So the other day, while catching up on our long-ignored Twitter page, I noticed we were tagged in a photo. >click<
WhaHUH?? Those our are XYZ Blocks! Did someone knock us off? Were the images licensed to someone else? No. That's not even possible. I cannot believe someone had the chutzpah to take our wonderful blocks and blow them up to coffee table size. I need to get to the bottom of this…stat! Heads. Will. ROOOOLL!
Wiping the sweat off my brow, I took another look. How did they get those Scrabble tiles so big? That desk lamp is huge! What does this “mini modern” watermark on the photo mean? (They don’t call me a super sleuth for nothing.)
Everyone, meet Modern MC — modern dollhouse interior designer. *headslap*
Says MC about her inspiration:
I was led by thoughts of cool parents who don't take life too seriously, collect pop culture trinkets and sometimes go to Comic-Con.
Um…that's like everyone in our art department! Almost. Thanks for including us MC — and reminding everyone to have fun!
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1. Roll just-mixed dough between two sheets of parchment paper before you chill it. Don't forget to dust it lightly with flour before rolling.
2. For a crisper cookie, roll dough to about 1/4". You may roll it up to 3/8", which some people find easier to work with. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness.
3. Chill at least 30 minutes before cutting. It's easier to cut when it's cool, but you'll get a better impression when the dough has softened slightly.
4. Before cutting and stamping, pull the top sheet of parchment off and lightly dust the dough with flour. Replace the parchment; flip over and repeat.
5. To stamp cookies, dip both sides of the cutter into flour and tap off any excess. Using the stamp side, press it evenly into the dough until it is flush with the dough. Flip over the cutter, center it over the impression and press it down to cut out the shape. If the dough sticks to the cutter, just give it a couple taps — it should pop right out. Place on a Silpat*-lined cookie sheet and bake in the center of a preheated oven. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.
6. For best results, use Royal Icing to decorate — it hardens nicely and won't run off the cookie. You can purchase a mix at your local craft store. To decorate, pipe a fine line of Royal Icing around the edge of the letter, let it harden then fill the shape with more icing. Dry completely before stacking.
* All of the cookies in our Test Kitchen are baked on Silpats, which makes for a much more evenly baked cookie.
From Fred's Cookbook
LetterPressed Sugar Cookies
This recipe will make about 3 dozen Letterpress cookies — but go ahead and double it if you have something important to say!
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to the butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated.
Split dough in half, and roll each half between two sheets of parchment paper to desired thickness, and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and carefully lift off one sheet of parchment, then lightly dust the dough with flour. Replace the parchment, flip over and repeat.
Cut, stamp then bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies begin brown around the edges. Leave plain or fill each letter with Royal Icing.
Whole Grain Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
In a standing mixer cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk flour with spices, soda and salt. Slowly add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Divide dough in half. Lightly dust with flour, then flatten each half between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Chill for 20 minutes. Slowly pull one sheet of parchment off and lightly flour dough. Put parchment back, flip over the dough and repeat. Cut out each Whole Grain cookie then flip OVER the cookie dough to imprint the wood grain texture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfurized molasses (I used Grandma's brand)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Whisk well to combine. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg and molasses. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides again and then add flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined.
Split dough in half or thirds, and roll each glob between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thickness, and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and carefully lift off one sheet of parchment, then lightly dust the dough with flour. Replace the parchment, flip over and repeat.
Cut, stamp then bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12-14 minutes or until cookies begin brown around the edges. Leave plain or fill each cookie with Royal Icing.
Chocolate Munchstache Cookies
1 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. instant espresso dissolved into 2 tbsp. warm water (or 1tsp. strong brewed coffee)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, espresso and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk dry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Add dry ingredients about 1 cup a time to the butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated.
Split dough in two or three balls, and roll each half between two sheets of parchment paper to desired thickness, and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and carefully lift off one sheet of parchment, then lightly dust the dough with flour. Replace the parchment, flip over and repeat.
Cut, stamp then bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on size) or until cookies begin brown around the edges. Decorate as desired.
p.s. The Cookie Countess baked hers a little thicker — and on a stick!
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"He's going to do something weird in your water." If by "weird" you mean "make a delicious cuppa tea" than my dear Kathie Lee Gifford — you are spot on!
And here's what's happening, in another part of the world…
Fred fan and food photographer, Bert Luyckx of Foodtos, picked up a Mr. Tea in BELGIUM and was so impressed that he took these stunning photographs of our little guy in action. We're so lucky to have such eXcellent fans! Thanks, Bert!
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You may have come across our Chill Baby mustache pacifier and wondered, "It sure is cute. BUT DOES IT WORK?!?" Here at Fred's Factory, we not only put the fun in fungicide, funicular, and fundholder — we put the fun in FUNctional. But don't take our word for it… here's what some of our fans have to say:
“Super Super Super Super Super CUTE! I love everything mustache and this pacifier is no exception. A must have for ALL babies!” -Emily
“The perfect product for when your child need to look like a ‘Sir’. If only I could find a baby monocle and top hat” -BDun
“Got this for my friend's grand baby. She LOVED it since she herself has a mustache as well - just kidding. She would die if she knew I wrote this!” -Buffunny
“…wasn't sure he would choose it over his other pacifiers. Turns out he likes this one just as much, or more, than the others! Plus it looks awesome.” -Ashley
Still not convinced? Here are some super cute snaps from around the web…
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