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French Hot Chocolate, Sweet Paris Book Review and a Giveaway


Phew!  After a whirlwind of Diamond Jubilee baking it was nice to get a bit of a break from baking and blogging by escaping to Italy for a few days.  Last week we travelled to Bologna for a short 3 day city break.  It was my first time in Italy and we (my husband, baby and I) had a fabulous time.  The sun was shining, the people were friendly and most importantly the food was amazing, especially the gelato!  

The gelato in Italy is the best ever.  They’ve got an amazing array of flavours, and I think the best one we tried was probably the ricotta and chocolate – who woulda thought!?  A daily gelato (or two!) was essential in helping to cool down in the hot Italian sun, so you can imagine our disappointment when we landed back on UK soil where the wind and rain was there to great us in full force.

The weather has been so rotten in the UK, I’m skeptical as to if summer will actually ever arrive.  The weather so far has been more suited to hot chocolate rather than gelato, and I’m pleased to say I have the perfect recipe!


A month or so ago I was sent a review copy of Sweet Paris by Michael Paul.  The instant I first opened Sweet Paris I knew it was going to go straight to the top of my “favourites” list.  Although I had a fantastic time in Italy, Paris still remains my favourite city to visit and I will definitely be taking my copy of Sweet Paris with me on my next visit there in August.

Sweet Paris isn’t your typical recipe book.  It’s filled with insider knowledge on the best places in Paris to find traditional French desserts and treats such as chocolate eclairs, macarons, strawberry tarts, brioche, creme brulee, salted butter caramel, and of course – hot chocolate.  A brief history of some of the major Parisian patisserie shops are included, as well as a history of many of the featured desserts.  There is a great selection of recipes that compliment the written content of the book as well, and I had a really hard time deciding on which one to make.  In the end I settled on the hot chocolate, and as well as a spur of the moment apple tarte tatin.


Sweet Paris is made up of seven chapters and also includes several pages of addresses so you can easily find your favourite pastry shop while your there.  The thing that really makes Sweet Paris stand out from the other books on my shelf is the photography.  The pages are filled with stunning images of Parisian pastries, pastry shops and every day images of Paris. I could stare at the photos all day long!


Some of the recipes that I’ve bookmarked to make in the future are:  

Classic French Chocolate Eclairs
Traditional Tart au Citron
Bittersweet Tarte au Chocolate
Homemade Blackcurrant Sorbet with Cassis
Classic Caramel au Beurre Sale 


I’d been looking for an authentic French hot chocolate recipe ever since I had my first encounter with it at the infamous Parisian tea salon Angelina.  The hot chocolate at Angelinia was so rich, thick and chocolately I couldn’t finish the whole thing.  Although it was delicious, it’s definitely not something I could drink on a regular basis.  The recipe for hot chocolate in Sweet Paris is just right – it’s still delicious and chocolately, but not overwhelming enough that you couldn’t finish the whole cup!



Old Fashioned French Hot Chocolate 
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Vanilla Pod 
600ml (20oz) Whole Milk
250ml (9oz) Single Cream
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Pinch of Sea Salt
150g (5 1/2oz) Bittersweet Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
100g (3 1/2oz) Milk Chocolate , finely chopped
300ml (10 1/2oz) Double Cream, whipped

Instructions: 

1.  Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  In a large saucepan, add the vanilla pod and seeds to the milk, cream, brown sugar and salt.  Warm over low heat and bring to a simmer, but don’t boil.

2.  Remove the milk mixture from the heat, and then remove the vanilla pod.  Add in the milk and dark chocolates and stir gently until they’re melted and the mixture becomes smooth.  Using a hand whisk, whisk the hot chocolate mixture for a few minutes until it’s smooth and frothy.

3.  Return the hot chocolate to the stove and re-heat again to a gentle simmer (not boiling).  Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream on top.

I served my hot chocolate with whipped cream on the side, just like they do at Angelina in Paris.


I also made the Apple Tarte Tatin when I needed a last minute dessert idea.  It was the first time I’d made a tarte tatin and it was delicious and so simple, only requiring a few ingredients.  I took a few pictures of it using my iphone before we gobbled it up.  


I can’t wait to try more recipes from Sweet Paris, and also explore some of the many pastry shops and tea salons listed in the book.  As I mentioned before, I will definitely be bringing my copy with me when I go to Paris in August.


Now here’s some good news – it’s GIVEAWAY time!!! I’ve got an extra copy of Sweet Paris to give away to one of my lucky readers!  


