Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa nesting doll cookies

So finally the Santa nesting doll cookie, and this is where the Christmas nesting doll set all started.

A little over a year ago just after I had posted my original babushka cookies Jody R sent me an email with an attached picture of a nesting doll Santa suggesting I make it.

Which I did, although really it doesn't look like the original picture and it did take over a year, but I have to say it was awesome inspiration Jody so thanks very much.

It inspired me to make a whole set of Christmas themed nesting doll cookies.

I have already posted tutorials for the snowman, nutcraker and the penguin which were also part of my swap cookie set, you can find the the tutorials as well as some other helpful links below:

Snowman Cookie tutorial Click Here

Penguin Cookie tutorial Click Here

Nutcracker Cookie tutorial Click Here

In Australian I got my nesting doll cookie cutters from Bisk-art HERE

In the US I have noticed that Fancy Flours have an ok priced nesting doll set and Ecrandal have a super pretty copper 5 set.

The cookie recipe I used is from my newly released book Sweets on a Stick available here at Amazon, the book also has a recipe for Marshmallow Fondant.

Or the book depository (Click HERE)

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

You can find similar recipes for vanilla sugar cookies, chocolate sugar cookies and marshmallow fondant on my blog by using the search function :)

Nesting doll news update - while I was doing up the tutorial for Santa I whipped up some little elf nesting doll cookies using the smallest of the nesting doll cookie cutters.

Santa nesting doll cookies
These instructions use the medium nesting cookie cutter, follow the exact same instructions for small or large nesting doll cutter.

Sugar cookies made using medium nesting doll cookie cutter (CLICK HERE for you tube cookie recipe)
Red, White, Skin tone, black and yellow rolled fondant shop bought or home made marshmallow fondant (I used shop bought fondant colored with black americolor gel)*
small oval cutter with ruffled edges(around 5cm or 2ish inch) - I picked this up on Ebay in a set of 4
Medium/Large piping tip (I used #195)
small rolling pin
medium nesting doll cookie cutter (around 9.5cm or 3 3/4 inch)
small sharp knife
clean brush and water
black edible writing pen
pink dusting powder plus dry clean brush
*Fondant dries out very quickly. Use small amounts work quickly and when not in use place the fondant in an airtight container or ziplock bag to minimise the chances of it drying out and cracking.

Roll out the red fondant onto a clean benchtop dusted with cornflour/ cornstarch until a couple of mm (1/8") in thickness. I like to lift my fondant frequently and turn it like pie dough to ensure it does now stick to the bench while rolling it out.

Use the nesting doll cookie cutter to cut out a shape. Do the same with the black colored fondant.

Place the red and black fondant next to each other to use as a guide and using the sharp knife cut out boots and a belt from the black fondant, at the bottom of the red fondant cut a matching piece off that will be replaced with the black 'boots'. Use a small amount of water to adhere the red body and black boots to the cookie, using the rolling pin to press into place as necessary. Attach the belt to Santa's middle using a tiny amount of water and press in place.

Roll out a small amount of skin tone fondant and using the large round end of a piping tip - I used a Wilton #195 which is a bit bigger than the regular piping tips. Cut a little bit off the top of the round as per picture, this is where the hat will sit. Using a tiny amount of water attach the skin tone face to the cookie (use completed cookie picture as guide). You will need to roll out a bit more of the red fondant and use the nesting doll cookie cutter to cut out the head area, then use the sharp knife to cut out a beanie/hat and attach it to the fondant covered cookie. Take a little bit extra of the red fondant and  press into a small round to make a mouth. Attach it to the bottom of the skin tone face.

Roll out some white fondant and cut out a shape using the oval ruffle cutter. Then use the piping tip to remove the 'face' to make a beard- see the picture. You can then remove a small amount of the top and fit the white 'beard' around the skin tone face which you have already attached to the cookie.

Roll out a little more of the white fondant and once again using the ruffled oval cutter make the ruffle on the edge of the hat and the mustache. You will need to cut out the oval and then use the knife to trim a long thin ruffle to make the hat trim, attach it with a small amount of water. Use the same technique to make the mustache and then attach it using a tiny amount of water on top of the red mouth on the skin tone face. Pinch a little bit of the excess skintone fondant shape into a tiny nose and attach to the face right above the mustache.

