Monday, December 31, 2012

Layered Jello Shots, Virgin Shots

  So these are amazing, and even two weeks later I am still sort of slurping them down.  I loved jello as a kid, and Pork Chop loves the idea of it. He is always lets make jello, he used to say jelly, which was way cuter.  Anyway he likes the idea of it, but eating it, not so much.  Anyway, I saw this on Pioneer Woman, she called then jello fingers which was kind of gross, so I changed that.  And I had to adjust the recipe a tiny bit for me but other than that this is it!  I made it virgin, because I could not bring boozy jello to work, or feed it to Pork Chop, but the idea is there.

  Basically you can tailor the flavor and colour to be what ever you want.  Like I love cherry limeade, and those two colours just happen to be perfect for Christmas.  But say you want to do a rainbow, you go right ahead.  Or as this could be made boozy, you could do whatever.  Basically do what you want, but just make it; okay?

This is all you need, and some water.  And if you are making it boozy, I love you, and you need booze.

Layered Jello Shots
Found on Pioneer Woman

-5-6 boxes of jello powder in flavour and colour of your choice
-10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
-2 cans sweetened condensed milk ( the ones in the states are larger, but I used the ones we have here and it worked fine)
-9x13 cake pan
-cooking spray
-boiling water, lots of it ( if you are doing boozy shots, which I cannot believe you would not want to, add booze, lots of it.)

So basically that is what I used, I think that if you were to replace part of the water with vodka or something it would be awesome, so I will mention that as I go along.

This is my third layer, you can sort of see how the colours mixed, and when I cut it the layers were a bit mixed, but as I went along it got crisper as I let the layers set a bit longer.

Start by boiling lots of water, I just used my plug in kettle and topped it up between layers.  Spray your cake pan with cooking spray to make sure the jello won't stick.  Also check the fridge, I found out my shelf was not level so I had to end up putting a thick layer of paper towel to try and level it off to get even layers, it didn't work perfectly as I didn't do that for all the layers.  Whatever it was still good.

 So you need a few hours for this, I was sick so did a layer, sat and watched TV then did another.  I found that in my fridge 20 minutes between layers was perfect. You need them set enough so that when you pour on the next layer it doesn't melt the one beneath it.

The layers are as follows from bottom to top, so follow this:
-jello red
-white layer
-jello green
-white layer
-jello red
-white layer
-jello green
-white layer
-jello red
-white layer

 After that I ran out of room. So do what you want, but that is how it worked for me.

For each jello layer follow this:

-melt one packet of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water.  (this is where you would use Vodka instead of water, so 1/4 cup vodka)  Stir. Once fully dissolved pour in one cup of boiling water and right away add in one packet of regular jello, stir really well, but not fast, you don't want bubbles.  Stir until all the jello is gone, and then stir some more, if you get crystals you will get a ruined jello.  So once it is all ready, pour it into your pan and set it in the fridge to set for about 20 minutes.

This is the last layer, it was a heavy pan I tell you!
 You can start making the white layer as it will cover about 3 layers in one batch, it will sit out and not set up so you can take your time.  Start with your can of milk in a bowl, then take another bowl and put two envelopes of unflavored gelatin in with 1/2 cup cold water.  (if you are making the boozy version, don't bother to change this out for vodka, trust me you will have enough in the other layers) Once the gelatin is dissolved take a cup of boiling water and pour that over the milk and stir until well mixed.  Then add the gelatin mix, and add another 1/2 cup boiling water and mix all together.  This will be the white layers.

To make sure the layers are set enough, take your pan out and tilt it, the jello should not move at all.  Once you have that, slowly pour enough of the white mixture over to cover it well and chill it again for 20 minutes or until well set.

That is it!  You continue on with that making it as high as you want.  I found that I ended up just making the last layer a double layer of white as I had lots left but not enough room to do another layer of colour in between.

 Once that is done, let the whole thing set for at least 2 hours and then you can cut it how ever you would like.  I thought it would be fun to try it with a wavy cutter, I was wrong, it was way better just in squares or simple shapes.  Also this pan of jello is heavy, so if you can just leave the pan in the fridge and pour the layers on, that would be great, trust me I did that the last few layers.

This is how it turned out when I used a wavy cutter, I didn't like it that much.

 So this is super yummy, and a great option to regular jello shots as you don't need cups, just pick it up with your fingers and eat.  Which is probably the best way to do it when you are drunk, you know, less waste and less chance of breaking cups.  I am smart that way, and this would be perfect for a new years party.  If you make the boozy version please let me know how many shots you got in before you passed out, I don't know if I am brave enough to try this!
The DIY Dreamer
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chocolate Covered Oreos with Chocolate Transfers

So I made chocolate covered Oreo's a few days back and I liked them, they were easy to make. But I didn't like how there was a really thick layer of chocolate on top and none on the bottom.  So I decided  I had to try it again.  And I did and it was way better!  So here you go.