To have a chance at winning, simply leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Paris pastry is.  It could be macarons, eclairs, brioche – you decide!  Additional entries will be given by doing the following:

  • Become a follower on Google+ (I just joined this week!)
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Become a follower on Google Friend Connect
Links to all of the above are in the right hand column.  Maximum of 4 entries per person.  The winning comment will be chosen at random.

Open to UK residents only.  Contest closes at 11:59pm Monday June 25th.  Winner will be announced shortly after.  

*** Please note that you MUST leave a comment below in order to be entered into the prize draw, otherwise I have no way of keeping track of who, followed etc.  If you make a comment anonymously then please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. You should leave a separate comment for each of the 3 things listed above if you want to be entered more than once.  I will be using random.org to choose a number from all of the comments listed below in order to determine the winner. ***


With thanks to Hardie Grant Publishing for my review copy of Sweet Paris. 

J’adore Paris

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been on holiday without any access to my computer.  The past few weeks have been a bit crazy, Paris one weekend, then back to the UK for a few days before heading off to Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria.  4 countries in a less than week sounds glamorous, but it can be rather tiring!  Luckily I managed to find time to  visit with all my family and friends, AND fit in some shopping for loads of fun baking supplies that aren’t available here in the UK.  Thank goodness for my extra luggage allowance!! 
To start off my vacay, I celebrated my birthday weekend with my husband in my favourite place in the world – Paris!!!  I absolutely LOVE Paris.  I would totally move there, except for the fact that I can’t speak French – and the French don’t take kindly to foreigners who don’t integrate into their society well.  So until I can speak fluent French (which is likely never, considering I’m not even taking lessons) I’ll have settle for the 2 hour journey on the Eurostar.  It’s amazing that a country only an hour’s flight away can be so incredibly different from London and the rest of the UK.  The architecture in Paris is simply stunning.  Paris wasn’t bombed during the war, so it’s still got all of their beautiful buildings and landmarks in tact.  Living in London has allowed my obsession with Paris to develop at a much faster rate than if I lived back in Canada.  I’ve only lived here for 2 years, but I’ve been to Paris 3 times, and am already planning my next trip.  I’m always hearing about new and fabulous places to visit while in Paris, so I had to tick a few off my continuously expanding list.  On the menu for the weekend (and I do mean menu!) was a Paris Pastry tour. C’est magnifique! 

You’ll never guess where these macarons are from!

First up was actually somewhere that I really had absolutely NO intention of going to.  Normally when I go to Paris and other foreign countries I prefer to try food from local restaurants, but when we walked past a McCafe on the Champs-Elysées, I suddenly remembered watching some online interviews with Parisians doing a taste comparison between Pierre Herme’s macarons, and the newly launched McDonald’s version.  Yes – you read that correctly.  The McDonald’s restaurants in Paris sell macarons.  Actually, they sell a lot more than macarons (above).  They’ve actually got a whole pastry counter, and I must admit it looks like something you’d see in a posh pastry shop!  The McDonald’s macarons come in 6 flavours (vanilla, pistachio, chocolate, lemon, chocolate and salted caramel).  I picked up a box (4.50) for us so we could do our own taste comparison.  Verdict: The McDonald’s macarons are alright.  I suppose if you haven’t tried many macarons before, then you may really enjoy these.  The flavor is there – they did taste good, but the consistency of the “cookie” bit was totally wrong.  They were much denser than the macarons from Laduree or Pierre Herme. These ones had some what of a cakey consistency, which I’m assuming would probably result in them being far less fragile than their more expensive counterparts, which means you might even be able to bring them home with you for family and friends back home. Chances are, they’re not going to know the difference! 

McDonald’s macarons and pastry case – French fast food!

Next on the tour was Angelina. Famous for their hot chocolate and Mont Blanc pastries, this place should be on everyone’s “To Do” list when they come to Paris. Seriously, the hot chocolate is sooo good, but it’s sooo rich.  My husband and I each got a pastry – he got a type of vanilla slice that was made up of layers of flaky pastry and vanilla cream, while I got the famous Mont Blanc which is made up of vanilla chantilly cream on top of a thin flat meringue and covered in thin strands of chestnut paste. I’d been warned at rich the hot chocolate was, so we opted to share one.  Seriously, when they say the hot chocolate at Angelina is rich, they’re not joking!  This isn’t your milky Nestle variety.  Angelina’s hot chocolate is pretty much just melted chocolate.  It’s so luxurious and thick, and so absolutely delicious.  Le Chocolat chaud l’African is served in a small jug, alongside an accompanying bowl of whipped cream.  If you’ve read my blog more than once, you’ll know I’ve got a passion for anything sweet, but the combination of the sweet Mont-Blanc and the thick hot chocolate kicked my ass. My husband and I couldn’t finish either of them.  I’d definitely recommend going to Angelina’s, but would advise you to share the hot chocolate! 

