How to Make Modeling Chocolate

How to Make Modeling Chocolate

Recently I’ve started using modeling chocolate in more and more of my projects, like the Pink Lemonade & Pinwheels cake above… all those decorations were modeling chocolate.

And at some point in the future, I hope to do my own modeling chocolate tutorial, but this week I’m going to be using this tutorial and fun video by Shawna McGreevy for How to Make Modeling Chocolate.

My 17 year old son makes all of my modeling chocolate for me and he usually does much smaller batches than this, but THIS week, I have to have a huge batch of white for an upcoming project, so he’ll be doing it Shawna’s way.  Ultimately I’ll get his input on which method he likes better (although honestly, they’re pretty similar except for the quantity differences).

Anyway, I’m sharing her video… because she’s awesome and love her and let’s face it, I’m also being lazy ;)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Watch the video “How to Make Modeling Chocolate” here:

Wasn’t that fun?  I just love the music that she has playing in all of her videos!!   And her smile and personality are just infectious… I’m hoping to see her and maybe meet her at Cake Fest in February (fingers crossed!!).

Have you made modeling chocolate?  What do you think?  Any questions?  Let me know! 

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Petit Four Icing (aka Poured Fondant)

Petit Four Icing Recipe

After posting this Petit Four picture on Facebook today, I had someone ask about the icing.  Honestly… it’s what I struggle with the most, but  I do like this recipe… I just haven’t perfected my usage of it!

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So, here’ s a quick post (because you asked!) for how I’m currently making Petit Four Icing (aka Poured Fondant).  I’ve tried several recipes over the last few years and this recipe is my favorite so far!

I think the secret to this icing is the added white chocolate chips.  The petit four icings that I used before this one were too translucent and didn’t really cover the cake very well.  I really wanted my petit fours to look white – and the added chocolate does that!

Now – I told you on Facebook and I’m telling you again… I really wish I could make my petit-fours look as good as they taste.  None of them are the same size.  None of them are the same height.   Look at this picture… I was not kidding:

Petit Fours

I also couldn’t figure out how to get the icing to cover on all sides…. maybe I just don’t work fast enough??  Anywho – I appreciate all of your kind comments on Facebook, but really… I need to improve!

OH – I should also tell you that I use a make-shift double boiler method to make this icing.    It may or may not be the “best” way to make this kind of icing, but it keeps me from scorching it and  it keeps the icing warm enough that it doesn’t set up in the bowl (because with petit fours, I work sloooooooow!!!!).

However, even though the icing stays warm and fluid and it tastes amazing… it’s still a MESS!   If anyone can give me tips on making petit fours without making a mess – please SHOUT IT OUT in the comments!!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Petit Fours

Last thing – then the recipe – I promise!  I mentioned last week that I watched the Craftsy class,  Mini Cakes, Many Ocassions and that there is a whole lesson (or two) on making petit fours!

Well, that class is a wealth of information if you want to learn to make petit fours!   Mini Cakes, Many Ocassions includes videos, recipes and loads of tips!    I absolutely learned tons of great tips from it… I just need to watching it again to master some of what I learned!! ;)

Tell me!!  What do you struggle with?  Do you have a fool-proof method for making petit fours?  Wanna share!?!  Please!!  Pretty Please!!!

So now… on with the recipe!!

Petit Four Icing (aka Poured Fondant)

Petit Four Icing (aka Poured Fondant)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Start by bringing a pot of water to boil, then placing a larger glass bowl over it. You'll do all of the recipe in the glass bowl!! THIS is my "double-boiler".

In the glass bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and extracts. Note... you can eliminate or substitute different extracts to suit your recipe/tastes. I think lemon extract would also make an amazing icing!!

Continue whisking or stirring the until the mixture becomes smooth and consistent. It should be thin enough to drizzle from a spoon, but not so then that it all runs off the cake! You can also check the temperature and when it reaches 92° F, it's good.

When it's ready, add in the white chocolate chips and stir until melted. I like to turn down the heat but keep my water steaming underneath as I work to keep the icing from setting up!

Now - there are many ways to coat petit fours (dip, drizzle, pour the icing, etc.) and I can't tell you what's best! You can see several methods in the Mini Cakes, Many Ocassions Craftsy Class, but for me, I like to spoon it over the top.