 First you have to melt your candy melts.I use milk chocolate but you can use white, I think it would be a great background.  I just hate working with the white ones so I stick with the stuff I like.
This may or may not be a picture that was from the first time I made them.  

Then you dip your cookies. And yes I know there is a dirty joke in there somewhere, but Santa is watching so we have to be good; at least for now.

I got all this one one sheet of chocolate transfers.  And I know it's after Christmas really, but well, I actually did so many holiday things I ran out of time to post them.

 As you dip your cookies (hee hee)  you tap off as much chocolate as you can and then place the cookie on the transfer sheet.  They are the same sheets I used on my marshmallow pops.  Then all you have to do it let them dry fully before removing them. And there you go, super fancy cookies that make you think you are amazing.  Well at least until you screw something up; again.

Okay they may not be perfect, but they are good.  I think next time when I place them on the transfer sheet I should press them down just a little to make sure they make full contact with the image.

So there you go, a simple Christmas cookie, after Christmas.  I know, but hey they will still work for New years and since there are different transfers for all the holidays this is just a base for that.  Or at least I am really ahead for next year.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Annual Cookie Exchange

 For the last few years I have been going to a cookie exchange my girl friend sets up.  I had never done one before her and well, I look forward to it now.  I go with the same old every year.  Cakeballs, of coarse.  This year I got containers from Walmart to make them cuter, I should have gotten the smaller size because they looked so tiny in there.  Oh well.   
Here is my huge table full of them, I was so tired I did the simplest thing I could.

See a drizzle of chocolate and a smattering of sprinkle.s

I was even too lazy to dig out my holiday sprinkles, they may never see the light of day.

I have  come to hate these types of sprinkles, you end up with them all over as they bounce off the table.

This was a new trick, I have been wanting to try it for a while, so I finally did.

I gilded my balls.

Yeah I know, I said it.  But there you go a short sweet post, and now on to the holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Red Velvet Marshmallow Star Pops

Wow that is a long title!  But that is what they are.  I made marshmallows again, but tried to change it up just a little.  I am actually not thrilled with how they looked, but the taste was great, so that is something right?

  So I was driving home one evening heading home to eat and change to head into my second job.  And as I usually do I let my mind wander to things I should be doing, or what I would rather be doing.  And for some reason red velvet marshmallows, and how I was going to make them into pops and shape them like stars, popped into my head.  And I was going to decorate them with edible gold spray paint.  But then I had to go to work and I was all "this has to happen, and I need it to happen now!" But as with my life there was not going to be time to make them for at least a few days.  The thing with marshmallows is that they are a two day event.  You need to make the marshmallow then allow them to dry over night before you can work with them.  So I needed a two day period where I was not working or something.  And thankfully it happened the very next week.
This little bottle will make a bunch of marshmallows, or something else, because I need to try it in lots of other things. Oh like frosting, and cookies, and ice cream and ......I better stop, or I will never finish this post.

So to make these I started off with the basic marshmallow base that I love. Here is the original if you would like to take a look.  The only difference is that I made a double batch, because I have a bigger kitchen aid, and I replaced some of the water with red velvet flavoring.
At this point I was all, "oh god, it looks awful"  But relax it turns out better, I swear!
  So to start you will need to find the flavoring.  I found it at my super kitchen store,  I had a nice gift card and this was one of the things I got, and now need to have again and again.  From reading the label it is actually for you to use in cakes, you use it to make your cake red velvet.  It has the colour and flavor in one, so it really was neat. It said to use 1 TBSP per 12 cupcakes, so I figure 2 9x13 pans is like 48 cupcakes so I used 4 TBSPs.   Also this is the colour of blood and my darn marshmallows started off looking like a big bowl of blood.  Pork Chop was all "your a vampire!!!" When I showed him the stuff.  Sigh.

See it's a nice light red now, and I sort of wish it was darker, sort of.

Red Velvet Marshmallows
Adapted from Martha Stewart

This recipe makes 2 9x13 pans, so you can half it. ( and if you feel the need for less marshmallows I don't know how we can still be friends.)

-5 TBPS unflavored powdered gelatin (or 6 packets)
-1 cup water
-1 cup water minus 4 TBSPs
-4 TBSPs red velvet flavoring
-1/2 TSP salt
-2 cups light corn syrup
-3 cups sugar
-2 TBSP vanilla bean paste
-butter and icing sugar for the pans

See how fancy I am?  I know, you cannot see it, it is something you need to witness in real life.  Sorry.

