Archive for April, 2012

Pipe Dream #104: To Stop At 14ths – Cream Cheese Party Mints

I can distinctly remember the first time I had these mints. It was at a grad party, and they were in the shape of little grad caps and diplomas. I was probably 16 or 17, so it was somewhat embarrassing to return to the food table the amount of times that I did that day, but I couldn’t help myself. Seriously, I was like my own personal German granny, “You look thin. You really should eat some more. Here. Have a fourth helping.”

These babies are approximately as addicting as the homemade peppermint patties I showed you before, and twice as simple because you don’t have to dip them in chocolate. So there is absolutely no reason that you should not make them now and give them away immediately to your neighbors. They’ll appreciate. Also, they are the perfect party mints. Any occasion will do. Just buy a mold and set to it!


Party Mints

Adapted from the Clever Culinarian

6 cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoons peppermint extract

¼ cup butter, softened

4 ounces, fluid cream Cheese

sugar (for rolling)

Mix ingredients well and form one teaspoon of mix into a small ball. Coat in sugar.

Push the first mint ball into your candy mold. If there is too much mixture, remove the excess. When finished, roll back into a ball use as a size example to make the rest of the mints.

If you don’t have actual candy molds, you can use any small clean, food safe item that will work or just roll them into balls and coat with sugar. Then you can make several at a time and coat them in sugar.

Finish each by pressing into the candy mold and placing on a tray to dry out.

Makes about 8 dozen marble-sized mints. If your event has a colorful theme, you can add a few drops of food coloring when mixing.

Favorite Shots: Vicarious Pemberley

When my family heard I was going to be visiting Lyme Park, the site of Pemberley from the BBC’s version of “Pride and Prejudice,” they flipped out a little bit. And let’s be real, I flipped out a little bit too. After months of living in England, it just felt so right.

The house was fabulous, clearly, and I so enjoyed taking in the house from a number of different angles. The above shot makes me so happy. It is a favorite shot of favorite shots. The composition is a bit out of the ordinary for me, and I love the reflection on the pond.

This shot is of the front side of the house. To me, it looks really imposing. Broad and steep and forbidding.

Ever and always,

I remain your loving


Pipe Dream #103: To Sparkle – Flower Fondant Cake

At school I had this beautiful German roommate. Obviously, all Germans are beautiful, but Franzi is especially so. She has the most beautiful long red hair and musical ability to make you swoon. So clearly, when her birthday came round, I felt she deserved something extra special.

Coincidentally, the kitchen staff was making the tiniest mini cake that day with some leftovers, and they said I might help with it and give it to Franzi. It worked out pretty well. :]

We used a Dr. Oetker ready-to-roll fondant, as opposed to the homemade marshmallow fondant I have used before. It was was easy to prepare, but I felt that the fondant was prone to cracking. Dr. Oetker is a common baking supplies brand based in Germany. You know chocolate chips? Like Nestle ones? They taste like wax next to Dr. Oetker chips. Chocolate standards in Europe are just so much better over all.

To make the flowers, we cut out individual petals from rolled fondant and stuck them on with a bit of water. I’m not sure if that is the most kosher way of sticking fondant together, but it seems to work. You have to be pretty careful, though.

And then. The edible glitter. Easily the best part of this cake. It was so festive and birthday appropriate. Never mind that I found glitter hiding on my face for the next two days; the overall effect was worth it. Do not do what I did on one side of the cake and splash a bit of water on and then throw the glitter. It will look like the big splotch that you can probably see on my cake.

Shine on,


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