Friday, January 30, 2015

A New Logo Just For Starters…

Pink_Martinis_And_Pearls_Logo

Moving day is almost here!  I’ve got my blog bags packed and all my boxes labeled to go to my new home on Word Press with an awesome blog re-design. 

My logo won’t be the only thing that’s new.  I’ll have galleries for easy searches and thumbnails for every treat and DIY entertaining idea and you’ll be able to print recipes!  I’m so excited about this feature that I might even share my blue ribbon-winning best ever chocolate cake and Dutch apple pie!

I’ve got some exciting things to share and an incredible give-away to launch my re-design – think “My Big, Fat, Blog Warming Party”.  It’ll be fun!

Dear friends, I’m so appreciative of you whether you’ve been with me these past 6 years (I think today is my blogger-versary, come to think of it) or have found Pink Martinis and Pearls more recently. I love reading your comments and emails and sharing with you what I love to do.

To make certain my posts come to you more efficiently, I might change the way new post notifications come into your Email in-box.  I’ve had glitches with the RSS feed through Feedburner (I wasn’t even getting my own post notifications for along time) and am thinking about using an email service such as Mail Chimp.  I’d love to know your thoughts on your preferences and experiences.  Could you leave them for me in the comments?  Thank you!

Hopefully, in the next few days you’ll be directed over to the new Pink Martinis and Pearls without ever knowing it and everything will go smoothly in the transition.  I’ll see you there where we’ll begin with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year treats!

xoxo
Marilyn

Monday, January 19, 2015

Popcorn Snowmen

There’s lots of special treats you can make to have fun with National Popcorn Day. As I was looking through my collection of cookbooks during the holidays, I came across the first book that began my confectionery journey.  It was Wilton’s Complete Book of Candy, 1981. 

In it I found a recipe for popcorn balls. I have a wonderful memory of my grandmother’s popcorn balls that she’d wrap in colored wax paper.  They were crunchy and chewy, sweet and slightly salty and a treat during the winter months.

What’s even more fun than popcorn balls?  Popcorn Snowmen!

Popcorn Snowmen-8508-700

With color co-coordinating winter attire made from fondant.

Popcorn Snowmen-8509-700

Wilton Complete Book of Candy-8524

Popcorn Snowmen-8521

They were very easy to make. 

Start out with 12 cups of popped popcorn.  I used the pre-popped bagged kind to save time.

Butter a large oven-proof bowl. The heart swirl is optional.  :)

Popcorn Snowmen-8475

Place the popcorn in the bowl and set in the oven on the lowest temp. setting to keep warm while the syrup is cooking.

The syrup is the “glue” that will enable you to form your popcorn balls and stack them together.

Popcorn Ball Syrup:

1c. light corn syrup
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water
2 tbl. butter
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine the corn syrup, sugar, water and butter together in a large. heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Place over medium heart and stir with a wooden spoon until all sugar crystals are dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water.

Popcorn Snowmen-8492-700

Clip on a candy thermometer and continue cooking until temp. reaches 240 degrees.  This is the softball stage.

Popcorn Snowmen-8496-700

Pour syrup over the warmed popcorn and toss with two forks until corn is evenly coated.  When mixture is cool enough to handle (it quickly becomes cool enough), butter your hands and form into 3 sized balls for each snowman and 2 arms.  The size depends on how large you want to make your snowmen.  I made 1 large for the base, 1 medium for the middle and the smallest for the head.

I stacked the balls on top of each other while still sticky then made the little arms and let them set alone off the body.  I stuck a toothpick into each arm and stuck them into the body after I attached the fondant scarves. 

In the book, the eyes and buttons were made from raisins but I used fondant instead. I also used it for scarves, hats and for the polka dots using the small end of a #8 decorating tip to punch them out from a rolled, flat piece of fondant.

You can stick the fondant together using dads of water, corn syrup or edible adhesive.

I made 3 snowmen out of this recipe.  The recipe also says the popcorn balls can be stored at room temperature for months, wrapped.

