Fresh Fall Apple Recipes

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It’s nearly back-to-school time and that means the swift transition into fall weather, fall clothes and of course – fall foods! We are celebrating a fall favorite of ours a few weeks before the leaves begin to change colors just because these recipes are so tasty!

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Marshmallow Flowers

Marshmallow Flowers www.cobornsblog.com

Ashley M. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley M.

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the bright colors that come with the season. It’s also a busy time of the year for most people. So here is a quick, fun project to make by yourself or with the kids for all the events that will be popping up on the calendars this season! These are great since they work for Easter, weddings, birthday parties and so much more.

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How to Ice a Cake with Roll Fondant

How to Ice a Cake with Roll Fondant

www.cobornsblog.com The art of Cakes with Amanda
Amanda

Time to get fancy! Let’s talk fondant. Get out your rolling pin and nonstick mat and prepare those arm muscles for a little work out. I’ve included a little video to see the process but let’s also discuss the process from supplies to cake.

First thing you’ll need, a few special supplies. A cake, lightly iced. When you put the fondant on top it can get a bit too squishy and create a mess if your frosting is too thick. I’m going to be covering an 8” round, double layered, cake. I used 1 lb. of fondant to cover my cake but you could use a little more to give yourself a little wiggle room when covering. You should also have a fondant smoothing tool, a paddle like looking device, and a nonstick silpat mat for rolling on. Most important you need a rolling pin. I like a big heavy rolling pin for the job. You’ll also need to sprinkle powdered sugar, I like to use a shaker for this, but you could do it by hand too. I also like to use a pizza cutter for trimming my cake. It will roll smoothly around the cake. I don’t use a knife, those I keep far away from the silpat mat. Any knicks or cuts you leave behind when using a blade will show up forever after when you roll out fondant.

Ok, now to get rolling. If you want to color your fondant go ahead and do that first, then cover it up to keep it from getting crusty. Next I base ice my cake and then keep it close as I go back to start on the fondant again.

Knead your fondant, a lot. Keep kneading until it feels silky and smooth. Your hands should warm it up and make it pliable. The more you knead it the better your fondant covering experience will go. If your fondant feels dry and stiff, keep kneading. There should be a little stretch. Once it’s warmed up you can start rolling it out.

SuppliesDust your mat with powdered sugar and place your flattened ball of fondant in the center of the mat. I usually squish it out a little into the shape I want, a circle or a square. Dust the top a little with powdered sugar then start rolling. Keep rolling and rolling. Work the fondant into the shape you want. Rotate your pin, rotate the fondant. If it gets too oval or rectangular don’t be afraid to stretch back into the shape you want with your hands. Covering your cake will be easier if you can keep your fondant in a shape relatively similar to your cake. Keep checking the thickness. Give a little more muscle to the parts that are thicker. It can be tempting to use a thick a slab of fondant on your cake in the excitement of covering your cake, but be patient. A thick slab isn’t going to taste good and can squish your cake down creating slouching and puckering after an hour or so. Go thin. Shoot for about ¼” or less for a typical cake, but a little on the thicker side of that for a shaped cake to allow for stretching.

Now that you are at your desired thickness and size you are ready to cover. How big should it be? The height of your cake x 2, plus the width of the top. Then add a couple inches to allow for fidgeting and fussing.

You want to do the next steps in one, uninterrupted step. Don’t answer the phone, don’t stop for a snack. The fondant is already drying and getting a skin and if you walk away it will wrinkle and tear when you try to do anything with it, then you get to start all over.

Move your iced cake over next to your fondant slab. There are many way and tricks to picking up fondant. I don’t use them. I just pick it up like a pizzeria guy. Do it quick, yet gentle, and keep the fondant moving and you shouldn’t get any tears. If you stand around thinking with it draped over your fingers, yes, it will get deformed, but why are you just standing there? Place your fondant over the cake. There should be a little moisture left in the frosting to make it stick. If you think you are going to take more than 15 minutes to roll out your fondant covering your cake wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Lay your fondant across the top, let the sides drape down. Use your hand to smooth out the fondant from the middle to the outside. Then use your smoothing tool to briskly rub the surface. Apply pressure, just enough to work out any air bubbles. Try to work from the middle to the outside to move out any bubbles. Work quickly; your sides are starting to firm up.

Now for the tricky part, the sides. You need to start smoothing the fondant to the frosting. Work in small areas, going in a circle around your cake. You Using Fondant Icingdon’t need to stick it all at once. Imagine there are horizontal lines on your cake, about an 1 or so apart, just work from the top imaginary ring down to the next. By the time you get to the bottom half you’ll need to gently tug and stretch at the fondant to avoid the folds and pleats. Keep moving, keep working at it, and keep being patient. Smooth as you go to avoid air bubbles.

Once you have your cake covered you can trim the excess off from around the bottom with your pizza cutter. Now pick up your smoother again and start rubbing all over. At this point you are trying to polish the fondant up. Rub out any ripples, move any air bubbles down and out. If you have any stubborn bubbles you can poke a small hole with a thin pin and let the air out. This will leave a hole, but sometimes it’s worth the trade off on stubborn bubbles.

Congratulations! You did it! You have a smooth fondant cake. Have fun dressing it up from this point. You can paint it, stick fondant to it, and quilt it. And don’t forget the important part, you can eat it.

Amanda
Coborn’s Cake Decorator
Sartell, MN – Pine Cone Road

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5 Local Themed Holiday Gifts

5 Local Themed Holiday Gifts

Holly - Practial Party Planning - www.cobornsblog.com
Holly

There’s nothing I love more than gift giving around the holiday season, especially when it is gifts that are well thought out and that can fit into a creative theme. This year I decided to use some of the products that are made locally and sold at Coborn’s, who doesn’t love to support local companies?

