We all know about Holiday gifts, they’re expensive. However, we at the Matador Messenger have a few cheap solutions to a festive home and happy family using these five crafting ideas for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
“How to make Christmas Pinwheel Cookies”
You will need:
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
¾ teaspoon almond extract
Red food colouring
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat until incorporated, then add extract. Add dry ingredients and beat until your mix is just combined. Ne
xt, divide your dough in half, keeping one half in a mixing bowl. Add red food colouring and mix until the desired colour is reached. Shape each dough piece into a square that is about ½” thick. Wrap the squares in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes until your dough is firm.
Place the coloured dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a rectangle that’s roughly 1/4″ thick. Repeat with the white dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper off of each dough piece. Place red dough on top of your white dough, sides facing each other. Gently press on top of dough to help seal together. Remove top parchment paper and slightly trim sides so they match up evenly. Starting on a long side, use the bottom parchment paper to help roll dough tightly into a log shape.
Roll the log on the counter a few times to help seal the edge. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour to overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the sprinkles onto a medium-sized plate. Using a sharp knife, slice cookies to 1/2” thick and roll the edges in sprinkles. Then place on baking sheets 2” apart. Last, Bake until the edges are set and just turning golden, about 10 minutes.
How to make a Kwanzaa Unity Cup:
You will need:
Glass or wooden goblet (can be clear or coloured)
Multicoloured small beads
Hot glue gun
Step 1: Pour beads in a small, easily accessible container. Knot one end of the nylon thread and begin stringing beads onto the thread. Tip: Combine two or three colours for the length of one wrap around your goblet, then switch to a contrasting group of colours.
Step 2: When the beaded string is long enough to wrap around the goblet several times, carefully trim the thread two inches below the last bead. Knot the end of the thread to secure beads.
Step 3: Using a hot glue gun, carefully trace concentric lines of glue onto the goblet in two-inch segments, pressing beaded string into the glue as you go.
Step 4: When the entire length of the beaded string is wrapped and secured to the cup, trim any excess thread after the knot. Use as a decorative accent during the Kwanzaa season, and as an integral part of the holiday table.
Mini Cornucopia Ornament
Use a 12- to 14-inch bowl to make circles on brown paper or brown grocery bags. Cut out each circle, then cut in half. Fold each semicircle into thirds so that the “corners” come in to form a triple-thick flattened cone. Cut through the three layers along the top to create a scalloped edge. Fold over the scallops in the “front” of the cone (this will be the side that faces you if the cone is lying flat on a surface, and the overlapping “corners” are underneath). Squeeze in the sides to create a three-dimensional cone shape; staple together in “back” to secure. Thread with twine to hang. Fill with holly and berries.
To make Christmas candles you’ll need:
skewers or popsicle sticks
fragrance and colour (optional),
a pot and a hot plate or electric stove at home
You will need to place your wick into your vessel (container, old candle holder) As for doing this, heat the candle wax by putting a pot over the electric stove and then place your wax into the pot and allow it to melt. (if wanted, put your colour and fragrance in the melted wax) Then put the wax into the vessel and use skewers or popsicle sticks to keep the wick in place.
Hanukkah Latkes recipe
You will need:
2 pounds russet potatoes
1 small yellow onion
3 tablespoons matzo meal
1 large egg that lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt vegetable oil,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as chives or parsley, for garnish sour cream for serving)
To make these Hanukkah Potato Latkes you will need to first peel the potatoes and shred them in a food processor, then put them into a large bowl, then repeat the same step with onions.
Transfer the onion to the bowl with the potatoes and stir in the matzo meal, egg, baking powder, and salt.
Fill a large skillet with ½ inch oil. Heat over medium-high until hot but not smoking. (To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of potato into the oil; if the potato sizzles steadily, the oil is ready. )
Working in batches, scoop the potato mixture by ¼ cupfuls and add them carefully to your skillet. Flatten each Latke slightly with a spatula.
Fry, turning the latkes once until golden brown and cooked through. After, drain on paper towels and remove any bits of the potato mixture with a slotted spoon.
Now either serve the Latkes immediately or keep them warm in a 200 degree F oven and then you can garnish with fresh herbs.