Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Strawberries

Most of us tend to think of Strawberries as being a summer food. Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry ice cream. Strawberry Cheesecake. Strawberry lemonade. Strawberries are just great in the summer straight off the vine. Strawberries are starting to make a stand for Christmas use now as well though, only sometimes the results aren't quite as awesome as we might hope.

Christmas Strawberry Trees:
Cute, and the idea of strawberries and brownies makes me want to go zap a brownie in a mug and stir in some of the frozen strawberries from the freezer. But that is its own Pinstrosity waiting to happen, so I won't. Speaking of Pinstrosities...

Dayna said, "I tried hitting two pins with one hammer (hahaha, you know... two birds, one stone? I tried being clever there... :P) and the cake was actually a Dr Pepper cake pin I had found! The icing I had used was a generic butter icing. I think I may have whipped it too long because I kept adding more and more green food colouring right until my little bottle emptied out. So maybe that's why the icing flopped like that? Overall the result was delicious but the presentation failed. Everyone seemed to laugh at my results, so at least I provided some amusement."

I don't pretend to be a frosting doctor, so I went to see what the frosting experienced bakers at cakecentral had to say and found an excellent thread about what to do with buttercream frosting that goes curdled and grainy like Dayna's icing did. My first guess was that it was the food coloring, but most of their suggestions have to do with temperate and liquid content. Check it out! 

I think maybe I'm stuck on the strawberry and brownie idea, because I have another one to show you, only this time it's not a tree, it's a Santa hat! 

Strawberry Santa Hats:
Those look a little more user friendly than the awesome strawberry brownie trees, but don't let this project fool you. Here is Jamie's submission:

Okay, so strawberry trees on brownies and strawberry Santa hats on brownies are no-gos. What if we **sniff** remove the brownie from the equation? 

Strawberry Santas: (this photo is found in the 3rd slideshow in the post, photo #19)

Megan found this pin on Pinterest and uttered the fateful words, "They looked fairly simple." First Pinterest rule...never assume it is simple. There's always a hidden secret ingredient. "Go to your local grocery store and buy fresh strawberries, cream cheese, condensed soy bean stabilizing powder of petrified hen's teeth (4th pressing), and sugar." But'd think more things on Pinterest would be more simple, don't you? I sure do. I guess that's why I co-author a site about Pinterest Fails; it all looks deceptively simple. However, I've sure had fun making mistakes and learning. 

But I digress. Let's get back to Megan's story. "My first issue was trying to figure out how they got the Santa heads to hold up the "hat" - I'm not sure if they used cream cheese instead of whipped cream, but whipped cream does not work. I thought about throwing in the towel, but figured I was already $30 in, too late to quit. (Did I mention this was all happening at 1 AM the night before the party?). So I decided, instead, to use bananas for a head and improvise with the whipped cream."

"At some point in my frustration with falling whipped cream, I flung some profanities at the whipped cream can and switched to vanilla icing. My biggest problem with the icing was how sticky it was. I would not recommend using icing, especially not if you're applying it with a spoon (........yeah....)."

"Then I needed eyes. I wanted my strawberry santas to look "realistic," so instead of using chocolate or whatever it is in the original pin, I decided to use blue sprinkles. But not just using sprinkles as they were, I was going to push each individual sprinkle into the banana so it looked like little circles for eyes instead of cat eyes. In about half an hour, I was able to create one Santa that I was actually pretty proud of."

"....One Santa."

"Because then the whole pushing-in-the-sprinkles thing got really old. And the bananas would fall off the bodies when I tried to put on the beard. And the hats kept falling off. and, and, and...."

"I made 5 of them, each progressively worse than the previous one, and called finally it quits around 3 AM."

"The strawberry santas I was bringing to the party ended up looking and tasting a lot like chocolate covered pretzels."

"I think my biggest problem here was a lack of patience. If someone has more patience, better tools, etc., it could probably turn out very cute."

Okay, so maybe Strawberries and Christmas are a little harder to combine than originally thought. Or at least it seems like strawberries resent being turned into trees or santas. Maybe they wouldn't mind a reindeer? I'm sure strawberries wouldn't mind that. Or snowmen. You could make a strawberry snowman...with a sunburn. cue Frozen...

Or just eat them plain. Yeah, that works too. 


  1. With the first one, don't they sell cans of coloured frosting with decorative tips for application? That would seem like the easiest and fastest solution to cover the strawberries with green, tree-like frosting. Also, it seems to me that a lot of these projects were done in muffin pans, hence the rounded top & balancing issues. I would bake a flat pan of brownies and use a circular cookie cutter.

  2. Take a bite of brownie.
    Take a bite of strawberry.
    Shoot whipped cream into your mouth, straight from the spray can.

  3. Love J's reply - not that I've ever shot whipped cream from the can straight into my mouth ;)
    Agree with JoJo about baking a flat pan of brownies and using a cookie cutter for making the bases.
    For the Strawberry Santas - I'm pretty sure that's heavy/whipping cream that's been whipped (maybe with a little icing (confectioner's) sugar) and not squirty cream in a can :D

  4. Some googling solved the mystery...Santas are made with marscapone cheese mixed with icing sugar.


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