raleigh proudly displays the acorn in Moore Square. Then on New Year's Eve, technicians transport the acorn by crane to participate in the midnight count down.










   Eastport, Maine, is ringing in the New Year with its seventh consecutive year of New Year's Eve festivities with the Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop. To honor both the United States and Canada, the first drop will be a Canadian maple leaf to honor Eastport's Canadian neighbors and then a giant sardine will be dropped at midnight to commemorate the regions historic sardine fishing and canning past.




Crowd waiting for ball to drop


Pittsburgh Raises the Ball

   Pennsylvania has numerous towns and cities that drop a variety of objects to welcome in the New Year. Hummelstown drops a lollipop. Duncannon drops a sled, Richland drops a cigar, Steelton drops an entire steamroller and Frogtown, a frog.
   In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a 1,000 pound ball titled "The Future of Pittsburgh," will ascend 74 feet at midnight on December 31, 2013, to the top of Penn Avenue Place as people count down the passing of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. Organizers of Pittsburgh's First Night. Family celebration decided to raise the ball instead of dropping it as a symbol of Pittsburgh's revitalization and the hope of a Happy New Year and prosperous future.
   But no matter where a town drops an item or if it is a peach or a pickle, the sentiment is the same, "Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!"

6 NEW YEARS TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!







   New Year traditions that all Americans are familiar with include the ball drop in Times Square, the Tournament of Roses Parade, fireworks, year-end lists, New Year resolutions, a toast and/or a kiss at midnight, Auld Lang Syne, and predictions for the year ahead. Here are some other customs you might not be as familiar with.


1. Años Viejos



435_yearsold.jpg





   In Ecuador, December 31st is time to ceremonially burn an effigy named Años Viejos, or Years Old. The dummies are made of old clothes and sticks or sawdust for stuffing, and often made to look like someone who has made a negative impact during the year, such as a politician. See pictures of many different os Viejos here.'




2. First-Footer



435hogmanay.jpg




   Scotland marks Hogmanay on December 31st, although the celebration lasts several days, with customs varying by locality. One of the customs associated with the new year is that of the first-footer, or the first person to visit your home after midnight on New Years Day. It is good luck if your first-footer is a tall handsome man with dark hair, preferably bringing a small gift. Remnants of this custom are found in America, too -I have a relative who gets very upset if the first person who calls her in the new year is a woman.




3. Twelve Grapes



435_grapes.jpg





   New Years Eve is called Nochevieja, or the Old Night in Spain. The tradition is to eat twelve grapes at midnight, as the twelve chimes ring in the new year. Try stuffing twelve grapes in your mouth in twelve seconds, and you’ll see how funny this can be! The twelve grapes are also eaten at midnight in other countries that have a Spanish influence. In Spain, wearing red underwear for the new year brings good luck; in other countries, the underwear should be yellow. No doubt, clothing vendors cater to these traditions.




4. Olie Bollen


435OlieBollen.jpg





   In the Netherlands, New Years Eve is a relaxed family holiday until midnight, then it’s party time in the streets with fireworks and revelry! The Dutch serve doughnuts or fritters called Olie Bollen, traditionally served for breakfast or snacks on New Years Eve and New Years Day. Make your own Olie Bollen with this recipe.



5. Black-Eyed Peas and Hog Jowls



435_hoppinjohn.jpg





   In the American South, you must eat a meal of pork (originally hog jowl), black-eyed peas, and greens on New Years Day to ensure a good year ahead. Hog jowl symbolizes health (believe it or not), black-eyed peas represent good luck, and greens (originally cabbage, but mustard or collard greens are used also) symbolize money. Local variations include ham hocks, ham, or bacon for hog jowl, saurkraut, cabbage rolls, Hoppin’ John, or other soups or casseroles that contain these items.





6. Dinner for One








   In Germany and Scandinavia, TV stations broadcast Dinner For One, a British comedy sketch about a woman celebrating her 90th birthday. The sketch has nothing to do with the New Year holiday, but has become such a tradition that it landed in The Guiness Book of World Records as the most repeated TV show ever! In the routine, Miss Sophie has outlived her friends, so her butler plays the part of each at the birthday dinner, which means he must drink multiple toasts. The most popular 18 minute version with a German introduction can be found at Google Video. YouTube has a 10 minute version of the same sketch, seen here.

THE HISTORY OF NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!













   The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.    With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
   The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.
   The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.










   The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.
   In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.
   The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between January 19 and February 21.
   Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.











Ancient New Years

   The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23, although they themselves had no written calendar.
   Late March actually is a logical choice for the beginning of a new year. It is the time of year that spring begins and new crops are planted. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.
   The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
The Romans continued to observe the New Year on March 25, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.
In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.










Global Good Luck Traditions

   With New Year's upon us, here's a look at some of the good luck rituals from around the world. They are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity in the coming year.

Australia - The suckling pig is the symbol for good luck for the new year. It's served on a table decorated with tiny edible pigs. Dessert often consists of green peppermint ice cream in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

England - The British place their fortunes for the coming year in the hands of their first guest. They believe the first visitor of each year should be male and bearing gifts. Traditional gifts are coal for the fire, a loaf for the table and a drink for the master. For good luck, the guest should enter through the front door and leave through the back. Guests who are empty-handed or unwanted are not allowed to enter first.

Wales - At the first toll of midnight, the back door is opened and then shut to release the old year and lock out all of its bad luck. Then at the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its luck.

Haiti - In Haiti, New Year's Day is a sign of the year to come. Haitians wear new clothing and exchange gifts in the hope that it will bode well for the new year.











Sicily - An old Sicilian tradition says good luck will come to those who eat lasagna on New Year's Day, but woe if you dine on macaroni, for any other noodle will bring bad luck.

Spain - In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, the Spanish eat 12 grapes, one with every toll, to bring good luck for the 12 months ahead.

Peru - The Peruvian New Year's custom is a spin on the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at the turn of the year. But in Peru, a 13th grape must be eaten to assure good luck.

Greece - A special New Year's bread is baked with a coin buried in the dough. The first slice is for the Christ child, the second for the father of the household and the third slice is for the house. If the third slice holds the coin, spring will come early that year.

Japan - The Japanese decorate their homes in tribute to lucky gods. One tradition, kadomatsu, consists of a pine branch symbolizing longevity, a bamboo stalk symbolizing prosperity, and a plum blossom showing nobility.

China- For the Chinese New Year, every front door is adorned with a fresh coat of red paint, red being a symbol of good luck and happiness. Although the whole family prepares a feast for the New Year, all knives are put away for 24 hours to keep anyone from cutting themselves, which is thought to cut the family's good luck for the next year.






Pomagranates are good luck in Turkey






United States- The kiss shared at the stroke of midnight in the United States is derived from masked balls that have been common throughout history. As tradition has it, the masks symbolize evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is the purification into the new year.

Norway- Norwegians make rice pudding at New Year's and hide one whole almond within. Guaranteed wealth goes to the person whose serving holds the lucky almond.




Chinese New Year

   Except for a very few number of people who can keep track of when the Chinese New Year should be, the majority of the Chinese today have to rely on a typical Chinese calendar to tell it. Therefore, you cannot talk of the Chinese New Year without mentioning the Chinese calendar at first.
   A Chinese calendar consists of both the Gregorian and lunar-solar systems, with the latter dividing a year into twelve month, each of which is in turn equally divided into thirty- nine and a half days. The well-coordinated dual system calendar reflects the Chinese ingenuity.










   There is also a system that marks the years in a twelve-year cycle, naming each of them after an animal such as Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. People born in a particular year are believed to share some of the personalities of that particular animal.