Sweets for the Sweet – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sweets for the Sweet!

Favorite Baking Molds for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Baking Molds form ZANDA PANDA!

Valentine’s Day Baking Molds from ZANDA PANDA!


You can find these molds on the ZANDA PANDA website:

Silicone Heart Cake/Cookie/Chocolate/Craft Mold

Handmade Stoneware Valentine Heart Cookie Molds

HeartSepPinkLRSH copy

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s a Small World After All – On Brazilian Bakers and Star Trek Universal Translators

It’s a Small World After All

On Brazilian Bakers and
Star Trek Universal Translators

I recently received an e-mail from Brazil which was written in Portuguese.  Although I couldn’t read it, I was able to figure out that it was about my Kaleidoscope Heart and Butterfly Molds.  Since I don’t speak Portuguese, I went straight to Google Translate.   After several pleasant e-mails back and forth, I’d met Brazilian Baker Marilucy Ruppel and happily sent her molds off to her.

Here are some of the lovely cakes she’s made with her ZANDA PANDA Molds

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You can see more of her beautiful creations on her website  and her Facebook page and contact her at: marilucyruppel@hotmail.com

I’m still a little amazed at how easy it was to connect with her, to talk about the molds and send them out to her.  But it will be even easier next time, since amazing new devices and apps like World Lens and the Sigmo Voice Translator are well on their way to making Star Trek‘s Universal Translator a reality.  I LOVE today’s technology!


And for those of you reading who do speak Portuguese, here is Google’s translated version. I’m sure it’s not a perfect translation, but for me, it made bridging the language barrier… a  piece of cake 😉



É um pequeno mundo depois de tudo

Em Bakers Brasileiros e Star Trek Universal Tradutores 

Eu recebi recentemente um e-mail do Brasil , que foi escrito em Português . Embora eu não pudesse lê-lo , eu era capaz de descobrir o que era o meu coração Caleidoscópio e Moldes Borboleta . Desde que eu não falo Português, fui direto para o Google Translate . Depois de várias agradáveis ​​e-mails e para trás, que eu conheci no Brasil Baker Marilucy Ruppel e felizmente enviou seus moldes fora dela.

Aqui estão alguns dos bolos linda que ela fez com os moldes  ZANDA PANDA 

 Você pode ver mais de suas belas criações em seu site e sua página no Facebook e contatá-la em : marilucyruppel@hotmail.com

Eu ainda estou um pouco surpreso com o quão fácil era para se conectar com ela, para falar sobre os moldes e enviá-los para ela. Mas será ainda mais fácil da próxima vez, desde novos dispositivos e aplicativos incríveis , como Lens Mundial eo Sigmo Voice Translator estão bem no seu caminho para tornar tradutor de Star Trek Universal uma realidade. O amor de hoje a tecnologia!



Valentine’s Giveaway! Kaleidoscope Heart Cake Mold or Valentine Stoneware Cookie Molds!


GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED –Thank You for Entering!

SensiblySara, our First Prize Winner
Leslie B. our Second Prize Winner

Winner was chosen by random.org

I want to thank everyone for entering and especially for all your wonderful comments!
Check back again in a bit for a springtime Puppy Mold Giveaway!  🙂

Valentine's Giveaway!
First Prize

One ZANDA PANDA Kaleidoscope Heart Cake/Cookie/Chocolate/Craft Mold

Giveaway - First Prize!

Giveaway - First Prize!

Second Prize:

Set of Three Handmade Stoneware Valentine Hearts Cookie/Craft Molds

Giveaway! -Second Prize - Set of Three Handmade Stoneware Valentine Cookie/Craft Molds
Giveaway  – Second Prize!


How to enter:

Your choice. Either:

•  Like ZANDA PANDA on Facebook, OR
•  Join my ‘Favorite People List

Then come back and tell me that you did in a comment at the bottom of this blog post – (or if you already do Like ZANDA PANDA on Facebook, or are already a mailing list subscriber, just leave a comment to tell me). 
You must leave a comment to enter!


