A Trio of Christmas Gifts (+ Soft Vegan Gingerbread Cookies)

BRAIN-BLAST!


I love setting a theme for Christmas presents. 

Yep, I'm that annoying gift giver who tells you the order of which you must open your presents. But no worries, we all have our reasons.

So when I sat down to write a card for the Luis the night I gave him his first present (a french press) I thought of a special way to present him with his three coffee-related gifts: thus the 'trio of gifts' was born!
(for fun: say this in the tone of the narrator of the Powerpuff Girls Theme Song)

The Trio:
3. DIY Coffee Mug (directions below)

Gift #1: French Press


How a college student wraps gifts in her home without a car or a store close by enough to purchase wrapping paper:
-Tissue paper from the present I got 3 months ago for my birthday
-Yarn



Not pictured (and in Rhode Island right now, while I'm enjoying Christmas vacation in California): This French Press bought from Starbucks.



Wrapping at home is a tad bit easier with time and available supplies
-plaid wrapping paper
-baker's twine
-bows found in my garage bin of neglected christmas decor

Gift #2: Milk Frother




Gift #3: DIY Mug




How to decorate your own mug:
(Followed instructions by diyopolis)

Supplies Needed:
  • inexpensive ceramic mug
  • black sharpie
  • rubbing alcohol 
  • q-tip
  • oven
Directions:
  1. Clean the mug to ensure that it's grease-free, dry throughly. 
  2. Draw your design, keeping the rubbing alcohol and q-tip close by to correct any mistakes. 
  3. Wait 24 hours for the ink to dry.
  4. Place the mug in an oven that is NOT PRE-HEATED. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees. Once the oven reaches 425, begin a timer for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes is up, turn the oven off and allow the mug to cool down inside the oven. 
  5. Experience that wonderful feeling of satisfaction for designing your own dish-washer safe mug!

..But Not the Last: Vegan Gingerbread Cookies 




Soft Vegan Gingerbread Cookies:
Recipe adapted from: Gena Hamshaw of Food52
Yield: 25-30 Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted  (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce  (can replace applesauce with additional oil)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar  (or preferred sweetener)
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk  (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, melted oil, applesauce, sugar, milk, and vanilla. 
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of sifted dry. Mix with the paddle of an electric mixer, a spatula, or get in there with your hands. (The bonus of this is the opportunity to lick the remnants).
  4. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight).
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. 
  6. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with sifted all-purpose flour and roll the dough 1/4" thick. Cut with desired shapes and place on prepared cookie sheets. 
  7. Bake for approx. 8 minutes. 
  8. Let cool only enough to prevent you from burning your mouth (I know this part is difficult for the impatient, like myself).

 I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is enjoying the season of giving!!

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Maira Gall