Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sugar Rimmed Glasses

Here is a quick and super easy idea for entertaining.....a small amount of effort for a big visual impact: Sugar Rimmed Glasses.

This can be done with plastic or stemware. Given the circles I entertain typically involve large amounts of children, I often choose the nicer plastic glasses with the "crystal effect".

And sanding sugar, available at most craft warehouses or specialty cake shops, comes in a variety of colors.  You can do several colors, or even mix sugars for an added dimension.

Ingredients:

Sanding Sugar (color of choice)
Lemon Juice or Water

*Note: You can use water instead of lemon juice, but I find lemon juice to adhere a bit better to the sugar. Feel free to experiment with this. Also, only in the specialty cake shops did I find sugar actually labeled "Sanding Sugar". Any colored sugar should work. However, if the granules are too large, you will have trouble getting them to stick to the glass.


Put water in a bowl, to the height you want the rim to be on the glass.  
(Water height will determine thickness of rim.) Pour colored sugar into bowl, deep enough to dip the cup rim past the water line. 

Dip the cup first into the water bowl.


 Next, dip the cup into the colored sugar bowl, making sure to twist, and ensuring that sugar is on both the outside and inside of the cup rim. As you pull the cup up from the sugar bowl, give it a couple of shakes to rid of excess sugar, and store upright to dry for at least an hour before using.


Now, as you can tell from the next picture, you will need to keep a watchful eye on any children assisting you....at least if you plan to serve the cups for guests!


Also, for the benefit of your party guests, we will include the following demonstration:


Once the sugar becomes wet from liquid, the color can seep out....especially if the cups have not had time to properly dry. If it has plenty of time to dry, it doesn't bleed a lot, though some colors seem to do this more than others. You can also choose to do just a partial sugar rim.

So, if you don't allow the sugar to dry long enough.....or find your guests are drinking as follows:

 
Their faces may then resemble the below:


Or, you can always suggest they drink like this: :-)


Seriously, however, colored sugar rims can greatly impact the visual display, with little added cost or time. The below pictures are from a friend's 50th Birthday celebration....they mixed purple and pink sugars and dipped the stemware (no this is not plastic) in water.  The effect was stunning.

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

20 Minute Peppermint Plate

I'm about to show you one of the funnest and easiest projects I've ever done with my kids. One of those projects that looks magazine worthy.....yet truly can fit into the busiest of schedules. The entire project took 20 minutes WITH the kids helping!  Have fun!

Ingredients

1 10oz bag Round Peppermint Candies




Unwrap the Peppermint Candies.


Place Peppermint Candies evenly inside of Medium Round Flexipan
(Note: If you are not using a Flexipan, you will need to use parchment paper or similar.)


Place Flexipan onto perforated baking sheet into an oven preheated to 350 degrees.  
You will bake for 8-9 minutes.  


(Check at 8, if it is finished, all shapes will be completely flat.  If you bake for too long, bubbles will start to form on surface of candy.  Regardless, a few minor bubbles will likely appear.)


Let cool for at least 10 minutes.  
Unmold from Flexipan.


And.....good luck trying to keep your kiddos away from it! 
Insert lollipop stick during baking process, and you might just go down as the best Mama ever! 
(But don't worry, they'll think you're pretty awesome just for making a giant Peppermint Plate!)


 Your Peppermint Plate is ready to use!  Keep in mind the surface will be slightly tacky to the touch, so if you are planning to use it as a base for small desserts, consider using paper candy cups.


The Medium Round Flexipan is one of my most versatile Flexipans.
It is in this pan I steam all of my veggies, make kettle corn, popcorn, melt butter, etc. in the microwave with the addition of an Octagonal Silpat as my lid. It's great for ice cream cakes, cheesecakes, marinating meat, baking anything.....the list goes on.  It may be plain, but I call it my "work horse" Flexipan. The Large Round Flexipan would perform the same function with an Octagonal Silpat. I recommend a round mold of either size and a lid for anyone just beginning with Flexipans, and they are both available in Demarle's most popular beginner kit, 5 Key Ingredients.