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

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Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

New Halloween Cookie Mold Design

 

Halloween Owl Stoneware Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

Halloween Owl Stoneware Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

 

I have a new cookie mold design for you. ¬†This one’s for Halloween – or anytime for owl aficionados ūüôā

It’s cute because it has a heart-shaped tummy, and adorable owl cookies tell your favorite Trick or Treaters how much you love them ūüôā

For info on using the mold for cookies, and to see more Halloween designs, visit¬†http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp ¬†There’s a tutorial and a video on how to use my stoneware cookie molds. ¬†And a recipe that’s perfect for Halloween treats.

You can order your wise and lovable owl mold from my Etsy page:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/205955390/halloween-owl-cookie-mold-for-halloween?

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Bakes with Dragons – Handmade Pie Plate/Casserole/Serving Dish

Hi!

I’m currently mired in the middle of making sculpture for some upcoming shows and commissions, but I wanted to pop in a pic of a piece I made several months ago.

This is a handbuilt, food-safe stoneware pie plate/casserole/serving dish with a pair of dragons on each handle.  Oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.  Perfect for a Game of  Thrones season finale party, a Smaug-y pot luck or just to make any occasion special.

You can find it on my Etsy shop. ¬†It’s available in several colors, or ask me about a¬†custom order!

Dragon Pie Plate/Casserole/Serveware by Zanda Panda

Dragon Pie Plate/Casserole/Serveware by Zanda Panda

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Check out my Etsy shop for more handmade bakeware, serveware and cookie molds!

 

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!

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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 ūüėČ

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√Č 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 Portugu√™s . Embora eu n√£o pudesse l√™-lo , eu era capaz de descobrir o que era o meu cora√ß√£o Caleidosc√≥pio e Moldes Borboleta . Desde que eu n√£o falo Portugu√™s, fui direto para o Google Translate . Depois de v√°rias agrad√°veis ‚Äč‚Äče-mails e para tr√°s, 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 

¬†Voc√™ pode ver mais de suas belas cria√ß√Ķes¬†em seu site¬†e sua p√°gina¬†no Facebook¬†e contat√°-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!

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Goodbye Year of the Dragon (Part 2) Chantilly Dragons! These Dragons may look tough, but they’re Creampuffs.


CHANTILLY DRAGONS!

Goodbye Year of the Dragon – Hello GOT (Part 2)

These Dragons may look tough, but they’re Cream Puffs.

Chantilly Dragon

Chantilly Dragon

I usually post about ways to use ZANDA PANDA molds, but I just had to share this (sorry it’s a bit late for the Chinese New Year – I blame Blizzard Nemo ūüėČ ).

I was smitten by an image of Chantilly Swans on Baking 101‘s Facebook page.¬† It was posted by Wendy Gail from her Cinnamon Sweet Shoppe blog.

— And of course I immediately thought of dragons.

Her recipe, originally from Princess Cruise Lines, works very well, although next time I might add a bit of sugar to the choux pastry to sweeten the dragons up a bit.¬† She has excellent instructions, so rather than repeat her recipe here, you can get it directly from Wendy’s blog and pop back if you want to make dragons.

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How to Pipe your Dragon 

If you don’t already have them, I recommend picking up some tips (small round and medium star) and pastry bags , but you could use a zip lock bag with a corner snipped if you had to.¬† I piped and baked them on parchment/baking paper.

Piping Dragons

Piping Dragons

I used a small round tip to make the ‘S’ shape as in Wendy’s instructions, but continued and added a looping tail.¬† I switched to a smaller round tip and added nostrils, a brow ridge and eyes, ears and then scales down the spine and tail.¬† I’m not the best at piping designs, but the batter is very forgiving and you can blend/smooth the shapes easily.

Dragon Bodies

Dragon Bodies

Just remember, when piping, you’re not ‘drawing’ it onto the paper, you’re holding the tip just above the paper, guiding the line and letting it drop onto the paper in a flowing motion.¬† Just practice a little and you’ll get it.

To make the wings, I made the outline first, added ‘ribs’, then filled in between them in a zig-zag fashion.¬† I then went over the ribs again and added claws at the tips. Don’t forget to extend the front of the wing a little, to press into the whipped cream.

Dragon Wings - Don't forget to extend the front to anchor it into the whipped cream.

Dragon Wings

For the bodies, instead of a mound (for making swans), I started by coiling the batter for a base.  Then I built up the sides to make a basket shape, with each layer just a bit wider than the one beneath it.

Bake the heads and tails for about 5 minutes at 400¬įF.¬†¬† Reduce heat to 350¬įF¬† and bake the bodies for an additional 5 minutes.

While the dragons are cooling, make the whipped cream.  Using a star tip, pipe the whipped cream into the bodies.  You can coil it or pipe it into little puffs (my favorite).  You can also add fillings under or on top of the whipped cream, like berries, Nutella, chocolate, etc.

Dragon Construction -Body

Dragon Construction -Body

Gently place the head and tail pieces into the whipped cream (if you’ve misjudged the length of the body, just break them into two separate pieces).¬† You can add more whipped cream after placing them if needed.

