Winter Wonderful Wardrobe & Baking

Wool checks should become a staple part of your winter wardrobe if they haven’t already as they provide the right amount of cosiness and really help you look the part for the season. The fabulous Rosie from Everything Looks Rosie shows us how to style this wool check pinafore dress and also gives us a rather tasty Scandi inspired festive treat.

“When all the snowy hill

And the bare woods are still;

When snipes are silent in the frozen bogs,

And all the garden garth is whelmed in mire,

Lo, by the hearth, the laughter of the logs –

More fair than roses, lo, the flowers of fire!”

– From Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I adore this time of year. Robert Louis Stevenson said it well when he spoke of the way the natural world winds down to hibernate; a time for long walks by the loch and cosy evenings curled up by the fire.

What’s more, it means the winter season is here, which means it’s time to crack out the tartan and checks. I love tartan and am fiercely proud of my roots so need no excuse to dress like a walking Scottish stereotype – as soon I saw this Moon wool check pinafore in Laura Ashley’s July previews, I knew it had to find a place in my wardrobe!

The woolly dress is the perfect combination of nature-inspired shades – it could almost be based on the heather-hued hills of the Highlands with its combination of plums, greens, browns and highlights of pink and cream. The pinafore has retro appeal with its cute, button fastening cross-back straps and side pocket details, while the midi length and A-line shape take it from girly to grown-up.

Crafted from Abraham Moon’s iconic British wool, it’s perfectly cosy for the colder months – whether paired with a cream blouse for a prim and proper look, or a ‘sixties-inspired long sleeved roll neck. I love the way the dress seems to change with each different shade worn underneath, but the matching heather top is my favourite. I couldn’t resist styling it with my vintage plum-coloured coat with faux fur collar for a stroll by St. Margaret’s Loch here in Edinburgh.

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The only thing better than a walk in the great outdoors on a cold, crisp day is warming up when you get back inside! I rustled up some Scandi-inspired seasonal treats – Pebernødder, or ‘pepper nuts’ – to keep the winter chill at bay. I’ve included the recipe below so you can recreate them at home (best enjoyed with copious tea served in a Laura Ashley mug). To make them, you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup double cream

Spice mix:

  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Method:

Combine the spices for the spice mix in a small bowl.

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In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the spice mix and sift in the flour, raising agent and salt, then add the double cream. Mix until you have an even dough, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to  400 F and line two baking trays with parchment. Roll the dough into small balls and arrange on the prepared trays (the dough will spread slightly when baked).

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Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden and leave to cool on a wire rack – the biscuits will crisp as they cool. It’s not traditional to cover them with icing sugar, but I thought a dusting of snow wouldn’t hurt, seeing as it’s the festive season after all.

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Recipe adapted from Scandikitchen’s Fika and Hygge.

Wow those Pebernødder look really tasty, we’ll have to give this Scandi recipe a try. How do you get cosy in the winter months? Let us know below or on Twitter @lauraashleyusa.

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