Maker Monday Video - Isomalt Jewels - How to Make Shiny Edible Isomalt Gems Using a Piping Bag

Here is a helpful video - simply how to make isomalt jewels. Begin with heating isomalt dry, without any water. If you've been tempted to try it and haven't done it yet, this video does a great job taking you through the basics. It is done by the Artisan Cake Company, one of my favorite YouTube cake decorating channels.

Enjoy!



 

Girl Scout Cookie Mini Oven - For Those That Want Thin Mints, Trefoils and More Year Round

Photo courtesy Wicked Cool Toys, wickedcooltoys.com.
Looking for the perfect toy for a Girl Scout this fall, or perhaps the little baker of the house? Wicked Cool Toys is coming out with a Girl Scouts Cookie Oven this Fall, 2015.

Wicked Cool Toys - Girl Scout Cookie Toy Oven

From the press release:
The Girl Scouts Cookie Oven lets aspiring bakers experience the hands-­‐on fun of making their own Girl Scout Cookies. A real working oven, it comes complete with tools and mixes that allow girls to make cookies that look and taste just like the real thing. There’s also a viewing window that lets bakers see the treats they’re making and a warming station to heat and melt delicious cookie coatings and frostings. The Girl Scouts Cookie Oven comes with a mix to create Thin Mints®, a spatula, baking pan and measuring tool. SRP is $59.99.
Refill packs will be available - Thin Mints, PB Sandwich, Trefoils, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Sugar and Oatmeal - each for $6.99. The Deluxe refill packs will include these packs:
  • Thin Mints and PB Sandwich - $14.99.
  • Trefoils - Three cookie pack (Trefoils, Chocolate Shortbread, Lemon Cookies) - $14.99.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Caramel - $14.99.
  • Chocolate Chip / Sugar / Oatmeal - $14.99.
For those that want to role play, too, a Girl Scouts On-the-Go Wagon ($129.99) and a Girl Scout Cookie Stand ($79.99) will also be available.

For full detail, visit the Wicked Cool Toys Girl Scout Cookie Oven press release or contact Wicked Cool Toys directly.

  

Trademark Law: The Open Letter from Piece, Love and Chocolate



Those in the Boulder, CO and surrounding area already know about Piece, Love and Chocolate. For those that don't, it's a 'sweet shop dedicated to all things chocolate' - a little place that will 'amuse your bouche and enchant your soul.' A quick look at the Google reviews (and the overwhelming majority are glowing reviews) will show that the shop showcases truffles, baked goods, and gluten-free cakes. And the chocolate boutique features classes (like the upcoming Chocolate Pots de Creme, Pudding & Creme Brulee by Chefs Genny and Sarah).

It is also facing a battle with Vosges Haut-Chocolate. Piece, Love and Chocolate issued an open letter to them and the company's founder, Katrina Markoff, regarding the cease and desist letter it had received from their attorneys. It seems Vosges Haut-Chocolate believe Piece, Love and Chocolate have infringed on the 'Peace, Love, and Chocolate' trademark.

I first saw the news on my twitter feed, and I found it interesting, especially after @dallasfoodorg pointed to his followers the many instances of others using the same phrase in business (tshirts), published books, and Piece, Love and Chocolate's own LLC filing - all before (and in some cases many years) before the 'Peace, Love, and Chocolate' trademark was registered.

There are many questions here, especially when the situation is between a prior user vs. a federal registration. And why a cease and desist letter was issued now when the business has been so active and in the public eye in the state of Colorado for so long. And considering the phrase in question is spelled differently (piece vs peace even) - unlike Peace Love and Chocolate which has the same exact phrasing and spelling.

Many will be following this to see how it ends. Especially those who love chocolate and support small, thriving businesses that benefit their communities.


 

What is Pastillage?



Pastillage is a very hard sugar dough used for decorations and show piece work. It can be molded, rolled out, and pressed into forms. It dries very hard and can be sanded if needed to smooth out any rough spots. While just about all recipes will contain powdered sugar and gelatin, most will also have an acid in the form of vinegar or cream of tartar.

Two recipes are listed on PastrySampler.com, link below.

http://www.pastrysampler.com/Questions_and_Answers/pastillage.htm


Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day with Peanut Butter Cookies

Here are some recipes to make using peanut butter.


Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

  •  1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add in egg; mix until smooth. 
  3. Add in baking soda and salt, then flour, mixing until a stiff dough forms.
  4. Shape into balls. Press with a fork on baking sheets, creating a criss cross pattern.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

 Peanut Butter Spritz Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups soft butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Cream the butter and peanut butter together with the sugar and light brown sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add in half the flour and the salt, and mix until combined. Add in the milk and mix until smooth. Then, add in the rest of the flour.
  4. Scoop the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (in the 820 series is great) and pipe out desired sized cookies in an s-shape. Pip them about an inch apart.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until light brown, depending on the size of the cookie.
  6. Rest for 5 minutes on the sheet pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  1. Mix the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil softly for a minute (do not overcook; using a timer is best).
  2. Add in the vanilla, peanut butter, and oats. Mix until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper. 
  3. Cool completely before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, separated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl. Reserve.
  3. Cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla together. Add in egg. Stir in the dry ingredients, then 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips.
  4. Press into a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan. Press in remaining chocolate chips on the top of the cookie dough. 
  5. Bake until set, about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is done.
  6. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.

 

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