Popcorn Snowmen-8510-700

Popcorn Snowmen-8512group700

Soon I’ll have a shiny, new blog design that will let you print out recipes.  When I do, I’ll come back and revise this post because this is one you’ll want to keep.  It’s a fun activity to make (forming the balls) with the kids on one of our many winter holidays this month and the next.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Throw Back Thursday, Instagram Videos and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!

I so hope you enjoyed the holidays.  We eventually had a lovely Christmas celebration with both boys home even though one by one we came down with the holiday crud.  In many ways, our family holiday is beginning today, with one son now over it, me - having turned the corner and on antibiotics, another son blowing his nose less and my husband, keeping the crud away it at arms’ length, but barely.

Last night, New Year’s Eve, we were finally able to have one of our annual dinners – Shabu Shabu.  Last January, I wrote a 2 part post of what Shabu Shabu is, what equipment you’ll need, how to shop for it and how to prepare it.  It’s the perfect interactive meal with an intimate group or for larger groups with multiple pots bubbling.  It was also perfect last night because my eldest son prepared all of it for us!

shabu shabu Collage

I think you’ll love making Shabu Shabu a part of your entertaining repertoire.  And to think I first made it for a home party for our high school’s marching band saxophone section party.  Ha!   Here are the links.

Shabu Shabu – Part 1
Shabu Shabu – Part 2

Since I was pretty much couch-bound this past week without much energy to blog about anything and could only visit Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG) between blowing my nose, I made a couple short 15 second videos of the past year with a few clicks using images I posted on IG. 

I have thanked my IG and FB family for their support and now I’d like to thank YOU, my blogging family, since it started here almost 6 years ago this month!  I meet some of you over in the other social worlds but some of you like it here.  This is home base for me too. 

Dear blogging friends, I so appreciate your continued interest and visits to Pink Martinis and Pearls whether it be on a regular basis or just when you can find a moment to drop in on a whim.  I feel sincere gratitude for your time that you share with me and for your nice comments you may leave.  Even if you’re on the shy side or “don’t know how to do it”, as two of my best friends embarrassingly admit, I know you are with me. Red heart

When my blog was redesigned and coded a few years ago, it wasn’t set up to individually reply to comments (huge oversite) so this is definitely a feature that is being corrected.  I want to be able to respond to you better so you know I’ve read your questions, requests and comments.  I usually have to track down an email to personally respond, so this will be a big improvement for us to connect and I can’t wait! If you email me directly I instantly receive it and usually can respond to you very quickly.  This takes most of you by complete surprise.  I think it’s the way communication should be if it’s possible.  :) 

Wishing you all a very happy year full of the truly important things in life - radiant health, contentment in one’s soul, happiness doing the things you love and spending more offline time with those you love too. Martini glass Cheers!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shaking It Up With Snow Globe Decorated Sugar Cookies

Have you heard of a Secret Santa/Cookie Exchange?  It’s a natural combination when you’re part of the Wilton Cake Decorating’s Sweet Treat Team. 

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8420logo

I was randomly paired with fellow team member, Heather Baird of SprinkleBakes. I’m sure you know Heather, her blog and her creative and colorful dessert book – Sprinkle Bakes.  Heather is a gal who can do it all.  She’s an artist in and out of the kitchen and her beautiful style and creations along with her pugs, Churro and Biscuit, have earned her a legion of fans and I’m one of them!  I love Heather’s Instagram page too where she shares more photos of her two sweet pups.  She snaps the best pug-tography

When I was thinking of what kind of cookies to make for Heather, sprinkle decorations came first to mind –  obviously.  I wanted to use lots of sprinkles.  Next came color and whimsy because, after all, this is Heather!  I also knew that Heather liked snow globes.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8444logo

But because Heather is the Queen of Creativity I had to think of something different to showcase the sprinkles on the cookies.  Hmmm, then I had an idea that had me shaken and stirred!  Mostly shaken.  :) As in shakin’ those sprinkles!

Click on the video below and you might be shaken too!


Speaking of sprinkles for a moment, Wilton has so many whimsical varieties of sprinkles.  I have to admit I’m of a collector of the seasonal kind.  Because they’re so darned cute with a festive theme they really do spark my creativity to see how can I incorporate them into my holiday treats.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8397logo

If you’re wondering what sprinkles and Wilton products I used, a complete list with links will be at the end of the post.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8387

And what are snow globes without mini snowflake cookies to accompany them?  The jumbo snowflake sprinkles made the perfect cookie center decorations.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8413 grey

I loved Wilton’s Icing Decorations this season.  I made the trees different sizes by cutting them with a serrated knife.

Wilton trees-8357

I also made some decorations using Wilton’s Decorator’s Preferred Fondant with some vintage Linzer cutters from my collection. 

Behold!  I bring you tidings of great joy and sparkle!

Christmas Star and Snow Angel-8375.900

The large snowflake in the middle of the smaller snow globe is made with a snowflake fondant plunger by PME.  I hope Wilton makes a snowflake plunger next year! That was a hint in case I wasn’t subtle enough of what’s on my 2015 Christmas list.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8404grey

To make the snow globe cover, I found plastic ornament halves at Michaels and drew a template for the cookie design based on the ornament size.  If the cookie bakes a little bigger than the diameter of the ornament, you can gently shave the edges of the cookie with a microplane.  We could all use a little micro dermabrasion, right?

Place a couple teaspoons of white nonpareils in the ornament half for a nice snow flurry effect.  Apparently a blizzard struck this snow globe!  I can’t even imagine shoveling the real stuff.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8464logo

Knowing where the plastic ornament half will sit on the cookie, run a bead of royal icing using a #2 tip on the cookie where the ornament will be.  This will make a barrier between the cookie and the ornament (think caulking) so none of the sprinkles sneak out.  Smooth the icing seam with your finger.  You could also pipe a decorative edging (#14 star tip, shell pattern) around the plastic half to give that part of the cookie a more ornate finish but I prefer a simple edge.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8457logo

I left some cookies with the tops off because I think they’re pretty this way too.

Wilton Sweet Swap Cookie Exchange-8452grey

So how are you shakin’ up your holiday treats this season?

My thanks to Wilton for this opportunity to have some fun with our Sweet Treat Team and to my sister in sugar, comrade in cookie dough, friend in frosting – Heather (SprinkleBakes) Baird!  :)

Here’s some other Wilton Sweet Treat Team cookies exchanges. I know you’ll want to see what these creative bakers came up with too!

Hungry Happenings
Nibbles and Feasts
We Are Not Martha
Baking Bites
Framed Frosting
The Man, The Chef, The Dad
Momma D and Da Boyz
Sweet Life Bake
Sprinkle Bakes
-they’ll be 2 more added on Monday so I’ll update then.

Are you making a cake for Christmas?  You’ve got to get this pan… read about The Snowflake Pan where I made gingerbread in it. It is beyond awesome!!!

wilton snow flake pan Instasize-39

Recipes:
Sugar Cookie Recipe & Tutorial
Royal Icing Recipe & Tutorial

Wilton Products:
White Decorator Preferred Fondant
Holly Mixed Sprinkles
White Nonpareils
Jumbo Snowflake Sprinkles
White Cake Sparkles
Christmas Tree Royal Icing Decorations
#2 Plain Round Decorating Tip
Icing Colors
Disposable Decorating Bags

This is a sponsored post.  As a Wilton Brand Ambassador, I received compensation and/or product from Wilton Cake Decorating.  All opinions and endorsements of the products I mention are my own.  If I didn’t love them… you know.  :)

Wishing you all very happy holidays!  xo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

T’was The Week Before Christmas

Happy holidays!  Are you in a panic or as calm as a silent night? 

Thought I’d share what I’ve been up to besides workshops.

Behold!  I bring you tidings of great joy and sparkles!  I’ve been baking and decorating for a Wilton Treat Team Member Secret Santa Cookie Exchange project that will be revealed on Friday’s blog post! Here’s a sneak peek - a very tiny sneak peek as in tiny fondant decorations I’m making for the cookie decorations.  Shhh, it’s supposed to be a surprise!

Christmas Star and Snow Angel-8375

I’m also adding professional gift wrapper to my resume by request this season, so I’m setting up shop on Thursday night and the gifts will be arriving.  It’ll be fun!

