New Pie and Tart Candles Inspired by Baking with My Culinary Students

Lattice topped fresh apple pie baked by my Culinary II and III students

During this past week, my Culinary II and III students produced apple pies. Half of the groups went over and beyond my expectations by asking me to teach them how to make lattice tops of interlaced dough. Since the production of a lattice top was optional, on the day that the apple pies were baked, each group that had made a lattice top got a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with their pie. The students who had made this extra effort inspired me to make a silicone mold for a small 3.5 inch wide lattice topped pie candle. I made this candle using a model that I had sculpted from air hardening clay. After making a silicone mold, I used it to produce the candles pictured below.

Pictured from top left and going clockwise: Cherry, blackberry, pumpkin, and blueberry pie candles. (NOTE: I have not yet installed any wicks because I’m still waiting for my test model to cure prior to doing a test burn. Soy candles need a minimum of two weeks to cure prior to being used.

Lattice topped pie candles awaiting the installation of their wicks
Sugar cookies made by my Culinary I students

While the advanced culinary students worked on pies, my Culinary I students began the week with the production of sugar cookies with an optional icing glaze. They ended the week with the production of lemon crisp cookies. 

“What does a lemon crisp taste like?” asked Nathaniel (not his real name) after he entered the classroom and read the board.

“Well DUH, it probably tastes like lemons,” observed Samantha (not her real name). “And from the name it’s probably crispy.”

Nathaniel frowned. “I wasn’t asking you. I was talking to Chef. Chef, what do lemon crisps taste like?”

I thought for a moment. “Do you like lemonade?”

The student nodded.

“If lemonade were a cookie, that’s what it would taste like.”

“Ooooooohhhh,” marveled the freshmen.

My Culinary Arts kitchen

After entering the kitchen, the students formed into their groups, put on their hair restraints, washed their hands, and set up their work stations before getting the ingredients listed on their recipe. Having now spent three weeks in the kitchen, the students moved with a confidence that they didn’t have two weeks ago.

What a difference a few weeks make. The students know how to set up their work stations. They know where all of the tools and ingredients are kept. They know how to read a recipe. They know how to set up a countertop mixer. Most of them even know how to judge whether or not their dough is ready for use. If the dough isn’t ready to be used, they know how to take corrective action (by adding flour) to fix their product so that it’s not wet and sticky. 

Since I had some leftover ice cream from having recognized the efforts of some of my advanced culinary students, I gave the remaining ice cream to the one group in my 6th period class whose perfect measurements gave them a perfect dough that didn’t need to be adjusted.

The students beamed as they received their prizes.

“But we want ice cream too!” complained Brenda (not her real name) who was at an adjacent station.

I raised an eyebrow. “Do you REALLY want some ice cream?” I asked.

After the teenager nodded, I screamed into my mask. “ARGGGHHHHHHHH!”

Brenda nearly fell over laughing.

“I don’t get it,” complained Tyler (not his real name).

Brenda laughed even harder. “Chef is so punny!”

Her classmate frowned. “Don’t you mean, ‘funny’?”

“No! He told a pun! He’s punny. He asked if we wanted ice cream and then he screamed. I scream. Get it?”

Tyler sighed. “It’s not that funny.”

Brenda howled at his response. The rest of the class laughed over her reaction.

Pictured below are some of the lemon crisps that my Culinary I students made. The cookies were light, crispy, and sweet. As promised they tasted like a cookie version of lemonade.

lemon crisp cookies produced by my Culinary I students

For those of you who enjoy baking, here is the recipe that we used:

Lemon Crisp Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • ½  tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar for rolling dough

Directions

raw cookies on a sheet pan
  1. In a mixing bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Mix the butter, sugar and lemon juice until pale and fluffy. Stir in 1 egg. Add lemon extract and vanilla. Stir and mix until combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  4. Make a 3/4 to 1 inch wide ball of dough. You make this by rolling the dough between the palms of your hands. NOTE: If the dough is too sticky to do this, add 1/4 cup of flour and re-mix the dough.
  5. Roll the ball of dough in the powdered sugar. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment paper, spray the pan with non-stick spray before adding the cookies. Space the cookies apart in 4 rows of 3.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 10 – 13 minutes until the edges of the cookies are a light golden brown.
a student’s portion of lemon crisp cookies

Having recently made a silicone mold for an open faced tart, I was inspired by the lemon fragrance of these cookies to create this candle of a lemon custard tart with strawberries and whipped cream.

To make this candle even more visually interested, I switched out the strawberries for the use of smaller blueberries and some raspberries. The use of a berry sauce also added a color contrast with the yellow custard.

The lemon fragrance of the cookies made by my Culinary I students also inspired me to produce this lemon cream pie slice candle.

I am still planning a business launch date of October 23, 2021. Prior to stocking the virtual store, I still need to set up a business bank account, to then set up a PayPal account, and to also apply for minimum liability insurance.

As soon as my business launches, I will add a link to the virtual store on the home page of this menu.

P.S. Please note that Tasty-Candles will only sell candles within the United States. Since it’s illegal to sell fake food candles in places like the European Union, to avoid any international legal entanglements, I plan on restricting all sales to the U.S. domestic market.

Insofar as all of my candles are handcrafted and my output is very small compared to the production capabilities of other candle making businesses, I really don’t need exposure to a broader market.

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