For additional entries you can

   •  Like ZANDA PANDA on Facebook
   •  Join my ‘Favorite People List
   •  Blog about the contest – and leave a link to your post in your comment – (Promote your blog!)
   •  Follow me on Twitter
   •  Tweet this (one tweet/entry per day):
   •  #Valentine #Giveaway #Contest! Win 1 @zandapanda Heart Mold or 3 Heart Cookie Molds for #baking & #crafts!  http://bit.ly/V-DayGA2012
You must leave individual comments for each entry!


This giveaway is open to USA residents only (with shipping address within the continental US) and will run until Wednesday, February 8th, 2012  at 11:59 pm EST.

Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and will be contacted using the email address provided on the comment contact info.

Disclosure:  These are my designs so I am totally biased, however I received no monetary compensation from myself  🙂 




For more info on the molds please visit the ZANDA PANDA website.
Kaleidoscope Heart Cake/Cookie/Chocolate/Craft Mold:

Valentine Hearts Handmade stoneware  Cookie Molds:


Chocolate Cake Topper Video Using Stoneware Cookie Molds



(Please scroll down to leave your Comment/Entry – Thanks!)


Valentine’s Day Heart Cookies – New Designs – Plus Creamsicle Cookie Recipe!


Handmade Stoneware Valentine Heart Cookie Molds

Ruffled Hearts - One of the new Valentine Heart Cookie designs from ZANDA PANDA

Ruffled Hearts - One of the new Valentine Heart Cookie designs

Recipe: Creamsicle Cookies | Etsy Shop: More Cookie Molds | Which Valentine?

My Stoneware Valentine Heart Cookie Molds are made for baking and crafts. Each cookie mold is individually handmade in my studio in Connecticut. To create these designs, clay is hand-formed around my original sculptures. The clay is then kiln fired twice to produce the food-safe stoneware mold. Dishwasher safe or hand wash.

See the Creamsicle Cookie recipe below and all the Valentine Heart designs on the ZANDA PANDA website – and find out ‘Which Valentine are YOU?

You can find these handmade stoneware cookie molds in my Etsy Shop!

Valentine Heart Cookies- Which Valentine are YOU?

Valentine Heart Cookies- Which Valentine are YOU?



This recipe was developed specifically for molded cookies, so they won’t flatten out and lose their design when baking. I developed it using the recipe framework in Anne Watson’s cookie book.


Creamsicle Cookies (perfect for molded cookies)

1 cup butter
1 egg
½ cup honey 
1 Tbsp orange juice
2-3 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp orange extract
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
About 4 cups of flour

Cream butter and sugar.  Add beaten egg, honey, orange juice, vanilla and orange flavoring.   In separate bowl, mix cinnamon , salt and 3 cups flour.  Combine wet ingredients into dry, then add more flour until dough is workable, it will be soft and slightly sticky.  Chill for ½ hour.


Creamsicle Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ Tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
¼ cup water or orange juice

Beat sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add water and beat on medium to high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form,  5-7 minutes.  Add more liquid or powdered sugar to get the best consistency.   To test for proper consistency, drip some icing off the mixing spoon into the bowl, it should sit on the surface for a moment before disappearing.

On back of cookie, using an icing bag fitted with a small round tip, trace outline with icing.  Allow to set, then flow icing into outline.   Optionally, just drizzle the icing onto the back of the cookie in diagonal zig-zags.  

Allow icing to dry thoroughly.  If stacking cookies in container, put wax paper between layers.


  •  For a more tropical flavor, substitute canned mango pulp for the orange juice in both the cookie and icing recipe. 

  •  For extra flavor, you can also substitute orange marmalade for half of the honey in the cookie recipe.  Marmalade may leave bits of orange in your cookies, so if you’re using a mold with fine detail, you may not want flecks in it.


Click links to find illustrated directions, a PDF and a VIDEO on how to use my handmade stoneware cookie molds (demonstrated on the Halloween Cookie Molds, but the technique is the same) – and it’s really easy!

Hope you enjoy the recipe and molds and have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

♥ ♥ ♥

For more Valentine’s Day designs, please see my
Kaleidoscope Heart Cake/Cookie/Chocolate/Crafts Mold!

 ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Heart Mold

Happy Valentines Day!!!


♥ ♥ ♥

Guest Blogger Anne L. Watson’s Demo: How to Make Layered Cookies in a Cookie Mold!