To thank my friend, Shelly, for her assist at my West Elm OC Cookie Decorating Workshop, I wrapped up something special for her and added these mini spatulas from Sur la Table nestled into the bow. 

sur la table spatulas-8332.insta

Sur la Table has the cutest holiday themed goodies this year.  My candy cane striped mug and snow flake mug were a couple of my favs.  I use them each morning to hold my hazelnut girlie-brew. I don’t know if it’s the caffeine or the cheerfulness of the cups themselves but by 8:00 AM I’ve got my fa-la-la-la goin’ on!

Speaking of Sur la Table, last Sunday I took a holiday mac class.  I’ve taken a mac class before a couple years ago, but since I don’t make them regularly I like to keep up my skills.  Lauren at Newport Beach was a great instructor.  Learned so many little tips from her.  Did you know for macs to keep their color while baking you need to almost over color the batter before baking?  Covering the baking macs with foil after 3 minutes in the oven will also prevent them from becoming brown.  Continue baking another 4 minutes.  Wow!  Who knew? I don’t remember that tip from before.

Here’s our pistachio mac with rum buttercream, gingerbread with orange buttercream and peppermint with dark chocolate ganache with the rim dipped in crush peppermint candies.  I also met the nicest gals in class.  Win-win for me!

Sur la Table Macaron Class

Thanks to my mac crush, a tamis is on my Christmas list.  Just in case, you know.

We also managed to have a short trip overnight  to Pasadena to celebrate our good friend’s surprise birthday party.  I baked my OC Fair blue ribbon winning Dutch apple pie for him as apple is his favorite.  He was happy to supple the side of ham for the camera.  Funny fella.

apple pie for john

After the party, we went up to Colorado Blvd. and had a night cap at one of our favorite outdoor cafes and people watched for awhile.  It’s always entertaining.

Of course, we had to sample one of their signature pastries.  Oh my, so delish.  I enjoyed deconstructing it and we both enjoyed sharing it.  The things I do for my art.

mi piace

The next morning we awoke to the bells of the church where my mom attended high school.  We could see the the bell tower from our room and it made me miss her knowing this place was such a big part of her life.  It was hard for me to leave that day.

All these snaps are on my Instagram page which I have a lot of fun posting images I take here and there that don’t add up a complete blog post.

I’ve also been working on a new blog design that will have gallery pages for easy organization and searches and the ability to print recipes!  Yay!

I hope you’re having a good holiday season!  Please come back on Friday for some fun Christmas cookies!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Wrapping Workshop at West Elm OC Sat. Dec. 13

I love big bows and I cannot lie as you’ll see in the post!

I’m returning to West Elm at South Coast Plaza this Saturday, Dec. 13 to teach an hour DIY Holiday Gift Wrapping Workshop.

West Elm OC Gift Wrapping Workshop

I’m making posh presents pop with that extra panache! (say that fast 5 times). 

If you want to learn how to glam up your presents you’ll definitely want to sign up for our DIY class.

I’m ready to unwrap my secrets on how to make the perfect showy bow, professional wrapping techniques and bow ideas for shipping your packages.  Plus, we’ll dress up a tote bag that will have everyone gasping when you walk into a room. (really, it happens every time).

I guarantee, (disclaimer: figure of speech, but I really do mean it) you’ll be known as the go-to gal or guy for posh presents after this class.

If you bring your scissors to cut the wired ribbon and some double stick tape, I’ll bring this for you:

  • gift box to wrap
  • holiday gift wrap
  • glittery wired ribbon
  • tissue paper
  • cellophane
  • more ribbon
  • chenille stems
  • tote bag
  • list of resources

You’ll take home a perfectly posh gift box all wrapped up that you can deconstruct later and refill, and a tote bag filled to the brim with poufy poshness. 

But more importantly behind all the glitz and glamour is the knowledge of how to put it all together:

  • which ribbons are best to use
  • why double stick tape is the way to wrap
  • no more knotted ribbon! (or sticky bows or wire hangers - that’s a joke!)
  • to tulle or not to tulle, hmmm
  • types of package fillers to use
  • adding sparkle to your wrapping paper
  • adding embellishments to your bows and packages
  • shredding and curling wide ribbon
  • and more!

