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Picnic Blanket Ice Cream Cake (with Ants!)

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Guest Post by Fancy Flours Employee Lindsey G.

I have a tendency to go overboard for parties. It’s a habit all the women in my family share. Everything just has to have a special touch. Tell me to bring rolls to an event and I’ll butter them up, top them with cheese and herbs and display them on a nice plate. Oh cupcakes? Sure let me just find matching liners and picks for the theme of the evening. With summer coming up, I’m already thinking of fun ideas for our outdoor gatherings – beach, cabin, Fourth of July and, of course, your ordinary barbeque.

The only hitch with Montana summers is the temperature. Hundred degree days don’t make for happy baking. So when trying to think of a unique cake for a picnic or barbeque that wouldn’t require an oven, I immediately thought of ice cream cake! What could be simpler? You can either buy one from the store or make the quick and easy recipe illustrated below with any flavor you desire.

Ok, now you’re wondering, “What’s so unique about an ice cream cake?” Well, not much until you add a cute chocolate picnic blanket and ants on top! A couple bars of white chocolate, a Red Gingham Chocolate Transfer Sheet, decorative ants, a touch of frosting and half an hour are all it takes to make your cake something for the books. Even the kids can help stir, mash and spread so the whole family can create something fun and delicious.

Let’s get started!

Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 half gallon ice cream of your choice (I chose mint for the refreshing taste)
  • 1 small container of fudge or caramel topping
  • 25 Oreos
  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter

Tools

  • 8” square cake pan
  • Medium bowl, microwave safe
  • Potato masher
  • Spoon, knife and fork
  • Ice cream scoop

Directions

  1. Melt butter in one of your bowls.
  2. Add Oreo cookies to bowl. You can break them apart now for quicker mashing or leave them whole. You do not need to remove the frosting in the middle.Oreos-in-Bowl
  3. Mash Oreos and butter together with potato masher until it’s a mass of small crumbs.Oreo-Texture
  4. Dump Oreo mixture into your cake pan and press into the bottom with a fork to form the crust. Chill if not using immediately.Oreo-Crust-Finished
  5. Scoop and press ice cream into your cake pan until it is half full.Ice-Cream-Squishing-Layer-1
  6. Spoon fudge or caramel topping over pressed ice cream. The back of the spoon is handy for spreading.Fudge-Spreading
  7. Scoop and press ice cream into your cake pan until it reaches the top.
  8. Freeze until you’re ready to top!

 

Picnic Blanket Topper

Ingredients

  • 2 Large bars white baking chocolate
  • Red Gingham Chocolate Transfer Sheet (find it here)
  • Decorative ants (find them here)
  • Frosting (green)

Tools

  • Medium bowl, microwave safe
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Spoon
  • Spatula or spreading knife
  • Black marker
  • Long knife (non-serrated)
  • Grass piping tip (I used Julia Usher’s)

Directions

  1. Place transfer sheet slippery side up on wax or parchment paper. Measure and draw lines with your marker for an 8” by 8” square section.Measuring-TransferMeasured-Transfer
  2. Flip transfer sheet over so chocolate side is up. Leave on flat surface or in a cookie sheet for easy transport.
  3. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This will usually be less than 2 minutes.
  4. Pour melted chocolate into the measured section of the transfer sheet and lightly spread into a thin layer. It is ok to go over the lines.Spreading-Chocolate
  5. Cool melted chocolate and sheet in the refrigerator until solid – 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove sheet from fridge and place on flat surface (or leave in cookie sheet). Use the knife to cut along your marked edges to square up the edges. Warming the knife under hot water will help create clean lines.Cutting-Chocolate
  7. Peel off the transfer sheet.
  8. Place your “blanket” on top of your ice cream cake and use frosting or dots of melted chocolate to attach your ants.
  9. Pipe an edge of “grass” and you’re done!Finished-Full

Tips

  • Make your ice cream cake while the melted chocolate cools over your transfer sheet to save 15 minutes.
  • In a big rush? Buy a pre-made ice cream cake and cut your transfer sheet to size. This could work for round cakes too!
  • Save some hassle by buying a pre-made Oreo cookie crust in the baking section of your grocery store.
  • Oops! If you crack the chocolate when cutting, leave the chocolate transfer sheet-side down and rub a warmed spoon over the crack until it melts together. Re-chill to solidify before placing on your cake.
  • You can store the cake safely in the freezer (ants and all)!

