Beach ball truffles…

It’s summertime! Let’s have a beach party!…

beach ball truffles

 

There are palm tree cookies…

 

palm tree cookies

 

Beach umbrella cookies…

 

beach umbrella cookies

 

Soothing blue water, “sandy” sugar beaches and little sunglasses!…

 

Barbie sunglasses

 

Now, the only thing missing is a beach ball! How about chocolate beach ball truffles? 

 

beach ball truffles

 

These beach balls are not only cute, they melt in your mouth! (For how to make the beach umbrella  and palm tree cookies, please click here)

Here’s how to make the beach ball truffles…

To make the ball shape, you will need a round piece of candy. I chose to use little storebought white chocolate truffles…

 

white chocolate truffles

 

You can also use homemade truffles or even chocolate-covered cake balls if you wish.

You will also need:

A sheet of paper

Scissors

Thin foam square (this can be found at a craft store in the cake decorating aisle)…

 

thin foam square

 

Small rolling stick…

 

small rolling stick

 

Cornstarch

Cake decorator’s bag fitted with a small round tip, filled with frosting

3-1/2 inch round cookie cutter

Sharp knife

Decorator’s tip with a 1/4 inch hole…

 

#5 cake decorator's tip

 

You will also need a cool room to work in. Being as you are working with chocolate, it will want to soften from the warmth of your hands. Try to handle the truffles as little as possible.

To get started, first find the “polar opposites” on one of the balls. My little truffle balls had little markings on opposite sides…

 

white chocolate truffles

 

If you aren’t using a truffle that has markings, you will need to find the polar opposites by sticking a skewer into whatever ball-shaped piece of candy you have chosen.

To do this, make sure you have centered the skewer  inside the candy and have pieced it clear through to the other side…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Now carefully remove the skewer. You should now have markings for the polar opposites on each side of the ball…

 

beach ball candy truffles

 

Cut out a strip of paper about 3 inches long…

 

paper strips

 

Take the strip of paper and hold one of the ends on top of one of the markings on the truffle…

 

beach ball candy truffles

 

Now, carefully turn the truffle over while holding the paper in place and make a mark on the paper where the paper meets the mark on the other side…

 

beach ball candy

 

Remove the paper strip. You should now have something that resembles this…

 

paper strip

 

Cut off the remaining area beyond the mark on the paper. This has now become the guide for how long the stripes will be on your beach ball.

Tint the fondant into 4 different colors…

 

pastel fondant

 

Take one of the colors and break off a small amount of fondant. Roll it into a ball.

Place some cornstarch onto a thin square of foam. The thin square of foam will help you roll the fondant very thinly without much sticking.

Place the ball of fondant on the foam square and then dust the top with cornstarch.

Roll the fondant very thinly with a small rolling stick.

Remove the fondant from the foam square and place it on a hard smooth surface…

 

pink fondant

 

Take a sharp knife and cut  a straight line across the bottom portion of the fondant…

 

pink fondant

 

Place the paper strip on the fondant so that the bottom edge of the paper is lined up with the edge you just cut.

Make a couple of markings to show this length of the paper on the fondant…

 

pink fondant

 

Now, position a clean straight edge or pastry scraper to connect the dots and make a long cut…

 

pink fondant

 

What you are essentially doing is making a ribbon in the same width as the length of that paper strip.

Take the cookie cutter and place it over the fondant strip. See photo below…

 

pink fondant

 

Make a cut. Then take the cutter and line it up and make another cut on the other side…

 

pink fondant

 

You should now have a piece similar to the one below…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Take some frosting and make a frosting strip along the truffle’s side…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Position the fondant strip on the truffle so that the pointed tips of the fondant shape are lined up with the “polar opposite” markings on the truffle…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Smooth the fondant around the truffle. Repeat this process with the rest of your truffles using this color of fondant…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Roll the next color of fondant out very thinly, and cut out another strip like before.

Flip it over so the “better” side is facing down, then place a dab of frosting on one of the ends…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Place this end underneath the ball next to the  pink strip…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Place a stripe of frosting on the fondant strip and then bring it up and over the ball.

Place a dab of frosting at the top to secure it to the ball…

 

beach ball truffles

 

Using strips of this color of fondant, repeat this process on the rest of the beach balls.

Then add strips of the next color of fondant…

 

beach ball truffles

 

When you have completed the strips on the balls, roll out the final 4th color of fondant very thinly.

Remove it from the foam square and place it on a hard smooth surface.

Take the cake tip, and using the hole side, cut out a tiny circle…

 

beach ball candy

 

If the fondant circle won’t release from the tip’s hole, use a small ball tool to gently push it out.

Take your finger and slightly flatten the fondant circle to thin it, then place a dab of frosting in the center of the ball.

Place the fondant circle on top. You have now completed your first beach ball!

 

beach ball candy truffles

 

When you have completed your beach ball truffles, keep them in a cool place until you are ready to serve them.