I put my frozen petit fours on a cooling rack and I set that over a cookie sheet that is lined with wax paper (also shown in the Craftsy Class then I just spoon the icing over the top to cover the cakes!

I actually took some pics of part of this process but I'm ages away from posting those, so if you're in a hurry... you're much better off with the class!

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Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

These past few weeks have been a blur.  Not that my life isn’t always busy, but truly… I’m so tired of going somewhere all the time.  Other than quick runs to our small town to buy milk or delivery cakes, I’m normally a (quite content) homebody.

But not lately.  Every time I turn around we have to drive the  near 40 miles to one of the three larger towns around here to get vaccinations, to get Christian’s arm checked (again and again),  to do pre-surgery for the other surgery he had, or for dentist appointments.    And I’m sick of it.   Just let me stay home… puleeeeesse.

Last week in the middle of all the insanity, I was craving these Oatmeal Pecan Cookies so I decided to do something CrAzY.  You wanna know what it was?   I baked something that was not for somebody else.   Yep, you heard me.  I baked for ME.  

Okay, so that’s not all that crazy, but it felt really indulgent considering that I feel like I never, ever bake just because I want to.  And especially not something I can eat all by myself.

Stack of Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

Yes, you heard me right.  I baked them just. for. me.   Yes,  yes I did.

And they were just what I needed to sooth my tattered emotions.   I have been so exhausted – mentally, emotionally & physically – and I just wanted some comfort food.

Do cookies make you feel better?  They sure make me feel better!   I ate way more than my fair share and I was definitely a little more happy afterwards!   ;)

So why Oatmeal Pecan Cookies?    I’m not sure.  Without a doubt, Chocolate Chip Cookies are my most favorite cookie, but these Oatmeal Pecan Cookies are also at the top of my cookie list and they were just what I needed at the time.

Plate of Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

They’re actually best when they’re right out of the oven – warm and chewy and so full of texture and deliciousness.  But if you can’t eat them all at once (like me … ahem!), then  store them in an airtight container to keep them soft.  Or if you like a crunchy cookie, then by all means leave them out and they’ll get a good crunch to them!

When I first made these a few years ago, I used a recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook (I love me some Pioneer Woman cookbooks!!)  – she calls them Oatmeal Crispies and they are fantastic!!  But the more I made them, the more I changed things.   I tweaked the ingredients only a tiny bit, but mostly I just got lazy and started skipping steps.

In the original recipe, she uses three (or four?) bowls.  She makes the dough, divides it in half, wraps it in wax paper then chills it.  When she’s ready to use it, she slices and bakes them.

Oatmeal Cookies on Pan

Well…. one day when I was craving these, I’ll admit it… I didn’t want to wait.   I didn’t want to mess up any more bowls than absolutely necessary.  I didn’t want to chill and slice.  I didn’t want to use any self restraint.   So I grabbed my favorite cookie scoop, skipped a few steps and baked some cookies!

And you know what… they turned out just fine!   In fact, better than fine… I think I might have liked them better because they were big and soft and chewy.   And fast.  Ha!   When this girl craves a cookie – she wants it now!!

Anywho… so here’s my adapted & printable recipe.    These cookies are absolutely fantastic and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!!

What food brings you comfort?  

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 36 (3") cookies

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
  • 3.5 oz shortening (~ 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (or... I scraped vanilla seeds from 3 beans)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 cups Quick Oats
  • 3/4 cup Finely Chopped Pecans

Instructions

Cream together the shortening, butter and sugars until smooth.

Add the eggs while mixing, then the vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix thoroughly. No I don't sift it all together - no, I don't do it in a separate bowl. I just dump it all into my Kitchenaid with a SideSwipe Paddle. It works beautifully!

Last, add the oats and nuts; mix just until incorporated.

Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. You can skip the parchment if you want to - but this goes back to me being lazy... no pan to wash! I really like the 3 Tbsp. size scoop.

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly (so they don't fall apart when you pick them up)... but not too much... they are extra delicious warm out of the oven!! They have a tiny crispy edge but they're soft and chewy with loads of texture! Perfection, I tell ya!

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Do you love cookies?  Check out more of my favorite cookie recipes here:

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies Pinterest

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Butter Crisp Cookies Recipe

Butter Crisp Cookies

Biscoff Cookie Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies WM

Chocolate Cookies with Biscoff Cookie Butter Filling

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