And you know what else?  When you know how to make the perfect bow, which is so easy you won’t believe it, you can wrap up something really important, like a pie for a surprise birthday party for the guy who has everything. 

West Elm OC Gift Wrapping Workshop pie box

I can’t tell you how many people shared with me at the party this past weekend, that the first package they noticed when they walked into the room was the one with the gold shiny bow.

Humble pie?  Not a chance!  Be it ever so unhumble, even pie likes to be the center of attention at a party. :)

Don’t forget to think beyond the holidays.  Here’s some presents I wrapped for bridal and baby showers.

Soft n’ Sweet.

gift wrap bridal shower

High Tech Kitchen

Gift Wrap for a wedding shower

First comes love, then comes marriage…

gift wrap bridal shower HP

…then comes baby in the baby carriage!

gift wrap baby shower

Want to join us?  We hope you do!  Call the store or go to West Elm OC’s Facebook page and sign up there.

Wrapping this post up,

xoxo

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

West Elm South Coast Plaza’s Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Recap

I’ve been having such a fun time this holiday season!  Last week I taught a group of talented cookie decorating newbies at West Elm South Coast Plaza and we had such a great time together. 

Did you know I’m also teaching a Holiday Gift Wrapping Workshop this Saturday at West Elm too?  More about this in a bit but first I wanted to share the cookie decorating workshop with you and show you the artistry the decorators came up with.

I put together swanky swag bags for everyone and tied them up with pretty red and white polka dot bows then added blue snowflake cookie cutters. 

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson swag bags

Wilton was very generous in supplying decorating bags, tips, bag ties, squeezie bottles, straws, boards, pearlized luster powder, sprinkles and meringue powder for the multiple batches of royal icing. Thank you, Wilton!

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson Wilton Products

My good friend, Shelly, was my much needed assistant.  Thank you, Shelly!  You were the perfect, sweet cookie helper! 

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson Store

My friend, Cathy of Stitchfork assisted me in editing my booklet with recipes, tips, instructions and photos.  Thank you, Cathy!

Shelly pointed out to me my name was on West Elm’s store board.  Wow!  That was a thrill!

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson collage 2

You wouldn’t believe the creativity that was happening!

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson collage 1

Artists at work.

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson collage3

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson collage4

I gave the cookie decorators extra icing, cookies, shiny dragees and other embellishments to take with them to continue the decorating after class and guess what? 

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson-3150

Cookie decorators Bree and Ashley kept the icing flowing when they got home that night.  I love their creations.  They sent me the photo below.  Thanks for sharing gals!

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson sue's photo

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson-3122

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson-3156

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Marilyn Johnson-3145

We all had a great time!

Thank you to Tina and Lauren at West Elm South Coast Plaza for their hospitality and for the invitation to create a workshop for West Elm.

Now on to Saturday, Dec. 13 where I’ll be back at West Elm OC teaching a fun hands-on bow and gift wrapping workshop from 10 to 11.  Check out the West Elm OC Facebook page for more details!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

West Elm OC Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop Event December 4, 2014 “Oh What Fun!”

Are you ready to get your holiday on in a sweet flurry of hands-on cookie decorating fun? I am!

If you live in the SoCal area, there’s a couple spaces left for my
Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop at West Elm South Coast Plaza, Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 PM!

Call the store at 714-662-1960 for more information and to reserve your place at the decked out holiday table.  I’ll be teaching the basic skills to decorate cut-out sugar cookies and then it’ll be your turn to create your masterpieces!  Plus you’ll take home many goodies in the SwagBag!  Scroll on down to see what’s it in below. 

“Oh what fun!”

We’re excited to have you join us!

West Elm Cookie Decorating Workshop 

West Elm Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop

What’s in your West Elm South Coast Plaza Cookie Decorating Workshop’s Wonderful Red SwagBag?”

  • Booklet with recipes, guides & photos
  • Decorating Tips from Wilton
  • Coupler from Wilton
  • Decorating Bags from Wilton
  • Snowflake Cookie Cutter
  • Big Squeezie Bottle for icing from Wilton
  • Pearl Luster Dust from Wilton
  • Sparkly Glitter Dust
  • Shiny Dragees
  • Brushes
  • Containers of Royal Icing
  • Cookies to decorate at home
  • Darling little spatula from Sur la Table
  • Cookie Gift Boxes from Wilton

And some fun Wilton product give-aways!

