Spring Cakes, Cookies, Candy

Winter is a time of slumber. Some parts of our world sleep and shut down for the cold winter months, preserving their energy for only a semblance of life. Plants are brown, animals slowly breathe in hibernation, and small bugs and insects are hard to find. Our bodies move slower, we bundle ourselves in warm clothing, and drink hot chocolate just to stay warm.

But.... this time of preservation is about to end! And one of the busiest seasons is about to begin - Spring!

Spring brings important events into our lives that make us busy - events like Easter, confirmation, Mother's Day, graduations, birthdays, etc. Have you been saving your energy and preparing for these events during the winter? No? Well, it's not too late.

As the earth wakes up this March, prepare and be ready for spring. Here are a few shortcuts and prep tips.

Backyard bugs Pan Bake Now - Frost Later Are you hosting a shower, or wanting to serve a decorated cake for Easter? Use our buttercup cakelet pan that creates flower-like individual cakes. After baking, wrap and freeze in zippered bag. One step is complete. Bring these delightful cakelets out a day before the event and decorate by piping buttercreme icing on outlines or filling with fruit and ice cream.

Do the same procedure with sugar cookies. Make your sugar cookie dough, roll out and cut with flower garden cookie cutters. After baking, freeze the cookies. When you are ready to use them, you can thaw only the amount needed and frost with royal icing and sanding sugar or paint with a cookie paint kit.

By doing the baking ahead of time, you feel that you're half done. Later when it's time to decorate, you won't already be tired from baking.

Chocolate for Easter? Whether you make eggs or bunnies, chocolate is a favorite of children at Easter. Molding chocolate, however, can become a big project. Temperature control is a headache! Try using candy coating (sometimes called confectionery or summer coating) instead of real chocolate. It is easier to work with, can be remelted if you don't like the results and tastes scrumptious. Candy coatings are available in many colors, so you can create bunnies with pink ears and noses or have pastel colored chocolate eggs for your centerpiece. You may want to try your hand at painting colored coatings on traditional chocolate bunnies with a brush. Use a candymelter palette to keep all your colored coatings in a liquid state.

Be prepared for when the mood strikes and have the colored candy coatings on hand along with sucker sticks and packaging. The coatings keep well in a dry cool place and you may want to mold chocolate late at night when YOU are craving chocolate. (Sampling your product is allowed!)

Keep decorative boxes or packaging at easy access. Do you need to send treats to school for your child's birthday? Because most schools prefer packaged treats for safety, you can still make the treats special with decorative packaging. Cello bags can be filled with bite size candy bars or taffy and tied with decorative ribbons.

Bake your party favors in their own take-home pan. Baking Loaf pans are great for baking and gifting individual loaves of breads. After baking, cover with plastic wrap for freshness and tie with a ribbon. These baskets can also be used to bake a couple of sweet rolls or dinner rolls. It makes a nice gift to take to the elderly!

Yes, turning the calendar to March means that plants will use abundant energy to turn green and blossom. Animals will awaken and forage for food. Human beings will come out of their warm houses, shed their coats and begin running, walking and enjoying the warm air. Yes, the earth will start humming with lawnmowers, motorcycles and the joy of being outside. Go ahead, you can be out there with them - you're prepared!