Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to Make Race Car Candy Pretzel Rods

Hello All!
This next How To could really be transferred to almost any candy mold.  For this particular post, I took the photos for the treats that I made for my son's class.  I asked him what he would like me to bring and he surprised me by suggesting these candy pretzel rods.  My kids LOVE when I make any of these treats, so I guess that it shouldn't have surprised me too much.
This is one of the finished cars.  I made quite a few, in different color combinations, but the concept is the same.  As it was, since he didn't tell me until the morning of, I was a bit crunched for time to get them completed in time to bring them to his class.  I ended up mixing in some Roses Pretzel Rods for the girls which are a ton faster, since they need less detail and color changes.
So, first thing.  This mold is a Wilton mold available at most regular craft stores like JoAnn's, Micheal's or from Wilton itself.  The mold has 2 car designs and 6 cavities total.  When you buy the mold, it's front has ideas of how to color it, including some of just solid chocolate (which are just as yummy).  I like to use the Wilton's Candy Melts.
To start, I put some black candy into a disposable decorator bag and melted it in the microwave.  I usually do 30-45 second intervals at 50% power.  After each interval, I take it out of the microwave and squish it around and check to see that it is all the way melted.  Once it is melted, I move onto coloring.
With each color that you use, you need to look at the car (or other mold) and determine where it needs to go.  In this case, I need to do the black first, because it is the element that is the lowest in the cavity and will end up covered in the end.  For instance on a flower, you would do the center yellow first and then add the petal color after.  There are 2 things in the car that I thought should be black - the tires and the steering wheel.  I should also mention that black is hard to come by.  It is some secret.  In the past, when I didn't have black, I would use brown by itself or use brown and add black candy tint while melting.  This year, I got smart - at Halloween, as soon as the Halloween baking stuff was out, I bought a few bags and horded them away.  Silly, but the next week when I went back, there was no more black!
So, back to the "painting".  When you look at these, they talk about "painting in the details" and there are even paint brushes that they want to sell you for this purpose.  I have yet to make a paint brush really work.  The candy dries on it's bristles almost immediately.  It is SO much easier to keep it in the disposable bag, snip a small hole at the tip and then paint in the color with it - like you would pipe a name on a cake.  The smaller the detail you need, the smaller hole you snip in the tip.  For the tires, you can just pipe in a round blob in the tire well, but for the steering wheel, you need to have a little more precision.  After you are done with your black, set it aside to use on the next set.  If it hardened by the time you need it, just remelt.
After you have the black finished in each cavity, place the tray in your frig, while you get your blue ready in anew bag.  Use the same process for melting.  By the time it is melted, the black should have hardened up.  Pipe the blue in the windows.
Again, let harden while you melt the first body color.  This is the time to let your imagination work.  Race cars come in so many weird color combinations that you really can't go wrong.  You can use a much or as little colors as you want.  When I do them, I do one set of 6 the same colors for the most part and then switch at the next 6.  For this set, I used yellow strips with green.  Remember, between each step of color where one color will touch the next color, you will need to harden either in the refrigerator or let sit to cool.  If the colors won't touch, you could move on.  Also, sometimes, I will melt more than one color at a time, if I know that I will use the next color quicker.
Fill all the cavity with color.  Any clear that shows, will be make the inside color visible.  As a side note, I usually place a white piece of paper under my mold so that I can see what I am doing better.  I also pick it up and look at the front side periodically to check for air bubbles, missed spots, or anything else that could be fixed now.
As to fill colors:  sometimes, I fill the candy mold with the same colors that I am using and sometimes, I fill with a white or brown chocolate.  In the case of the car to the left, I went ahead and filled it with the car's green body color.  This last fill is more a blob of candy down the center, not quite filling it all the way.  This should be just enough to stick the pretzel rod in, without making it overflow it's sides.
Place one pretzel rod in each cavity and add any extra melting candy as needed to make a smooth transition.  The pretzel rod will stick up from the back of the candy.
I think that many would stop here, but I like to do one final step.  I place a zigzag strip of candy over the back of the pretzel to keep it attached a little better.
Here are the finished backs.  I harden them one final time and then move onto bagging them.  They make special pretzel rod bags that you use twist ties with.  And that is it.  You have a cute gift or treat.
I end with the rose ones: