Posts Tagged ‘Inc.’

Hello, cupcakers and fellow candy lovers. We have a special treat today! Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, the folks who write the Hello, Cupcake! books are guest blogging about their latest DIY Halloween cupcakes.

Candy.com met Alan and Karen at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks show in Chicago, and saw first-hand how they cleverly use candy and snacks to create cupcakes with serious “Wow!” power. The duo recently created a “cupcaking” app that makes cupcaking with candy even more fun and easy …

Hello Cupcake Appp

Fresh from the Hello Cupcake! app are Jack-O-Lantern cupcakes. Here’s the how-to  from Alan and Karen …

We used Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy for the glowing yellow eyes, and a Honey Twist Pretzel for the stem. But the beauty of being a Candy Detective is that you could just as easily use any chocolate or yellow taffy for the eyes, and a bread stick, a Kit Kat, or another brown candy or snack for the stem.

To get started, here’s what you’ll need to make one pumpkin patch with six jumbo cupcakes …

- 6 jumbo cupcakes baked in orange liners
- 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
- ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
- Yellow and red food coloring
- 16 chocolate chews (Tootsie Rolls)
- 16 yellow fruit chews (Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Starburst, Laffy Taffy)
- 3 wheat twist pretzels (Rold Gold)

Tint the vanilla frosting deep orange with the cocoa powder, and yellow and red food coloring.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes icing completely blended

Divide the frosting and spoon it into two resealable freezer-grade storage bags. Press out the excess air, and seal.

Dividing and sealing icing

Squeegee the frosting to the corner.

Squeegee the frosting to bottom of bag

Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bags.

Snip off 1/4-inch corner from plastic bag

Soften several chocolate chews at a time (you can put them in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds if needed). Flatten the chews slightly. Press several chews together and roll out on a piece of wax paper to a ⅛-inch thickness.

Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls ready for the rolling pin

Tootsie Rolls getting rolled out
Next, you’ll need to download a printable version of the Jack O’Lantern template.

Using the outer line of the templates, cut out chocolate shapes using a small paring knife or scissors. Reheat and re-roll the scraps as necessary to make all of the shapes.

Pumpkin template

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin template - cutting

Trim templates down to the inner line and repeat with the yellow fruit chews.

Yellow Laffy Taffy

Rolling out Laffy Taffy

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin stencil on Laffy Taffy

Laffy Taffy cut-outs

Place the yellow pieces on top of the chocolate pieces to make the eyes, mouths, and noses; set aside on wax paper.

Yellow Laffy Taffy with cut-outs placed

Make enough face parts for all of your cupcakes, you can even create your own.

Pumpkin faces

Starting at the top of a cupcake, pipe a thick line of frosting down the center.

Insert thick line of frosting

To make the pumpkin’s ribs, pipe vertical lines on either side of the center line, tapering them slightly at the top and bottom. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Creating lines of frosting for a ribbing effect

Pumpkin cupcake frosting finished

For the stems, break the wheat twist pretzels in half crosswise. Insert the broken ends into the top of the cupcakes.

Insert pumpkin stem

Arrange the face parts on top of the cupcakes.

Comleted pumpkin cupcake

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and faces.

Pumpkin cupcakes with bright yellow Laffy Taffy faces

Have a Bootiful Halloween!

Alan and KarenCupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, oh my! book

p.s. - For more candy decorating ideas, please check out our books and newsletter at www.hellocupcakebook.com.

Recipe and images copyright 2012 Hello, Cupcake! App.

 

 

 

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I’ve got an easy, kid-friendly, and road-tested spring candy craft for you to try: Peeps Garland.

Inspired by the candy crafting book, Peeps! Recipes and Crafts to Make With Your Favorite Marshmallow Treat, I gathered the few items necessary to create this colorful Easter decoration.

The Short-and-Sweet Supply List

1. Peeps Bunnies and Chicks in a variety of colors (I love the little row of Peeps above. Mr. yellow, far left, looks as though he’s warning Mr. Pink of an imminent stringing.)

2. Jelly Beans – I used Jelly Belly’s Kids Mix because the colors are so vibrant … plus, it contains Very Cherry and Berry Blue beans. String one bean, eat one.  String two beans, eat six ….

3. Needle and waxed thread

4. Ribbon for bows at the two ends of the garland


The How-To

- Thread your needle, double-knot the end of the string, and leave about 4 inches of excess thread.

- String Peeps and jelly beans in whatever order you like. (Note: I started with a jelly bean to hold the knot, and kept the number of jelly beans to a minimum because they do add quite a bit of weight to the string. Also, your needle and string will become sticky, so dab vegetable oil on a paper towel and coat the string as needed.)

- When you reach a desired garland length, cut and double knot the thread. Leave about 4 inches of extra thread.

- Attach a grosgrain bow to each end by tying your excess thread around each bow.

There’s lots to love about this edible garland. You can use it as a decoration for your mantel, table, chandelier, mirror, window, back of a parsons chair, or Easter tree … plus it’s a great craft for kids during spring break or on Easter Sunday.

String one Peep, eat one.  String two Peeps, eat three …

 

 

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Inspiration struck today. Shocker. While contemplating how to string green, purple, and gold candy beads into Mardi Gras necklaces, I spied super clever gumball necklaces from One Charming Party on Pinterest. Aha!

Using purple, green, and shimmer gold gumballs, vibrant purple ribbon, a sharp tack, embroidery needle, and One Charming Party’s know-how, these edible Mardi Gras beads unfolded …

Originally, I set out to string Sixlets, but they cracked when met with a needle. Oak Leaf’s beautiful 1-inch green, purple, and shimmer gold gumballs worked like a charm!