Angelina’s famous hot chocolate, Mont Blanc and vanilla slice (in the back).
Angelina sells their famous hot chocolate, but it’s practically solid when it’s at room temperature! Below are a few other drool worthy shots of the pastries at Angelina

The final stop on our Paris Pastry tour was the infamous Laduree.  As I’ve mentioned before, the best macarons and pastries in Paris can be found at Laduree.  We had originally stopped by Laduree for afternoon tea one and of their delicious pastries – specifically the Religieuse – a puffed choux pastry filled with a rich chocolate cream, topped off with chocolate fondant. Unfortunately we (as well as several others) were turned away because they were “only serving lunch”, tea would only start to be served at 3:30.  I’m not sure if I believe that or not, but we opted to wait in line and ordered our pastries and macarons over the counter to take away.  I ended up eating my Religieuse pastry on my way back to London on the Eurostar – a far less glamours place than inside the golden gilded walls of Laduree. 

A slightly blury picture of the chocolate religieuse

More pastries from Laduree

If you’ve read my previous post about the macarons from Laduree, you’ll know that I’m totally obsessed with them, as well as their beautiful boxes.  Several times a year Laduree releases specially designed limited edition macaron boxes, and I just happened to be in Paris while their Summer 2010 boxes were being sold. This years box was covered in pretty white daisies, and had a cute little butterfly attached to the top.  I just had to have it!

Mmmacaons!!! 

While in Paris, we stayed in an amazing little hotel directly opposite the Arc de Triomphe called the Hotel Splendid Etoile.  This hotel was so charming, I’d recommend it to anyone! Both the room itself and the view were amazing, and the breakfast was delicious!  Lots of yummy breakfast pastries!

Our hotel room, and the view from the balcony at night.
 

Laduree Religieuse Recipe

Shhh, I have a secret….. I fell in love in Paris.  But not with my husband.  I fell in love with pastries.  Perfect little pastries.  From the first time I set foot into a Laduree patisserie parlour I knew I was somewhere special.  I’d never seen so many gorgeous and unique pastries before, they were like little works of art.  But there was one that immediately stood out – a pretty double stacked pink cream puff lined with white ruffles leading up to a silver pearl at the top.  It was a thing of beauty.  Sadly I never did get to try one that trip because I blew my budget on a box of their signature macarons.  


When I got home from Paris I immediately took to Google and discovered that the pretty pink pastry I saw at Laduree was called a religieuse, and was named so because the pastry is said to look like a nuns habit (headpiece).  

To this day I’ve never fallen out of love with the religieuse, and have always wanted to try and make my own.  So in preparation for Valentines Day I decided to celebrate love by recreating the religieuse from Laduree.  And I kid you not, these were probably the most tastiest things I’ve ever made.  They were to die for, and just as good as the ones from Laduree (which I’ve had on subsequent trips to Laduree.)

Choux pastry provides the base for the religiuese, which also happens to be the same pastry that is used for profiteroles and eclaires so it’s a great recipe to have on hand.  This recipe comes from the Laduree Sucre recipe book, so it’s as authentic as it’ll get.  


This was the first time I’d made choux pastry before so I made sure to follow the recipe exactly as described in the book.  But to my dismay my choux buns didn’t puff up like they should have.  They looked more like English Yorkshire puddings than they did choux buns.  What had I done wrong?  The recipe was very easy to follow and choux pastry is simple to make so I tried again, making sure to follow the instructions very carefully.  The recipe states to bake the choux pastry for about 10 minutes until they have fully puffed up, and then open the oven door a crack to let the steam escape, and cook for another 20 minutes.  I carefully watched my second batch of choux pastry through the oven door and they looked great.  I could see them puffing up nicely, so at the 10 minute mark I opened the door a crack.  I immediately  watched my choux buns defate before my eyes.  How disappointing!  