Roll out more of the red fondant and again cut out the nesting doll shape. Using the sharp knife cut out the arms from the nesting doll shape as per the picture.

The rest is pretty much rolling out the small shapes by hand and attaching them to the cookies. Once again super fiddly like the nutcracker so don't say I didn't warn you.

Take a small piece of black fondant and shape a couple of small mitten like hands and attach them to the cookie at the ends of the arms.

Take a tiny amount of yellow fondant and shape little rectangles to make the belt buckle. If you like you can roll out tiny little ropes and make a more realistic looking buckle like I did for the original cookies but if your doing lots of them it would be easier to do the rectangles.

Take a small amount of white fondant and shape into a small ball for the top of the beanie/hat and attach with a little water and then do the same for a couple of eyebrows and trim on the arms where they meet the black mittens.

Allow the fondant on the Santa to dry a couple of hours and then using the edible pen draw on 2 eyes. If you like use a clean brush to brush on a couple of circles of pink dusting powder to the cheeks.

The End 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Cake pop - Yup double sided cake pops

 Double sided Christmas cake pops.

Yes this solves that age old dilema of what to serve your cake pops in, no running around trying to find the right size Styrofoam block, these pops hold themselves up.

All jokes aside these pops do stand up by themselves as long as you manage to set them to dry on a parchment paper lined tray before the candy coating has dried so they set flat. Also you need to make sure that the bottom pop is a bit bigger than the top pop to weigh it down, and finally as you can not hold onto the stick you need to make sure the coating is the type that sets hard like regular Wilton melts and other types of candy coating that I usually suggest for cake pops. I just know sometime people like the taste of regular chocolate better but in this instance y'all will end up with sticky fingers.

These little trees are decorated with candy writers (melted candy coating in a tube), green sanding sugar, pink sugar pearls and pink sugar sprinkles (for the star topper).

I cut regular 6" sticks in half so that makes the sticks 3" (of course, I know you can work it out I just couldn't help myself).

So anyway time is running out to get a copy of Sweets on a Stick in time for Christmas, you all know I like to be helpful so here are a couple of links to a couple of the online shops:

It's available here at Amazon.

Or the book depository (Click HERE)

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

and I noticed that the publishing house has it for a really great price (HERE) as well.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Festive Macaron Rocky Road - or things to do with failed macarons

Yeah well this is one of those things that I thought of after a minor baking mishap.

I have been trying to work out a new recipe for chocolate macarons that is a bit more stable, I can't get the chocolate I used to use and so now sometimes the tops of the macarons go a little bit wrinkly.

And that makes me a little bit sad.

But only just a little bit sad because I am going to share something with you all about macarons. They don't have to be perfect (well unless your selling them to people then they should be). If you bake up a batch and you, your friends or family think they taste good I say that's a success whether they have perfect 'feet' or shiny even flat tops or not.

Anyway totally disregarding that little gem of wisdom I have just shared I was looking at my wrinkly macarons thinking hmmm, you know I wonder what I could do with all these not completely perfect macarons.

So this is what I came up with.

Rocky Road is so easy that the kids can help you make it, and don't despair if you don't happen to have any macarons sitting around I do have a macaron free version in my newly released cookbook Sweets on a Stick which is available here at Amazon.

Or the book depository (Click HERE)

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Festive Macaron Rocky Road - makes around 30 large pieces

350g (12.2 oz) melted white chocolate - I melt mine in the microwave on 50% heat for burst of 90 sec
150g (5.3oz)white marshmallow cut into pieces with kitchen scissors

1/2 cup pistachio nuts unsalted, shelled
2/3 cup dried cranberries
150g (5.3 oz) green macarons (unfilled or filled)

Line a 20cm square tin (8") with tin foil.

 In a large bowl mix the melted white chocolate, marshmallows, pistachio nuts and dried cranberries until evenly coated. Add the macarons and carefully mix in.

Spread into the prepared tins and leave until set. Once set turn out of the tray, remove the tin foil and use a sharp clean knife to cut into pieces.

Update - in my rush to share this great idea with you I missed saying that I did this up with MacTweets in mind, I have missed contributing to the month macaron MacTweets challenge quite a bit lately but with challenge Mac Attack #25 Seasons & Holidays Macarons was one not to be missed.

You should pop over to the site and check all the other lovely Mactweeters contributions to Challenge #25 in the new year.