Friday, June 22, 2012

Sugar Peony

I have had this tutorial and these metal cutters on my mind for a while now.

I got the cutters at Global Sugar Art a few months ago.  I just checked their site and they don't seem to have the same exact set.  But they have quite a few to choose from.  

There are quite a few things you need for this to work.

     -I bought the pre-made gumpaste at Michaels with my 20% off coupon, thank you very much.
food color if needed
foam pads
ball tool
flower petal cutters
small rolling pin
water or gum glue
small styrofoam ball
metal wire

I basically followed the tutorial mentioned above but just improvised here and there.  First thing you have to do to your gumpaste is roll it out as thin as you can possible get it.  The cornstarch helps here so the paste doesn't stick to everything.

I used the smallest cutter and cut about 8 petals out.  Use the ball tool around the edges to make them all "crinkly".

Now start layering them around the styrofoam ball making sure they overlap each other.  This is where your water or gum glue comes in handy.  It helps the petals stick to the styrofoam and each other.

Then cut out 5-6 petals of the next flower size.  Continue to layer.  Go up to the next size and cut another 5-6 petals.  Remember to make them all ruffly there with the tool.

You will soon start to see your flower emerge.

If you have to take a break, make sure to hang your flower upside down.  The gumpaste is still too soft at this point to keep it upright and soon your petals will start to wilt.

Use the largest cutter and make 8-10 petals for the final stage.  Once the petals are attached, let the flower dry upside down for a few hours.

Carefully turn over and place the flower in a safe spot.  At this point, you can tweak the flowers petals to make the bloom fuller.  I placed a small piece of tinfoil in between the petals.

Let the flower dry overnight and the next if needed. The flower can be very thick and heavy so drying will take a while.

Now I just need to find a cake to attach this pretty thing to.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coffee Cookies

I am slowly stocking my pantry back with baking supplies.  I had to get rid of so much on our move up here.  One of the neat little things I picked up today with this mini container of instant coffee granules.

It's neat because we didn't have them in Florida and we are not a coffee drinking family.  So it was kind of waste of money to buy a huge container when it was just going to sit in the cabinet.

I found this recipe in a book I have had for years but I tweaked it a bit from the original.

Here is what you need

2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons of boiling water
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa

Mix the coffee granules and hot water in a cup and set aside until needed.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a large bowl and set that aside as well.

Now cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in the coffee and mix well.

Once the coffee is mixed in, dump the flour mixture in and stir slowly.  You can pick up some speed after a minute.   You just don't want flour flying everywhere.  The mix should look like chocolate ice cream when done.

Now the original recipe says to put the cookie dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe out swirls.  Now I may have the temper of the Incredible Hulk, but I do not have his strength.  I think even the big green guy would have difficulty piping out this thick dough.  I was fine not having swirly piped cookies and decided to scoop them out instead.  I just used a small portion scoop to divide out the dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  And try to ignore the banging in the room.

Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before you transfer to a cooling rack.  Once the cookies are cool, if you like, melt some chocolate and decorate the tops.  Throw in the fridge for a few minutes for the chocolate to harden.

I have a feeling these will be really good with some vanilla ice cream tonight.   Have a great weekend!

Coffee Cookies - Print Recipe

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coconut Oat Clusters

My husband has talked about a version of this recipe for years now.  It was one of the few desserts he remembered growing up.  Luckily, he found this recipe for me in a HomeGoods store the other week. Yes, my husband goes into HomeGoods with me.  It's reason # 89 of why I love him.

What you will need

1 cup of rolled oats ( I used quick oats)
1 cup of flaked sweetened coconut
4 ounces of semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

First, combine the oats and coconut in a large bowl

Second, in a separate small bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together.  Add in the corn syrup and combine

Pour the chocolate into the coconut oat mixture and stir.  Sprinkle in the cocoa powder and stir again.

Once everything is combined, start rolling into small one inch balls.  The recipe I had said that if the mix was sticky to add more cocoa powder.  I didn't seem to have that problem though.

Place the coconut oat clusters on a cookie sheet lined with parchment papers and toss them in the fridge for a few hours.  Once they harden, place in a airtight container.  The recipe doesn't make much so don't be surprised when they disappear all of a sudden.  I'm pointing to you Mr. Baking Pixie.

Coconut Oat Clusters - Print Recipe