Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas In July~Peppermint Ornament Tree

Merry Christmas In July!

Today we are crafting with one of my favorite mediums.. Peppermints!

I have had this giant peppermint stick in my candy drawer for over a year just waiting for his debut as an ornament tree!

My Peppermint MittensStockings and Mini-Mug House are a few of the favorite melted candy crafts I've created here.
I hope you like this one!
Prepare all your cutters by spraying with no-stick cooking spray.

To make the base for our tree we will be using a 4 in. round cookie cutter. To make the hole in the center, I used one of my large decorator tips with a 1 in. diameter opening.

*Note: All cutters must be metal.
Place peppermint candies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake 10 minutes @ 325 degrees or until they have melted together but not so much that they have lost their shape.

Immediately and firmly, press cutters into candy.

At the 5 to 6 minute mark, it should have cooled just enough to gently twist cutter and lift off making sure cut is complete.
(if you wait too long, the candy will harden and only break as you try to remove from cutter)

Let cool.
Pipe Royal Icing into the center opening of candy base. Press giant peppermint stick into icing.
Making sure the peppermint stick is straight, use whatever you have in your kitchen to "prop it up". 

I did not take this into account before I began my project which meant standing in the same spot for over 30 minutes all the while holding the stick straight! A little crazy..yes?

I let my tree stand overnight to make certain it was completely set.
Time to attach the candy canes.

Pipe a straight line of Royal Icing onto the cane and press onto the "tree".
Attach 4 each of the regular and mini size candy canes making sure to space evenly. I used a total of 8 pieces.

As we are using stiff Royal Icing, there was no need to "prop up" the candy canes. 
Using the same method as above, make a star topper. I used a 2 inch cutter.
To make the little ornaments, I used fondant. I was hesitant to use cookies as I was worried they would have been too heavy. If you would prefer cookies, I believe they would be fine.
Roll out fondant. Dip cutter in 10 x sugar and cut out desired shapes. 
I used my 12 piece Christmas mini-cutters set.
To make the stocking, I cut out a shape in each of the white and red colors.

Cut off the top of the white piece to make the trim. Attach with corn syrup.

I used a coffee stirrer to make the hole for the string.

I wanted a little sparkle on my ornaments. I'm using red disco dust and white pearl dust. Use a small paintbrush dipped in water to paint the surface you want decorated and sprinkle on the disco dust. To apply the pearl dust, dip a dry paintbrush in dust and brush it on.
Using the same method as with stockings, make the mittens.
Pretty sparkly snowflakes!
Let pieces dry/harden before using bakers twine to tie onto ornaments.

 Royal Icing

2 cups 10 x sugar
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 Tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons warm water

Mix all ingredients on low speed with electric mixer.

Spoon icing into a bag fitted with (I used a #7) tip.

To achieve the proper icing consistency, you may need to adjust the amount of water. You just need a stiff icing but not so stiff that you can't pipe it comfortably.

That's it!

Merry Christmas In July
Sugartown Sweets!

All Comments and New Members are Welcome!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lollipop Round-up In Celebration Of National Lollipop Day!

It's National Lollipop Day!

Wanna see how easy it is to make homemade lollipops right in your own kitchen? 
I've got a few ideas for you! 

As I'm digging through my 2 1/2 years of creating treats here @ Sugartown Sweets, I realize I've made lollipops for nearly every holiday.

So I thought why not put them all together here for the one holiday created just for them!

Just click on the links to follow detailed instructions for making your favorites.

Yeah, we've got this thing licked!

1. Jolly Ranchers Jelly Belly Flops Lollipops!

2. Valentine's Day Lollipops.

3. Holly Jolly Ranchers Christmas Lollipops.

4. Snowman Lollipops.

5. Turkey Lollipops!

6. Lifesavers Tootsie Roll Pops!

7. Rudolph Lollipops!

8. Earth Day Lollipops.

9. Grinch Lollipops.

10. Bunny Lollipops.

11. Pumpkin Patch Lollipops!

12. Caramel Apple & Caramel Popcorn Lollipops!

Keeping Every Day Sweet Here @
Sugartown Sweets!

Thank You For Stopping By

Comments& New Members Are Always Welcome!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Peanut Butter Caramels

Peanut Butter Caramels!

I made 'em!

Okay, I may be just a little impressed with myself. But hey, can I help it? I mean, these things bring back memories of those yummy old-fashion Mary Jane candies..only these won't pull out a filling. And, since I only had reduced fat peanut butter on hand, they're low fat to boot. You're welcome.

Before I made my Peanut Butter Caramels, I googled to see if they had been made before. They have. But I am using my own yummy "Homemade Caramels" recipe as the base for this peanut butter version.
 Amazing to me still how six little ingredients can turn out such a delectable confection!

Begin by lining your dish with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. I use an 8 x 8 square pan.

Next, combine first five ingredients in straight-sided saucepan.

Attach candy thermometer.

I will tell you..keep stirring, or you can very easily scorch these candies.
After reaching 246 degrees, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pour into prepared dish.
One of these days I'm going to invest in a straight sided baking pan. But until then, after the caramels completely set, I just cut off the edges (with a lightly oiled knife) to get my perfect square.

To cut caramels, use a lightly oiled, long sharp knife to score candies. 
Then, use a sawing motion to cut completely through.
There may have been a little snacking going on during my wrap session.  ;o)
Peanut Butter Caramels

1 1/2 sticks butter (I use salted)
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk and peanut butter. 
Attach candy thermometer. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until candy reaches 246 degrees.
Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into parchment paper lined dish sprayed with cooking spray and let set. I always let mine set overnight lightly covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
Cut and wrap candies.

These are so much fun to share with family and friends.

They will definitely be in my family's Christmas stockings this year!
Thank you, baby sister Chrissy, for stopping by and taste testing for me. 
You're just awesome like that!
Wishing You All A Blessed Day From
Sugartown Sweets!
Comments are Welcome as are New Members!