Easter Egg Tree Ornaments

Need a few ornaments to add to your spring Easter Egg Tree? These were made with M5117 Egg with Carrot and M5118 Egg with Flower and PaperClay. The PaperClay was pushed into the molds which had been brushed with cornstarch, released and dried for 24-36 hours on a fine drying rack, then sanded to smooth the edges and finally painted with acrylic paints.

With the paint dry, a loop of ribbon was glued onto the backside and then  a piece of coordinating paper cut to size was glued over the the ribbon ends to  give the back a more finished look.I chose papers that had colors related to the paint colors on the front of the ornaments. I really liked the paper in pinks, aquas, greens and lavender that reminded me of Faberge eggs. 

This could be a fun project for kids who are on spring break. Make the ornaments one day and sand  and paint them another day. PaperClay and 2 ounce bottles of acrylic paint are readily available at your arts and craft stores. Get out your bunny cookie molds too.

Happy Spring!

Connie

A Springtime Cookie Using Baker's Ammonia (Hartshorn)

Another use for Hartshorn

Are you wondering what other uses there are for your hartshorn? (Remember that hartshorn, baker's ammonia and ammonium carbonate are all the same ingredient.) Although my first use of baker's ammonia was for Springerle, I have learned that there are many Swedish cookie recipes that use ammonium carbonate. I recently ran across a brochure of cookie recipes submitted to House on the Hill in the early 1990's. Many of those recipes are Scandinavian in origin.

Here's one of those cookie recipes that is NOT a molded cookie, but an easy cookie using baker's ammonia as the leavening ingredient. I note that, like my grandmother's Springerle recipe, it calls for dissolving the baker's ammonia. And, I will caution you again to not eat raw dough made with baker's ammonia.

This recipe creates a light , crisp coconut cookie that you can put together and bake in short order. The recipe is from "Kitchen Kapers", a collection of recipes from the Women's Guild of the Edison Park Lutheran Church in Chicago.

Princess Gems

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ammonium carbonate dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Have lightly greased baking sheets ready.

Cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, salt and ammonium carbonate mixture. Add flour, mixing until combined.

Shape into 1 inch ball and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheets, flattening slightly with your fingers. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Connie's Baking notes: I used my 1 inch (outside diameter scoop) and got 59 cookies. I baked them for 12 minutes with nice results.

Try it. The hartshorn makes a lighter  texture that would baking powder. See if you agree.

Happy Baking,

Connie

Wedding Time

I made orange flavored Springerle for my nephew's wedding this weekend. I used the Rustic Victorian mold since the wedding will be at a cabin in the woods. Now the celebration!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, Connie

Egg-actly! Eggs do come in all sizes...

Clearly, all eggs are not created equal. Most baking recipes call for large eggs and in general , if a recipe does not give a size, you can assume that a large egg is what is used. But chickens do not manufacture eggs to exact sizes, so here are some notes about making Springerle doughs and how egg sizes might  change your procedure.

In a large batch Springerle recipe, as most Springerle recipes are, eggs are an important and proportionally large amount ingredient. A large egg is approximately 2 ounces in the shell and approximately 1.75 ounces without the shell. Therefore 6 large eggs out of the shell should weigh 10.5 ounces and in a liquid measuring cup will measure 1.32 cups ( between 1 1/4 and 1 1/3 cups.) If you use other size eggs, it would be a really good idea to weigh the shelled eggs. Do remember that each size egg has a range of weight within it falls, so if you have particularly big large eggs, they may weigh more than 10.5 ounces, or particularly small large eggs, they may weigh  less than 10.5 ounces. So, the very most accurate procedure for preparing the dough is to use 10.5 ounces.

Bakeries and professional bakers working with large batch recipes are in the habit of weighing all ingredients for baking. Home bakers, accustomed to working with small batches, are not routinely weighing ingredients.  Food scales are now readily available, usually digital, small and fairly inexpensive . If you are a perfectionist, a beginner or have a scientific bent, weighing the ingredients, especially in large batch recipes, will result in more predictable results.

Remember that baking is both a science and an art!

Connie

Yep - The Gingerbread recipe is Vegan

I have had several people point out that the recipe for the gingerbread cookies is vegan. I had not thought about it before posting the gingerbread recipe, so am grateful to those of you who noticed. I have a few people in my circle who will be getting this treat, some who are vegan and some who are not!

Bake and make a vegan happy!

Connie