Come join the fun!

xoxo

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Snowflake Gingerbread Cake with a Cocoa Trimming Kit of Marshmallow Snowmen and Peppermint Sticks

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.  Ours was, as both boys were home and were able to stay a few days but today they’ve flown the coop again.  I never get used to that but before they left they got out all the Christmas decorations and put the garlands up on the banister while I was out shopping.  It was a perfect surprise!  It’s a big job to get the greens and lights up on our curvy staircase so I decided to let the guys continue their merry-making while I headed into the kitchen to show them how much I appreciated their thoughtfulness.

As a Wilton Brand Ambassador, I have the privilege of receiving and trying out new products on a seasonal basis.  For this holiday season, I was so excited when I opened my box of goodies a couple weeks ago to find a snowflake cake pan.  Since then, I’ve been waiting for the holidays to make a gingerbread cake with warm, spicy notes. 

Wilton Snowflake Cake Pan-38

There’s directions on the pan wrapper to tell you know how much batter the pan can hold.  It takes the equivalent of one boxed cake if you’re going with a mix, by the way.  My gingerbread recipe was made from scratch (link below) and yielded more batter so I filled the pan to where I thought it should be and poured the rest into a mini Wilton loaf pan.  Both cakes came out perfectly!

Wilton Snowflake Pan Gingerbread-8242ps

After the cake was cooled, I flipped it out of the non-stick pan.  This will be the top of the finished cake.  I got involved in holiday decorating so I forgot about my ten minute mark to take the cake out of the pan but I still came out fine even though it was completely cooled.  If I had done it at exactly ten minutes, I wouldn’t have had any little rough areas on the bottom (now top) of the cake.  It’s like a little game to flip the cake out of the pan.  I strive for cake release perfection.  If you’re a baker, you’ll understand.  ha!  

Wilton Snowflake Cake Pan-8251

Next, I glazed the cake with a mixture of sifted powdered sugar, half & half and vanilla and spread it over the cake with the back of a spoon.  If the glaze felt like taking a detour over the sides of the cake, why not?

After it was set and dry, I sifted powder sugar over the entire surface.

Taking a large, plain round tip placed into a decorating bag, I piped cream cheese frosting (recipe below) on the tips of the snowflake.  Another dusting of powdered sugar over the piped frosting gave the icing a snowy look.  I finished decorating with Wilton’s White Cake Sparkles sprinkled over the piped icing and large silver dragees.  It’s a simple decoration that’s easy, elegant and pretty.

The punched out snowflake in the middle is made with fondant that was allowed to dry and harden.  I’ve made dozens of make-ahead fondant embellishments to bring to the Holiday Cookie Decorating Class at West Elm South Coast Plaza that I’m teaching this week.  Always good to make extra fondant decorations because they can be used for any sweet decoration in the future.

Wilton Gingerbread Cake Pan-37

Know what else I fell in love with in my goodie package?  The Cocoa Trimming Kit.  It’s a pack of marshmallow snowmen with accompanying peppermint sticks! 

Wilton Holiday Pack-8097

How cute are they? They hold their shape well since they’re not as squishy as regular marshmallows and they come with individually wrapped peppermint sticks. 

Wilton Snowman Marshmallows Candy Canes 40-2 final

For our hot cocoa, I added Wilton’s pearalized snowflake sprinkles on top of the whipped cream.  I love the color combination of red peppermint sticks paired with the blue candies for accent.

With the gingerbread cake baked and decorated and hot cocoa ready to go, I put together a tray of holiday treats for my three merry-making men who by this time had just finished putting up the lights outside!  This is our second year of having green pinpoints of laser lights all over the house and landscape.  We’ve already had someone come to the door today to ask about them before we even put them up because they remembered them from last year.  Here’s a photo I posted on Instagram.  We had them up for Halloween too where we added blue lights to the green.

Wilton Snowman Marshmallows Candy Canes-43

I can’t get enough of these smiling little guys!

