I Really Don’t Need a Edible Rice Paper Printer

Experimented a little with edible rice paper decorations for cookies (found on Etsy). It definitely has a tendency to curl, so will need to work on it some more to learn how to do it right. And apparently you can’t refrigerate or freeze them, as the moisture will affect the color, so that means I can’t make a batch of cookies weeks in advance the way I normally might for sale.

We’ll be doing a Valentine’s Day sale (watch this space), but I really don’t know yet if I’ll be able to include these vanilla-rose sugar cookies. But still, fun experimenting, and the kids didn’t seem to mind the curling on their first-day-of-the-semester cookies. 🙂

You should be proud of me that I did not buy myself an edible rice paper printer. I don’t actually run a bakery; I really don’t need such a device!

Vanilla Chai Meringue Kisses

I made meringue kisses yesterday. I’ve been meaning to try making them for a while (I’ve mad a big meringue for a pavlova, but never little kisses), but somehow never got around to it. I finally motivated yesterday; I’m planning to stop by L!ve Cafe and drop some off for Reesheda and her staff.

Little kisses, not the prettiest; I have little patience for piping, so these are just spoon-dropped onto the parchment. But tasty. I did two kinds — straight vanilla, and vanilla chai. The chai ones, I included a little pepper, which is often used in chai, but not so typical for meringues. I like it, though — makes them not quite as simply sweet as normal. Definitely a matter of preference, though, so feel free to skip the pepper!

Vanilla Chai Meringue Kisses

(15 minutes + baking time, makes dozens)

5 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lime juice (or lemon, or 1/2 t. cream of tartar)
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1/4 t. white pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 220 F.

2. Beat egg whites on high. Add in remaining ingredients, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.

3. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

4. Bake for one hour, then turn off oven and allow meringues to sit for another hour, or overnight. Store in an airtight container.

Lemon Sugar Cookie Dragons of Winter!

And kitty-dragons! I’m not sure if they’re meant to be kitty-dragons or baby dragons, but they look like kitty-dragons to me, so we’ll go with that.

I was going to put a little blood orange extract in the icing, for a bit of extra dragon excitement, but I forgot, oh well. But they’re still nummy, with a light lemon flavor, and so ridiculously pretty.

Sprinkled with Stars and Hearts

Dark chocolate-dipped passionfruit marshmallows, sprinkled with silver stars and pink hearts. I do a lot of experimenting with food, and a lot of the joy for me is coming up with new combinations, but sometimes, something just works so well, you know you’re not going to mess with it anymore.

These are becoming a staple, along with the dragonfruit chocolate (Kavi’s favorite chocolate!), Sri Lankan cashew milk toffee, and love cake. One thing we’re planning to explore in 2021 is whether we can expand the Serendib Kitchen sweet-making a little bit. I don’t have the time to cook any more than I already do (and honestly, I should probably be cooking a little less, and writing more).

So that would mean me teaching someone else how to make these, taste-testing to make sure they have it down, and then having them produce them. If we can figure it all out, then maybe we’ll even be able to supply some for local stores (which will require getting a different license, etc. and so on).

Of course, that’ll require researching aspects such as which items are shelf stable (the dragonfruit chocolate and the milk toffee, I think), which need to stay refrigerated (the marshmallows are okay sitting out for a day or two, but if they don’t sell quickly, better to refrigerate them for freshness, and love cake should be frozen or at least refrigerated if you’re going to keep it for any length of time), etc. We’ll see!

It’d be lovely to offer, alongside the cookbooks, going forward.

The Count for Saturday’s Flash Sale

I *think* this is the count for what will be available foodstuffs-wise during Saturday’s flash sale. Possibly with one more kind of cookie. I can’t handle much organizational stuff at this point, so please don’t try to pre-order anything. I’m planning to open the sale at 10 CST, first-come, first-served.

(1) cardamom-rose knitted sweater shortbread
(1) chocolate-cayenne dragon egg shortbread
(3) set of 4 squares of Sri Lankan love cake (pistachio / cashew variation)
(5) set of 1/2 dozen dragonfruit & passionfruit marshmallows
(6) jasmine & rose black tea in a test tube (caffeinated)
(9) set of 4 Dragon S’mores marshmallows (smoked vanilla with sea salt, chocolate, and graham cracker crumbles)
(10) dragonfruit Nebulae bar (white chocolate, citrus, white pepper)
(11) set of 4 dark chocolate-dipped passionfruit marshmallows (sprinkled with silver stars or pink hearts)

(21) box of 5 confections (2 Dragonfruit Nebulae chocolates, 2 blood orange taffy, 1 chocolate-cayenne)

Off to count soaps, bath salts, etc.

Mood! 🙂

But I will bake this batch of dragon cookies (are they not the cutest?) for the Interstellar Patreon treat boxes, and then switch to grading & writing, because deadlines, alas.

(t-shirt reads: “I just want to bake stuff and watch Christmas movies.”)

Dragon S’more Marshmallows

• Homemade vanilla marshmallows = good.

• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows = better. (More interesting flavor, with that hint of smoke.)

• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows sprinkled with sea salt = even better. (A touch of salt adds a great contrast and really wakes up the marshmallow.)

• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows dipped in dark Callebaut bittersweet chocolate = better yet. (Because chocolate — also the slight bitterness helps the marshmallows from being overwhelmingly sweet.)

• Homemade vanilla & smoke marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs = best. (If you can’t be sitting by the campfire, or having a dragon toast your marshmallows for you, this will have to do.)

Dragon S’more Marshmallows

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 c. water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 T vanilla extract
1 t. smoke extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
butter (for greasing the pan)
sea salt for sprinkling
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs, crumbled

1. Add 1/2 c. water and gelatin to the bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment). Stir briefly to combine.

(NOTE: If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make marshmallows in a large bowl with a hand mixer — you just have to be willing to hold and beat it for 12 minutes. Prep the pan and spatula for the marshmallows ahead of time.)

2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine 1/2 c. water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.

3. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.

4. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes.

5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar. In the last minutes, add vanilla and smoke extracts. Prepare an oiled spatula.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula. Sprinkle with salt.

7. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary.

9. Melt chocolate in double boiler or at half power in the microwave, then dip marshmallows in them, letting dry on a piece of parchment paper. (If you want chocolate to stay glossy, you’ll need to temper the chocolate, rather than simply melting it.)

10. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.