How to Make Layered Cookies in a Cookie Mold with Guest Blogger Anne L. Watson
Our guest blogger today literally “wrote the book” on molded cookies!  Anne L. Watson is here to tell us how to make layered cookies in the Kaleidoscope Heart Mold.  Molded cookies don’t have to taste boring. Learn how to add nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc., to your molded cookies without losing the design!  Also check out Anne’s Monthly Cookie Magazine!  Thank you Anne, for a great article!

Anne Watson's ZANDA PANDA Kaleidoscope Heart Cookies

Making Layered Cookies

in Zanda Panda’s Kaleidoscope Heart Cookie Mold
Anne L. Watson

Molded cookies are beautiful, and they’re great celebration cookies. But most of them have one drawback–they have to be plain cookies, or the pattern of the mold is ruined.

This means you can’t–in traditional molded cookie recipes–use the kind of goodies and tidbits that so many people like in cookies: chocolate chips, nut pieces, oatmeal, raisins, dates.

But–I thought one day, as I was writing my cookie book–why not make the molded cookie in two layers, a plain layer to take the mold pattern and another layer with goodies?

I worked out one way to do this, and used it in the book. Make a dough, divide it, knead goodies into half, then stack the layers, and mold the dough. It worked–though it had its tricky moments. It’s not that hard to assemble two big sheets of dough, but it’s not that easy, either. Also, you only get one shot at making the molded cookies, because when you reassemble the scraps, of course the layer structure is lost.

Later, I got the idea to put the two dough layers directly into a mold that could be baked. I don’t like pottery bake-in molds–I’ve never gotten good results with them, and neither have my testers. But I do like the silicone Kaleidoscope Heart mold that Zanda Panda makes. I’m not sure why it doesn’t have the same problems pottery molds have–in the pottery molds, the dough tends to heave and bubble, and the design generally comes out unrecognizable. This has never happened to me with a silicone mold.

So I decided to modify my layered cookie technique. I made enough dough for two batches, one chocolate chip and one oatmeal-raisin. Here’s the result…  MORE

Full illustrated demo with recipes HERE

Anne’s Cookie Book!

Baking with Cookie Molds
Secrets and Recipes for Making Amazing Handcrafted Cookies


Make Any Day Valentine’s Day with Embossed Hearts on a Cherry Pie

Spicy Upside-Down Cherry Pie with Embossed Hearts

Why wait for Valentine’s Day?

Upside-Down Cherry Pie with Embossed Hearts for Valentine’s Day or Any Day

Any day’s a good day to tell someone they’re special, right?  So here’s an idea for just that.  I enjoyed making the Upside Down Apple Puppy Pie so much, that I had to make this one.  I used canned cherries, which were pretty bland, so I spiced them up a little with some balsamic vinegar and cinnamon.  If you’re the adventurous type, you could add a touch of finely ground cayenne to heat things up.  I used this tart dough recipe:

Tart Dough

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup chilled butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Thoroughly mix salt, sugar and flour. Cut chilled butter into flour mixture. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time. Roll into a ball and chill for 2 hours.

You’ll also need:

Kaleidoscope Heart Mold
Can of cherry pie filling
1-3 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

I used the Kaleidoscope Heart Mold and baked the pie in it.  If you wanted the embossed look but wanted to use a special pan, you could always use it as a topper for your top crust only. Directions for that can be found on the Strawberry Butterfly Topper Pie post.


Divide your dough roughly in half.  Roll out a circle of dough large enough to fit in the mold (Gauge this by putting mold upside-down over dough, there should be extra dough all around).

Press dough into mold, being sure to press completely into the design.  Press up along sides.

(Optionally) Add balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon at a time, to taste and a dash of cinnamon and to one can of cherry pie filling.

Fill mold with cherry pie filling.

Roll top crust large enough to fit mold, place on top of filling and crimp edges of top and bottom crust together.

Crimp edges of top and bottom crust together

Crimp edges of top and bottom crust together

When crusts are sealed, cut small vents in top center of pie.

Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie in Mold, Unbaked

Bake pie at 350 degrees F /180 degrees C / Gas mark 4  for about an hour.  Pie is done when filling begins to bubble out and crust has browned.

Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie, Baked and ready to  flip.Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie, Baked and ready to flip.

When pie has cooled, place serving plate over mold, invert plate and mold together and gently remove mold from pie.

