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!

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

DragonPiePlate5

 

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!

Kirk&Cake-2
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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 😉

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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!

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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 😉 ).

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°F.   Reduce heat to 350°F  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 🙂   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


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).

Cookie Class at Create A Cook with ZANDA PANDA Molds

ZANDA PANDA Cookie Clas at Create a Cook

ZANDA PANDA Cookie Class at Create a Cook

I had a great time teaching a cookie making class at Create a Cook in Newton, MA.

It was on Earth Day, so I thought everyone would enjoy making butterfly cookies.  They loved using the butterfly molds, but I think the stoneware cookie molds were definitely their favorites.

Along with the butterflies, they made cats, bats, robots, unicorns, dragons, witches, knights, shields and castles..
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ZANDA PANDA Cookie Class at Create a Cook

ZANDA PANDA Cookie Class at Create a Cook

A creative and delicious way to spend  a rainy Earth Day!

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Photography by NIKO

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

IT’S VALENTINE GIVEAWAY TIME!

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED –Thank You for Entering!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:
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!

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How to enter:

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REQUIRED ENTRY
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!

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ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
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!

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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  🙂 

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GOOD LUCK!

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For more info on the molds please visit the ZANDA PANDA website.
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Kaleidoscope Heart Cake/Cookie/Chocolate/Craft Mold:
http://zandapanda.com/ZP-KH-VRinfo.asp

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Valentine Hearts Handmade stoneware  Cookie Molds:
http://zandapanda.com/V-DayCookies.asp

VIDEOS:

Chocolate Cake Topper Video Using Stoneware Cookie Molds

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♥♥♥

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

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

NEW!  VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE MOLDS!

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?

 

RECIPE:

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.

VARIATIONS:

  •  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!!!

Sandy

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Video: How to Make Halloween Cookies with ZANDA PANDA’s Handmade Stoneware Halloween Molds (Demo with Recipe)

VIDEO! How to Make Halloween Treats with
ZANDA PANDA’s Handmade
Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds

There’s nothing  tricky about making these treats!

Images of ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds
ZANDA PANDA’s Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds and Cookies

Make these adorably goofy Bat, Cat and Witch cookies for your Halloween party or to delight your favorite Trick-or-Treaters.

Watch the video to see how easy it is or visit the ZP website for more info.  You can also download a PDF with instructions and the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Cookie Dip.

A few things to remember:

•  Always use a cookie dough recipe that was designed for molded cookies, or they might flatten out in the oven when baked and will lose the designs.  You can find recipes on the ZP website and at Anne L. Watson’s Molded Cookie site.

 •  Oil your mold very sparingly, too much oil may encourage the dough to stick.  You’ll want a very soft sheen on the face of the mold.  If it’s shiny, wipe away the excess oil with a lint free towel.  You only need to oil your mold once – not before each cookie.

 •  Thoroughly dust your dough with flour – But be sure that it looks ‘frosted’ – not heavily floured.


YES!  Although we are no longer taking reservations, you can still receive a 
20% discount 

on a set of Halloween Cookie Molds if you’re on my ‘Favorite People‘ list
(or would like to be added to the list).

To order, visit:  http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp , where you’ll also find illustrated directions on using your molds and a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies with cream Cheese Cookie Dip.

And feel free to send me photos of yourself in costume with your Halloween cookies!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Cat Cookie made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Mold

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cookies with Cream Cheese Cookie Dip

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cookies

with

Cream Cheese Cookie Dip

Halloween Cookies made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Molds

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cookies made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Cookie Molds. Large 15” Serving Platter Courtesy ririspotteryhaus.com

This recipe makes a soft, cake-like cookie. I developed this recipe using Anne L. Watson’s book ‘Baking with Cookie Molds’. She gives the basic framework to develop your own recipes for molded cookies. It’s a very informative book and I highly recommend it.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter
1 egg
½ cup molasses
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla

½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 cups flour (plus additional)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp clove
¼ tsp nutmeg
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Directions

Melt butter in microwave for one minute intervals at half power. Add molasses, brown sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Beat egg in a separate bowl, then blend into the above ingredients.

In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, flour and spices. Add the wet ingredients and blend.

Add additional flour until you have a smooth, workable dough (amount depends on moisture content of your pumpkin). It will be soft and feel a bit sticky. Chill dough for about ½ hour before molding cookies.

If your cookies are thick, heat oven to 350° F (177° C) and drop to 300° F (149° C) after putting them into the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown.

If your cookies are thin, bake at 350° F (177° C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges have browned.

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Cream Cheese Cookie Dip

1 heaping Tbsp cream cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3-4 tsp milk or cream

Blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add milk or cream a teaspoon at a time until smooth and creamy. Put in small individual bowls for dipping the cookies.

Large 15″ Serving Platter shown in photo courtesy rirspotteryhaus.com

Visit the Halloween Cookie Mold page to learn
how to make cookies with my new stoneware molds!

 PDF of Directions and Recipe

ZANDA PANDA PO Box 7332, Kensington, CT 06037  •  800-747-5472   •  ZandaPanda.com


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