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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Halloween SandWitches Anyone? Recipe: Pumpkin/Cream Cheese/Raisin Spread on Embossed Halloween Sandwiches

How to Make Embossed Halloween ‘SandWitches’ with
Pumpkin-Cream Cheese-Raisin Sandwich Spread/Dip Recipe

Halloween 'SandWitches' made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Molds

Halloween 'SandWitches'

Here’s another cute way to use your Halloween Stoneware Cookie Molds for a treat or Halloween party.  It’s great for kids, as the only skill need is squishing!  You’ll be using pretty much the same technique used for embossed Butterfly Tea Sandwiches, but instead of Texas Toast, you’ll want to use big, soft squishy buns, so you won’t need to trim your sandwiches.  Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Spread/Dip recipe below.

Use the biggest, squishiest buns you can find

Use the biggest, squishiest buns you can find

You’ll only be pressing the bun tops into the molds.  Start by placing the inside surface of a top bun into a Halloween Cookie Mold.

Press the top half of the bun into the mold.  With the inside surface of the bun touching the mold

Press the top half of the bun into the mold (inside surface of the bun facing the mold).

Press the bun into the design, starting in the center and working your way around.  I find it easiest to hold the mold in both hands and press into the design with your thumbs (like you’re texting 🙂 ).  Be sure to press the bun into all the details, but be careful not to tear the bun.  If your bun is starting to overlap the rim, just fold it over and keep squishing until all areas have been pressed and the bun fits nicely into the mold.

Peel bun from mold, and spread Pumpkin Cream Cheese spread onto bottom half of bun.

Peel bun from mold, and spread Pumpkin Cream Cheese spread onto bottom half of bun.

Slowly peel the bun out of the mold -it’s very flat at this point, but will have picked up all the details of the mold’s design.  Spread Pumpkin spread (recipe below) onto other half of bun (or your favorite sandwich ingredients).  Top with your embossed top bun and get ready for the smiles!

Halloween SandWitch!

Halloween SandWitch!

For more info on my Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds please visit:
http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp



RECIPE:  Pumpkin-Cream Cheese-Raisin Sandwich Spread

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (or use whipped for a softer spread)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp paprika (this really adds depth to the flavor)
1/4 cup (or more) raisins.  For a softer texture and extra flavor, you can soak your raisins in spiced cider first to plump them up.

Directions

Beat cream cheese, brown sugar,maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.  Add pumpkin and spices and blend until smooth.   Add  raisins.  Chill for at least 1/2 hour.  Use for a sandwich spread, or for dipping cookies or fruit.

Halloween SandWitches Made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds!!

Halloween SandWitches!

Happy Halloween!


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

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Check out the recipe and more images on the Zanda Panda website.  Remember, summer’s not officially over until September 23rd – and you wouldn’t want to wear white when eating blueberry pie anyway 🙂

Here’s where we picked the berries for the pie:

Rose's Berry Farm

Rose's Berry Farm

This is Rose’s Berry Farm, in Glastonbury, CT.  We also picked raspberries there for another delicious pie.

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie

Blueberry Lattice Butterfly Pie

Jump over to zandapanda.com for the recipe and the how-to’s and also a photo of Rose’s beautiful pond.


The Kaleidoscope Butterfly Cake Topper/Cookie/Chocolate/Craft Mold

Here are some other ways to use a Butterfly Mold

Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold
See larger image 

Spooky Summer- Halloween in July!

Halloween in July?

Halloween Cookies made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Cookie Molds.  Halloween Cat, Bat and Witch designs.

Halloween Cookies made with ZANDA PANDA Stoneware Molds

Here’s to Spooky Summer Nights!  Even though I’m enjoying the heat wave and am in no rush for cool weather, I’ve been working on stoneware Halloween cookie molds.  They’re coming out very nicely from the prototype molds.

These will be handmade, so the supply will be limited.  If you’d like to reserve a set, please e-mail me at: Lira@zandapanda.com to let me know.  There’s no obligation to purchase and we’ll hold a set for one week after we notify you that they’re ready to ship.  Or join our mailing list to receive updates.

I think they’d look great with a yellow cookie dough for the background (like a full moon), with chocolate cookie dough for the witch, cat and bat.  I’ll definitely post a pic when I make them.

I also  think that I may not be able to resist making ceramic boxes with Halloween lids 🙂

ZANDA PANDA’s Puppy Mold Featured in DOG FANCY Magazine!

ZANDA PANDA’s Puppy Mold Featured
in DOG FANCY Magazine!

ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold Featured in Dog Fancy Magazine

ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold Featured in Dog Fancy Magazine!

We’re delighted that DOG FANCY Magazine picked our
Puppy Mold to feature in their ‘Fun Dog‘ section!

If you’re new or visiting from Dog Fancy magazine, welcome to ZANDA PANDA’s Blog and Website! If you’re a returning visitor or one of our Favorite People, thanks very much for stopping by again!

