Since birth I have a little issue, a teeny tiny bug that always reined me towards the paths less travelled. I always found different things better. The price tag(read obstacles, hardships) was not the matter, never was. It was always the worth of that different thing for me that made me steer into that direction, regardless of the opposing forces.

Okay enough bragging Amber… 

This Ramadan had been a very very busy one, thanks to my 18 month old little labbittt who has this unending, never tiring, not to mention unnerving energy to keep the chores coming in for me. I still managed to do doe crafts and test my skills.

Every year for Eid I try to offer my cake-shop customers something new, something unique, something different. It works for me both ways. One that my customers are happy to find goodies that are otherwise rare or entirely unavailable at other places. Second, I make extra batches and keep them for family and friends so they enjoy a different treat every time. And above all, I get to hear “My mom is the bestest baker with the bestest idea” and trust me nothing beats that!

So while I was on my mission to explore, create or remake something different, I sought help from Google Mamoo(Mom’s brother) As always Mamoo Jan did not disappoint me and brought me a horde of different images and recipes. But I was still looking for something different, yet easy because my baby-yes that says it all.

I had time constraint, plus the energy constraint as the hot summer fasts were about 17-18 hours long and for a person like me who misses about 70% of the sehris, it was a difficult task when mixed with other chores.

And then I struck gold. While I was going through the same colourfully designed cookies that are hours of back breaking labor and delicate crafting, I came across this amazing love-at-first-sight treasure box kind of cookies. The ones that are sure to spark excitement as they slide those little basked lids and smiles when they actually reach those candies tucked inside! Its a win!

You know Eid for Muslims is like Christmas for Christians. Damn I sound such mommy-like.Well, living in a foreign land, it sometimes gets really difficult for parents like myself to keep our children focused. They see all these glamorous and sparkling festivals like Easter and Halloween and Christmas-thanks to the Corporate cycle though. And we tell them, we celebrate Eid. Okay what is Eid Mamma? Oh that boring day back home where you spend the entire Chaand raat either getting Mehndi(Henna) done or just having fun on the streets, and then you offer Salah in the morning and then hit the sack for the entire day. Then wake up in the evening and go see some relatives or eat out etc?

Nay!!

We got to make sure that our Eid here is as sparkly and shiny as our neighbours Christmas or Halloween is. To tell them little minds that ours is a beautiful religion and it gives us all the more chance to celebrate all the beautiful festivals just like any other religion.

So we here, thousands of kilometres away from our roots, try to make every possible effort to make their faith strong and their identity positive, while still maintaining their innocence and happiness. Since I always tell them that Eid is like our Christmas, hence the presence of all the shiny wrapped presents and if not then something that is close. Which is why the thought of these baked beauties just made my day!IMG_6555

I replaced Skittles from the original recipe with jelly beans. I also had the chance of a life time to research Twizzlers. And boy am I happy. The Pull n’ Peel Cherry flavoured Twizzlers are to only OU Kosher, but are also approved as vegan edible candy.

I got small braided baskets from Dollarama and lined those with gold coloured paper. I placed the cookies inside and left it uncovered so when the baskets were handed over, the kids were actually jumping to explore whats wrapped inside the treasure boxes. Unfortunately I could not get proper pictures of the finished baskets but just this random one from my iPhone that I took to send to hubby and even that I forgot to send to him.

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Recipe adopted with thanks from Erica’s Sweet Tooth 

Present-Surprise Sugar Cookies
Serves 8
Beautiful present shaped sugar cookies with hidden candy inside. Perfect for birthday parties, baby showers, festivals and as party favours
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Ingredients
  1. 1 batch sugar cookie dough (Any recipe of your choice)
  2. Food coloring
  3. Flour, for dusting
  4. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  5. 1 large bag of Jelly beans (or candy of your choice)
  6. 1 package of Twizzler Pull&Peels
Instructions
  1. Prepare sugar cookie dough according to recipe's instructions.
  2. Divide finished dough into 5 equal parts and dye each a different color (I chose to go with the jelly beans colors) - but you could do anything!
  3. Wrap each colored dough in a separate sheet of plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
  4. Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Roll out dough onto a well-floured surface one color at a time and cut squares out of the dough using a square cookie cutter. (See notes)
  6. Place cookies 1" apart on the cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are just slightly browned. (See notes)
  7. Divide your baked cookies into groups that you wish to put together for stacks. I chose to keep my presents 6 cookies high - so for example I put piles of 1 red, 1 pink,1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 green, and 1 purple.
  8. Use a cookie cutter of a shape of your choice to cut holes in all the cookies except for the bottom and top of the stack (for example, I left the red and the pink cookies(See notes)
  9. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Use a toothpick to dab a bit of white chocolate on the bottom of the cookies with holes to help the stacks stay together. Leave the top cookie unattached so it can be easily lifted to reveal the surprise inside.
  10. Fill each "present" with jelly beans and tie them off with Twizzlers. (See notes).
Notes
  1. I tried the sugar cookie recipe that the author had recommended.
  2. Almost any sugar cookie recipe that you might choose would be sticky and soft to work with. You’d have to find a way around to work with it. Flour the rolling surface well. Some also recommend using confectioner’s sugar instead of flour. The choice is yours!
  3. I used a small blossom shaped cookie cutter to cut out the centers. You can choose any depending on your choice. Cut each cookie individually, as soon as they’re out of oven. If you let them cool, they’d get hard to cut and would break easily.
  4. The actual recipe called for the uneven cookies to be trimmed away using a sharp knife. Because of time limitation, I did not trim the edges and left it like that. I think they turned out just fine. Again its your choice!
  5. Twizzlers tend to dry out fast. Do not leave the pack open. Pull the strings out and work your way fast before it gets dry as this would cause them to break.
Amber Hasan http://www.amberhasan.com/

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