NEW Simple Syrups – Not Just For Cocktails

Bang Candy Company Flavored Syrups are made by hand in small batches with only the finest ingredients. They’re perfect for making refreshing sodas, delicious cocktails and adding a touch of pizzaz to virtually any recipe! Simple syrups are not just for cocktails, you can add them to ice cream, pancakes, cake and much more.

Made with REAL ingredients. 100% natural. Versatile & amazing!

Lavender Mint Syrup

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This Lavender Mint Simple Syrup is like walking through a lawn of fresh mint and lavender, both soothing and exhilarating at once. The delicate old world bouquet of lavender blossoms paired with the sweet snap of fresh mint is nothing short of divine.

Ingredients: Water, Cane Sugar, Fresh Mint, Lavender Blossoms, Citric Acid.

BUY HERE

Lavender Mint Recipes

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Mint Lavender Mist

Pour syrup into flute glass and top with sparkling wine, adjust syrup to your own taste…Some like it sweeter than others!

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Lavender Mint Julep

Muddle syrup and mint leaves in julep cup. Fill cup with crushed ice and add bourbon. Garnish with fresh mint.

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Lavender Lift

Add syrup to soda and fill with ice.

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Lavender Mint Melon Salad

Toss melon pieces with fresh mint and simple syrup. Serve chilled.

Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Syrup

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This Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Syrup is so summery and floral but with a nice tart hibiscus bite. As with most of our syrups this goes very well in lemonade and tea but for a nice 5 o’clock pick-me-up try shaking up three tablespoons of syrup with the freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lime and a stiff measure of vodka, garnish with a twist of orange peel and serve up in a chilled martini glass!

Ingredients: Water, Cane Sugar, Hibiscus Flowers, Orange Blossom Water, Ginger, Citric Acid.

BUY HERE

Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Recipes

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Hibiscus Bubbles

Pour Syrup into flute glass and top with sparkling wine.

Fancy Tip: Rim your glass with our Hibiscus Flower Crystals for extra flavor and pizazz!

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Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Sunrise 

Combine tequila and orange juice in a highball glass with ice. Add syrup and stir.

Fancy Tip: Rim your glass with our Hibiscus Flower Crystals for extra flavor and pizazz!

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Hibiscus Bubbly Wonder

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake the living daylights out of it with a few cubes of ice for a minute or so, pour into a Champagne flute and top it off with the sparkling tipple of your fancy. Garnish with a twist and dance on through the night!

Fancy Tip: Rim your glass with our Hibiscus Flower Crystals for extra flavor and pizazz!

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Hibiscus Ginger Fizz

Combine syrup and soda and fill with ice.

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Moroccan Citrus Dessert

Select 3 different types of citrus from the market, I chose blood oranges, tangerines and grapefruit to add a bit of tang! remove the pith and peel with a knife. Slice the fruit laterally saving any juice run off and arrange artistically on a serving dish. Mix together the Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Simple Syrup syrup with honey and the excess citrus juice and drizzle sparingly over the fruit. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and scatter a fistful of toasted walnuts over the top and serve.

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Hibiscus Orange Trifle

Mix rum and Hibiscus Orange Blossom Ginger Simple Syrup and set aside. Arrange in layers, starting with cake pieces. Brush the cake pieces with the rum-syrup mixture to saturate before adding a layer of orange segments and whipped cream. Repeat process to fill the dish. Makes one large or 4 individual sized trifles.

