Thursday, May 31, 2007

I want candy (for other reasons)

I have to admit, I feel a little out of place at Sugar Savvy. I mean, I like candy. Yeah, my Halloween candy lasted until Easter and my Easter candy lasted until Halloween, but really, I like candy. It seems to me to be review, review, Hey - I made brittle, review, review. And by no means am I trying to demean what they are doing. I know they enjoy eating and writing about sweets as much as I do, they’re probably even better at the writing part of it too. But in my little world, I just have a different view of candy. When I see a piece of candy, my first thought isn’t so much about taste, but can I use this in something. To me, more often than not, I think of candy as a part of a larger piece.

Take these marshmallow ice cream cones for example.

When I saw these I wasn’t thinking about a slightly stale marshmallow taste with a sugar crust reminiscent of Peeps. I was trying to figure the best way to work them into a home-baked gift, which turned into this:

One of my favorite things to use is chocolate.  I've used molded chocolate (and it’s cheaper and easier-to-use cousin candy melts) for a number of projects. It’s so simple to do. Cars, bats, skulls, and hearts are just some of the things I've made to adorn or accompany my baked goods. First, you need a mold. I was lucky starting out, there was a baking and candy making supply store near me with large selection of chocolate molds. Sadly, well for me anyway, it closed recently. Hobby stores and party supply stores also have molds; however they tend to have a small selection of just the basics. With a little planning though, you can find anything you need online. The next step is to melt the chocolate. Then pour into the mold. Scrap off the excess, refrigerate until hard, and unmold. You now have your own crafted candies.

Marshmallow cone picture from the Marshmallow Cone Company Website

Also appearing at Sugar Savvy and featured on the Well Fed Network.

I received this email a couple days ago:

I just happened to come across your blog today when I was doing a search for “marshmallow cones.”

Not that it’s here or there, but under your May 31st entry, you show a picture of our marshmallow cones and then your cupcakes have a tiny marshmallow cone on them.

The first picture is from our website (I took and edited it myself), the latter one is a foreign-made “marshmallow” cone.

There’s a big difference between our product and theirs – ours is 4” long, theirs is 1.5 or 2” long. Ours has a marshmallow topping, theirs is more like a sugar-crusted jelly bean.

FWIW, given your penchant for cooking/baking/decorating you might be interested in knowing that some people use our cones in building gingerbread houses. One woman sent me pictures where they had used the cones as front door pillars.

Anyway, I saw your blog and just thought I’d write.

Take care,

Dan Runk
Marshmallow Cone Company
"Celebrating 71 Years (1936-2007)"

I have to admit I wasn't entirely sure the cones I used were his brand. Lorrie purchased them from a candy store chain and I tried to find the source the best I could since there was no box. I tried to match up the look and style of the cones to pictures on the 'Net and I thought I had. Obviously, this is not the case and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mystery Solved!

A while back, I asked for help identifying these two cookie cutters. I had picked them up in a rummage sale and had no idea what they could be. The best guess Lorrie and I could come up with was a cob of corn and a bat.

Well, now the mystery is solved. I was up in Green Bay over Mother's Day and stopped by my aunt's to pick up her cookie cutters and cookbooks. She was downsizing to a new apartment. I started going through them when I had a 'Holy, um, cow' moment once I saw this:

A full set of the mystery cookie cutters still in the package! So it turns out the corn cob-looking one is a basket and the bat one is a chick with it's wings spread. And hey, there is a rabbit in the set too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

April 2007 Just Baking Round-Up

My "Look, I post somewhere else" round-up of posts I did as editor at Just Baking in April 2007.

Apr. 11 - Yellow Cake - A Baking Basic - My Easter bunny cupcakes make an appearance.

Apr. 13 - Blackberry Oat Muffins And A Lesson - I share my post about oats and how they aren't gluten free.

Apr. 23 - Have you ever baked a birthday cake? (Or wanted to?) - We're looking for writers.

Apr. 24 - Teff - Another unusual ingredient of the week.

Apr. 25 - Video Learning: Baking Bread - I really like being able to put a video up.

Apr. 30 - Congratulations - We're very proud of Hannah Kaminsky, a writer at Just Baking and her own site, Bittersweet, for her upcoming cookbook.

*Update* - As Just Baking no longer exists, I have removed the actual links but left the post names as a source for ideas