From time to time, I see some people making comments about my recipes or photos that say something along the lines of, “Wow that looks amazing, but I could never do that!”
Now there is a wide spectrum of reasons for people who say they cannot cook or bake something.
The primary reason is fear.
Maybe it won’t go as planned…
Maybe it will end up a disgusting hot mess…
Look at that.
Nah, I love my girl Sandra Lee.
Although I prefer my food a little more homemade, anyone who can squeeze in a cocktail for every meal is okay by me.
The other reason people hesitate to try out a recipe is that they are LAZY mofo’s.
Now, it is one thing if the directions don’t make sense or it requires advanced skills and techniques.
On the other hand, I have thrown out a couple of easy ones and still have seen the “Too much work” excuse.
For example, my pumpkin pie shots.
The image was featured on a website, and someone said “Looks amazing, but way too much work.”
This is how you make it:
1. Take pumpkin pie (that can be store or bakery-bought) and mash it up in a bowl with vodka, sugar and cinnamon.
2. Store it in a jar for a while, then pour it through a strainer (if you don’t have a strainer, use a blender).
Wow, that is a lot of work. Must have burned 20 whole calories.
So for you lazy people, enjoy your TV dinners and such.
For those who are simply afraid, however, this is the recipe for you. I am going to show you how to make edible leaves.
The point of the leaves is that it makes your desssert from just any ol’ dessert to something quite lovely and eye catching- regardless of whether you can bake well or not.
It really is a nice feeling when people tell you how amazing your dish is. And who knows, maybe these edible leaves will blow everyone away at your Thanksgiving.
…it might even make someone cry
(Don’t know who this is, but given his pretty boy face and the CW logo I would bet your bollocks to a barndance that this is a chick/teeny bopper show. )
If you’re really lucky, these edible leaves could even score you a make-out session.
Just make sure to bring enough. You don’t want to create that awkward moment when someone reaches for a cupcake and there’s none left.
You can CHOOSE whether or not you want to do the baking part. Either bake cupcakes, cake pops (although cake pops are a little more challenging), or a cake.
If the thought of that makes you cringe, you can purchase cupakes or a cake and dress it up with these leaves. The leaves will be the WOW factor when you show up to Thanksgiving dinner with these.
I understand that the boxed cakes are very easy and require only 2 ingredients, but if you ask me, I would rather bake from scratch or go to a bakery. The taste really does make a difference. You are your own person, though, and if that is your choice then so be it (keep in mind that everytime a box of cake mix is opened the Angel of Julia Child loses her wings).
Here Is What You Need For Edible Leaves,
- if you want tan leaves, either peanut butter chips or peanut butter candy melts
- if you would like dark brown leaves, dark or milk chocolate chips
- if you would like other colors, such as red, organge, yellow, or green, colorful candy melts
* candy melts are colorful chips that smell and taste like white chocolate. I often simply purchase white chocolate and then order special candy dye that is oil based and can mix with chocolate. The candy melts are already pre-colored. You can order them online (Google, “candy melts”), purchase them at baking supply stores, some party supply stores (iparty), or arts and craft stores (Michaels).
- a paint brush, that has not been used or is for just cooking
- leaves found outside that have are smooth and shiny, OR basil leaves/mint leaves which can be found in the produce section of your grocery store
- a baked cake OR cupcakes (or even cake pops, if you are more skillled), topped with frosting
* again, you can bake it yourself or buy it
Begin by having your cakes or cupcakes (or cake pops) ready to be decorated.
If you are using leaves from outside, make sure to thouroughly clean them using a clean wet sponge or hand towel. Lay them out on paper towels to dry.
Melt your chocolate or candy melts in either a double boiler (if you know what that is), or place them in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 20 second-spurts, mixing with a spoon in between.
Once the chocolate mixes smoothly, use a paintbrush to glob the chocolate onto the bottom of the leaf. In other words, the part with the veins sticking out.
You want to glob it on thickly, so the chocolate will not crack. It does not matter how it looks on top.
Keep in mind if you are painting large leaves, use a larger brush. If you are making small leaves, use a smaller brush.
MAKE EXTRAS!! If you are not used to doing this, then make double. Some are bound to crack and leaves may rip.
Another tip: once you paint the chocolate on, wipe any chocolate that is hanging over or dripping off the side. You want the unpainted side of the leaf to be totally clean. Otherwise, the chocolate from the painted side will be hooked around all the way to the unpainted side of the leaf, causing the whole thing to get stuck. Make sense?
Wait until the chocolate/candy melts dry and then sloooowly peel the leaves off. No worries if they don’t come out perfect. You can always make more, and people don’t usually notice little flaws.
Remeber, at the end of the day it’s food and people are happy with simply being able to eat it. They don’t need to look professional.
Now all you have to do is place onto your baked good(s).
If you care to know, I frosted a cake with gold frosting.
I did this by mixing in some yellow and a hint of brown.
Only a couple of drops, nothing big.
The spray can I will explain in a second.
Use a spatula to frost a cake. I place the first cake layer down, then frost the top. Place the next cake layer on top, then refrigerate.
Take it out and add frosting to top, then sides. As you can see I did not bother to make it very smooth. It’s okay if it looks messy. The leaves are the important part.
A tip: I frost my cake on the platter it will be served. I place ripped pieces on wax paper underneath each side so it prevents an ugly mess of frosting everywhere. When you are done frosting the cake, pull the pieces out.
The spray can I showed earlier is a special edible spray found at arts and craft supply stores, baking supply stores, or online. Sometimes referred to as edible spray, lustre spray, or cake spray. You simply shake the can, then spray all over. Duh.
If you want a more nuetral look, you could dye frosting a very light olive green, or any light hue that works for fall.
If you use purple and yellow, it makes sort of a green hue. Start off with 3 parts yellow, 2 parts purple. So, in other words, for every 3 drops of yellow add 2 purple drops.
You don’t have to do this. I am simply providing a helpful option if you are making your own frosting.
As for the cake pops, I painted very small leaves. I dipped the cake pop in yellow candy melts, then painted with gold lustre (luster) dust, using a pant brush. Lustre dust can be found in the same places where candy melts or the edible spray is sold.
I then dabbed a little melted chocolate onto one side of the cake pop with a toothpick, and adhered the leaf to it.
I do not suggest this for beginners, as cake pops are trickier, take a little longer, and with the leaves they can break fairly easily (transporting them will take some effort and care). If you are a busy or andventurous baker, then this is the project for you.
As for the cupcakes or cake, go ahead and place the leaves on the frosting.
Now isn’t that nice? Totally doable. If making frosting a gold or dyed color is too much then chocolate looks nice. Heck, plain buttercream would be perfectly okay.
This reminds me of playing in the leaves. I was so sick at that. If they had a competition for leaf-jumping, I would def win.
Don’t forget: potential make out session because of these leaves.
Unless you will only be seeing your family for Thanksgiving. Now, that’s just gross.
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