I am enamored with all things acorn! I was doing a morning search on Etsy.com the other day and found this amazing artist, her name is Brenda Watts, her shop, Cattails Woodwork. Her woodworking skills are unsurpassed! I found so many acorn creations that I don’t know where to start, so I will post her incredible pictures here for you all to enjoy! ( her other non- acorn goodies are fabulous too! )
read Brenda’s bio at the bottom of the post…
also Etsy blog just so happened to post an Acorn cookie recipe, it is posted here too in case you missed it:)
Acorn Wine Stops by Cattails Woodwork, etsy.com
Woodland Acorn Birdhouse by Cattails Woodwork Etsy.com
Waffle Cone Rollers by Cattails Woodwork
Acorn Towel Rack Rustic Home Decorby Cattails Woodwork Etsy.com
Acorn Doorstop by Cattails Woodwork Etsy.com
Acorn Pastry Baton Rolling Pin by Cattails Woodwork Etsy.com
Wood Canning Jar Lids by Cattails Woodwork Etsy.comCattails Woodwork Shop Brenda Watts Bio ~~ Handcrafted Wood..made for todays home, sure to be tomorrows heirlooms.
For years I made the daily commute to a ‘real’ job. When my daughter was in her last year of high school I realized I was living for weekends and if I was going to change things up it had better be soon.
Because of my love for antiques and beautiful wood I spent the next three years in a Fine Woodworking Program at Holland College, spending most days and many evenings there, LOVING every minute. I learned so much and knew I had only scratched the surface.. ..I still learn something new everyday and have a very long ‘to do’ list, makes each day ‘at work’ special.
I love all the possibilities of wood and have many special pieces squirreled away waiting for inspiration. My lathe is one of my favorite things, I turn most every day, I also have a great respect and love for hand tools and use them often….It is quiet reflective work that makes a snowy day go by quickly.
I source my wood from sustainable managed woodlots, using local and reclaimed whenever possible. Many local woodlot owners and neighbors will contact me when something special is found on their land, maybe hit by lightening, blown down in a storm or taken down as part of their management practices. Each spring my husband and I plant seedlings of old Acadian Forest species such as red oak, yellow birch and rock maple on our acreage to replace the wood I have used and provide for future generations of woodworkers. My wood studio is an 150 year old carriage house with a sunlight addition we built from lumber we cut and milled from trees in our own forest.
Each item is made one at a time here, made to last for generations, to be pleasing to the eye and the hand. From furniture commissions to smaller goods I try to make pieces that will be used and enjoyed every day. My husband and I love to cook in our big farmhouse kitchen, hence my many wooden kitchen wares. Being surrounded by the forest, I tend to make many woodland pieces inspired by what I see when I walk or look out my large shop windows.
My daughter Meghan, who works with warm glass on her days free from her ‘real job’ shares some of my studio space, she makes all the eyes for the whales, owls, dog and bird carvings. She is also known to spend a Saturday with the sander or the drill press when I am really busy. My husband helps with the packing, is excellent at making odd sized shipping boxes and is invaluable during the Christmas season manning the tape gun…also does a wonderful shop ‘clean-up’.
My packaging reflects my commitment to sustainability, I only use natural, eco friendly and/or recycled materials.
Having a sense of humor, some of my pieces are created just to make me laugh….I feel blessed to live the creative life, spend the days with my dogs by my side and to give an occasional chin scratch to my three beautiful British Shorthair cats who hang out in their catio close to my studio on nice days.
Wood is timeless, finely crafted wooden things make both a wonderful gift to give and to receive. I have a small studio gallery here where I welcome many visitors over the summer months. They can meet the maker, see the process, the rough lumber and tools thus gaining an appreciation for the time, skill and attention to detail that goes into each handmade piece.
How To Tuesday Etsy Blog, Acorn Cookies.
Heather Baird of SprinkleBakes Blog! Amazing!!!
The woods behind my house seem to come alive this time of year. As the leaves turn golden, squirrels are doing acrobatics in the trees, mushrooms are sprouting on patches of moss, and acorns are crunching underfoot. The latter is what inspired these cookies. I just love the woodsy look that acorns give holiday decor, and these cookies will bring that charm to your Thanksgiving table. But they’re not all looks – they’re delicious, too.
Vanilla seeds give the meringues an intoxicating scent, and a dip in chocolate and cocoa nibs make them a crunchable treat. The acorns can be endlessly varied, with your choice of ground nuts or seeds. Pumpkin seeds are season-appropriate and make a delightful green-hued acorn “cap.” Pistachios are also a good choice.
Superfine sugar dissolves more easily than regular granulated sugar and helps meringue maintain a light texture, so I suggest using it in this recipe. Look for bags labeled as Caster Sugar in the grocery store, or grind granulated sugar finer in a food processor.
Serve these piled on a serving platter, or place one or two at each diner’s place setting. They make a light dessert and are terrific with strong coffee.
You will need:
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon green gel food color
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1/4 teaspoon ground whole vanilla
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup ground cocoa nibs
1/4 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To get started, prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F.
Place room temperature egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. It is important that the bowl and whisk both be very clean so that the egg whites whip properly. Beat egg whites on medium speed. Once the egg whites are very frothy, stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue to beat the egg whites.
Once they form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar one tablespoon at a time.
Beat the whites until they are very shiny and hold stiff peaks, but are not dry or crumbly. Add the gel food color and vanilla beans to the bowl and beat again until a consistent green color is achieved.
Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.Pipe the acorns in various shapes and sizes. Place the piping tip close to the baking sheet’s surface and squeeze as you slowly and evenly draw it up. Release pressure on the bag (causing a break) to form a point .
Bake the meringues for 90 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time to ensure an even bake. The meringues should be hard and dry to the touch, and you should be able to easily lift one from the parchment. Allow them cool completely before assembling. If time allows, you can also turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for several hours or overnight. Dip the flat ends of the meringues into the melted chocolate and then dip them onto the ground cocoa nibs or ground pumpkin seeds.
Place the acorns back onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.
Combine the unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla in a small bowl. Load a pastry brush with the mixture and hold it above the acorns. Using your fingers, flick the bristles so that the chocolate mixture flecks and speckles the meringues.Allow the meringue acorns to dry for five minutes before placing them on a serving tray. Store the cookies in a container that seals air-tight.
Note: Avoid making meringues during humid weather. Humidity causes meringues to collapse and become sticky.
All photographs by Heather Baird.
Heather Baird is an accomplished painter and photographer, but her passion is creating eye-popping, mouthwatering desserts. She writes about her adventures in the world of creative dessert-making on her award-winning blog, SprinkleBakes. She is the author of the new baking book, SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire your Inner Artist. Heather lives in Knoxville, Tennesee, with her husband Mark and two mischievous pugs, Biscuit and Churro
How-Tuesday: Adorable Acorn Cookies