PUPPY MOLD

The fun idea behind the Puppy Mold is that you can make
Cake, Cookies, Crafts
& More
that look like your favorite breed of dog or a ‘portrait’ of your family pet!

ZANDA PANDA’s Puppy Mold for Cake/Cookies/Chocolate/Crafts
(click the image above to learn how to make the beagle puppy cookie)

 

Here are some ideas to show you what you can do with your Puppy Mold:


Yellow Lab Cake • Chocolate LabDalmatian Cookie • Terrier Cookie • Poodle Cake

Recipes and directions for puppy-shaped:

•   Fudge
•   Brownies
•   Bread
•   Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie
•   Birthday cake for your dog (liver flavored)

More ideas:

•   No-Bake Backwards Cake™ Made by painting in chocolate or pressing edible clay or fondant into the mold to make a shell, then filling with your favorite ingredients, like cookie crumbs, fruits, syrups, ice cream or pound cake.

•  Make a crayon box or a box for your puppy’s favorite treats decorated with a polymer clay puppy.

•  Rainy day fun:  Kids can make salt dough or polymer clay puppies of different breeds, paint them and have a dog show!

 

For more information, please visit the PUPPY page on the website!



Join our Favorite People List if you’d like to receive news of new designs and exclusive discounts.  We will never share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 



Beagle Puppy Cookie – The cutest one yet!

How to make a Beagle Puppy Cookie

Cute Beagle Puppy Cookie made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

Beagle Puppy Cookie


He’s
Edible…He’s Adorable…He’s Edidorable!!

I think this is the cutest one I’ve made with the Puppy Mold yet.  And it’s actually very easy to do, I’ll take you through step-by-step.

In addtion to the ingredients in the cookie dough recipe, you’ll need:

•  Cocoa powder
•  Red food coloring
•  ZANDA PANDA Puppy Mold

First you’ll need cookie dough, I recommend this recipe:

No-Spread Cookie Dough Recipe

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups superfine/baking sugar (not powdered)
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Almond extract
  • 1 tsp. fine grain (table) salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F /150 degrees C / Gas mark 2.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  Mix dry ingredients together and add gradually to butter mixture.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.  Chill for 1 to 2 hours.  Bake puppy cookies for 8-12 minutes depending on thickness.

You can make a lot of different breeds using this technique.

Mixing colors:

•  Mix a tiny bit of red food coloring into a small amount of dough about the size of a small grape. You’ll want a nice pink color.

•  Add about a teaspoon of cocoa powder into a small bowl.  Roll a golf ball-sized ball of cookie dough in the cocoa and mix until it’s a light brown.

•  Break off a small grape-sized piece of the light brown dough and roll it in the cocoa again, mixing it until you have a very dark brown.

Your colors should look something like these:

Beagle Cookie Dough Colors

Beagle Cookie Dough Colors

I dusted the mold with flour out of habit, but you actually don’t need to do this when using cookie dough.

You’re adding color from front to back, this will make sense as we go along:

• First take the dark brown dough and fill in his eyes and nose.

• Next fill in the tongue with the pink dough

Filling in the beagle's eyes, nose and tongue

Fill in his eyes, nose and tongue

• Next, add untinted cookie dough to his muzzle, chin and between his eyes.

• Also add a ‘saddle’ of dark brown to his side.

I know this looks a little weird, but bear with me.

Next add plain dough to his muzzle and a dark 'saddle' on his side

Next add plain dough to his muzzle and a dark ‘saddle’ on his side

• Next add the medium brown to cover his head, I also blended the two browns to make his ears a little darker, but it’s not really necessary (speaking of ears, I know beagle pups have longer ears – but he’s only a cartoony cookie!).  You also could add the medium brown to his shoulders, which is a very common marking, but I didn’t want to make it more complicated.

• Add dark brown to make his tail and untinted dough to make the tip.

Add medium brown to his head and dark brown for his tail, with a tip made with untinted dough

Add medium brown to his head and dark brown for his tail.  Tip is untinted dough

• Add untinted dough to fill in the rest of the puppy.
Use untinted dough to fill in the rest of the puppy

Use untinted dough to fill in the rest of the puppy

Here are a two tips to make it even easier:

• When pressing one color dough on top of another, try to press straight down, so that you don’t dislodge the first color.

• Support the mold from behind with your other hand when pressing the dough in to prevent ‘bounceback’.

Tip: Support the mold from behind with your other hand when pressin the dough in to prevent 'bounceback'.

Tip: Support the mold from behind with your other hand when pressing the dough in to prevent ‘bounceback’.

Place your mold on a cookie sheet and pop him into a 300 degree F /150 degree C / Gas mark 2  oven until the edges brown and they begin to pull away slightly from the mold.

I think it takes much longer to explain how than to actually do it 🙂

So there you have it, step-by step to adorableness (followed by squeals of delight…then munching sounds).

If you’ve created the perfect pastry portrait of your precious pooch, be sure to send in a photo to share!

