Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Holiday Bark!

This is Day 6 of our "15 Days of Red, White, and Blue! Today we made a simple holiday bark. We used red, white, and blue M and M's, tiny twist pretzels, holiday marshmallow stars, and sprinkles. We did make this bark just slightly different, however. We made the bark 3 layers with each layer a different color! Very festive!
Red, White and Blue Holiday Bark
2-3 packages Almond Bark
Red, white and blue M and M's
Tiny twist Pretzels
Red, white and blue marshmallow stars
Americolor Holiday Red
Americolor Royal Blue
Set up a double boiler, and melt 6 whole pieces
of Almond Bark.
Layer your pan with parchment paper. I used
a 12 1/2" X 9 1/2" pan.
Once the bark is melted, tint the bark with 
a couple drops of royal blue, more or less, 
depending on your desired finished color.
Spread it our over the pan and refrigerate
for 15 minutes.
Melt 6 more pieces of bark, and tint the melted bark with
the holiday red. I had a problem with the bark
getting a little thick this time, so I added a 
tablespoon of solid vegetable oil and it was nice and smooth.
Pull your pan out of the fridge, and cover the blue layer 
with the red melted bark. Put back in the fridge for 
another 15 minutes.
Melt 6 more pieces of bark, and leave it white.
Cover the red and blue bark with a white layer.
Place your pretzels, marshmallow stars, M and M's,
and sprinkles on the white layer.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
After they are refrigerated, pull the bark from the pan 
by lifting the parchment paper out. 
Start cracking or cutting  the bark pieces.
I think the layers look fun and festive!
Although, I could have done a better job of
making them level! :)
I think bark is always a great little extra for a 
party or get together. It is really the chameleon
of the candy world! It is appropriate at just about
any event, it lends itself to the event because you can 
change it's color to match event colors and the
ingredients you top it with are only 
limited by imagination!

Thanks for joining me today! 

We are partying at the following fun events:
Tutorial Tuesday 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

American Pie!

Around here, no picnic or holiday celebration is complete without a pie! When you think about it, there are a lot of different types of pie to choose from. You can go traditional with mile high apple pie with a crust topping, you could pick a lemon meringue pie with just a bottom crust, or what about a refrigerator type pie, made with jello and cool whip, or even a Boston Cream Pie! :) The list can go on for quite some time!
Well, no matter what type of pie you make, I am sure it will be devoured by the lucky recipients. So, here's an American Pie, baked to please, for the 4th of July!
Blueberry and Cherry American Pie!
4 cups washed and pitted Fresh Cherries
1-1 1/2 cups Sugar
4 tablespoon Corn Starch
1/8 tablespoon Almond Extract

2 cups washed Blueberries
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tablespoon Corn Starch

Pie Crust
1 1/3 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted Butter, cut into bits
Put all of your ingredients together, and then
toss into a food processor. If you don't have a
food processor available, you can use a fork.
Begin by mixing everything together with the fork,
incorporating the butter, and letting it become dough.
If you are using the food processor,
 pulse until mix comes together.
 To test it, put some on your
fingers and pinch. You want it to stick together. If it does not come
together, add small amounts of water and then pulse until it
does come together. Put your dough into a round ball,
and then divide in half.
Wrap each half in plastic wrap and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Wash ....
 and pit your cherries.
Place your cherries in a pot over low heat. Cover the pot.
Keep checking the pot for the cherry juice to release into the pot.
It may take 5-10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and corn starch.
Once the cherries have released their juice, take the pot off
of the heat. Mix the sugar and corn starch mix into the cherries.
Add your almond extract.
Return the pot to the stove and cook on low until it thickens,
stirring often. Once it thickens, remove pot from the
heat and allow it to cool.
Make the blueberry filling the same way as you made the
cherry filling. The amount of ingredients are different, and
you don't add almond extract, but the technique is the same.
Roll out 1 piece of  dough between 2 pieces of
parchment paper.
Transfer that piece to your pie plate.
Trim around the dough with a paring knife.
Make the dough even with the top edge of your pan.
Roll your second ball of dough out
between parchment paper.This is your top piece.
Fill your pie pan with the cherry filling all around the edge.
Place blueberry topping in the center.
Fill both toppings to the top of your pie pan.

Cut a star out of the top pie dough.
Place the dough on top of the fillings
and brush melted butter over the dough.
Lightly sprinkle the dough with sugar.
Crimp the edges of your pie with a fork.
Bake your pie at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Remove your pie from the oven,
and top with whipped cream,
which we made when we made another pie!

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow for Day 6 of
15 Days of Red, White and Blue!

Follow us to the following parties:
Tutorial Tuesday
Patriotic Project Parade Linky Party

Saturday, June 23, 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!

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

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
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