Peppermint Candy Cane Bark {guest tutorial}

*Be sure to check back in on Monday for the premier of Season 14.  The stuff the crafters put together for this season is awesome.  You won’t want to miss it.*

Banner claireabellemakes

Hi there! Thanks to Missy for having me here today, I’m super excited to be sharing a post on So You Think You’re Crafty as I’ve been so inspired by the many crafty and creative bloggers that I’ve discovered here.

My name is Claire and I blog over at Claireabellemakes about crafting, baking and my home city of Cambridge in the UK. This year I learnt to crochet and I am a sucker for any crafts that involve a glue gun. I love to share DIYs and recipes and I make and sell handmade accessories on Etsy.

claireabellemakes shop

I am sharing with you a quick and easy recipe for Peppermint Candy Cane Bark to use up all those candy canes that didn’t get eaten over the holiday season.

Peppermint Candy Cane Bark

Ingredients

  • 400g White chocolate (2 x large bars)
  • ½ cup crushed candy canes (around 5 full size canes)
  • Peppermint essence (optional)

Directions

  • Place candy canes into a bag and hammer until crushed. Alternatively, you can place them into a food processor and pulse.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water on medium heat.
  • Mix the crushed candy canes and chocolate together and add peppermint flavour if desired.
  • Pour mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour until hard.
  • Break into pieces and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe today. Thanks for having me Missy!

Claire x

Almond Toffee {guest post}

*Hey everybody! Season 14 of So You Think You’re Crafty is going to be fantastic. However, it won’t be starting until the New Year – we decided to let the crafters have a little break and family time too :) . But I have a great schedule of guest posts and shop spotlights lined up from now until then. Have a great Holiday season and see you all after the New Year!*

Merry Christmas, everyone! My name is Megan and I blog over at The Crafty Conundrum, where I share recipes and crafts.  You might remember me from a couple seasons ago here at SYTYC.  I’m so excited to be back!  Thanks, Missy, for letting me crash your blog again!


Every year since I can remember my mom makes and dips chocolates around Christmas time. My sister and I help out, but my mom is the real pro.  Anyway, I decided that I should probably start to learn the trade myself, so I started with something easy. It’s called Almond Toffee and today I’m going to teach you how to make it too. This is great to start with because there are no candy thermometers or beating.  And it’s a lot harder to mess up than something like caramels or fondant.

So let’s get started.  First you butter a 10 x 15″ jelly roll pan. In an electric frying pan, combine light corn syrup, sugar, and water. Set the temperature to 360 F (180 C).

Bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once boiling, add blanched slivered almonds and butter.

Keep stirring and cooking until the almonds are brown.

Pour into prepared pan and press score lines into the candy with a heavy knife as it begins to set.

Let candy cool completely at room temperature. Then break it along score lines.

Now this toffee tastes great by itself, but we love it even more when it’s dipped in dipping chocolate and rolled in (or sprinkled with) chopped, toasted almonds.  It’s kind of reminiscent of Almond Roca.

The dipping takes a bit more skill and patience while you learn how to “temper the chocolate.” if your chocolate isn’t the right temperature when you dip it then it will appear “foggy”.  A great resource for learning to temper chocolate and dip properly (along with fabulous recipes for all kinds of candy) is a book called Candymaking by Ruth A. Kendrick and Pauline H. Atkinson. I invested in a copy of my own because it’s really helpful.  This is the book my mom has been using for the past 20-30 years of chocolate making and it’s wonderful.

And here are the ingredient amounts:

Almond Toffee

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup blanched almonds (slivered or chopped)

1 cup butter

Thanks, again, Missy!  And hope you all have a wonderful time this holiday season.  Hope to see you sometime over at The Crafty Conundrum!

Andes Mint Bark {guest post}

*Hey everybody! Season 14 of So You Think You’re Crafty is going to be fantastic. However, it won’t be starting until the New Year – we decided to let the crafters have a little break and family time too :) . But I have a great schedule of guest posts and shop spotlights lined up from now until then. Have a great Holiday season and see you all after the New Year!*

Hey everyone! My name is Nikki and I blog over at Domestically Modern. I’m kind of a newbie when it comes to the whole blogging thing, but I have totally loved it so far.  I’ve always been crafty and now I have a brand new reason to be crafting up a storm whenever inspiration hits!  

Since the holidays are coming up I thought it would be nice to get into the spirit and share something I love to give away as a present, or have at all those holiday parties. I’m going to be giving you a recipe for Andes Mint Bark.  It’s a chocolatey delicious take on peppermint bark…and in my opinion (and my husbands!) can’t be beat!