Demolding-Flipping the Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie

Demolding: Flipping the Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie


For more ideas, visit “12 Ways to use your Kaleidoscope Heart Mold” on the ZANDA PANDA website.

Upside-Down Pie

Did I Mention Toffee?


Toffee made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Toffee made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

I’m going to make toffee again soon, but next time I will make all of the scrollwork and flowers in chocolate as well.  The back is also coated with a thick layer of dark chocolate (of course!).  The technique I used for making the chocolate butterflies was the same as in the directions for a chocolate cake topper, (also Video Here) but the second layer was toffee instead of a contrasting color of chocolate.  I’ll make this again soon and include photos, a recipe and instructions.

It was incredibly delicious; crunchy at first, then meltingly buttery and chocolatey.  Very satisfying – but you you won’t be able to stop eating it!

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

I almost forgot!

Here’s our contribution to the celebration:

ZANDA PANDA Kaleidoscope Butterfly and Heart Sandwich Cookies

Kaleidoscope Butterfly and Heart Sandwich Cookies

There’s a demo and video on making them on the Zanda Panda website.

Happy Baking!!!

Strawberry Butterfly Pie

Strawberry Pie with Embossed Kaleidoscope Butterfly Crust

Strawberry Pie with Embossed Kaleidoscope Butterfly Crust

Summer isn’t summer without berry pies.  Lots of berry pies!  Here’s a twist on a traditional favorite.  Visit the Strawberry Butterfly Pie page on the Zanda Panda website for a demo and recipe!

Butterflies in your Stomach…The Yummy Kind!


It’s spring, and one of the ways I’ve been celebrating it is by making delicious tidbits with the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.

The Butterfly Brunch page shows how to make butterfly appetizers with port wine cheese spread and crackers.   Today I made cheddar cheese butterflies on butterfly-shaped crackers and made sweet bean paste butterflies with lima beans! The bean paste really tasted great and the butterflies were a pretty, soft spring green.

Butterflies made of cheddar cheese and sweet bean paste using Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold

Cheddar Cheese Butterflies

Making the cheddar butterflies is really simple.  First, press shredded cheddar cheese into the butterfly shapes of the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.  This part is great for kids to do because they get to squish it in.

Press shredded cheese into the butterfly shapes of the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold

Press shredded cheese into the butterfly shapes

Microwave for three to five seconds on half power.  Adult supervision with hot cheese, please!  Dab them with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil that will rise to the top.

When the cheese has cooled, flex the mold away from the butterflies and gently peel them off.  If you’re in a hurry, pop them into the freezer for a few minutes to cool them before removing from the mold.

How to Remove Butterfly from Mold

Flex mold away from butterfly to pop one side out, then gently remove from mold.


Easy, cheesy butterflies!

They look especially cute on Pepperidge Farm’s Butterfly shaped crackers.  If you’re really feeling creative, you could make a flower from roasted red peppers for the butterfly to rest on.

This is a very cute and easy appetizer for spring and summer get-togethers.  It’s also fun to make with kids (just be sure to help them with the microwaving).

Cheddar Cheese Butterfly Appetizer

Cheddar Cheese Butterfly Appetizer

Sweet Bean Paste Butterflies

I really like sweet red (adzuki) bean paste.  I didn’t have any on hand and I wanted to see if it would work in the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.  I did have lima beans, so I cooked about a cup of them until soft, drained them and added a little less than a cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

You are supposed to remove the skins, but I just put everything in a food processor.  I tried it in the mold a bit chunky and then some that had been pressed through a sieve.  I froze them for a few minutes before removing from the mold, as the paste is very soft.  You wouldn’t want to handle them after they defrosted (put it on a cookie, custard tart or ice cream while still frozen).  I think both the chunky and smooth version came out great.  It tasted wonderful, took the details from the mold very well and the color was very pretty.  I’m surprised that I’ve never seen lima beans made this way before!

Sweet (lima!) Bean Paste Butterfly

Sweet (Lima!) Bean Paste Butterfly


I also experimented with guava paste, but it remained gooey even after freezing.  I added confectioner’s sugar to some to see if it would stiffen up, but it changed the lovely flavor too much.  If you have an idea for guava or tamarind flavored jelly or paste that would be moldable, please let me know!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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