Start by preparing your pans, butter and dust them with the icing sugar and set aside.

Mix together in your kitchen aid bowl, the 1 cup of water, taking out 4 TBSPs, the red velvet flavoring and the gelatin.  Set it aside.

Have I mentioned how much I love being able to crop out stuff in pictures now?  Well I do, there may have been a layer of icing sugar on everything I own.  Maybe.
Mix everything else, except the vanilla, into a sauce pan, and put over medium heat.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved and then turn up the heat, attach your candy thermometer and cook until it reaches the firm ball stage.   Once it has reached the right temperature, take the pot off the heat and pour into your kitchen aid bowl while mixing with the whisk attachment on low.  Once it is all in, turn the speed up and whip it until the volume triples and the bowl is cool to the touch. Then add your vanilla paste and mix in. The best way to know if the marshmallow is done is to take the whisk attachment out of the bowl and see how the marshmallow flows.  It should not flow off easily, if it does whip it some more.  You want to have to actually work to get the marshmallow off.
This really has nothing to do with the post, but that right there.  That is my new box of candy melts.  I use so much of it, and this way it is so cheap.  I also can brag about having a 50 pound box of chocolate in my house.  I mean I got to have something to brag about right?
Then after they are dry you are ready to get to work.  I had plans to make these star shaped and then cover them in gold edible spray paint.  But I actually decided to use some chocolate transfer sheets.  I got them at the bakers warehouse for less than $3 a sheet and they are big sheets.  Basically a chocolate transfer sheet is a plastic sheet that is covered in cocoa butter art.  They make different colours of the cocoa butter and make a thin layer of pictures on the sheet.  Then as you place wet chocolate on it, it will harden onto the chocolate creating a design.  It looks super fancy but takes almost no skill, I mean come on, I was able to do it.
That is 50 pounds people, just so you know, I will not share.  Okay maybe a little.
Once it is ready pour it into your pans, sprinkle the top really well with icing sugar then use your hands to press it into the pan evenly.  If you start to stick to it, just dust it some more.  Then  you need to leave your marshmallows out to dry over night.  If you need to leave them longer just cover the pan after letting it dry for at least 8 hours.
I wish you could see it better, but this is the back side of the sheet, you put the wet chocolate on this side.  It's like magic.  Magic for bakers. 

That is like the best bowl of stuff ever, just chocolate candy melts.  I love them.

This is one that looks good on the front.

But the back of the marshmallow tore a bit, oh well it still tasted great.

  So I set to work cutting out my marshmallows, and I regret the choice to do stars now.  Only because there was a lot of waste.  I ended up just dipping the left over bits and everyone ate them anyway.  So I cut out my shapes, I did not bother to dust the whole marshmallows as they were going to be dipped in chocolate.  I then melted the chocolate candy melts and set to work dipping them.
I would lay them out as close as I could so not to waste the image.
I first dipped the lolli pop stick in the chocolate then placed it half way into the marshmallow, being sure to hold it until the chocolate set enough that the stick would not be pushed back out.  Then I dipped the whole thing.  I made sure to tap off as much of the extra chocolate as I could as I didn't want too much to pool when I set it down.  So I did that then set it on the chocolate transfer sheet. I tried to put the flattest side against the paper.  Then I had to let them fully dry, so that the image would stick.
I wrapped them all up like this. I now want one of those cake pop tie thingies, that would be cool.
Once that was done I put them in my cake pop holders and got all excited because I felt like a star.  No pun intended I swear.  Okay, maybe a little pun, but you cannot prove it.

So I wrapped them up and set them in the basement to wait for Pork Chops hockey game so that they could be handed out.
I usually bring my baked stuff in a shoe box like this.  Or rather I sent it like this with Pork Chop and Hubby.  I miss a lot of his games because they always are last minute times and it's hard to work around.  But when I do go I sit there thinking "I have no idea what's going on.  OMG did Pork Chop just fall into the boards?! When is this going to be over?! Why don't I have candy to eat while we watch? Look how cute Pork Chops little bum looks!  I should win an award for being here, in the cold and only really complaining in my head. Do you think Hubby would buy me a pony?  How come parents have to support their kids?  Could he not like watching cooking shows instead of hockey?  Will this game ever end?  Why did that mom give me "that look" when I was cheering?  Was that a goal?  Are they going the right way?  How the heck are you supposed to even know what icing is, and off side?  The whole game is crazy!"  Basically I am a saint, just so you know.

Anyway, the flavor was really sweet on these, that red velvet flavoring really adds a nice touch.  I like that I didn't have to add food colouring too, it was an all in one. I will do these again, but not in a star shape, that was just crazy!
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