Edible craft projects leave no trace behind

Edible craft projects leave no trace behind

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Crafting can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it poses a problem. At times all motivation dries up halfway through, and every glance at that unfinished project gnaws at your conscience like an unspoken accusation. Or sometimes you do finish your craft, but the end result is something short of spectacular. If you’ve wasted a few dollars on materials, you feel guilty about just tossing it out; neither are you overjoyed at the prospect of dragging it around for the rest of your life. A possible solution is a craft that can a) be completed within the space of an afternoon and b) leaves no evidence, save any photos you might have taken along the way. Here are five different food-based projects all ages can enjoy putting together, as easily consumed as they were created.

Marzipan figures: This one couldn’t be easier. All you need is food coloring and a tube of marzipan, a thick almond paste commonly used to create decorations for cakes and those cute little figures you see sold in the “Konditerei” (cake or pastry shop). Once you’ve rolled out your little figures of carrots, snowmen or piglets, it’s time to paint them with food coloring. For inspiration, check out the creations of Odenwalder Marzipan, a manufacturer of cake decorations and other sweet treats. Try your hand at crafting a piglet, a symbol of luck in the New Year, by watching this video by Masala Herb.

Gingerbread houses: German supermarkets sell kits with all the ready baked parts, or you can build your house of store-bought graham crackers or square cookies. For an easy take on the project, go for a simple A-frame chalet-style construction. Hold it together with this thick and sturdy royal frosting recipe by Simple Joy, and decorate with gummy candy, M&Ms or your marzipan creations of the day before. Had way too many sweets already? Go for savory and build a tiny log cabin of pretzel sticks, Chex and cream cheese. Good Housekeeping has a wonderful collection of gingerbread houses to fuel your inspiration.

Mermaid ice cream: Homemade ice cream that requires no churning is already a recipe for success, but to make your sweet treat a colorful sight to behold, whip up a batch of brightly colored Mermaid ice cream, courtesy of this recipe by Momspark. Got a houseful of boys instead of girls? Color the ice cream blue and yellow and name it after the Minions, die it blue, toss in some chocolate chip cookies and you’ve got Cookie Monster ice cream.

Jello aquariums: A few empty glass jars, a packet of Jell-O, some candy bits and Swedish fish create the adorable illusion of goldfish swimming in a bowl. This jello and gummy candy fishbowl recipe by the Kitchn uses Nerds candy as the gravel at the bottom of the tank and lemon-lime soda in the water. Fish are the only creatures at home in the water: gummy worms can double as eels or sea snakes. For Jell-O that looks as if tiny bubbles are rising up in it, use club soda.

Cheesy hedgehogs: A beloved classic of German culinary tradition is the Mettigel, a cute little hedgehog made of onions and Mett, minced pork that’s meant to be eaten raw. A way to get the same cute look but take a pass on uncooked pork it is to sub out the blob of meat for a soft cheese such as the Bavarian “Obatzda” or the Rheinhessen “Spundekäse.” For the hedgehog’s quills, pretzel sticks will do nicely, and black peppercorns will stand in perfectly for your hedgehog’s bright and beady little eyes.

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