Candied Citrus Peels

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If you have ever tasted handmade candied citrus peel, you know it is completely different than store bought. It is fresh with a slightly bitter finish which is one of the lovely characteristics of citrus peel. It is addictively delicious plain, dip in dark chocolate for a wonderful contract of flavor or chop it up and use it in quick breads, muffins or savory dishes that pair well with citrus. It is important to use organic citrus for a clean taste and the most alluring aroma that fills the kitchen when blanching the peels. Now, for the recipe: You want about 4 cups of the peels, cut into quarters (or sixths, if using grapefruit) for this recipe. It is also worth noting that purists will candy only one type of peel in the same pot, but for every purist there are happy rule breakers.

Makes 3-4 cups

  • 4 oranges, 2 grapefruit OR 6 to 8 lemons, organic or unsprayed

  • Filtered water

  • Fine sugar

Place the peels in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan and fill the pan with cold water, leaving just enough space for it to boil. Bring the water to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the peel and refill the pot with water until covering the peels. Once again, bring to a boil, let simmer for 5 minutes and this time DON’T THROW AWAY THE WATER.

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Now, measure the water from the second blanch. For every 100ml (a little less than ½ cup) of water add 100grams (½ cup) of sugar to the pot. Simmer peels in the sugar water mixture for 30 minutes.

Drain peels and put on a baking sheet in a single layer. Turn on oven to lowest setting and put peels in the oven for 30 minutes to dry out a bit. They will still hold some moisture when you take them out. Let cool completely. Dust with sugar and if you want to get fancy, add your favorite spice!

*Blanching rids the fruit of excess harshness and astringency and tenderizes it. With experience, you may decided to increase the number to get the tenderness and flavor that you like. Even fruit of the same variety varies in texture, skin thickness, and bitterness.

Old Fashioned Peppermint Patties

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Did you know you can make your own candy?

It’s super easy, a little time consuming but totally worth it. Your friends will be amazed!

HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT PATTIES

This recipe is super easy! It’s also vegan friendly. You can substitute dairy in the same amount if you’d rather. Also, I prefer organic powdered sugar for taste and there is no corn starch involved.

Enjoy!

  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk (Whole Foods)

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons organic peppermint extract (Fresh Thyme)

  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed coconut milk and organic peppermint extract. Beat in enough organic powdered sugar, a little at a time, to form a stiff dough that is no longer sticky. Form into 1 inch balls, then place on waxed paper and flatten with fingers to form patties. Let patties dry at room temperature two hours, turning once.

2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with coconut oil, stirring often. Remove from heat. Dip patties, one at a time, into chocolate by laying them on the tines of a fork and lowering the fork into the liquid. Let cool on waxed paper until set.

If you want to get fancy, you can use a small, round cookie cutter or small plastic lid. Also, tempering the chocolate is good if you want to leave the patties out at room temperature. Otherwise, store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Autumn Cake and Florals

As seen on Green Wedding Shoes

There’s something about the crispness of the autumn air and the way the leaves begin to shift hues…something that seems to ignite creativity, yet brings upon a sense of nostalgia. You know that feeling? Wanting to play up the colorful changing leaves, while honoring that sort of nostalgic vibe and introduce a modern twist, photographer Jenny Haas teamed up with Caroline of Passi Flora and Miam Cake for a STUNNING editorial.

Jenny tells us: To go with all things fall, we incorporated acorns on the cake and it totally fit with our tablescape and the leftover nut scraps we used to adorn it. We added in dried oranges for a pop of color, and sweet velvet ribbon—for the bouquet and to tie the napkins—which added a brilliant contrast of color.

Bringing fall indoors, Passi Flora Studio crafted a wild floral installation for both the table + hanging above!

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And that, my friends, is how you bring in pops of color to an autumn palette—burnt orange, rich magenta and burgundy, with playful pinks.

Artisan Marshmallow Recipe

Did you know you can make your own marshmallows for the holidays? It’s super easy and your friends will think you’re a genius! Package them in little bags with ribbons or use them for them for the most amazing s’mores ever. This is the perfect recipe for the holidays and it’s super easy! Just make sure to be very careful with the hot sugar syrup! These marshmallows are so soft and creamy that it will be hard to go back to the store bought bags. If you want to to put a French twist on them, leave them uncovered for a few hours to form a crust on the outside. Enjoy!

The ingredients I list below have the cleanest flavor profile. Although corn syrup and corn starch can be easily substituted, I prefer to make my own syrup and use tapioca starch. *agave syrup is not recommended for this recipe, as it has an off-putting flavor.

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Vanilla Marshmallows

  • 3 packages unflavored kosher gelatin (Great Lakes) 1 cup ice cold water, divided

  • 12 ounces organic cane sugar

  • 1 cup sugar cane syrup (recipe below)

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 

  • ¼ cup organic powdered sugar (has no corn starch) 

  • ¼ cup tapioca (tastes better than corn starch) 

  • Nonstick spray (I prefer coconut oil)

Chai Spice Marshmallows

For Chai marshmallows, make a strong Chai tea. Divide water into ½ cup strong Chai tea and ½ cup ice cold water (for gelatin portion). Add ½ tsp organic cinnamon with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Procedure

  1. Combine the gelatin with ½ cup of the cold water (or gelatin won’t dissolve) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

  2. Combine the remaining ½ cup water, the organic cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium heat, cover and allow to cook for 5 to 7 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved (or syrup will crystallize). Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 8 to 9 minutes (time could depend on the temperature of your stovetop). When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

  3. Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows. 