One thing that stood out while I was piping my choux batter onto my baking sheets was that it seemed a lot thinner than I imagined it would be.  I decided to try the recipe one last time, but this time I used one less egg in order to make the batter slightly thicker.  I also increased the oven temperature and left the door closed the entire time.  Success! My choux buns came out perfectly.  

A few days later I got talking to my friend Sarah from the blog Maison Cupcake and she thought my failed choux pastry attempts may have been down to the fact that I was using a fan oven.  I can’t say for certain if it was the fan that was effecting my first two batches of choux pastry or if it was the consistency of the batter, so I’m going to include the original Laduree recipe as well as my adaptations in pink so you can decide on which one you want to try.  

These religieuse might look difficult to make, but they’re really not.  So go on, and try making them for your special Valentine!


Valentines Day Religiuese
The recipes below are from Laduree Sucre, and have been adapted to make the religiuese.  
Adaptations are shown in pink.


Creme Patissiere

Ingredients:

1 Vanilla Bean *I used 1 Tbsp Vanilla Paste
1 2/3 Cups (400ml) Whole Milk
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup – 1 Tbsp (80g) Castor Sugar
1/4 Cup (30g) Cornstarch
1 Tbsp (25g) Butter

*300ml double cream, whipped

Directions:

1.  Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Pour the milk in a saucepan and add the vanilla pod and seeds *or vanilla paste.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat, and cover immediately.  Allow to infuse for 15 minutes. 

2.  In a large bowl whisk the egg yolk and sugar until slightly pale.  Incorporate the cornstarch.  

3.  Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, and bring to a simmer.  Pour 1/3 of the milk over the egg yolk mixture (to temper the egg yolks) , and whisk together.  Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.  Bring to a boil while stirring constantly with a whisk, until thickened.

4.  Remove the creme patisserie from the heat and pour into a clean bowl.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then incorporate the butter.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool and set. 

5.  Although the creme patissiere was delicious, I found it a bit too rich and heavy.  I had some double cream in the fridge, so I decided to whip it up and fold it into my chilled creme patissiere just to lighten it up a bit.  I’m so glad I did because the mixture of the whipped cream and the creme patissiere was absolutely delicious!
  

Choux Pastry

Ingredients: 

1 Cup – 1/2 Tbsp (120g) Cake Flour  *I used plain all purpose flour
1/2 Cup – 1 Tbsp (100ml) Whole Milk 
1/2 Cup – 1 Tbsp (100ml) Water 
1 Tbsp (10g) Caster Sugar 
1 pinch salt 
5 1/2 Tbsp (80g) Unsalted Butter 
4 Eggs *I used 3


Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)  *I baked mine at 200ºC.   Sift the flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan add the butter, milk and water and bring to a boil.   Remove from the heat, and dump the flour mixture into the liquid.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or spatula until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pot.  Set aside and allow to cool.

2.  Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.  *Here I judged the consistency after adding each egg and decided to only use 3

3.  Transfer batter into a piping bag, and pipe into desired shape.  *To make the religiuese you will need to pipe an equal number of small and large circles on your baking sheet.

4.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes.  When they have started to puff up, open the door very slightly (about 1/8 inch) to allow the steam to escape. Continue to bake the choux pastry for a further 20 – 30 minutes with the door slightly ajar, until the choux buns are golden.  *I baked my choux pastry at 200ºC for 25 minutes, and did not open the door.

5.  Remove the golden choux pastry buns from the oven immediately and pierce them with a sharp knife or skewer to allow for the steam to escape.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.


Fondant Topping:

Ingredients:

3oz (80g) White Chocolate, melted
4oz (120g) White Pouring Fondant *I used the Silver Spoon powdered version that you mix with water
Drop of pink food colouring

Directions:

1.  In a small bowl (wide enough to dip your chox buns in) prepare the liquid fondant according to the directions on the package.  Pour the melted white chocolate into the liquid fondant mixture and stir until fully combined.  Add a tiny drop of pink food colouring, and stir until evenly blended.  


To Assemble:

In addition to the above recipes, you’ll also need:

* Silver dragees
* A small amount of buttercreme, or leftover creme patissiere

1.  To fill the choux buns, transfer the creme patissiere into a piping bag fitted with a medium plain tipped nozzle.  Insert the nozzle into the hole in the bottom of the choux bun that you made after they came out of the oven.  Gently squeeze the piping bag so that the creme patissiere fills the cavity of the choux bun.  Repeat until all choux buns are filled.  *Do not over fill

2.  Prepare the fondant topping according to the directions above.  Dip the top half of the smaller choux buns into the coloured fondant, gently tapping off any excess.  Add a silver dragee on top, and place the choux buns on a baking sheet or wire rack to allow the fondant to set.  These will become the tops of your religiuese.