Ingredients:

16 ounces of Bakers semi-sweet chocolate
12 ounces of Bakers white chocolate
Splash of peppermint extract
Crushed up Andes Mints (You can buy these or make them yourself)

How to make your bark:

  1. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, or double boiler (as long as you melt it, doesn’t matter how).
  2. Pour and spread chocolate into a 13×9 pan that is covered in parchment paper.
  3. Put this in fridge and wait until it is hardened.
  4. After the first layer is good and hard, melt the white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl.
  5. Splash some peppermint extract in the white chocolate and stir.  However much or however little your peppermint loving heart desires!
  6. Pour this mixture over the dark chocolate. *Be careful when spreading this mix it will tend to make the darker chocolate mix with it if you push too hard!
  7. Place this in the refrigerator for about 3-4 minutes, not to get hard just to firm up a bit.
  8. Once firmed pour Andes Mints onto the top layer and lightly press the pieces into the chocolate.
  9. Place whole thing back into fridge and firm for 3-4 hours
  10. Get out of fridge and have fun breaking up that bark!

Now you are ready to put your bark in a cute mason jar or tin or something cute like that!!

Look at how pretty that is…plus it looks impressive!So give it a try and give your friends, family, and guests a minty, chocolatey, homemade and easy gift for the holidays!

Thanks for reading and make sure to stop by Domestically Modern sometime!

XOXO,

T-Rex Cake Tutorial

*Tutorial by Megan @ The Crafty Conundrum for her win of the Boys Challenge of season 12* 

First off -thanks to everyone who voted for me!  This is pretty exciting for me.

And secondly…. hold onto your hats -this is a lot longer post than I thought it would be.  All ready?  Ok, then here we go!

First things first – you need to bake some cakes. I used a cake mix (for this one it was a Funfetti mix) but I “doctor” it a bit to make a denser cake. Not only does it taste better than a plain cake mix, but it’s also sturdier and will hold up better when stacked.

Here is that recipe

Beat together (like you normally would make a cake mix):

1 cake mix

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

pinch of salt

1 cup milk

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

I baked 2 7-inch oval cake layers and still had enough for a dozen cupcakes. If you don’t have oval pans, you could make a larger circle pan and just trim it into the shape you want. Oh, and pop on over to this post for a cake release recipe- it will make easier to get your cakes out in one piece -minus the mess that you get when greasing and flouring pans. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

So make sure those babies cool completely. You may want to let them cool and then wrap them well in plastic wrap and do the decorating the next day just to give the cakes time to settle (and you a bit of a break).

When you’re ready to decorate, you’ll need a board. You can pick up foam core sheets at Michael’s or probably even Staples. Get the thinner stuff (I think it’s 1/4 inch). You’ll want to cut it with an X-Acto knife the shape you want your dinosaur head to be.  I traced around the oval cake (leaving about 1/4 inch extra all around to account for adding icing and fondant). Then I added on a snout shape to the front.

Next you will need to level your cakes. Use whatever you are comfortable with. My mother let me use her cake leveler. But you could level it out with a large knife. Or hold a piece of dental floss (unflavored!) TIGHTLY between your hands and, using a sawing motion from side to side, slowly work the floss from the far side of your cake towards yourself -keeping your hands as close to the same height as possible.

Put some frosting (go here for my Buttercream Frosting recipe) down on your board. Lay one cake layer on the board -cut side UP (smooth side down). Then ice the whole top of that layer. Place the other layer on top of the first -cut side DOWN. This way the top AND bottom are the smooth sides.

Now comes the part that takes a bit more creativity.  The oval cake forms the main part of the head.  You will need to sculpt the snout, round out the back/sides of the head, and make a “dome” for the top of the head. [Read more...]

Edible – Week 4

Poll open until Friday, August 6th at 9 pm MST. Hurry and vote!

Craft #1 – Purse – Kim

So this week is edible week.

Why am I showing you a purse? Maybe I sewed it in my kitchen? does
that count as edible? (she did say you can interpret it loosely)
Maybe that’s just a little too loose.
or maybe not.
INGREDIENTS:
3 cow tail candies
3 laffy taffys
1 Box white cake
1 box fondant
1 can icing.
brown food coloring
(please note: the keys and phone are not edible…..for staging
purposes only!)

