Saturday, February 7

Will you be my Speculaas Valentine? Amazing Cast COOKIES by Tracy Alden

Hello! Tracy here with another Amazing Casting Products inspired project! Once again I got to thinking about the many food applications of Amazing Remelt. I wanted to create a edible Valentine, a cookie but not something with icing but with a sentiment molded into the cookie. I started searching for cookie recipes that could be molded and retain a molded imprint even after baking. I found Speculaas cookies would be my best choice for molded cookies. 

Traditionally made for the Feast of St. Nicholas, Speculaas cookies are often molded into all kinds of shapes and patterns. While there is some debate on where the name comes from, some feel it might come from the Latin word speculum, which translates as mirror and refers to the delicate molds carved in mirrored bas-relief that are used to embellish the cookies. Many wonderful vintage molds can be found and many bakers collect and display them when not using them to make cookies. Speculaas cookies have gained popularity as Dutch Windmill cookies and as the most common cookie used to create Cookie Butter. Speculaas cookies are crisp, buttery, have a wonderful warm spice flavor and are a great compliment to tea and coffee.

In the process of searching for the perfect Speculaas cookie recipe I stumbled on a wonderful blog called The Dutch Baker's Daughter by Cathy Wiechert. I had tried other recipes but Cathy Wiechert's Speculaas Recipe worked perfect in the molds I created, had the best flavor and made my house smell delicious while baking!

To create the molds I wasn't about to carve them out of wood as traditionally done since I am not much of a wood carver, nor did I have the time, so Amazing Remelt was my answer. I needed to create originals to mold a mirror image but I didn't think fondant was going to get the detail I wanted so I did something somewhat unorthodox. I used chipboard scraps and cut outs, raw pieces I had never coated or treated with crafting materials. Carefully I glued them together with water based non-toxic glue. 

I sealed each chipboard pieces with a non-toxic water based sealer {I could have also coated them with a layer of Amazing Clear Cast Resin that is also food safe}, and lightly glued them to the inside of a reused plastic salad food tray to act as mold box. I then liberally sprayed them with cooking spray to act as a mold release and blotted the excess with a paper towel.

I heated up the Amazing Remelt in my microwave and from a 12 -15 inch distance I poured the Amazing Remelt in the mold box, directly in the middle of each chipboard piece {CLICK HERE to view preparation}. The distance gives the Remelt a chance to release more bubbles before cooling and by pouring directly onto the pieces, the more Remelt you pour the more it will drag air bubbles away from the detailed surface. I used a small toothpick to drag bubbles caught in the chipboard swirls and words before the Amazing Remelt cooled to make sure I get a clean casting. 

Once the Amazing Remelt was cooled, no longer warm or sticky to the touch, I was able to carefully remove the chipboard pieces. While some of the cooking spray seeped into the chipboard pieces I was able to dry them out and reuse them for more molds.

Since the cooking spray always seems to leave the Amazing Remelt a bit gooey, I had to gently clean the molds with cold water to remove oil left from the casting process and left to air dry on a cutting board. 

*Careful not to keep the Amazing Remelt mold in the water too long as water will eventually start to dissolve the mold.

Before molding the cookies the cookie dough must rest overnight in the fridge, giving it time to let the spices fully flavor the dough. The Amazing Remelt molds must be dusted with flour EACH time you want to mold a cookie so the dough will not stick to the mold. I rolled out the chilled dough and cut pieces close to the size of each molded design.

I placed the dough into the molds, carefully pressing the dough into the mold tightly to ensure I was catching all of the detail. I gently rolled a lightly floured rolling pin back and forth over the mold to smooth the dough and even out the shape.

I then carefully placed the mold, with the cookie dough still inside, face down on a chilled marble cutting board. I then peeled back the mold and the cookie will generally stick to the cold marble. If there is any dough still inside the mold carefully remove it with a tooth pick and place it on the cookie. With my hands lightly floured I was able to place each cookie about an inch apart on a non-stick cookie sheet and I then repeated this process until I had several dozen cookies on cookie trays. 

I then placed each tray into the refrigerator to chill for about an hour before baking them to help retain the molded details. Once cooled the cookies can be wrapped up and given as Valentine treats!

What AMAZING arts and crafts can you create?

Visit my blog Art Resurrected for more craft tutorials!

Until next time, safe travels! ~ Tracy

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