For ways to create the beach umbrella cookies and palm tree cookies (and how to serve and securely get the trees to stand up in the sugar sand), please click here…

The following is how to create a “sandy” beach, if you want to create a little “beach scene”…

Items needed…

Shallow platter

Masking tape

1-inch thick sheet of foam

Hot glue gun

Brown sugar blue paper

 

Take a shallow platter…

 

shallow platter

 

And cut out a sheet of blue paper so that it will lay flat on the bottom of the platter…

 

blue paper

 

Remove the paper. Then take the sheet of foam and cut it in such a way as to create a sort of “cove” effect for your beach and then taper the edges down with a sharp knife…

 

blue paper water

 

Trim the paper in such a way that where the foam “cove” will be, there isn’t any paper (the foam areas should directly touch the platter)…

 

blue paper water

 

Remove the foam and paper from the platter and now completely cover the surface of the platter with masking tape…

 

platter

 

Place the trimmed blue paper on the platter…

 

platter

 

Then position the foam piece on the platter…

 

creating water for tablescape

 

You are going to be attaching the foam pieces to the platter with hot glue. I have a large hot glue gun but even if all the glue, that was currently hot, was available in the gun to squeeze out, it would never cover all of the area underneath the foam piece. So I cut my large foam piece into sections so that there would be a sufficient amount of hot glue available to firmly secure the smaller foam sections to the platter.

*When your guests are removing a palm tree from the sugar “sand”, the last thing you want to happen is to have one of your guest lifting up on a palm tree and taking the whole foam piece with it…

So, you may want to cut your foam piece into sections as well…

 

platter

 

After you have cut your foam piece into smaller sections, place a generous amount of hot glue on the platter…

 

platter

 

And press one of the foam sections onto the glue puddle…

 

platter

 

Let your glue gun heat up for another batch of hot glue. After a couple of minutes repeat the process above and secure the next portion of foam. Repeat until all of your foam pieces have been secured.

Sprinkle brown sugar all over and around the foam until you can no longer see the foam.

**The brown sugar is for effect only.  It is NOT meant to be eaten as it may have little bits of foam in it…

 

beach tablescape

 

And add your other beach-y yummy goodies…

 

beach tablescape

 

When your party is over, discard all brown sugar into the trash and carefully pry off the foam pieces, peel off the tape with the glue and your platter will be good as new!

For more fun curved cookie ideas – as well as how to make the little beach umbrella and palm tree cookies, check out my other tutorial site found at Floralcookiebouquets (dot) com

beach tablescape

Julie’s garden…

Julie Easton's garden

This summer, while visiting my little hometown in rural Nebraska, I had a chance to tour Julie Easton’s garden, one of the many beautiful gardens in town…

I walked and photographed for hours through her lovely creation…

Julie Easton garden

 

butterfly flowers

 

Julie Easton's garden

 

I was fascinated by all the glimmering pieces of glass in her garden. Tiny beads on wires…

 

glass beads in garden

 

blue glass beads in garden

 

Little jewels to captivate the eye…

 

glass beads in garden

 

I fell in love with her sun catchers. Glass plates carefully arranged and then attached to poles so that they would capture the morning sunlight…

 

glass plates in garden

 

Early morning dew on petals. Really, is there anything more beautiful?…

 

dew on petals

 

dew on flowers petals

 

pink roses with dew

 

dew on petals

 

Julie in her garden…

 

Julie Easton

 

I had wonderful time that morning, Julie, and thank you so much for sharing your garden with us all today!  :)

 

W E. Johns quote

 

Forget Me Not cookies…

blue forget me not cookies

 

I came out of my daughter’s school one day and saw a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and saw these little dainty blue flowers…

 

blue forget me not flowers

 

Blue Forget Me Not flowers! Up until then, I had never actually seen a real Forget Me Not flower. I had only seen them in photos. I always came away from the photos wondering just how small the blossoms were and were they really that blue?

Well, now after seeing a patch of them, my questions were finally answered! :)  They are a very delicate, dainty- looking flower and yes, they are that blue!…

 

blue forget me not cookies

 

I thought they’d make the perfect, whimsical little floral cookie bouquet. Nothing over the top, just a few little cookie blossoms casually placed into a simple glass vase…

Here’s what I did…

I made tiny irregular cookie dough shapes ranging in size from only about 3/4 of an inch to 1-1/2 inches and baked them on a greased cookie sheet…

When the cookies had cooled, I attached them to a blossom-ledge (a special stem) using the usual Blossomedge method and let them set up (for more information, click here…)

While the blossom-ledges were setting up, I tinted my fondant the color blue (I like using Blossom Fondant. It is a yummy, simple-to-make fondant with only 2 main ingredients –  melted white chocolate and readymade frosting. Click here for more information)

To roll the fondant very thinly, I placed a large marble-sized ball of fondant on a thin foam square that had been puffed with a little cornstarch to prevent sticking…

Using a small rolling stick, I rolled it to about 1/16 of an inch in thickness…

 

forget me not cookies

 

I then removed the fondant from the foam square and placed it on a clean smooth surface…

 

forget me not cookies

 

I wanted to cut out tiny little fondant blossoms, so I used a floral-shaped 1/2  inch plunger cutter…

