Coming Attractions! Heart Healthy Chocolate Blast Brownie Recipe – No refined sugar or flour!

Coming Soon!
Heart Healthy Chocolate Blast Brownie Recipe

No refined sugar or flour!

Heart Healthy Chocolate Blast Brownies - no refined sugar or flour! Made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Heart Mold

Heart Healthy Chocolate Blast Brownies – no refined sugar or flour!

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a sculptor – who also loves baking dessert.  I have some deadlines looming for sculptural work, so I haven’t had a chance to post lately.  But here’s a coming attraction.

I’ve been experimenting with heart healthy recipes, gluten free baking and recipes that don’t use refined sugar or flour, but still taste amazing.  I have one that I’ll share soon, it’s pictured above and it’s amazing 🙂

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♥♥♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥♥♥

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Cake Topper from ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Heart Mold

Valentine Cake Topper made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Heart Mold

Learn how to make this Kaleidoscope Heart Cake Topper!
(There’s a video, too!)

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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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Goodbye Year of the Dragon – Hello GOT (Dragon Cookies!)

Goodbye Year of the Dragon – Hello GOT

Dragon Cookies!

Two birds with one post 🙂

(Heather's) Khaleesi's Dragon Cookies

(Heather’s) Khaleesi’s Dragon Cookies

Saying goodbye to the Year of the Dragon – or having a Game of Thrones season premiere party?   Here’s a great idea from Heather Radecky’s ‘Sweet Teeth’ blog using ZANDA PANDA’s Dragon Shield Cookie Mold.

Her Khaleesi’s Dragon Cookies, made for a Game of Thrones season finale party would be a fine way to say goodbye to the year of the dragon, or a splendid addition to a GOT season premiere party next month! 

Heather added a bit of fire to my Creamsicle Cookie Recipe – Perfect for dragons!  Read all about it on her Sweet Teeth blog.

Then check out the Dragon Shield Cookie Mold in my Etsy shop!

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Happy Year of the Snake!

Sandy

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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° 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 😉

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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° 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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Hippocampus Cookie Mold…Sorry Brainiacs, it’s a Horsey-Fish.

HIPPOCAMPUS COOKIE MOLD

Eeeeww!  Why would I want a cookie that looks like part of my brain’s limbic system?”  you squeal in disbelief.

“Well,  it does have an interesting shape…kinda like a curly, lumpy biscotti….”

The OTHER Hippocampus

The OTHER Hippocampus

Then, thanks to your very own  hippocampus, you remember your ancient mythology class.  With an effervescent tingle deep in your cranium,  a vision of a glistening half horse, half sea creature cavorting happily in the sundrenched sea spray dances gleefully into your brain.

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Just like this:

Hippocampus Cookie Mold - Handmade Stoneware Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

Hippocampus Cookie Mold

Now go bake cookies of mythic proportions…which in this case would be about 4.5 inches.

Canter/swim over to my Etsy shop for more info on the Hippocampus Cookie Mold and other designs:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/109097477/hippocampus-cookie-mold

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Halloween Bat Cookie Mold – Or Luke Skywalker’s House?

Halloween Bat Cookie Mold - Or Luke Skywalker's House?

Halloween Bat Cookie Mold – Or Luke Skywalker’s House?

While this does bear a striking resemblance to Luke Skywalker’s house on Tatooine (OK, the Lars’ Homestead for all you hardcore Star Wars Fans), it is indeed a mold for my Halloween Bat Stoneware Cookie Molds.  Actually one step in the process of making  a production mold.  Technically it’s a Cookie Mold Mold…but that would sound silly.

It will be this:

Halloween Bat - Handmade Stoneware Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

Halloween Bat – Handmade Stoneware Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

But it’s not this:

Luke Skywalker's House on Tatooine - Not a cookie mold

Luke Skywalker’s House on Tatooine…Not a cookie mold

Once more…

cookie mold                                                                  not a cookie mold

If you’d like to see more of the Halloween Cookie Molds, check out the tutorial, video and recipes at: http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp

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