Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Polymer Clay Chocolate Bunnies and Peeps Easter Jewelry!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on some brand new Easter jewelry designs - all made from polymer clay.  (Yes, Easter is early this year - it falls on March 27th - next month!)  The designs include little "chocolate" Easter bunnies, white "chocolate" bunnies (as not everyone likes chocolate) and "marshmallow" Peeps. For a sneak peek of these items in process, please check out my Instagram page.

Here are some of my latest designs - all of which will be posted to my Etsy shop this week:

Chocolate bunny and roses Easter bracelet.

Chocolate Easter bunny necklace.

Chocolate bunny Easter necklace and earrings set.

Chocolate bunny Easter bracelet.

White chocolate Easter bunny bracelet.

White chocolate Easter bunny bracelet.

White chocolate Easter bunny earrings in two sizes.

Peeps Easter jewelry.

Peeps Easter jewelry.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Holiday Tealight Candle Holders Tutorial

I had every intent of blogging this tutorial for Christmas, but, as usual, time got away from me.  This project will have a Valentine's Day spin on it because we are in February (note the first picture shown).  However, the step-by-step tutorial will feature the Christmas items used in other versions of the project.  The beauty of these candles are that they can be used all year long.  Simply empty out the candle base and fill it with something to match the season.  It's really that easy.

Conversation heart candy votive candles


This the candle inspiration used in the DIY tutorial.  Notice that the view changes when you spin the candle around:
Christmas Tealight Holder - view one

Christmas Tealight Holder - view two



Without further ado, here are the instructions to make your own holiday tealight candle holder.

Supplies:

Bubble candle holder
Tealight candle holder
Tealight candle
Decorative contents for inside of the candle holder base.  I used Christmas picks and sprigs for the tutorial, but you can use other things that appeal to you (such as mini light bulbs, conversation heart candies, pearls, lace, tinsel, silk flowers and other small items).
Wire cutters/pliers (for trimming sprigs)

Instructions:

1) Make sure the tealight holder fits nicely on top of the bubble candle holder.  It should slip into place without falling inside.




2) Set the tealight holder aside.  Pick up the desired sprig, and cut off a small piece.  Set it inside of the bubble candle holder.  Keep going until you have an eye-appealing arrangement inside of your candle holder.  When you are done arranging, set your tealight holder on top of the candle holder and that's it - you are done!



The completed candle holders! Aren't they awesome?


I made and gave away several of these tealight holders for Christmas.  People really loved them.  Here are some other candle holders I made for some added inspiration:

These feature mini lightbulb ornaments. I bought a little package of them at the dollar store:

Mini light bulb ornaments candle holders.

Mini light bulb ornaments candle holders.

The little package of bulbs I purchased from the dollar store.
 
You can use the basic concept of this project with other shapes and sizes of candle holders.  I purchased this set of holders from PartyLite and filled them with pearls, shiny plastic hearts and stems of mini roses for my Valentine's Day decor:






And here are the same set of candle holders with a blue Christmas spin on them.  I used tinsel and mini star and metallic ball ornaments to fill the bases of the candle holders:


The possibilities for filling these with all sorts of goodies are endless. If you feel inclined, please send me pictures of your own versions of these candles.  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Buttery Caramel Recipe & Tutorial


 
I love making homemade candy every Christmas.  I also enjoy giving candy away to friends and neighbors as little gifts.

The first couple of years that I made caramel from scratch, it was not a positive experience.  I followed other suggestions I'd found to a "T" for the preparation, but it just didn't work for me.  For example, many recipes suggest using foil to line the caramel pan.  This was a disaster.  The foil, even though it was buttered, stuck to the caramel and it was quite a chore having to pick off the little pieces from the candy.  Ugh.  Then - trying to cut the caramel with a sharp knife was difficult and my hand was really sore by the time I finished.  Through trial and error, I found that when making this type of candy, it is best to ALWAYS use parchment paper to line the pan.  It never sticks to the candy and it can be easily removed in one sheet.  Second, I use a dough scraper (like this one) to cut the caramel into pieces.  It is MUCH easier to cut the caramel, and the little handle on the scraper is easy to grip onto.  Now, caramel making is a more pleasant experience - that's for sure!

Anyway, this is the recipe I use for my caramel.  It is buttery and yummy, and people love it.  Enjoy!

Homemade Buttery Caramel Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pound of butter (4 sticks)
2 pounds of brown sugar (1 bag)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Optional: Chopped walnuts (1-2 cups, as desired)

Directions:

1) Melt butter in a heavy deep pan.


2) Add sugar and salt; stir thoroughly.


3) Stir in corn syrup and mix well.


4) Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.


5) Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage (245-250 degrees). This will take approximately 12-15 minutes. I strongly recommend using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.  The candy stages are usually clearly marked on the thermometer, making the candy "goof-proof" to make.


6) Keep on stirring.  The mixture will be quite bubbly.  When the firm ball temperature is reached, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.


7) If desired, nuts may be stirred into candy at this point.  Otherwise, skip this step and go onto step number 8.

8) Pour caramel into a large parchment paper lined pan. (The pan I used was 18" by 13").  Let cool.



9)  Lift the cooled caramel out of pan, picking it up by the parchment paper.  Use the dough cutter to score the candy and cut into squares.  I make all of the cuts in one direction first, then turn the pan 1/4 of a turn and cut the other direction.





10) Separate the caramels and wrap them with cellophane candy wrappers.  I use a 4 1/4" by 4 1/4" size, which seems to be a perfect fit.  I purchased my wrappers from here.




Yield:  Makes 5 pounds of candy, or approximately 135 1-1/2" pieces.

Happy candy making!





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