Craft #2 – Western Cowboy Birthday Cake – Carrie

We LOVE birthdays cakes around here! Every year my kids plan, design and dream of what they want their birthday cake to look like.

This cake is is perfect for a Western themed birthday party! A BBQ with pony rides, games of horse shoe, and bandana gift bags filled with treats.

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This cake is so fun to make! Once you learn some of my cake decorating tricks you will be able to make your kid’s birthday cake dreams come true!

Closeup

Craft #3 – Little Man Tea Party – Cheri

Really.  Who says tea parties have to be just for little girls?  Welcome to our little man tea party.  I hope you’re hungry.

Here is today’s menu……..

Neck Tie PBJ Finger Sandwiches…….Chocolate Mustache Pettifores (with yummy cream filling)…..

…and milk in a Signature ‘Stache Cup….so there’s no confusion about whose cup is whose.
No pink, no frills, no drama…….just plain manly fun.

Craft #4 – Mint-Ginger Preggo Pills – Vanessa

Preggo Pills 01

Preggo Pills 02

Whenever I find out a friend is newly pregnant, I always whip up a batch
of Mint-Ginger Preggo Pills in celebration of a new life and in
understanding of how rough those first few weeks can be. That first
trimester nausea is not fun at all! Luckily, both ginger and mint have
been used for ages to help calm upset stomachs. You can either eat the
hard candy plain or place a few in hot water to make a yummy tea.

Packaged in an embellished glass container, Mint-Ginger Preggo Pills are a
simple but useful way to say “Congrats on your pregnancy, hope the
vomiting lets up soon!”

Craft #5 – Edible Topiaries – Natalia & Whitnee

I love these edible topiaries, they are so darling for any party or wedding! You can use almost any fruit or veggie and it’s a darling way to show off your food The stand is totally reusable so you can use it for more than one party! These darling topiaries are shown using Grapes, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Blueberries and lettuce!

Craft #6 – Stained Glass Lollipops – Mary Beth

Project Difficulty: BEYOND EASY.  This is so easy that I almost didn’t post it for fear of getting voted off, but I decided I would anyway.  Sometimes as Mom’s we are looking for a last minute, easy project to do with our kids that doesn’t require a whole lotta effort.  This project is super kid friendly.  And Mom’s, the best part is that it has only 1 ingredient!   Yes, you read that right.  No candy thermometer required!   My boys did this with me.  They like their tie-die creations best.  You can make any shapes you like which are perfectly imperfect and ideal for little ones.  The more you do it the better they get.   We are still rookies so these may not grace the cover of Southern Living Magazine but my oldest son said “Mom, you make the coolest things” and gave me a big hug.  So for me, that was what this was all about.  And to top it off, I literally had no mess to clean up!

Craft #7 – Candy Mosaic – Emilie

What reminds us more of childhood than delicious candy in bright colors? When this week’s theme was edible, I decided to make a mosaic for my children’s room….using only candy.
I chose this damask pattern to match a large throw pillow, in their room where they read, with the same pattern.
Now this cool wall hanging lives on the wall above a reading nook and is a striking statement against their pale yellow walls. And it smells good too!

Cupcake Flower Bouquet

*Project by Malory @ Snips & Spice for the Spring challenge of season 15*

Two things that I love, love, love, are flowers and cupcakes!  So why not combine the two and make a cupcake bouquet?

I wanted to make a cheerful bouquet instead of a romantic bouquet, so I chose to add some pop by adding yellow to the pink and purple tones.
The best part of this spring bouquet…it’s oh so delicious!  I made white chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.  Yum!  Excuse my while I indulge by eating some of my spring cupcake bouquet.  Hope to see you next week!

Pumpkin Apples

*Project made by Chica and Jo @ Chica & Jo*

The markets are filled with delicious apples this time of year.  Although we love just eating them plain, they are even better when you coat them in delectable caramel.  We made some for a local fall festival and wanted to jazz them up a bit.  The pumpkin theme for this round of the contest inspired our design.  What better way to represent fall than caramel apples dressed up to look like little pumpkins.  These were so easy to make and we love the fact that they are reusable.  You could wrap other goodies in them as well such as popcorn balls.  The simple drawstring closure makes it easy to fit on any sized apple.

Edible Topiaries

*Project made by Nat & Whit @ Piece & Quilt*

I love these edible topiaries, they are so darling for any party or wedding! You can use almost any fruit or veggie and it’s a darling way to show off your food The stand is totally reusable so you can use it for more than one party! These darling topiaries are shown using Grapes, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Blueberries and lettuce!