Sweet & Tart Cookbook Sneak Peek

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When life gives you lemons . . . make a lemon (or lime, or orange, or grapefruit) dessert! Sweet and Tart brings a spritz of sunshine to the table with 70 totally tempting, accessible recipes. From irresistibly tangy-sweet Heavenly Lemon Squares to the unexpected Cream Cheese Muffins with Spinach and Lemon, these treats span sweet and savory, with recipes for frozen desserts, cakes, pies, breads, and favorite citrusy accents such as marmalade and curd.

The cookbook comes as a hardcover, with 176 pages with color photos.

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Meyer Lemon Drop Cookies – Sneak Peek of What’s Inside! 

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Makes about 60 cookies

Start to finish: 1 hour
Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Sometimes a soft, pillowy cookie is just the ticket to happiness. Especially a lemon bomb like these Meyer lemon–infused cookies. It’s a treat that every kid (and adult) would love to find in their lunchbox.

3 cups Error: [360] shortcode requires URL to be set unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup [170 g] unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups [300 g] granulated sugar
Zest of 3 Meyer lemons; plus 1/4 cup [60 ml] fresh Meyer lemon juice, plus 3 Tbsp
1 tsp lemon extract
3 large eggs
2 cups [240 g] powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and two-thirds of the lemon zest in a mixer bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] lemon juice and the lemon extract and then the eggs, one at a time. Turn the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in three additions just until combined.

Drop the dough by tablespoons or use a 1-Tbsp scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 in [5 cm] apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch, rotating the baking sheets 180 degrees about halfway through the baking time.

Let cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then lift the cookies from the parchment with a spatula and let cool completely on the racks. Repeat to bake the remaining dough on the same sheets.

Combine the powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, and remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and blend with a fork to make a glaze. (If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add a few drops of lemon juice or water.)

Set the wire racks over a baking sheet and drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies with a fork. (The sheet will catch the drips, which can be scraped up and reused if you run short of glaze.) Let set for 20 minutes. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Photos and recipe from www.chroniclebooks.com/blog.

10 Treat Ideas To Welcome Spring

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1. Little Blue Flower Cupcakes – These cupcakes are full of color and cheer, plus they are super easy! Just bake your favorite cupcake recipe in these Flower Foil Cupcake Liners and decorate with bright purple buttercream frosting topped with a Small Blue Royal Icing Flower!

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2. Butterfly Wafer Paper Cookies – Make these cookies with our bestselling Butterfly Wafer Paper! Get the how-to HERE!

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3. Daffodil Cupcakes – Nothing says Spring quite like a daffodil and these cupcakes! Just bake your favorite cupcake recipe in these Blue Gingham Cupcake Liners and decorate with orange buttercream frosting topped with a pretty Daffodil Icing!

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4. Garden Party Cake & Cupcakes – Decorating idea from Lucks.com. Make using our sweet Sugar Bees and Sugar Ladybugs!

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5. DIY Spring Flower Sugar Cubes – Royal Icing Flower topped sugar cubes…drop one in and watch the flower float to the top as sugar cube melts. It will brighten your morning or put a smile on your guest’s face at your next brunch. Get the tutorial HERE.

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6. Butterfly Cookies – Learn how to make and decorate butterfly cookies using the marbling and wet-on-wet icing techniques. Get the tutorial HERE.

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7. Bright Daisy Treats – An easy way to brighten up any store bought treat is to top them with our Bright Sugar Daisies! Decorating idea from Lucks.com.

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8. 3D Flower Pot Cookies – Make using our new 3D Spring Flower Pot Cookie Cutter and our No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe so that your dough does not spread and the baked pieces will still fit together nicely.

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9. Hard Candy Lollipops With Edible Flowers – Update this old-fashioned favorite with edible flowers for a fresh spring treat. You can flavor to suit your taste , but you will need clear lollipops to showcase the flowers. Make sure you have an accurate candy thermometer for this recipe because the sugar temperature is critical! Get the tutorial HERE.