  4. Combine the organic powdered sugar and tapioca starch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil. Add the sugar and starch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use. 

  5. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and starch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 

  6. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with the powdered sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. 

SUGAR CANE SYRUP RECIPE / makes about 1 quart

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) water

  • 5 1/3 cups (2 lbs + 10 ounces) organic cane sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Pinch of salt

1.  Combine all of the ingredients in the saucepan and stir until the sugar is completely moistened. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and set the pan over high heat. Do not stir the sugar after this point.

2.  As the sugar comes to a boil, dip the pastry brush in a dish of water and brush down the sides. This dissolves any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan that could cause the syrup to re-crystallize. Once the syrup comes to a full boil, you don’t need to brush the sides anymore. (If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can also cover the pan with a lid for two minutes just as the sugar comes to a boil. The steam trapped in the pan will wash any crystals from the sides.)

3.  Boil the syrup until it just barely reaches a temperature of 240° Fahrenheit (in other words, its better to be a few degrees under than a few degrees over). Immediately turn off the heat, remove the candy thermometer, and carefully move the pan to a cool spot on the stove or a cooling rack. Allow the syrup to sit undisturbed until it has cooled completely, at least an hour.

4.  Gently pour the cooled syrup into clean glass jars, seal with the lids, and store in the cupboard. Store them where they won’t be jostled too much, as this can cause the syrup to crystallize. It will keep for at least two months, but we’ve stored it for longer without any changes to the syrup.

5.  To Use the Syrup - This syrup tends to be thicker than corn syrup and can be difficult to pour or measure. To make it a little more workable, remove the metal lid from the glass jar and microwave the jar of cane syrup on HIGH in 30 second bursts until it’s pourable. This usually seems to take a total of 1 - 1.5 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the jar in a saucepan of simmering water to warm the syrup.

Recipe Notes

One Last Note - Re-heating can sometimes cause the syrup to begin crystallizing. Because of this, we’ve found it best to store the syrup in half-pint (1 cup) jars, which is what most recipes call for. This way we can heat and use one portion at a time without leftovers.

15 Jaw-Dropping Floral Wedding Cake Ideas for your Wedding

How exciting to be featured in Green Wedding Shoes this week!    https://greenweddingshoes.com/15-jaw-dropping-floral-cake-ideas-for-your-wedding/

 There’s no better way to display your cake as a work of art than to make it a  literal  work of art. Painted cakes are taking over, and we’re here for it. The best part: painted floral cakes come in kinds of style from modern to impressionism to realism. They’d belong in a museum if they didn’t taste so good!

There’s no better way to display your cake as a work of art than to make it a literal work of art. Painted cakes are taking over, and we’re here for it. The best part: painted floral cakes come in kinds of style from modern to impressionism to realism. They’d belong in a museum if they didn’t taste so good!

Photo Shoot at Bexley Huntington Mansion

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We started at Huntington Mansion. A beautiful home that has so many amazing old details. It was the perfect backdrop for our day. Events Held Dear took charge with the concept and design. She made sure all the perfect details were all in place. The amazing neutral florals were done by Evergreen Flower Co. She creates mini pieces of art that have amazing shape and life. I loved the painted fern leaves in all the pieces! From the lovely letterpressed invitations (Cheer up Press) to the amazingly detailed cake (Miam Cake), this day was just stunning, and to top it all off the extremely talented Jenny Haas photographed it. It all came together so beautifully. I couldn’t have asked for more.  (Excerpt from www.ohtheheart.com/blog)

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Green Wedding Shoes Editorial

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This editorial collaboration was inspired by the sweeping city view from Juniper Rooftop, a new Columbus, Ohio venue. Keeping the rooftop view a priority, we created a story that is both warmly romantic and briskly modern. Our warm and feminine color palette was a conscious choice to soften the crisp architectural nature of the space. Hues of tea rose, dijon, slate, linen, burgundy and palest pink evoked all the nuances of a rooftop party in spring. This shoot was a fantastic opportunity to show off our beloved city from a brand new vantage point, with all the details to inspire brides with romantic and modern sensibilities alike. Check out the whole editorial at

Cake hand-drawn by Scarlett Kilzer at Miam   www.miamcake.com

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photography: Jenny Haas // venue name: Juniper Rooftop, Columbus, Ohio, USA // event design: Auburn + Ivory // planning: Auburn + Ivory // florals: State + Arrow // wedding dress: Rita Vinieris "Chic" // wedding dress boutique: La Jeune Mariée // hairpiece: Sara Gabriel // bride's ring: the Diamond Cellar // hair stylist: Megan Cronenwett // makeup artist: Angie Warren // paper goods: Papel + Co // cake: Miam Cake // tabletop rentals: Aiden + Grace // furniture rentals: Antiquity Rentals // linen rentals: Event Source // models: Kelsey Richards // nail: Charlotte Lucas // ribbon: The Lesser Bear // velvet ring box: Bark and Berry // pink plates: Anthropologie // pink napkins: Pottery Barn

Juniper Rooftop

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Juniper is a new restaurant and venue that is on top of the Smith Brother's building in downtown Columbus.  On the day of our shoot there was a break in the cold, snowy weather.  It had been raining on and off and was unusually warm.  The sky was overcast- perfect lighting for a photo shoot.  It didn't rain until hours later and the last few shots! 