Wilton Snowman Marshmallows Candy Canes-8317

I love these festive touches for the holiday season.  Below you’ll find recipe links, product information and other Wilton inspired links!

Have a wonderfully sweet holiday season!

Wilton Snowman Marshmallows Candy Canes-46

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cream all ingredients.  Thin with a bit of milk or half & half if it’s too thick to spread or pipe.

Wilton Products Used in this post:
Snowflake Tube Cake Pan 
Cocoa Trimming Kit
Sprinkles – Pearlized Snowflakes
White Cake Sparkles

More holiday goodies you’ll love!

Wilton Holiday 900

Past Wilton Posts

Pretty Painted Pie Crust (cutters)
Black Cinnamon Candied Apples
Decorated Ghost Cookies with Fondant
Fabulous Fondant Give-Away
Pretty Pink Petal Cake
Endless Summer Cupcakes
Sea Life Fondant & Gum Paste Mold
Fabulous Fondant Daisies
Father’s Day Golf Themed Cupcakes
My Trip to the Wilton Sweet Up (Visiting the Mothership)
Peeps Brunch Bunnies
Whimsical Springtime Brunch
Twist Quick Coupler Review
Sweet Treat Team

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pretty Painted Pie Crusts

With pie making taking center stage on Wednesday along with all my other prep work for Thursday’s dinner, I’ve planned ahead and taken some steps to make the day less hectic and more organized with “pretty” still in mind.

Truth be told, I cannot make a pie without a decorative crust finish.  When I won the blue ribbon for my Dutch apple pie at the Orange County Fair, one of the judge’s comments was how pretty the single painted apple cut-out was on top of the pie and how it added to the presentation.

I made my first pie of the season this past weekend because it was my mother-in-love’s 92nd birthday and she loves pumpkin pie.  Who says a birthday has to be celebrated with a cake? 

I used Wilton’s 6-pc. Pie Crust Cutter Set to cut leaves out of the pie crust scraps to add the decorative maple leaves and I’m going to show you how to paint the pretty colors.

Wilton Pie Crust Cutters Pretty Painted Pie Crusts-

I’ve used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Pate Brisee for my pie crusts forever.  It’s the best.  Apparently the OC judge’s liked it too.

Wilton Pie Crust Cutters -8197

I found it’s best to prepare your crust with a simple cut edge so the leaves have a wide, flat surface to adhere to.

To make the “paint” take 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten to break them up, and place them in the middle of a plate.

Add Wilton’s Decorating Colors around the inside of the plate.  The colors I used were kelly green, golden yellow, red and lemon yellow.  I also experimented with a purple but I don’t recommend using it.  Keep the colors in the lighter hues and a swipe of green only to add depth once in awhile.

Wilton Pretty Painted Pie Crusts

I used the egg yolks and the spots of color like a painter’s palette and pulled the yolk into my colors.

Paint each individual leaf with the colors.  There is no right or wrong.  I like mixing colors - painting some yellow then perhaps some red on the tips of the leaves.

Wilton Pie Crust Cutter Set

Pretty pastry leaves. 

Wilton Pretty Painted Pie Crusts

I admit to adding some glittery sparkle.  I just can’t help myself.

These can also be made days ahead or frozen.  Thaw before placing them on the pie or place them on the pie crust then freeze the entire crust.

Adhere them to the pie edge by moistening the pie crust edge with water or more beaten egg yolk.  I prefer water.

Place your leaves around the crust edge pressing a little to make sure they have adhered.

Bake your pie as directed BUT I found the colors do darken when baked so I recommend covering the pie crust’s edge with foil or with a pie crust guard after the leaves have had a time to set. 

You can also bake the leaves separately on a baking sheet and remove them from the oven before they brown too much and use them to garnish dollops of whipped cream on your pie slices.  I add this special touch to my final presentation before we dig in.

The cutters can be found at Michaels and Jo-Ann Craft Stores or wherever Wilton is sold near you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a sponsored post.  As a Wilton Brand Ambassador, I received compensation and/or product from Wilton Cake Decorating.  All opinions and endorsements of the products I mention are my own.  If I didn’t love them… you know.  :)

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