To puncture both sides of the gumballs, I used a razor sharp upholstery tack. Not one shell cracked in the process. Miracle!

Next, I threaded a wide-eyed embroidery needle with 1/4-inch purple ribbon and pulled it through each gumball with a little help from pliers.

And, just as One Charming Party suggested, I tied a knot in between gumballs, and finished off each necklace with a bow. (Note: Gumballs do get heavy when strung together, so I kept each necklace to 10 “beads.”)

Based on prelim feedback, “Mardi Gum” necklaces are serious conversation starters, so start your Mardi Gras party with them.

One more sweet tip for Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21: “Rim” classic hurricane glasses with purple, green, and gold candy pearls. Pretty!

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Now that the 2011 Sweets & Snacks EXPO has come in for a landing, and I’ve had a chance to sift through my notes scribbles, candy samples, and manufacturer marketing materials, I have a few more confectionery wunderkinds that need to be shared.

Anne Taintor and Knock Knock Chocolate Bars
The PRAIM Group

Paul Pruett, founder of the PRAIM Group, is known for producing clever chocolate bar products (Bloomsberry USA, Bubble Chocolate, and Bosco).  His latest venture is the creation and distribution of 3.5-ounce all-natural milk and dark chocolate bars for the individual brands Anne Taintor, Inc. and Knock Knock.

I’ve been a fan of Anne Taintor’s vintage/irreverent accessories for a number of years and I came to know Knock Knock stationery and accessories a few months ago while holiday shopping. I fell in love with Knock Knock’s “WTF” self-inking stamp and post-it notes.

Here’s a peek at both brands’ designs, now appearing on chocolate bar wrappers (you might recognize the artwork):

My favorite chocolate bar in the lineup is the “99 Ways to Survive the Holidays.” I may gift a few of these to myself this holiday season and follow suggestion No. 69, “Up the dosage.”

According to Amy Goldsmith, a spokesperson for the PRAIM Group, the bars are shipping to retail stores as of today, so look for them on Candy.com shortly.

Dippin’ Ice Cream Candy and Flix Mix
Imaginings 3, Inc. (Flix Candy brand)

When I stepped into the Imaginings 3/Flix Candy booth and saw signage for the company’s new Dippin’ Ice Cream Candy, I was skeptical. My kids have tapped my wallet multiple times for the expensive Dippin’ Dots ice cream pellets at baseball games, so seeing the brand in a candy format didn’t make me jump for joy. Plus, if I was going to pick an ice cream brand to morph into a candy, I’d lean toward Ben & Jerry’s.

Even so, I plunged ahead with a sample of the Cookies ‘n Cream Dippin’ Ice Cream candy (it’s also available in Banana Split). The product, which is made in the USA and available in a 2.6-ounce theater box and 1.6-ounce pouch, is a blend of tiny cookie bits and equally tiny cream bits—think Oreo cookie and its creamy white middle cut into teeny-tiny round dots. The Banana Split variety is blend of chocolate, banana, strawberry, and vanilla cream bits.

Bottom line, the Cookies ‘n Cream Dippin’ Ice Cream candy was quite a bit better than I expected. The cookie bits had a surprisingly good crunch and the creamy bits weren’t sticky or too stiff. I would sneak them into the movies.

Also sneak-in worthy is Flix Candy’s Flix Mix, a combination of crisp rice cereal coated with real milk chocolate and peanut butter, then dusted with powdered sugar. Flix Mix tastes remarkably like the no-bake Chex Muddy Buddies (also known as “Puppy Chow”) that infiltrates most offices and cookbooks during the holidays. If you are a sweet cereal mixer, you won’t be disappointed.

Flix Mix is available in a 2.2-ounce theater box and 4.5-ounce peg bag.

Shimmer Gumballs
SweetWorks (Oak Leaf Brand)

SweetWorks‘ new Shimmer Gumballs were one of the prettiest candies at last week’s Sweets & Snacks EXPO.

Julie Davidson, the company’s eastern regional sales manager, created a beautiful candy buffet table in the middle of the SweetWorks booth that showed off the pearly round gems (see pics below).

I could see these shimmering gumballs strung into garland or necklaces for parties … or displayed in apothecary jars at Tiffany’s. They are that glam.



SweetWorks’  Shimmer Gumballs are available in bulk in lime green (my favorite!), bright pink, lavender, powder blue, yellow, orange, and white. Starting in July, the gumballs will also be available in 8-ounce bags as part of SweetWorks’ new Celebration line.

The single-color Shimmer Gumball colors match SweetWorks’ line of single-color Pearl Sixlets. (See “Sixlets” jar in photo above.) Custom colors are available upon request.

Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks
Dorval Trading Co., Ltd.

Dorval Trading Co. now has its own line of all-natural chocolate sticks, which replaces the importing company’s Rademaker chocolate sticks from Holland. The new Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks are made with real chocolate and are packaged in 2.64-ounce boxes fit for gifting.

Of the four varieties in this line (Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mint Dark Chocolate, and Caramel Milk Chocolate), the Caramel Milk Chocolate sticks are the most interesting. They  aren’t filled with caramel, but rather the flavor is infused in the chocolate.

Normally, I’m not into flavor infusions when it comes to chocolate—give me the straight dope—but the caramel flavoring in these solid sticks isn’t overpowering or cloying. The chocolate is good quality, and reminds me of Guittard’s smooth milk chocolate. Perhaps it is.

The Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks are scheduled to ship July/August 2011.

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