Dragon construction - Head, Tail & Wings

Dragon construction – Head, Tail & Wings

You should serve these soon after assembling them, especially if you made them large, as the whipped cream softens the pieces.  They could begin to get droopy and sag a bit, making them look a little less majestic :).  Or you could make them with their wings spread and not worry about it.

You could also make them like this.  Quite majestic - and less concern for drooping.

Or make them like this (But add more whipped cream to the top after assembling).

If you smush the whipped cream like this when assembling it, just add more rosettes on top of it.

Smushed Cream - If your whipped cream smooshs a bit when constructing your dragon, just add more rosettes to it.  The poufy-ier the better! :)

Smushed Cream

And for all of you GOT fans – as mentioned in the last post on Heather’s Khaleesi’s Dragon Cookies, these would be great for a Game of¬† Thrones season premiere party next month!

If you make these, please feel free to share your pics on the ZANDA PANDA Facebook page!

Sandy

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Hearts & Talons – New Valentine Design – ‘Hurts So Good’ Stoneware Cookie Mold

Hearts & Talons – New Valentine Design

Hurts So Good‘ Stoneware Cookie Mold

'Hurts So Good'- Hearts & Talons Valentine's Day Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

‘Hurts So Good’- Hearts & Talons Valentine’s Day Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

You know the song, this mold needs no explanation ūüôā¬†¬† It’s a brand new design which will be shipping in late January.¬† It joins my other five Valentine’s Day heart shaped cookie mold designs below.¬†

The cookie above had a light orange flavor, I spread a thick layer of dark Ghiradelli chocolate on the back.¬† It was a delicious combination that reminded me a little of Pepperidge Farms’ Milano Cookies.¬† I’ll post the recipe soon.

You can find more info on the new design in my Etsy shop.

 

For more info on the five Valentine Heart Molds below, please visit the ZANDA PANDA website.

 

MORE VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE DESIGNS

Ruffled Heart Traditional Heart Hearts Afire Ying/Yang Hearts Love at First SightHeartSep
For the hopeless romantic in you.
2.5″ high
No frills, true-blue traditional heart.
2.25″ high
Who sets your heart afire?
Tell them so.
2.5″ high
Is your sweetie Yin to your Yang?
Then you already know opposites attract!
3.5″ wide
When love hits you like a lightning bolt!
3.75″ wide

‚ô•
Which Valentine are you?

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BTW, if you’re on my mailing list, watch for an e-mail by early February!


Or if you’d like to join my Mailing List, please visit:
https://zandapanda.com/mailinglist.asp
(it’s free, I will never share your info and you can unsubscribe at any time).

Cookies for Santa? Don’t Forget the Reindeer!

Reindeer Cookies!

Holiday Reindeer Cookies made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Reindeer Cookie Mold

Holiday Reindeer Cookies with ZANDA PANDA’s Handmade Stoneware Reindeer Cookie Mold

Reindeer like cookies, too!¬† And they’ll love my new design.¬† Be sure to put out a plate for them next to Santa’s – they work hard on Christmas Eve.¬† And don’t forget the milk!

Each food-safe stoneware ceramic cookie mold is made by hand in my studio in Connecticut and high fired twice.  Check them out in my Etsy shop!


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Here’s a recipe for Xmas Spice Cookies, developed especially for molded cookies- which means that they won’t flatten out during baking and will keep the design details.

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XMAS SPICE COOKIES

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup honey (or substitute maple or agave syrup)
2 tsp vanilla

4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp clove
(Make it YOUR recipe – you can add other spices, like ginger or nutmeg, depending on your taste – or omit any that you dislike)

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Cream butter and sugar, add egg, then milk, honey and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour with salt, and dry spices.

Add wet ingredients to the bowl of  dry ingredients.  Mix gently.

Add the last cup of  flour until dough is soft and sticky, add more or less flour as needed.

Chill dough for at least an hour.

After molding, bake at 350¬į for 9 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of cookies.

I recommend drizzling the back of the cookies with melted white chocolate.  You can also sprinkle on red and green sugar before the chocolate cools.

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Using Your Cookie Mold:

You’ll need

Chilled cookie dough
A thoroughly dry Reindeer Cookie Mold
Extra flour in a small bowl
DRY pastry brush
Cookie sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper
An oven ūüėČ

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Roll a ball of chilled dough, then flatten slightly into a disc that is slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the mold. 

Pat flour lightly onto the dough disc , using the side of the pastry brush.¬† You’re looking for a ‘frosted’ look, not ‘floury’.¬† You might want to dust the back a bit, too, so the dough won’t stick to you fingers.¬†

Press the disc into the center of the mold.  Using your fingers, press dough into the mold from the center outwards to the edges, in a circular pattern. 

Turn mold over and, holding it securely with both hands, give it a shake and the dough with drop into your bottom hand.  If your cookie is very thin, you may need to peel it from the mold a bit before it drops out.

Place cookies on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 350¬į for 9 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of cookies.

See a video using this method at:
http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp#hmvid
The molds used are Halloween designs, but the technique is the same.
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Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday!

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