3.  Dip the top halves of the larger choux buns into the coloured fondant, gently tapping off any excess.  Let them sit for a minute or two before gently placing the smaller choux bun on top.  Hold the top choux bun in place for a few moments to ensure it stays put.  Repeat until all of the religiuese are assembled.  

4.  Fit a piping bag with a small star tipped nozzle, and fill with a small amount of buttercream or leftover creme patissiere. Starting with the bottom choux bun, pipe a line of buttercream that stretches to fondant covering of the top choux bun.

5.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  *The religiuese will keep in the fridge for up to two days.



I’m also submitting my Valentine’s Religiuese to a blogger link ups / challenges this month:  Homemade by Fleur’s virtual tea for two Valentine’s Bake Off, as well as this month’s Tea Time Treats link challenge (Perfect Puddings) hosted by What Kate Baked , and finally the Calendar Cakes challenge hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cake.




Raspberry Ripple Fudgesicles


Have I mentioned before that the summer weather in the UK has been relatively non-existant?  I’m not lying, it’s been dreadful.  Thankfully I managed to escape the clouds and rain with a few holidays to sunnier destinations (unfortunately not the ones with palm trees).  


Most recently I returned home from my annual birthday trip to Paris, which just happens to be my favourite city in the world.  I just love it.  We go every year and spend the entire time just wandering around through all the different neighbourhoods, stopping every few minutes to press our noses up against the window of yet another patisserie shop to admire the beautiful cakes and pastries on display.  Paris pastries are a thing of beauty.  I love them, and plan to try and recreate a few that really caught my eye while we were there.  


We’ve been lucky enough to have a few hot days in the UK recently, so I thought I’d break out my Zoku Quick Pop Maker while I had the chance.  For those of you not familiar with the Zoku, it’s a popsicle (ice lolly) maker that allows you to make your own frozen pops in under 10 minutes.  The flavour combinations you can make with the Zoku are endless. And because they freeze so quickly, you’re able to layer them and even make filled ones like the creamsicles that were my favourite when I was a kid.

Another of my favourites were fudgesicles – a dense and chocolatey frozen pop, chock full of deliciousness.  They don’t have fudgesicles in the UK, and I’d been dying for one every summer since I moved here.  I’d also been dying for a slice of a raspberry and chocolate tart that I’d seen in one of the patisserie windows while I was in Paris.  Except I’d only been “dying” for a slice of that for a week, not four years like the fudgesicle.  With all that dying going on it’s amazing I’m still alive.  I’m so dramatic. 

In the end I combined my two death wishes into one, and came up with something pretty amazing.  I’m calling it the raspberry ripple fudgesicle.  It’s the perfect combination of slightly tart raspberries and fudgey chocolate.  


The only thing I have to caution you about with these raspberry ripple fudgesicles is that they don’t freeze as quickly as most other popsicle recipes, but that’s what makes them fudgey.

To make these you’ll need to freeze your Zoku pop maker for at least 24hrs as recommended by the manufacturer, and then follow the recipe below:

Raspberry Ripple Fudgesicles
Makes 6 Zoku Pops

Ingredients:

20g Dark Chocolate
1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Milk
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup (or Golden Syrup)
6 Tbsp Sugar
1/8 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups Raspberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
3-4 Tbsp Sugar 

Instructions:

1.  Chill Zoku Pop Maker for a minimum of 24hrs in the freezer

2. Melt the dark chocolate over medium heat in a small saucepan, and then add the chocolate milk, cocoa powder, corn syrup, sugar and vanilla.  Stir until well combined and continue to heat until all the ingredients are well dissolved.  Do not bring to a boil.  Pour into a sealable container and refrigerate until cold – approximately 3 hours (this will speed up the freezing process).

3.  While your chocolate mixture is chilling, combine the raspberries and sugar (feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste) together and puree using a blender.  Set aside.

4.  Once your chocolate mixture is fully cool, get your two mixtures ready and take your Zoku pop maker out of the fridge and place the sticks in as your normally would.  Pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of  the chocolate mixture directly into the bottom of each cavity of the Zoku maker.  Wait several minutes until the chocolate mixture is thoroughly frozen.  Next your 1-2 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture into each cavity and wait for them the freeze.  Repeat the same steps as your did previously  in order to create the frozen layered pops.  Make sure your pops are thoroughly frozen before attempting to remove them.  If they’re not frozen enough the pops will not release from the Zoku pop maker properly.  Repeat above steps with the remainder of your ingredients.

