Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ladybug Pretzels

 For Kappa Delta recruitment I decided to make these ladybug pretzels, as the ladybug is one of our symbols.
 They were super easy, and pretty cute (although a bit messy).

 All you need is candy melts (red and a dark cocoa) and some white icing.
 And of course pretzels.
 First I melted the red candy melts.
 And the chocolate was a bit thick. I wish that I had something to thin it down a bit with, but I really didn't.
 And I just dipped the two "lobes" of the pretzel.
 I had to use a knife to scrape off some of the excess so that the chocolate didn't cover the holes. This may have worked better if the chocolate was thinner, it was pretty tedious having to scrape off each pretzel.
 And sometimes they got a bit messy.
 But from a distance I figured they'd be cute.
 Just keep dipping...
 And dipping, and then let the chocolate set up.
 Now for the face. I started off melting the dark cocoa pieces in a plastic bag, thinking I would pipe on the dots and the black "face" of the ladybug.
 Just microwave the (open!) bag and then knead the chocolate until it all melts.
 Twist the bag down and snip off the corner.
 And then pipe onto the uncovered pretzel section.
 And pipe little dots onto the red wing sections.
 The pretzel showing through though really bothered me. And it was really tedious to try to get the chocolate to cover everything.
 See how messy they look? I wasn't happy.
 Plus I had so many to do...
 So I decided to melt some in a cup.
 And I used a knife to spoon the chocolate over the sections, thinking it would coat them with more chocolate and get any areas I was missing.
 I also used it to go back over some that had pretzel showing. But as you can see, it really wasn't working much better than piping.
 So I went ahead and piped the rest of the dots on the wings and let them dry, and then decided to move onto dipping the pretzels.
 Now, I had wanted to stay away from the dipping at first because I was worried that it would create too large of an area because to get to the inside of the black section, you have to overlap where the red wings are and I didn't want to get black on the edges.
 Overall though, dipping worked much better, you just have to be careful that you don't dip them too far and that the black doesn't drip over onto the nice red section. I almost wished that I had dipped all of the black first and then gone back with the red and dipped the wings but I'm not sure how the red would coat over the black section and it made more sense to do the dots and face at the same time.
 Now, for the eyes, I started out just using this cookie icing that comes in a bag with a tip and everything. I figured it would make things simple, easy, and quick.
 And for the most part it did.
 But the icing is so thin, it's hard to get it to form a nice drop. The icing tended to come out in one big string and made a mess and even trying to swirl it into a nice circle gave me weird triangular peaks that often didn't look right.
 Once more though, from a distance they looked good.
 And a lot of them the eyes looked fine, it was only on some.
 I also tried to use these white sugar pearls for the eyes.
 I piped a bit of the white icing and then attached a sugar pearl.
And they were pretty cute. You just have to be careful that you don't use too much icing and it shows under the pearl like this one.
It was actual a bit faster than the frosting because I could just dab it quickly and then add the pearl. 
 Still messy, but cute.
 And super easy!
 They take awhile, but really the majority of time spent was just waiting on the different sections to set up before you can work on something else.
 I also tried different sizes of the dots on the wings and never really found one type I liked. You just have to play around with them and try different ways.
 I did like using the pearls for eyes more than just the frosting though. It gave them more dimension. Just be careful that they don't fall off and then you have a one-eyed ladybug.
Cute, easy, and semi-quick. A bit messy, but from far away and laid out on a plate, they looked really nice and were a huge hit at recruitment.

1 comment:

  1. If you place the sugar pearls on while the choc is still wet on the pretzel they will stay once set. Also butter (NOT magerine) or crisco can be used to to thin the choc. about a teaspoon per one cup of melted choc, but it is up to you the consistsncy you like. I use a litle more because I like the smooth appearance and I usually dip a couple times and it does the trick.