Sunday, December 30, 2012

Don's Delicious Apple Pie Turnovers

Melt two tablespoons butter in a large skillet and add two of your favorite apples, peeled, sliced (1/4 " thick), and cored with 1 cup craisins or dried cherries. (You can go half and half also).

Let cook until tender.  Add 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar, 1/8 tsp cloves, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
Stir until apples are well coated.  You can add a bit more butter if needed.
 Cut the apple circles into wedges.  You can do this before hand but they are softer after cooking but you can do it either way.  When you leave the apples round they seem to cook more evenly.

Roll out one sheet of Pastry Puff Dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into four squares.

Place a spoonful of apple mixture in the center of each square.  Beat one egg well and brush egg wash on two edges of the "V" in the square.  Fold the dough over and gently press evenly around the edges. Place the turnovers on a baking sheet covered with either baking paper or pastry baking sheet.  If you used these you don't need to grease the sheet. 

With a fork dipped in flour to keep it from sticking mash down the edges lightly to seal off the dough.   Take a knife and poke a small "vent" hole in the top of each turnover.  With the remaining egg wash brush liberally all the turnovers.  This helps them to become golden brown.  Then sprinkle a small amount of raw or decorating sugar crystals on top of each turnover.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool a bit before serving as the filling is really hot if you try to eat it too soon.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Dinosaur Volcano Cake

This was my Grandson, Sebby's, sixth birthday cake.  I promised him a working volcano.  What I did was put a small can I saved from using green chili's into the middle of a cone cake made from rice crispy treats.  I used a doll dress cake pan for the mold. To make the volcano "erupt" I pour water over a small piece of dry ice that I dropped in the can.  It worked well - smoked all over the cone. Then I put his candles around the top of the crater for him to blow out.
 I used four chocolate cake mixes for the base of the cake.  I covered it with fondant and used butter cream frosting to decorate all the lava, rocks, and grass. I used gum paste to make the leaves of the palm trees.  The trunks are cookie straws. I made a pool of "tar" from melted dark chocolate for the tar pit.
For the plants I molded them from gum paste and veined with a leaf vainer.  Then I glued each leaf together with royal icing to make the plants.  I used a leaf tip to make the "ivy" growing down the side of the cake and up trees.  For the "rocks" I used nut cluster candies.
 To make the dirt look sandy I used gold sprinkles on top of brown butter cream frosting. I also used red and white sprinkles along the red lava.

I was going to sculpt the dinosaurs but then found pretty good plastic ones at Walmart for $1 each so I bought enough for each of the kids to take one home as a party favor.
 This cake was a huge success with the kids.  They really liked the "erupting".  I wanted to use sparklers but didn't have any and couldn't find any in the stores at this time of year. Will have to remember to stock up next July.