*If you are impatient like I was and don’t wait for each layer to freeze fully before pouring the next, you’ll get the wonky pattern that’s shown in the photos.  The first time I made these, I waited longer in between pouring each of the layers which resulted in perfectly flat and level layers.


So there you have it – my own twist on a French and a Canadian classic, both blended together to make one delicious frozen treat.  Now all we have to do is wish for the sun to find it’s way back to the UK!

First Tooth Cookies

There are few events in life that will change the way you look forever – I’m not talking about dying or cutting your hair, covering yourself in fake tan or makeup – none of those things are permanent.  Aside from plastic surgery or physically growing taller, the only thing I can really think of that will change the way a person will look forever is when they start to get their teeth.  And that’s exactly what has happened to my little boy. 
First Tooth Cookies
It is a momentous event you know.  No longer can I stick my finger in his little mouth and have him chew away on it – if I do that now, I might as well be sticking my finger in a rat trap.  Each time I put my finger in there to have a little feel, it’s a gamble as to whether or not it will actually come out intact.  Having a mouth full of baby teeth is like having a mouth full of little razor blades.  They’re tools that will come in handy with everyday life, but they can draw blood if you’re not careful. 
We’ve waited 9 long months for these teeth to show up.  And while many babies I knew were really struggling with their teeth, crying out in constant pain and needing dose after dose of baby pain killers, I was quite relieved and pleased to see that Jayden has gone relatively unphased by the whole teething process. 
We noticed the first bottom one appear the day after he turned 9 months.  A week later the second bottom tooth made its appearance.  I thought that was all the teeth we’d see for at least a month – the body needs to recover from these things you know.  But a week later while we were in Italy, I dipped Jayden backwards while playing with him in the sun and to my surprise I saw another new tooth – but this time on the top!  Within the next two weeks, the total number of teeth we’d see in his mouth had grown to six.  His little smile is looking quite different now – it’s hard to get used to!
So goodbye toothless gummy smiles – we will never see you again.  Instead let’s celebrate with a cookie – a cute little first tooth sugar cookie.  Well, actually let me celebrate with the cookies – Jayden gets some celebratory bread sticks and cheese.  After all, I wouldn’t want him to rot his teeth out  😉

First Tooth Cookies

First Tooth Sugar Cookies
Equipment:
Tooth Cookie Cutter
White Pearl Lustre Dust
Pink Lustre Dust
Craft Paintbrushes
Edible Black Marker Pen


Sugar Cookie Dough – recipe here
Royal Icing – recipe here, although I used a boxed mix to save time.


1.  Roll out the dough, cut, and bake your cookies according to the directions in my sugar cookie post here.  Let your cookies cool fully before you start decorating them using royal icing.


2.  To decorate, pipe the outline of the tooth in white royal icing that’s thick enough to hold it’s shape, but not too dry (you should be able to tell if your icing consistency is right if you run a knife through your bowl of icing and it comes back together in about 10 – 15 seconds).


3.  Now it’s time to flood your cookies – you can do this in two ways:  fill them immediately after you’ve piped the outline, or allow the outline to dry for several hours and then fill.  I prefer it when the outline blends in with the rest of the icing, so I flood my cookies immediately after I pipe the outline.  Give the cookie a gentle shake from side to side a few times to help smooth out the icing.  Leave the flooded cookies to dry over night.


4.  Mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of white lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka, or other clear alcohol in a little dish.  Using a paintbrush of an appropriate size, dip the brush into the white lustre dust mixture and brush over top of the royal icing to give it a pearlised finish.  Let dry for 15 – 30 minutes.


5.  Use an edible black marker to draw on little faces.  Give your teeth some rosy cheeks by dipping a smaller paintbrush in a bit of the dry pink lustre dust.  Gently apply the lustre dust in a small circular motion for the rosy look.


Look at these little pearly whites all lined up in a row!  Don’t you just want to sink your teeth into them!?

First Tooth Cookies

And to announce the winner of my Sweet Paris giveaway – the winning comment is……..

Congratulations Nicola McCandless!  Please send your mailing details to me at madewithpink@gmail.com, and I’ll have a copy of Sweet Paris sent off to you!