Monday, February 8, 2010

Poured sugar jewels and shot glasses

We are busily making sugar cookies for class valentines and decided to do some more poured sugar for accents. I had a couple of molds I wanted to try out, so I made a batch of sugar jewels and some shot glasses. (The jewels were for iced sugar cookies, and the shot glasses were just because I wanted to see how they would turn out.)

Two batches of sugar became three because I so severely messed up the first batch of jewels. The hollow areas in those molds are super tiny, and any overflow of sugar means you don't have clean, crisp jewels as an end product. You know the joke plastic liquid attached to a tipped glass that looks like you spilled your drink all over the counter? Same concept...a faceted gem floating on top of a pool.

I used sugar rather than isomalt because it's cheaper and I didn't need it to be clear. I ended up with batches of yellow (the base color I get when I heat the sugar to the hard crack stage), orange, light purple, and a smoky-quartzy brown.

*Side Rant* Before I go any further, I have to say something about coloring. Until this weekend, I have used Wilton gels to color my frosting, sugar, etc. However. This is what the little basket of Wilton colors looks like EVERY TIME I get it out, no matter how much organizing I do in between uses (brace yourself, it's ugly--this is the true underbelly of cake and cookie making):

The basket sits on a shelf in the cabinet, and I move it in and out to get to other things, so I'm sure that doesn't help. Every single little container has gel on it that has magically escaped from another, so when you pick them up, you inevitably end up with some random color all over your hand. Gross. No matter how much you clean off of the container, there always seems to be a spot you miss. They are never totally cleaned off. And the gel gets...gummy after a while, so I often end up throwing away more than half of the container.

This weekend, I threw away every. last. container. of the Wilton gels and replaced them with the AmeriColor brand...lovely little squeeze bottles in amazing colors:

Amazing! No unwanted mess, beautiful colors, no need to dip a toothpick into the container and try to swirl it into things...just turn over the bottle and squeeze.

Ok, back to the sugar. Here are the jewels and the shot glasses I made:

See all of the little bubbles on the sides of the glasses? I can make these go away by shaking the molds after pouring the sugar and using a small torch to burn them off the surface. Good to know for using 3D molds in general, but I kind of like them on these.

The jewels are attached to cookies, headed to their destination. After doing a fair amount of internet research, I packaged them up the most securely I could and they are going out in the mail today. Hopefully some of them will arrive looking as they did when they left...

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