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Just Sugar Christmas Tree Sculpture
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Recipe Created By: Laura Giletti
4-5 batches Just Sugar Syrup (see link to recipe below)
star cookie cutters
To make the sugar tree you will need to make several batches (4 - 5 depending on the number of triangles you want) of http://kidswithfoodallergies.org/recipes/showrecipe.php?id=1803 Just Sugar Syrup .
Make your first batch of sugar syrup. While the water heats, make a fan from the foil. Fold the foil in accordion pleats. Fold one end of the pleated foil together. Then open up the other end and widen each bottom pleat to make a triangular space. Fold the open ends of the foil up to help contain the sugar syrup.
Once the syrup is hot, pour it in the foil form and allow it to cool. Remove the triangles as they cool. A silicone pan liner makes a great place to put the sticky triangles. Too much handling will make them less glossy. The foil form can be used several times if you want more triangles.
Take smaller pieces of foil and wrap them around your cookie cutters. Simpler cookie cutters are easier than very complex ones. Remove the cookie cutter leaving a foil form of the shape. If you leave the cookie cutter in the foil the sugar will stick, even if you oil the cutter. Make another batch of syrup and fill the foil shape with syrup.
When the triangles have cooled, make another batch of syrup and pour into a heat proof plate to make a base. Do not use a plastic plate or any other material that might melt. If you are concerned about cracking due to temperature change, warm the plate first in the oven. The sugar will not be removed from plate and this will become the display base. Remove the triangles from the mold and prop them with one end on the still-soft sugar and the tips together. You can use some non-stick foil to hold them together.
If the sugar base is too hot, you might find that it softens the triangles or that the triangles keep falling over. If so, simply place the plate on an ice bath to cool it more rapidly.
Make another batch of syrup to use as glue for your decorations. Take the stars out of the foil and dip them in hot sugar syrup. Be VERY careful as the sugar syrup is extremely hot. I dipped only one half of each star into the syrup, keeping a good part of the top free. The stars will immediately stick to the tree. In fact, you will not be able to move them so place them carefully.
The nonstick foil is currently only available from Reynolds. It is coated with silicone so it does not have the allergy concern that an oil would bring.
In my experience 310 °F is rather bitter tasting, so for eating, aim for closer to 300 °F. For those without a thermometer, you simply don't want to have brown all the way across the bottom of the pot.
If you are using the candy for decoration, I have accidentally gone up to 335 °F and the sugar was clearly burned but it came out a beautiful ruby-red brown.
You can use any cookie cutters to create foil molds for decorations on your tree.
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