It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away. If you are anything like me, you still have more shopping, decorating, baking, and cooking to do before the big day. I hope some of you have had time to re-create some of my modeling chocolate designs and will send me pictures of your creations. I always enjoy seeing how you are inspired by my projects to make your own special treats.
I still had a long list of things that would be great topped with these designs and finally settled on homemade pastry pockets that I made using store bought pie crust filled with Nutella and topped with colored sugar. They are really easy to make, taste great, and look so good as a backdrop to my colorful light bulbs.
Christmas Lights on Pastry Pockets
pizza wheel or knife and fork
baking sheet lined with parchment paper
pie dough (one 9" store bought crust makes 3 pastry pockets)
Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread or any pie filling or jam
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water or use one egg white)
colored sanding sugar
white modeling chocolate, recipe here*
black, red, green candy/food coloring*
food handling gloves (highly recommended to use when adding color)
powdered sugar, to dust work surface
egg cookie cutter - 2" wide by 2 1/2" tall
#10 round pastry tip
#4 round pastry tip
food only paint brush
silver luster dust, optional
* I used dark modeling chocolate to create the pupils in the eyes, but you can simply color some white modeling chocolate with black food coloring instead.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw and unroll store bought pie crust onto a cutting board (or use homemade pie dough.) Roll it out a bit thinner in order to get three pastry pockets out of each 9" pie crust. Cut into 3" x 4" rectangles. Set three rectangles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread Nutella or other pie filling onto the center of each rectangle. Brush egg wash around the edge of the rectangle. Set another rectangle of dough on top. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
Brush the tops of each pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle colored sanding sugar on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Pinch off some white modeling chocolate and color it red. Color some green too. Also color a small amount of white modeling chocolate black (or use dark chocolate clay.) For detailed coloring instructions, go here. This is where I wear those food handling gloves, otherwise my hands turn a rainbow of colors.
Dust a cutting board lightly with powdered sugar. Roll out the red, green, white, black (or dark) modeling chocolate to 1/16th of an inch thickness. Use the egg shaped cookie cutter to cut out red and green light bulbs.
Use the small end of the #12 round pastry tip to cut two small circles for each of the eyes out of white modeling chocolate. To do this you'll want to press the pastry tip, tip side down, into the modeling chocolate cutting a small circle, then turn it upside down and tap on counter and the circles will drop out the larger end of the tip. I usually cut a bunch of circles, before turning the tip upside down. Use the same technique and the #10 tip to cut noses out of red and green. Then use the #4 tip to cut black circles for the pupils.
Either copy and size the template for the screw cap shown in the picture above before cutting them out of paper, or hand cut your own templates. Set the template over some white modeling chocolate and cut out around it. Use a knife and gently press it into the piece of modeling chocolate to create horizontal lines. Brush on silver luster dust, if you want your screw caps to look like metal. (I used a cotton ball to add the luster dust.)
Cut a highlight out of white using a knife. A sliver of a moon shape works best.
Attach the modeling chocolate pieces together using water. Example: lightly brush water on the top of the screw cap. Press it against the backside of the wide part of red or green egg.
Draw smiles onto each light bulb using black food coloring marker. If you don't have a marker, you can roll some black modeling chocolate into a thin log to use for the smile.
You can attach your modeling chocolate light bulbs to your baked pastry pockets in several ways. If the pastries are warm, simply set the light bulb on top of them. The decoration will melt slightly and stick to the pastry. If your pastries are cold just spread some Nutella on the back side of the light bulb and stick it on the pastry. You can heat these pastries up in an oven or toaster oven (not in a toaster) with the decoration attached, but be aware that the decoration will melt a bit and may brown. My husband likes his pastries toasted, but I don't mind to eat them cold. What do you prefer? These pastries would be the perfect sweet to top with the reindeer design, or any other for that matter. But the reindeer, with it's antlers, needs more than an egg shaped sweet to support it so these rectangles would work perfectly.
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