Also a reminder, when you join ZANDA PANDA’s ‘Favorite People List‘, you’ll be the first to hear news of new designs and  receive discount codes exclusive to list members.  I never share list member information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Deep Dish Apple Pie – Pretty Please with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Apple Pie with a Puppy on top!

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top!

Nick and I had a craving for apple pie.  I really wanted to use the Puppy Mold and he really wanted to use the Peeler/Corer/Slicer Contraption because it was much more fun than cutting apples into chunks (see below).

We decided to make a deep dish upside down pie.  You also could make just a Puppy ‘Topper’ for your pie and use a standard pie pan, as with the Butterfly Pie.

You can find the basic pie crust recipe on the ZP website.  We doubled the crust recipe and used about six or seven medium sized apples.

You’ll also need to mix up about 2/3 cup of flour with 2 or more teaspoons of  cinnamon and 1 to 2 cups of sugar (depending on how tart your apples are and how big your sweet tooth is).  You’ll use this to sprinkle on the apples.  You’ll also need a little butter to dot on the top before adding the top layer of dough.

Peeler/Corer/Slicer contraption, mounded apples, top layer of crust, baked pie, inverted Upside Down Puppy Pie

Peeler/Corer/Slicer Contraption, apples, top layer, baked pie, Upside Down Puppy Apple Pie

Dust your mold lightly with flour.  Once you’ve made your dough, roll out a circle and fit it into the Puppy Mold – or just press dough into mold in an even layer into the bottom and up the sides.  Be sure to press the dough completely into the Puppy design – you will probably need to add extra pieces of dough in the deeper areas of the design to keep the crust an even thickness.  If needed, moisten dough slightly with water to stick pieces together.  Dip your fingertips in flour before pressing the dough in and be sure that the bottom and side crust are not too thin.

If you’ve used the Heart Mold for pies, this might be a little bit fussier, as the Puppy Mold doesn’t have a flat bottom.  You will get a little ‘bounceback’, but it’s not hard to do at all.

Once you have a shell of dough covering the interior of the mold, sprinkle a little of the flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture on the bottom, then sprinkle more between layers of apple until you have a slightly mounded top (see images above).

Dot the apples with little cubes of butter, then roll out the top layer of dough (which will become the bottom crust of your upside down pie), place on top, crimp the edges and cut several small vents in the top layer.  Bake at 375 to 400°F (200 °C) for 50-70 minutes.  Tent with foil if top layer of crust browns too quickly.  Pie is done when filling begins to bubble out.

Allow to cool for at least 30 to 40 minutes.  Place serving plate over mold, flip plate and mold over together, then gently remove mold from pie.

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

I will try to show the Kaleidoscope Heart design soon, maybe as a spicy cherry pie – I think it has to be red filling even if it isn’t Valentine’s Day yet.  Hearts – like puppies – are welcome at any time of the year 🙂

How to Make a Chocolate Lab Puppy

How to Make a Chocolate Lab Puppy

And ideas for black and yellow Lab cakes

Chocolate Lab Puppy made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

Chocolate Lab Puppy made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

This is really easy.  Little ones need a bit of supervision with hot, melted chocolate, but the technique couldn’t be simpler.  All you’ll need is your favorite chocolate, a bowl to melt it in and a pastry brush (and of course, an adorable Puppy Mold).

I’ve given the information on ‘quick-tempering’ chocolate in several other posts, but I’ll repeat it here:


Quick-Tempered Chocolate

Finely chop chocolate or use chocolate chips. Melt two thirds of the chocolate in the microwave for thiry second intervals, stirring in between with a silicone or rubber spatula (don’t use a wooden utensil, it can introduce moisture and cause your chocolate to ‘seize’).  Keep the temperature below 120F.   When chocolate has melted, add the remaining one third in three batches, stirring until smooth after each addition.

Using a pastry brush, paint the melted chocolate into your mold.  Be sure to brush into the crevices, brushing out any trapped air bubbles.  Allow to cool, then pop out of mold.

You can also paint in different colors of chocolate if you’re really feeling creative, or you’re making a ‘portrait’ of a multicolored dog, like a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Beagle or an Australian Shepherd.  For these, you could use milk, dark and white chocolate.  I’ll have to try mixing different colors to see if I can get yellow and black Lab colors with chocolate, but for now,  if you want to make a yellow Lab, try the Yellow Lab Cake.

Yellow Lab Puppy Cake made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

Yellow Lab Puppy Cake made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

I think a dark chocolate cake might work for a black lab.  Or try mixing the two batters to make one of each; pour one color batter just into the puppy shape of the mold, then the other color carefully around it.  Then switch colors for the other Lab cake.  I’ll try to do a post on this soon.  That’s how the ‘Poodle Cake’ was made – before it became a poodle 🙂  Just remember to prepare your mold before pouring in the batter by brushing the interior with melted vegetable shortening and dusting lightly with flour (this step is not necessary for chocolate).

If  it’s a gift, you could add a big bow or a collar made of fondant to make it even more special.

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