Tag Archives: dainties

Fancy Dipped Cherries, DIY

fancy white chocolate dipped cherries

fancy white chocolate dipped cherries

Here’s an elegant idea for any type of party or celebration. Its super-easy to do but it packs a powerful visual and sensory punch. Picture these dipped cherries on your dining table, buffet table, dessert table, or on h’or deurves trays at your next celebration.  They just look so dang fancy (and they look super-expensive, but when you do this yourself, it just ain’t so!).

You can do this for any occasion, any time of year, but I think they’d be particularly pretty on for your holiday season parties, or Christmas dinner table.  They would also be perfect for a bridal shower or wedding reception. Or an anniversary party…

Here’s How:

The cherries are dipped in white chocolate. Use white chocolate melts, which are specifically intended for melting and give the best results – available where candy making and cake decorating supplies are sold.  Just melt down the chocolate in a double boiler, hold the cherry by the stem, and give it a dip. Sit the bottoms of the cherries carefully on a sheet of waxed paper to harden. Then press those little silver cake decorating pearls (that you can buy at any grocery store) into the chocolate on the cherry once it starts to harden just a bit.

I’ve seen cherries totally dipped in chocolate before (white or dark chocolate), but I think leaving the top half of the cherry exposed is so much more striking, visually speaking. Especially when you are using white chocolate, the color contrast is just so gorgeous!

As always, have fun!

Pink and Gold Cupcakes on a DIY Glittered Cake Stand

Pink and gold cupcakes with glitter

Pink and gold cupcakes

When the occasion calls for glitter, glitz and glam, take this idea and run with it.

Vanilla cupcakes topped with pretty pastel pink cream cheese frosting look spectacular in gold foil cupcake liners. Pink and gold just go so darn incredibly well together! Tiny flags covered in deep pink/ purple glitter are inserted into the cupcakes with toothpicks.

But what really makes this spectacular is the gold vintage-style cake stand that these little beauties are displayed upon. It’s a thrift store find that got an inexpensive do-over (cost under $5 in total!).

Make a Glittered Cake Stand

You can easily do this too.

Here’s How:

Just thoroughly spray a cake stand with spray adhesive (make sure the stand has been washed and thoroughly dried just beforehand.

Then immediately sprinkle generously with gold (or silver if you prefer) glitter, ensuring that every bit of the cake stand is completely covered with glitter.

You an also use craft glue instead of spray-adhesive, and apply it with an artists brush, again making sure to cover every bit of the surface of the cake stand.

Last step is to give the stand a bit of a protective covering so that you don’t have sparkles and glitter coming off all over the place. After you’ve applied the glitter, wait about 24 hours, then using an artist’s brush, cover with Modge Podge (available at craft stores) and allow to dry before putting that beautiful, glittering DIY cake stand into service.

This is a fab idea for New Years Eve, a special birthday, sweet sixteen, prom, a wedding, bridal shower, bridal luncheon, bachelorette party, Oscar Night party, or an anniversary. Why not add a little glam to a baby shower?

Or just whenever you want to inject a little glitz into your party or celebration 🙂

Macaroon Cookies with Edible Gold Glitter

Cookies (macaroons) with edible gold glitter

Cookies (macaroons) with edible gold glitter

Macaroons are super-fancy little French cookies, and they are becoming ever so trendy right now. You may have noticed chic little Macaroon bars popping up around your city; if you haven’t yet, you probably will soon – they are becoming the latest hot trend.

The idea of adding edible gold or glitter to baked goodies is just so elegant. Making macaroons is a rather difficult and involved process (but we’ve got an easy Macaroon recipe for you), but you can add the edible gold glitter to any type of cookie and still get an amazing effect without going through the ordeal of macaroon making.

The glitter offers an easy way to transform a very plain, highly ordinary cookie into something very impressive and spectacular.

If you want to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with making your own Macaroons, don’t despair at the tales of doom and gloom of domesticates every where who have tried and failed. The recipe below may be a little fiddly (all macaroon recipes are!), but its actually easy and the Macaroons come out great. We’ve also included 5 scrumptious macaroon filling recipes (the yummiest part is the filling!).  How do these sound:  Blueberry Cheesecake Macaroon Filling, Almond-Raspberry Macaroon Filling, Mint White Chocolate Macaroon Filling, Lavendar-Honey Macaroon Filling, Pineapple Macaroon Filling.

Macaroons (Macarons) Recipe
Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
Assorted fillings (see below)

Special Equipment:
Oven with convection setting
4 baking sheets
3 silicone baking mats
Fine-mesh sieve
Pastry bag with 1/4-inch round tip

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.

Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.

Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.

Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).

Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Macaroon Filling Recipes

Almond-Raspberry Macaroon Filling:

Tint the batter with 2 drops bright pink gel food coloring, and flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you’ll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate Macaroon Filling:

Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake Macaroon Filling:

Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavendar-Honey Macaroon Filling:

Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple Macaroon Filling:

Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

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