Summer Sculpting – Bronze Horses and Bakeware

I’ve been busy this summer being a bronze sculptor…
and planning new cookie mold designs!

Just in case you wondered where I’ve been this summer… I occasionally sculpt things other than cookie molds 🙂

Lira-Three_Horses-V3

.My bronze sculpture of  Three Horses (above) will be at Art Essex Gallery in Essex, CT until September 21st, and at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY from October 1-25th 2013.  Stop by and have a look if you’re in the area.

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Now for a ZANDA PANDA update:

I’ll have two upcoming posts soon about a baker from Brazil and a Big Sister/dog bakery owner in Wisconsin that are baking wonderful things with ZANDA PANDA bakeware.  And perhaps a guest post on a wonderful vegan cookie mold dough recipe.

Also, I’m hoping to have some new cookie mold designs in time for the fall and winter holiday seasons.

Keep an eye out for updates, and (if you haven’t already) – sign up for ZANDA PANDA’s Favorite People E-mail List to get exclusive discounts this holiday season!

Thanks for reading!

Sandy

 

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Chipotle-Almond Butterflies, Baby goats and Apple Blossoms – It Finally Feels Like Spring!

Baby Goats, Chipotle-Almond Butterflies and Apple Blossoms…Spring!

Chipotle-Honey GoaChipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies Made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.  Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi's Pottery Haust Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies Made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

It’s finally feeling like spring and that called for a trip to Beltane Farm to see the baby goats and get some goat cheese and milk.   They’re hosting cheese tastings every Sunday through the month of May.
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Cheese Tasting at Beltane Farm

Cheese Tasting at Beltane Farm

It was wonderful tasting the different varieties of goat cheese.  It was hard to decide which were our favorites.  Here, we’re tasting chèvre with chives, dill, Herbes de Provence or chipotle-honey.

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My favorite Baby Goat

My favorite Baby Goat

Seeing the baby goats and other animals was even more fun than the cheese tasting.  I think this little guy was definitely the cutest of the bunch.  The new kids will be kept for the herd, or sold either as milk producers, or as all natural lawn mowers.

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Armando the Adorable

Armando the Adorable

I think his name should be Armando…He’ll be going to a neighboring farm and it’ll be his job to mow the lawn.  I think Nick’s favorite animal may have been Nestor, the guard donkey.

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Chipotle-Honey Goat cheese and Almond Butterflies

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

This couldn’t be simpler.  Mix the Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese with ground nuts and make butterflies.  Chill and pop on a cracker.

I love the earthy, ‘all natural’ look the little specks of ground nuts gave the butterflies.  I made them with both walnuts and almonds.  I preferred almonds, the color was richer and I think the flavor complimented the smokey, spicy cheese better as well.  Figs or grapes would be lovely served alongside the butterflies.

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Grind your favorite nuts in a food processor.

Grind your favorite nuts in a food processor, then mix with your favorite goat cheese.

Molding Cheesy, Nutty Butterflies in ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Making Cheesy, Nutty Butterflies.  Put them in the freezer for a bit so they’ll pop out of the mold.

Press the mixture into the the butterfly shapes of a Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.  After you’ve molded your butterflies, put them in the freezer for a bit so they’ll pop out of the mold.  I put these on round Breton Mini crackers; they’re small, so you see mostly butterfly.  Pepperridge Farms make a butterfly shaped cracker that looks very cute with these, too.
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Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

More ideas for spring:  A Butterfly Tea Party, using the ZP Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.

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Oh yes, and apple blossoms!

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Apple Blossoms 5-5-13

Enjoy your spring!

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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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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!


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https://zandapanda.com/mailinglist.asp
(it’s free, I will never share your info and you can unsubscribe at any time).

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