I can only post a sneak peek of my cake until the photos are submitted to publications.  I'll send out an update with the full shoot as soon as I can.  Until then, I took a few with my phone!  The picture of the cake is almost outdone by the beautiful view of the city of Columbus in the background.  I absolutely love flowers and anything heirloom.  This is my interpretation of a style board that was sent to me for the shoot.  The cake is meant to look like old stationary with torn paper which is made of sugar.  The flowers are free-hand drawn which is my favorite "pen & ink" style.

Until next time!

xoxo- Scarlett K.

 Rooftop at the Juniper

Rooftop at the Juniper

7 Tips for the Best Sugar Cookies Ever

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You think you've found the perfect sugar cookie recipe.  The dough smells amazing and it's not too wet and not too dry.  You spend your precious time cutting out perfect shapes.  They are evenly spaced on the pan and you happily put them in the oven, set the timer and wait.  They smell amazing and you imagine that they will be the cutest cookies ever.  After all, you bought the perfect cutters online.  You turn on your oven light, peer in, and to your horror, your cookies are a hot mess!   This has happened to me one too many times.  Am I relating to anyone?

With some experimentation and research I'm sharing 7 tips for the best sugar cookies ever.  Baking is a science.  You can't just throw something together and hope for the best like you can with cooking.  So, pay attention people, follow these steps and stop the madness!

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1. Measurements

Baking is a science.  Following a good cookie dough recipe exactly usually ends in a great result.  Adding a pinch of this or that to your dough can result in a cookie that is less than satisfactory.

2. Butter

When making sugar cookie dough, it should be not too wet and not too dry- just wet enough to form a ball.  The cheaper the butter, the more water the butter retains.  When the butter has more water content, the dough has more water content, resulting in a dough that will spread too much in the oven. 

Even though it's more expensive, I recommend using organic butter or grass- fed butter like Kerrygold.  Not only will the butter have less water but the dough will have more depth of flavor. 

3. Baking Powder

The more air in the dough, the more the cookies will spread in the oven.  Omitting baking powder in a cookie recipe sounds crazy but it works!  Try it and see what you think.  If you're really freaked out then go with 1/4 tsp at the most.

4. Sugar

Most of the time you'll see recipes calling for fine sugar.  For sugar cookie dough, I've found that using a larger grained sugar works better because it takes longer to melt in the oven.  This keeps the dough from spreading too quickly.

5. Mixing the Dough

Just like using baking powder, the more air incorporated in the dough, the more the cookies will spread.  When creaming the butter and sugar, make sure to use room temperature butter and mix into sugar just until the ingredients come together.  Then add the other ingredients just until incorporated and fight the urge to turn your mixer on high and beat the crap out of it!

6. Oven Temperature

It's imperative to get an oven thermometer.  They are between $4 and $10, so pretty affordable.  Even if the oven is new, depending on the oven thermostat is a crap shoot.  If you have the temperature right in the oven then you can rule out temperature as an issue if something goes wrong with your recipe.  Too hot and your cookies will bake too fast on the outside and be raw on the inside.  Too cool and your cookies will not set on the outside and will spread.

7. Chill Out

Chilling the dough is one of the most important things you can do to get a perfect sugar cookie.  A lot of recipes say to chill the dough for at least an hour.  I recommend at least 4 hours but preferably over night, wrapped well in the fridge.  Then, after you've cut your dough with cutters, put the cut cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment (not wax paper because it will catch fire in the oven- I know from experience.) back in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes and then straight in the oven.

A Good Recipe

3 C all purpose flour

1 large egg

1 C granulated sugar (larger grained)

1 C butter (Kerrigold)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder (or omit)

1 TBSP vanilla extract (organic tastes best)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together the butter and sugar just until incorporated.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and egg just until incorporated.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and mix together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time until combined and mixture comes together.
  6. Knead by hand until smooth but just. Separate it into 2 flat disks. Wrap in plastic wrap twice and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Place the dough on a piece of parchment.  Add another piece of parchment on top and roll out dough 1/4" inch thick.
  8. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out the shapes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the shapes to a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Put in freezer for 15 minutes or fridge for 30 minutes. 
  9. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 13-15 minutes (depending on your oven) until edges are slightly golden.
  10. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes and then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

 

Inspired by Mozart

As a music major, my love for classical music runs deep.  I love to listen to classical while I work, because it clears my mind and I'm able to think creatively.  I was inspired by Mozart's Spring while I was making the flowers for this cake.  Don't get me wrong, I love classic rock and everything in-between, but for this cake, Mozart was needed!