These Baskets are perfect for a neighbor, coworker or anyone who brightens your day throughout the year that you want to recognize around the holiday time. Be sure you click HERE and print out the Free Printable Cards for each of these Local Gift Baskets, they make great little gift tags and also feature where the products are from.

J.R. Watkins Basket

This first basket features J.R. Watkins essentials. These products are made in Winona, MN and they smell incredible. I found J.R. Watkins soaps and other products located in the Organic Section at Coborn’s, and to complete the gift I simply taped the four goodies together with several small pieces of double-sided tape so they would stay in tact. Then I wrapped gold curling ribbon around them and placed a matching bow on top. I printed out the J.R. Watkins Printable, which you can find in the link above, and I had a perfectly bundled gift! My sister-in-law loves J.R. Watkins products, so I will be making one like this for her this year.

Purple Prairie Basket

Purple Prairie Products are made in Clearwater, MN and they have some of my favorite scents and tons of varieties of products to choose from. I picked out a few of my favorite soap scents and I of course had to include the Minnesota Mint scent to fit the theme of the gifts! Then I added the Purple Prairie Frankincense & Myrah lotion, Minted Cinnamon Tinted Moisturizing Lip Balm and simply placed all of the items together with tissue paper in a festive bowl that I also got from Coborn’s. I added the Purple Prairie basket Printable for a personalized touch and this gift basket was complete.

Cameron’s Coffee Mugs

If you thought the other baskets were easy, then these Cameron’s Coffee Mugs are on a new level of simplicity. Most everyone loves coffee, and using a mug as the container gives this gift a warm and cozy touch. Cameron’s Coffee comes from Shakopee, MN, and is located right in the coffee section at Coborn’s. I picked out a green mug from Coborn’s and then a few varieties of coffee flavors that were wrapped in red packaging to fit the Christmas color scheme. If you’re not giving this gift at Christmas time though any mug or coffee flavor would be equally as adorable! I especially like this gift for co-workers because it’s inexpensive and most of my co-workers are coffee-addicts.

Minnesota Wild Rice with Recipe

Wild Rice is a staple of Minnesota, so I had to include it in this Blog! KC’s Best Wild Rice is from Bemidji, MN and it makes the perfect quick gift for someone special in your life. Pair it with some ribbon or a festive bow, attach your own Wild Rice Recipe or Print out the Recipe from the Coborn’s Recipe book and you’re good to go! I especially like this gift for those who have moved out of the area, did you know you can’t get Wild Rice everywhere, crazy right? So put it in a FedEx box and send a thoughtful gift to your friends or family across the country.

Movie Night Basket

The last basket is a Local Movie Night Basket. Angie’s Popcorn from Mankato, MN and candies from Pearson’s in St. Paul, MN look adorable together in this Movie Night Gift Basket. I decided to put these goodies in a giant popcorn bowl to add to the theme. This basket of goodies would be perfect with the new Disney Pixar movie Inside Out, which features a hockey-loving Minnesota girl who moves with her family to San Francisco. It’s the perfect gift basket to help beat those chilly Midwest winter nights!

I hope you enjoy these Holiday Gift Baskets featuring Local Favorites from around the Midwest! There’s only a few weeks left of Christmas shopping, so think of these simple gifts for your last minute present planning!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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Father’s Day 6-Pack

Father's Day 6-Pack - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Crafty Creations with Lynell
Lynell

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, so it may be time to start thinking about what to get Good O’ Dad.

How about something really special? Something made by the kids, all filled with his favorite treats. This is what I have come up with for this year. It’s very simple, sweet and made from the heart. It’s easy to personalize and fun to create! Don’t forget to stock up on all of Dad’s favorite treats at  your local Coborn’s to create the Father’s Day 6-Pack.

Father's Day 6-Pack
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cardboard 6-Pack Bottle Carrier
  • 6 Empty Bottles, washed and stickers removed
  • 2 Cups Each of 6 Treats (must fit through the mouth of the bottle)
  • Black chalkboard Spray Paint
  • Chalk
  • Plastic Wrap
  • 6 Rubber Bands
  • 6 Strips 4"x1.5" Paper
  • Hot Glue Gun with Glue or Scotch Tape
Instructions
  1. Begin with 6 glass bottles that fit into 6 pack carrier.
  2. Wash bottles and remove all stickers/labels.
  3. Fill each bottle with Dad’s favorite treats. Remember the size of the mouth of the bottle to ensure you can pour the items into the bottle.
  4. After filled, place a small piece of cling wrap over the opening of each bottle and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Trim edges of plastic wrap to keep it neat.
  6. Wrap 1 strip of paper around neck of bottle and secure with Hot Glue or Scotch tape.
  7. Take the 6-pack carrier outside and set it on some old newspapers.
  8. Spray paint with black chalkboard paint, you will need 2 or 3 coats.
  9. When the 6-pack carrier is completely dry, write notes and draw pictures for Dad using chalk.
  10. Place the 6 bottles into the carrier and you are done!
Notes
Be careful not to bump the carrier, as the chalk smears easily.

Ideas for Treats in your bottles
- Caramel Bites
- Cherry Balls
- Gummy Bears
- M&Ms
- Mike & Ikes
- Nerds
- Peanuts
- Reese's Pieces
- Skittles
- Sunflower Seeds
- Trail Mix

 

I hope you have a fun time making this unique and fun Father’s Day Gift! Comment below with photos of your final products, I would love to see them!

Lynell
Coborn’s, Inc. Graphic Designer

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