 

floral-shaped plunger cutter

 

I pushed the plunger portion down…

 

fondant plunger cutterfondant plunger cutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then dipped the plunger cutter  into some cornstarch…

 

plunger cutter

 

I began to cut out my little blue blossoms…

 

forget me not cookies

 

and placed the little cut outs on a thick square of foam…

 

forget me not cookies

 

and then dipped a large ball tool into some cornstarch…

 

forget me not cookies

 

I lightly tapped the ball tool on the foam square to remove the excess…

 

forget me not cookies

 

And then gently pushed down on one of the blossoms with the ball tool…

 

forget me not cookies

 

What was left was a curved tiny blossom…

 

forget me not cookies

 

I repeated this until I had several laying on my foam square…

 

blue forget me not flowers

 

I prepared some bonding chocolate and then continued by spreading it over a portion of one of the cookies (that had been attached to the blossom-ledge) and then began adding blossoms…

 

forget me not cookies

 

I carefully brushed off the excess cornstarch from the fondant blossoms and then added little frosting details of white, yellow and orange dots using the smallest round decorator’s tips…

To create a bouquet, I simply put a few glass marbles into the bottom of a clear glass vase…

 

clear glass marbles


Added some water and then stuck in a few sprigs of fresh thyme…

 

thyme

 

Then placed a few of my Forget Me Not clusters of cookie flowers into the vase. I wanted to create the effect that I had just picked them, gone to the shelf for a container, and informally placed them into a glass of water…

 

forget me not cookies

I think I succeeded because my brother had come to visit and saw my little bouquet on the table and said “Did you just pick those? They’re pretty… Are you going to turn those into cookies as well?”

I smiled and said “I already have…”

For tutorials that provide detailed information (such as how to make a blossom-ledge, the recipe for white chocolate Blossom Fondant and all my other “secrets” for making lovely and unique floral cookie bouquets) please check out my floral cookie tutorial site over at Floralcookiebouquets (dot) com)  by clicking here…

 

Blue Pansy cookies…

pansy floral cookie bouquet

 

blue pansy cookies

pansy cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Happy Summer” to you all! I thought I’d post photos of some Pansy floral cookie bouquets  because the weather  feels more like Springtime today!   Br-r-r-r-r-r    :)

pansy floral cookies

For more information about how to make lovely, unusual floral cookie bouquets, please check out my tutorial floral cookie site at:     Floralcookiebouquets (dot)com   by clicking here…

 

Looking for Spring…

cloudy day

Where does one go when a person is longing for spring and it is -16 below zero outside? You go to the Como Park Conservatory in St Paul, Minnesota!

como conservatory

como conservatory

We took a trip there a couple of weeks ago. It was the perfect “escape” from the weather! It was warm and balmy inside, with the heady scent of blooming flowers everywhere…

peach roses

purple flowers

 

pink flowers

pink lilies

I fell in love with the lilies…

pink lilies

 

pink lilies

I was totally mesmerized by the delicate curves of the petals…

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

These little pink ruffles were beautiful, too…

pink flower

 

pink flower

The snow and ice on the windows at the conservatory…

como conservatory

 

snow on windows

Were reminders how blessed we were, to be able to stand in such a lovely warm place surrounded by everything green, lush and blooming – in the dead of winter…

como conservatory

 

como conservatory

The peach  flowers in the foreground of the photo below were beautiful but nobody seemed to care for them…

como conservatory

As I was standing looking at them, people would glance at them and exclaim “what an ugly flower” and would walk right passed them. I guess I felt kind of sorry for the flowers so I got down on my knees and really looked at them. People were all around me were taking photos of the lilies but just ignored these little beauties…

flower

I felt drawn to them.  I got down on all 4′s and twisted my head so that I could look up into the drooping tunnels of petals…

It was worth it…

pink flower

I wish we could’ve seen the water lilies blooming…

lily pads

Doesn’t she look carefree?…

como conservatory

She also looks like she is warm! LOL  I guess we can look at her and reassure ourselves that spring IS on the way and some day, we too, will be again wading in pools and streams, but unlike her, we will probably all be wearing some sort of clothing while doing it! :)

Winter Fairies…

frost on windows

There was frost on the windows this morning. The thermometer read -24 degrees below zero.

The following passage by Vera Nazarian seemed to describe this morning so well…

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

As the morning continued on, the air outside began to warm…

frost on windows

And soon, the winterfairy’s land was nothing but a memory…

raindrops on glass

I’m longing for Spring, but Winter has its advantages, too…  :)

I’m linking this post up to:   The Dedicated House  You’re Gonna Love it Tuesdays    Outdoor Wednesdays               

Wedding Parasol Cookies

Getting ready for the special day… umbrella cookies The parasol cookie is all dressed in white… umbrella cookies   Adorned with sparkling sugar details… umbrella cookies Placed in its carriage, all covered with  ribbon… umbrella cookies Time for the guests to arrive… peach roses   tablesetting   tablesetting     silver napkin holder Places, everyone!…   wedding guest favor The special moment is finally here!…

For information on how to make the parasol cookie, please click here…