Sunday, June 24, 2012

Candy Shooting Stars!

On day 4 of our 15 Days of Red, White and Blue series we present Shooting Stars! These candies on a stick are perfect as party favors, centerpieces, or just as part of the party treats!
Shooting Stars
Star Candy Mold
White Candy Melts
Royal Blue Icing
Holiday Red Icing
Wilton Edible Silver Stars
Skinny Sticks
Melt your white candy melts.
I used a spoon to fill the stars, but you can also fill a
plastic bottle with the candy melt, and squeeze
the candy in. Spoon the candy into the center of the star.
Use a toothpick to fill in hard to get to places.
Pull the icing into the star with the toothpick.
Once the star is filled, gently shake the mold across the 
surface you are working on. Don't lift it up to shake it.
The candy melt will smooth out inside the mold.
Insert the skinny stick into the space designed for it.
I used the skinny stick because it is flat, not pointy
and it looks great too!
Spoon  just a tiny bit more candy melt over the stick
so it is covered. Shake very gently again.
Once all the mold is filled, you can let it set up in the fridge or
at room temperature.
Remove the stars from the mold.
Be gentle when removing your candy. They will pop
out easily.
The star mold I used is from Wilton.
Along with the mold for 4 stars on sticks, it included
2 smaller stars without a stick.
I used the smaller star to stack on top of this star
on a stick.
Then made some zig zag lines across the top in red.
Sprinkle some of the edible silver stars over the top.
Do this while the icing is wet.
Then let dry.
Decorate the other stars the same way.
Some red, some blue!
Celebrate!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you stop by tomorrow for Day 5 of
15 Days of Red, White and Blue!

I apologize for the poor pictures.
Just wait until I see that photographer!! :)

Here's where we are partying this week:
Tasty Tuesdays
Patriotic Project Parade Linky Party

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Marshmallow Wands

Nothing really says summer like marshmallows! Yes, they are available all year round, and we eat them no matter what the time of year. But summer seems to bring out the marshmallow lover in all of us! These simple Marshmallow Wands are an ode to the biggest holiday of the summer. With their sparkly sugars and their chocolate covered goodness they bring to mind warm summer nights, blinking fireflies, giggling with friends in the backyard under a blanket of stars, and wishing the summer would never end!
Marshmallow Wands
Marshmallows
White Candy Melts
Candy Sticks
Chocolate Candy Melt
Red Sugar
Blue Sugar
Red, White and Blue Icing
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

To make the wand with one blue end and one red end
dip one end of the marshmallow into
the white candy melt. Go a little over the edge like in the pictures.
Immediately dip it into your bowl of blue sugar.
Dip the other end the same way, but use red sugar.
Let dry.
 Melt the white candy melt.
Dip the end of each stick into the candy melt,
and while it is still wet, stick the wet
end into the marshmallow.
This will help the marshmallow stay on the stick.

To make this wand with the stripes going around it,
dip the top into the candy melt and
the blue sugar. Then take an offset spatula, dip
it in to the candy melt, and immediately sprinkle with sugar.
Rotate red and blue all the way around.
To finish,  dip the stick into the white candy melt,
just like above.
To make the chocolate covered marshmallows,
insert the marshmallow onto the stick, and let dry.
Dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate melt.
Let it dry, and the decorate with icing.

Go have fun!

Thanks for joining me on my 3rd day of the
15 Days of Red, White and Blue!

I hope you stop by tomorrow. See you then!

We are partying over at these places:
Tasty Tuesdays
Patriotic Project Parade Linky Party 

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Red, White, and Blue Cookie Journey

This weeks Cookie Journey is part of The Freshman Cooks 15 Days of Red, White and Blue!
  The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays and we always celebrate with cookies!

Lets start with a cutout #4. 
Outline and fill in a space at the top of the 4.
I used Americolor Royal Blue.
Then make a stripe, wider than a #2 piping, across the 4.
Let dry.
Make a thin line with Americolor Holiday Red.
I used a #2 tip.
Continue down the number until you reach the 
bottom of the triangle cutout in the middle of the 4.
Outline and fill in the blue across the widest part of the 4.
Go back to striping on the section below the field of blue.
Go to the top section of blue and make small white dots.
Allow the bottom blue section to dry, and then make the same 
small white dots there.
On another cookie, outline the cookie in the blue,
and fill in with the red.
When totally dry, outline again over the previous outline.
Add what is supposed to be fireworks.
I definitely need to work on these!! 
For this cookie, I outlined and filled in the entire cookie with
the royal blue, and then placed dots all over the cookie in 
holiday red and white!
I made this cookie just like the second one. Kind of.
I outlined the cookie in the holiday red. I filled it in 
with royal blue. I waited for everything to totally dry.
Then I outlined over the original
 outline with more red. I sprinkled the nonpareils
on the outline while it was wet.
I think most of it looks alright, but the right side of 
the bottom is lacking in sprinkles.
I need to be a little quicker!!
So, there are the 4th of July cookies for this week.

As I proceed through the 15 Days of 4th of July, we will be making lots of fun
holiday treats, and I hope you stop by!

Thanks for stopping by!

We are partying here this week:
Patriotic Project Parade Party Linky 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Biscotti

Today is Improv Cooking Challenge Day! This month our ingredients are almonds and cherries. It just so happens that today also starts The Freshman Cook's 15 Days of Red, White, and Blue! So, in the holiday spirit, I baked  Red, White and Blue biscotti. This biscotti is simple and delicious. Oh, yeah, and festive too!!


