♥♥♥ 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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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).

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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Dragons, Dragons and MORE Dragons!

Dragons, Dragons and MORE Dragons!

Purple Soapy Dragons to be exact!

Lotsa of soapy purple dragons :)

Purple Dragon Soaps

These cute little fellas are a recent commission of purple dragon soaps for a bridal shower.  They’re individually handmade in goat’s milk soap.

The ‘Cute Dragon’  design is also available as a handmade stoneware cookie mold in the ZANDA PANDA Etsy Shop.

Check back soon for a post on “Heather’s Game of Thrones Season Finale Party“.  Learn  how she used her ZANDA PANDA Dragon Shield Cookie Mold and modified the Creamsicle Cookie recipe to create some fantastic party treats!
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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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Mastermind your very own Robot (cookie) Invasion

Robot Cookie Invasion made with ZANDA PANDA's stoneware Robot Cookie Mold!

Robot Cookie Invasion made with ZANDA PANDA's stoneware Robot Cookie Mold!

I’ve added my new Robot Cookie Mold to my Etsy shop.  The molds are handmade of food-safe stoneware.  They can be used for molding cookie dough, fondant, or slices of bread to make an army of mini robot sandwiches even the pickiest of eaters will not be able to resist.

The molds can also be used for making crafts like cast paper, salt dough sculpture and polymer clay to decorate and embellish (presumably with laser death rays).

I recommend using a cookie dough recipe that is designed specifically for molded cookies, so that they won’t flatten out when baking. You can find several at: http://zandapanda.com/recipes.asp

You can also find a video and a PDF with instructions on using your mold at:
http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp
It’s demonstrated on my Halloween Cookie Molds, but the technique is the same.

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Great gift for the geeky!  Got a Sci-Fi Fanatic on your list?

Stoneware ROBOT Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

Stoneware ROBOT Cookie Mold from ZANDA PANDA

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You favorite geek doesn’t have a sweet tooth, you say?   I find that quite unlikely – however, my Robot is also available as a ceramic tile!

Robot Tile Bas Relief Sculpture with Peacock Blue Glaze

Robot Tile Bas Relief Sculpture with Peacock Blue Glaze

More info on the Robot Tile at my Etsy shop:

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Thanks for visiting my blog, check back soon for some other interesting tiles…

Sandy

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