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10. Flower Basket Cupcakes – Make Spring flower basket cupcakes topped with Royal Icing Pansies and Royal Icing Narcissus.  Just bake your favorite cupcake recipe in these Blue Gingham Cupcake Liners and wrap them in our adorable Basket Cupcake Wrappers!

Decorating Techniques for your Easter Cookies

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Sponge-Painted Easter Egg Cookies

For a sweet take on speckled-eggs, use a natural sea sponge to dab royal icing (colored in springtime hues) onto white-iced cookies. The results are far too pretty to merely serve as dessert. SOURCE: MARTHA STEWART LIVING, MARCH 2016

Get the full tutorial HERE.

FF Supplies:

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Cookie Decorating With Wafer Paper

Learn how to adorn your sugar cookies with fun Easter wafer paper images. Application is simple and you don’t need to be a cookie decorating expert to get professional looking results!

Get the full tutorial HERE.

FF Supplies:

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Bunny Face Cookies

Learn how to make adorable bunny face cookies with our NEW Bunny Face Cutter. This tutorial by cookie artisan Sweet Sugarbelle is actually quite simple!

Get the full tutorial HERE.

FF Supplies:

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Rubber Stamped Cookies 

Stamping your iced cookies with food color is an easy and effective way to decorate!  No professional skills are needed!  Using rubber stamps to decorate cookies, is a great way to easily add fine detail that would normally take hours free-handed with royal icing or food-color pens.

Get the full tutorial HERE.

FF Supplies:

How To Use Wafer Paper On A Cake

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Introducing edible wafer paper cake illustrations from Fancy Flours.

Now enjoy the ease and beauty of wafer paper images on cakes! Our Easter Bunnies design fits an 8″ round cake. Simply cut out and apply to fresh buttercream, or use light Karo corn syrup to apply to a fondant surface. Add to a store bought cake for a quick custom look.

What is Wafer Paper?

Wafer paper is made of dehydrated potato starch, water and vegetable oil. The thin edible paper is then pre-printed with food-safe dyes. Wafer paper is tasteless and does not “melt” into the frosting, it will remain as a thin sheet of edible paper on top of your sweet confection.

Instructions for use on a cake:

Using craft scissors, carefully cut out your wafer paper image along the outer cut line provided on the design. You will want to trim carefully for a clean, finished look.

Butter Cream Frosting Application: Apply the trimmed wafer paper illustration directly to a smooth surface of fresh buttercream frosting. Working from the center outwards, smooth any bubbles that may exist. You can consider the cake done at this point, or, pipe a decorative edge around the cake to hide the edge of the wafer paper.

Fondant Application: If your cake has a fondant surface you will want to apply a thin layer of Light Karo Corn Syrup to the back side of the wafer paper illustration using a craft brush or a very soft basting brush. (Light coating only). Turn the wafer paper illustration over and apply to the top of the cake. Starting from the center, smooth the wafer paper outward towards the edges to get a good seal and to remove all bubbles. The cake can be considered complete at this point, or, add a decorative piped border.

Store-Bought Cake Application: Request that the grocery store or bakery refrain from sprinkles or colored decorations on the top surface of the cake. If the surface is not fondant, just cut out and apply the wafer paper directly to the surface of the cake – smoothing it out as best as possible so that it does not get waves or wrinkles. The paper is really very forgiving.

Tips for Success: Wait until the day of your event to apply the wafer paper illustration and only allow the cake to be refrigerated for a few hours before serving the cake. Note: we have left a store bought cake with a wafer paper topper in the refrigerator for 3 days without any color transfer or wrinkling – however, humidity and frosting moisture are factors and may vary greatly from our test conditions.

 Serving Tip: Gently cut thru the wafer paper first and then cut deeper into your slice for serving – this will produce the most decorative presentation

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Perfect dessert for your Easter celebration!