Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Candy Pizza

Christmas Candy Pizza
Once I went on Club Penguin and I saw a game called "Pizza Patron 5000."  There was a lever you can click to switch it to "candy mode" but they called it "cookie mode."  I thought it was more like candy pizza and would make a good idea for my blog.

I thought that a candy pizza should have a different crust, different sauce and different toppings.  I made a picture that shows what I thought it would turn out to look like.  Some early topping ideas I had were jelly beans for peppers (red & green), and coconut for cheese.  The colors of the toppings reminded me of Christmas, so we made this a holiday recipe.  

For the crust of my candy pizza, I didn't think it should be like a regular pizza crust.  I wanted to use a pastry crust, because pastries normally have strawberry or chocolate icing on them, and sometimes candies.

I used a Pate a Choux recipe from my Daddy's chef cookbook.  This is the crust for eclairs, which are made in France a lot.  I chose this because I really like French things.

The recipe in the book said it makes 6 lbs, 8 oz:

Ingredients needed:
  • Milk: 16 oz
  • Water: 16 oz
  • Bread flour: 1 lb & 8 oz
  • Salt: 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar: 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Butter: 1 lb
  • Eggs: 2 lb & 4 oz
I didn't make the whole recipe because it would have been way more than we needed.  I only wanted to make a few candy pizzas, so my dad helped me divide the amount of each ingredient by three, so we made one third of the recipe (1/3).  Daddy taught me about pounds, ounces, teaspoons and cups and things to measure in.  

To make the recipe, you should meet with your mom or dad and work out the numbers to make the recipe smaller so you don't have a whoooole lot of candy pizzas or one ginormous pizza.

These are the instructions from the recipe book:

1. Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once, and stir vigorously to combine.  Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. 

Don't worry, it's supposed to get really thick!
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat briefly on medium speed with a  paddle attachment.  Add the eggs 2 at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.  Spray pans with non-stick cooking spray and add a thin layer of batter to each pan.  

3. The pate a choux is ready to be baked.  It should be baked at 375F for about 10 minutes, then 325F until golden brown.

I didn't want my sauce to be tomato sauce.  It needed to be something sweet, like strawberries. 

Sauces we considered using
I used cranberry sauce and pumpkin butter, because I thought they would go with the holidays.  I also tried the raspberry jelly, but not the yogurt or Daddy's raspberry sauce, because it had peppers in it!  Gross!  I liked the pumpkin butter the best.  It tasted like it had cinnamon and brown sugar, and I really liked that!  (I really like pumpkin pie too.)  

Spreading the raspberry sauce onto a crust
It looks like tomato sauce...
I used shredded coconut for cheese, because it was white and looked like cheese!

Mama mia!  We finally made a pizza in this pizzeria. 
I thought that cherry sours would look like pepperoni and chocolate covered raisins would look like sausage pieces.  I had to squash the cherries, so Daddy brought me two spoons and I squashed them between the spoons.
My sister Selah helped with the toppings.
My sister was happy to finally help, because we kicked her out of the kitchen earlier during all the hustle and bustle of making the pizzas.

We also tried using chopped "turtles" as sausage.
But the most Christmasy one was when we chopped up red and green "fruit slice" candies to look like peppers.  I guess my Daddy finally got me to like peppers on a pizza.  :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Chocolate covered cherry filled with honey
I love cherries, and my sister loves chocolate and honey, so I thought we'd combine the three things.  One year, my grandpa got chocolate covered cherries in his stocking; they tasted really good!  I thought honey would taste better than the liquid inside, so I thought I'd make this myself.  

To make the recipe, you'll need chocolate chips, honey and Maraschino cherries.  We used semi-sweet chocolate chips, which my dad suggested would work a little better than milk chocolate.  

First, we got a saucepan and filled it with water, and placed another saucepan on top to make a double-boiler.  There should be a parent there to make sure you don't get hurt.  I lit the burner myself while my dad was watching.  
Pouring chocolate chips into the double boiler
I'm stirring the chocolate chips so they don't get burnt.
While the chocolate was melting, I prepared the cherries.

Pulling off the stems
Chopping the cherries in half
I'm stirring the chocolate while my dad helps by holding the pan with an oven mitt.
Stirring the melted chocolate
My dad is using a spatula to transfer the chocolate from the top of the double-boiler into the mold.  This star-shaped mold was designed for ice cubes like the flower-shaped mold I used for the cherry-grape ice cubes.

Adding melted chocolate to the mold
We don't want the chocolate overflowing, and we need room for the honey and cherry, so don't add too much!
Pressing the chocolate against the sides to make room for the honey and cherries.
Ready for the honey!
Pouring the honey into the mold.
Putting the cherries in the chocolate and honey
Put the mold in the freezer for at least 2 hours, and then, pop them out onto a plate.  This reminds me of the star above the manger, and they could be used as Christmas presents, as long as they're kept cold enough.
I can't wait to taste one of my chocolates!
The shape turned out better than I expected.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cherry-Grape Ice Cubes

Cherry-Grape Ice Cubes in Sprite
I had the idea awhile ago to make little popsicles from cherries and grape juice.  I thought the stems could be like a popsicle stick and you could eat them by the stem, but the stems weren't strong enough. The stems came off or it would fall over when you held it by the stem upside down.  

So we decided to make them ice cubes instead.  :)

My sister Selah really likes cherries, so we let her help with this recipe.  

Selah wearing her cherry outfit,
showing the ingredients.
Selah loves cherries!
So do I! 
We strained the cherry juice out of the jar, and we're going to use it to make snow cones, but that's for another recipe...

For this recipe, you need:
  • Grape juice
  • Cherries (Maraschino cherries)
  • Almond extract
Our mold is a flower mold, which we got from Ikea (I think), but you can use any type of mold.  (An ice cube tray is a mold and works too!)

Since we have a flower mold, we put cherries in the middle to look like the middle of a daisy.  

I chose grape juice for the petals.  Cherries and almonds taste good together, so I decided to add a few drops of almond extract to the grape juice.  (Daddy says it's because of "benzaldehyde," a chemical that's in both of them.)  

I'm using a pipette for the almond extract.
(The almond extract was clear, so it didn't change the color at all.)
To use this kind of pipette, you squeeze the top, place the tip in the almond extract, let go of the black part and the almond extract goes up!  You take it to where you need it, squeeze it again and it goes down.  :)  We used a pipette, because if you poured it, it could overflow.  Using a pipette, you know how much you're putting in so it doesn't overflow.  

We added the almond extract to the grape juice and stirred it.  We used a big pipette for the grape juice, because we needed more than a small one could hold, and if we poured the grape juice from the bottle, it would've made a big mess!  

Using a big pipette for the grape juice
After we put the grape juice in the molds, we put the molds in the freezer for the night, but it only takes a few hours to freeze.    

Taking the Cherry-Grape ice cubes out of the mold.
Doesn't it look like a real flower almost?!
We poured a can of Sprite into a glass, and put the Cherry-Grape ice cubes into the glass.  We used Sprite because it was clear, but you could also use any fruit soda, cola, lemonade, other fruit juices, and even water!

After they're added to the drink, they start to melt.  
In this video, you can see the melting.
When you stir it up, it melts very quickly. I thought the color was going to change to purple, but it changed to red instead.   
Look, it turned red!
It tastes good too and would be great for parties!
Please leave comments of ways you use them.