Friday, November 4, 2011

DIY: Shrunken Head Cider

Welcome, friends, to my first ever DIY blog post.

My favorite treat that I made for my Pinterest inspired Halloween party was Shrunken Head Cider. I'd love to show you all how I made it!

This particular recipe I actually found on Martha It was so easy and fun that I want to create new reasons to serve Shrunken Heads. Ha!

Anyway without further ado, here is my pictorial presentation of this "recipe."

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 8 large Granny Smith apples

Step 2: preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Yep, you heard me right. 250

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

(Confession: I had never used parchment paper until this weekend and now I'm hooked!)

Step 3: Mix up the salt and lemon juice into a bowl. You'll use it later.

Step 4: take an apple out of the bag and peel it.

Step 5: Core and cut the peeled apple in half.

At this point it's important to stare at the apple.

Go ahead and stare, I'll wait....

Are you staring?


Now ask the apple a simple question. "Apple, what kind of face would you like to have?"
Sure, it seems silly but each apple sort of gives way to different faces.

Step 6: Cut the apple into a face.

I used all kinds of different things to carve the faces: paring knife, mellon baller, cookie dough scoop, etc...

Confession #3: I'm kind of obsessive. Each face had to be different. Each face had to be fun. Each face had to be "perfect." I definitely failed at the last goal, but thankfully there is magic in a little self-forgiveness every now and again.

The key is have fun.

Remember every cut line will show up when they shrink. But as our old friend, Bob Ross, used to say, "We don't have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents."

Step 7: Throw your cut apple into the lemon juice and salt mixture for at least one minute.

This really helps stop/get rid of the browning. It's actually quite magical to watch the brown disappear.

I liked to fill up the core with the lemon juice mix and then flip it and let the other soak for awhile.

Step 8: After they have soaked long enough (normally the time it takes to peel, core, and cut the two faces into the next apple), then let the excess salty lemon juice drip off on some paper towels.

Step 9: Place your apple faces on the parchment paper and place in the oven.

Step 10: Wait.

Perhaps work on your next craft. Or watch an episode or two of Psych, like I did.

Because the temperature is so low, it takes quite awhile. Martha says 90 minutes. Mine were much closer to the 2 hour mark.

They are done when they start to brown up in all the right places. Martha also says they are supposed to be dry. I don't think mine were ever really dry. Perhaps I should have upped the temp a smidge. The oven I was using isn't particularly known for being a stable source of heat.

Step 11: Take them out and enjoy. Marvel at their adorableness.

Step 12: My party wasn't until least 24 hours later so I decided to freeze mine. I just stacked them in a little container and put parchment paper between each layer. They were perfect when they came out the next day. perfect.

Step 13 (!): Float them in your cider! It's so fun and simply spooky. :)

I just mixed a gallon of Kroger cider and one can of frozen lemonade concentrate in a crock pot and set it on low. It was quite a hit at the party!

Delicious & fun = perfection!

I hope you enjoyed my DIY. Next time I'm importing all the pictures first. Ugh...that was a pain. Anyway, see you next time cyber world.

PS. A special shout-out to my friends whole let this nomad use their kitchen: you guys are the best!