Red, White and Blue Biscotti

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
1/3 cup Dried Cherries
1/3 cup Dried Blueberries
1/4 cup White M and M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in mixing bowl.
Whisk flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
 Add eggs 1 at a time.
Add the flour mix and blend together.
Stir in almonds, dried blueberries, dried cherries, and M and M's.
Shape the dough into a 13" by a 3" wide log on
 the parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden  brown.
 Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
Use a serrated knife, and slice the loaf of biscotti in to 1/2" slices.
Place the biscotti on its side and bake again for 10-15 minutes. 
Cool Completely.
Melt the white almond bark, dip the edges in, and
sprinkle some sprinkles on the white bark.

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow for day 2 of
15 days of Red, White and Blue

Here's where we are celebrating this week:
Patriotic Project Parade Linky Party 

Here's what my friends at the Improv Cooking Challenge made:




Monday, June 18, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes

Today is reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned a wonderful, fun blog,
A Day in The Life. It is authored by Danielle, who is the mother to 2 adorable little boys, and she lives in beautiful Kentucky, which is right across the river from where I grew up, and it holds a special place in my heart. Danielle's blog has many recipes to choose from, but I chose this particular recipe because I thought it would be a wonderful addition to our Father's Day festivities. And it was! Delicious Scalloped Potatoes!



Scalloped Potatoes
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream 
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
2 pounds Russet Potatoes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 
         Butter or spray a casserole dish.




Peel your potatoes, and then
using a mandolin or slicer, cut your potatoes
into 1/8" slices.












In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat, warm up the cream, thyme, garlic and nutmeg. Keep your eye on the cream because you do not want it to boil over.














Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of your prepared casserole dish, overlapping slightly.
Season with pepper. 












Pour about 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Sprinkle some of the parmesan and cheddar over the potatoes.







Do this for 2 more layers.






Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes.










Enjoy!








Thanks Danielle for a great recipe, that was loved by all and made a delicious
addition to our Father's Day celebration!


I made a few changes to this recipe. To see Danielle's exact recipe
go to www.danielledeskins.blogspot.com



Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Today is Club Baked day! Twice a month the club bakers are given a recipe to make from the book Baked Exploration by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Everyone makes the same recipe and then we share it, with the hostess posting the actual recipe. This time around the recipe was Chocolate Coffee Cake . So why is my recipe called Chocolate Caramel Cake? I am not a coffee lover. At all. The previous Club Baked recipe was Coffee Ice Cream. I didn't join in because, ya know, the coffee thing.  I didn't want to miss another round of baking, so I made some changes in the recipe, and I was good to go. So was the cake. It was  delicious!
Chocolate Caramel Cake w/ Milk Chocolate Ganache

Cake:
3/4 cup dark unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2/3 cup Sour Cream
2 2/3 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut in to 1" cubes)
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Caramel Buttercream
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup Milk
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cup Butter(soft, cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 tablespoon Caramel Flavoring Syrup

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces good quality Milk Chocolate
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut into small pieces)
1 tablespoon light Corn Syrup

Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare your pans.
In a medium bowl, mix your cocoa powder and sour cream
with 1 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and
salt together and set aside.

With your mixer and a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening
on medium until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy,
about 5 more minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Turn mixer to low, and add vanilla.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix again for 5 minutes.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mix and the cocoa mix
to the mixer bowl, alternating each and ending with the dry.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool.

Caramel Buttercream:

In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally,
until mix comes to a boil.

Transfer mixture to bowl of standing mixer. Beat on high until cool, about
7-9 minutes. Reduce to low and add the butter. Mix until incorporated.
Increase speed to medium high and beat until
frosting is fluffy and light, 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla and caramel flavoring, and continue mixing until combined.
If frosting is soft, place in fridge until it firms up. Then remove and beat again.
If your frosting is too thick, set the bowl over a pot of boiling water,
and beat with a wooden spoon until it is of proper consistency.

 Frost your cake.

Chocolate Glaze:
Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler.
 Stir until mix is completely melted and smooth.
Remove from heat, and stir some more to release heat.
Drizzle glaze over cake.
If you want you can place your cake on a wire rack
with a piece of parchment under it. When you drizzle, the unused
glaze will end up on the parchment. If you don't wish to do it
this way, just drizzle the cake when it is on the plate.
 It piles up a little, but it still looks pretty!!
Garnish cake with chocolate rocks. 


 Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes to set the glaze,
but serve at room temperature.

This cake would be perfect for Father's Day!!

This cake is wonderful. It does have a lot of ingredients, but you
get to make homemade buttercream, and if you love
chocolate, it's perfect! You can also make it in stages.
I made the cake one day, put it in the freezer, the buttercream the next,
and then make the ganache the final day!


Thanks for joining me!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's a Smoothie Party!

It's time for another Crazy Cooking Challenge! This month the recipe to make was a fruit smoothie. I don't know about you, but I love fruit smoothies! But really, what's not to love. They have fruit and they take no time to whip up. And, you can always gussy them up with frills to make them a special treat!

I made my fruit smoothie recipe from Erin at Big Fat Baker. I just love Erin's blog! It is full of  fantastic recipes like Candied Cranberries, Hawaiian Trifle,  and some beautiful Lemon Lime Macarons. That's just a few of her recipes. Erin is also the creator of the Holiday Recipe Club! The HRC is a really fun club, in which I also participate when I can!

So, let's treat ourselves, and enjoy a fruit smoothie!
Fruit Smoothie
1 sliced Banana
1 cup sliced Strawberries
1/3 cup Blueberries
1/3 cup chopped Mango
1 cup Skim Milk
1 cup Ice
Put the strawberries, blueberries and mango in the freezer for
1/2 hour before starting blender.
Layer the ingredients in order in your blender.
Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until completely smooth.

Serve immediately!
Enjoy!

I did make a few changes to the recipe. To see the original
recipe, go to Fruit Smoothies.

Thanks for joining me today,
and thanks Erin, for such a great recipe!
Photobucket