As you know I have a running love affair with doilies. A little love affair is rather nice once in a while, especially if it is with something as inane as these sweet little things. Today I am pressing them into biscuit dough and wrapping them around baubles to make vintage Christmas ornaments.
Doilies are something I often associate with my Grandparents' neighbours. During the Great Depression my grandparents got some new neighbours. The man of the house was the chief of the Ambulance Service in Victoria and he gave my long suffering grandfather a job driving an ambulance, who up until that stage had only been able to work for the dole cutting railway sleepers, one week in every four. You only got paid one week in four as well. The other three weeks were spent scratching around giving piano lessons, as he was also a well known musician of the day in Victoria.
The families became firm friends. When they were 21, the daughters sailed to Europe and travelled together for over 18 months in the 1950's. The Raven's daughter became my mum's bridesmaid.
Mrs Raven, as she was always known to us, used to make the most beautiful lace doilies and that little one up there, which I have wrapped around the ornament was made by her, probably 50 years ago. It is of the finest quality and so very beautifully made. It is very special and when mum gave it to me she said "Be careful with that one, Mrs Raven made it."
So this year it is part of an ornament on my coastal Christmas ladder. And here's to the Raven family, who helped mine out in times of trouble. Kind of what Christmas is about really.
Mrs Raven didn't make this one, but it sure does make a pretty pattern in cookie dough. You need to press it very well into the dough, all the time making sure it doesn't flatten the dough too much, as your cookies will be too thin and break up once cooked.
Easy Cookie Dough Recipe
225g/ 8oz softened butter
140g/ 5oz caster sugar
280g/10 oz plain flour sifted, plus extra for your bench top
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat your oven to 180C/375F
Cream butter and sugar
Mix in the egg
Add flour and vanilla
Mix well to combine.
Turn out onto a well floured bench top and kneed into a ball.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
Roll out on a well floured bench top to a similar shape as your doily. Make it about 1cm /1/2 inch thick. Also put flour on your rolling pin.
Place the doily over your dough and press in using the rolling pin
Remove the doily and cut out your shapes.
Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.
Your cookies should come out with a pretty pattern like this.
As for the little doily ornament, at first I tried to wrap the ornament with a large doily, but there was lots of over lap and it did not look as neat as this saucer sized ornament wrapped around the bottom half the bauble. The main thing here, is to make sure you centre the bauble so it looks even at the top. I like the contrasting textures of the glitter and lace. Tie it up with twine and you have a sweet little number for your tree, with a whole lot of meaning.
Hope your week is going well. I'm off to make a batch of strawberry santas for the playgroup Christmas party. That Christmas crazy feeling sure is alive and well at the Beach House this year.
The winner of the Coast and Country Homewares tablecloth is DONNA ROBERTS, congratulations, please contact me by Monday 17.12.12
If you would like to look at my Christmas page for some other easy budget ideas go here.
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