Courage Never Wasted

USMC Groom's Cake



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yummy Caramel Corn



Caramel Corn


Four Bags Microwave Popcorn, Popped.
Or 1 cup unpopped popcorn, popped in air popper
 ( Discard all unpopped kernels )

1 -2 cups pecans, peanuts, or mixed nuts

1 cup Dried Cranberries



Spray 2 large shallow roasting pans lightly with non stick cooking spray and mix popcorn, nuts and dried cranberries. Set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.




1 cup butter

2 slightly packed Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp Caramel flavored oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Add sugar, syrup and salt.


Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 5 minutes

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, caramel flavoured LorAnn Oil and baking soda.



Pour over popcorn mix and stir well.

Place in oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and continue to stir as mixture cools to keep from sticking together.


These delectable treats can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container.
They are a great idea for holiday gifts.

Jacque Benson
All rights reserved 2009
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lady Bug Lady Bug, Fly away Home





How to make a cute little lady bug:

3/4" ball black fondant
 pink fondant
 green fondant
Gum Glue*
3/4" Circle Cutter
Scissors
#10 piping tip

* To make gum glue, mix 1/8 tsp. Tylose powder 
with 1 oz. warm water





Pinch a bit of black fondant
 and make a ¼” ball.   
Using the rest of the gumpaste,
 make an oval.
 Attach the two
 and set aside.



Roll out a small amount
 of pink fondant 
and using the ¾” cutter,
 make a circle.


With the scissors,
 cut a small “v” at one end of circle. 

 Press a line from “v” to other end of circle. Moisten the black ladybug
 with gum glue, and attach the pink ladybug wings. 


Roll a small amount
of green fondant very thin. 
Cut 5-6 dots from the green fondant
 using the small end of #10 piping tube.   

Place green dots  pink circle. 


How easy was that?






2015 All Rights Reserved
Jacque Benson

This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Easter to You


Easter Egg Marshmallow Pies



Several years ago, I wanted to put something special into my grandchildren's Easter baskets.

I tried to think of something that they might like to eat, yet different than a sugar cookie.
Then remembering my favorite Moon Pie treats as a child,
I pondered just how to recreate them using an Easter theme.


Since these needed to be made ahead to package into the baskets,
 I needed a marshmallow filling that would not ruin.
  Kraft made it easy for me by introducing Jumbo Egg Mallows--large pastel colored egg shaped marshmallows.

Thank you Kraft!

After altering an old nutmeg cookie recipe from my Charlotte Turgeon cookbook,  all that was left to do was dip them in pastel colored confectioners melts and decorate. I inserted straws into the filling of my "Moon Pies" so that they can be easily placed upright into the Baskets, but you can make them without using the straws if you like.

To make these Easter Egg Marshmallow Pies,
 you will need:

  • I recipe Almond Nutmeg Cookies 3-1/2" egg shaped cookie cutter
  • Jumbo Egg shaped Easter Marshmallows
  • Pastel confectioner's melts Vegetable shortening
  • Colored Straws (opt-- to insert into basket )
  • 5 Plastic disposable piping bags
  • #1, #3 piping tubes
  • Sparkling sugar
  • Sprinkles (opt)
  • Pastel candies (opt)



Almond Nutmeg Cookies
  
  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  •  6 tablespoons Half & Half cream
  •  3 tablespoons honey
  •  3 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar together. Mix half&half with honey; set aside.
Sift together flour, nutmeg and salt.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the liquids until thoroughly blended together.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill well.
Cut 3 rectangles of parchment paper to fit baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Divide dough in half, keeping one half chilled.
On parchment paper, roll the other half quite thin
and cut cookies using a 4" egg shaped cookie cutter.


Gather scraps and chill.
Repeat with second half of dough,
then scraps until all dough is used.
Place in center of oven and bake 6-8 minutes
until edges are slightly browned.


While the cookies are in the oven, on a piece of waxed paper,
 flatten the marshmallows using a rolling pin.
 When cookies are ready, remove from oven.


While still hot, turn half of the cookies upside down
 and place marshmallows, sandwiching between two cookies;
  gently press cookie on top.


( If your hands are sensitive to heat, place a clean cloth on cookie for protection ).
 Insert straw into the center off soft filling.
 Set cookies aside, and allow to cool thoroughly.


(Don't worry if some of the marshmallow melts over the side.
 Once completely cooled, you can spray a pair of clean scissors
with non-stick spray and easily cut the cooled marshmallow
 even with the edges of the cookie.)

Melt confectioners melts in a chocolate pot or double boiler.

Thin melts to a glazing consistency by adding
 vegetable shortening, one tablespoon at a time.

If you used straws, insert bamboo skewer into straw for support.

Holding cookie over pan, spoon melted pastel colored
 confectioner's melts over marshmallow pies.


 Allow to cool, then turn over and repeat process on the other side.


Remove bamboo skewer and place on waxed paper
 until cooled and confectioners' melts have set up.


Prepare piping bags with #1 and #3 piping tubes.
 Fill bags with melted colored confectioners melts.
Pipe lines, dots, squiggles, loops or scallops in contrasting colors.

Decorate your Easter Egg Moon Pies with sparkling sugar, pastel
candies or sprinkles.


Just have fun and be creative!


When ready to put into Basket, cover Easter Eggs
with a cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon.

 ***

Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson
All Rights Reserved 2011

This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ring Out Wild Bells







Ring out wild bells to the wild sky, 
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
 The year is dying in the night.
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.


    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
     Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
     Ring out the false, ring in the true.


Ring out false pride in place and blood, 
The civic slander and the spite.
 Ring in the love of truth and right.
 Ring in the common love of good.

 
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
      Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
     Ring out the thousand wars of old,
     Ring in the thousand years of peace.

~Alfred Lord Tennyson

  
May your coming days be filled with blessings.
Happy New Year!
 

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May the saint protect ye-
An' sorrow neglect ye,
An' bad luck to the one
That doesn't respect ye
t' all that belong to ye,
An long life t' yer honor-
That's the end of my song t' ye!