Peppermint Bowls by Jodi Levine

When I asked author and crafts editor Jodi Levine (formerly the editor in chief of Martha Stewart Kids magazine) if she would like to participate in a blog post about one of her projects, she replied with a very enthusiastic "Yes!" Many of us remember Jodi from her days as a crafts editor and product designer for Martha Stewart Living and from her regular appearances on Martha's television shows. Several months ago she released her first book, Candy Aisle Crafts, and it has become one of my favourites. I reviewed Jodi's book in an earlier post but wanted to showcase one of my favourite projects from the book: peppermint bowls.
Here's what Jodi told me about the project: "These bowls look challenging but really aren't...and they're so much fun to make! I love the way that peppermint swirl candies look (more than I like eating them!) so this is a great way to have them around your table at holiday time. They can serve as a candy or sugar bowl...or make a bunch of them for a centerpiece!" Below are instructions on how to make the bowls and some background about the inspiration behind the project. 

parchment paper
heatproof bowl (Jodi used a 6" metal bowl)
vegetable oil
18 starlight mint candies

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Very generously grease the outside of the bowl with the oil.

Place 1 candy on the baking sheet.

Place in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ minutes until the candy starts to look shiny and softens but doesn’t melt or sag.

Remove and place six candies around the heated candy, touching it (Image 1).

Return to the oven and heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven as soon as the candies start to soften. Don’t let them melt.

Place eleven more candies around the circle on the baking sheet (Image 2). You can try this step with nine or ten candies for a smaller bowl.

Return to the oven for 7 minutes.

Remove and let cool for 1 minute. Quickly trim off some of the parchment paper (Image 3). With the candy still on the parchment paper, and using an oven mitt, flip the candy onto the greased bowl (Image 4) and quickly center the middle candy on the bowl's bottom. Shape the candy around the bowl, using the oven mitt to press the candies into one another (Image 5). Remove the parchment paper (Image 6) and gently lift the peppermint bowl off the bowl (it should slide right off, but if it sticks, let the candies cool for another minute or two and gently lift it off).

Place the finished candy bowls on top of small circles of parchment paper so they don't stick to surfaces.
The inspiration behind the project is just as interesting as the method itself. Jodi based the project on a form of glasswork technique called millefiori, which was developed in 15th Century Italy. The technique produces distinctive decorative patterns on glass. The term millefiori is Italian and means, literally, "a thousand flowers." The process involves forming coloured glass rods which are then cut to form small floral shapes, arranged into intricate patterns then encased in clear crystal. Click here to watch a video on how millefiori is made.
 This is an example of Italian millefiori.
Please be sure to get Jodi's book for the crafters, young and old, in your family this year. It's a wonderful book filled with imagination, inspiration and a lot of fun! Click here to get it on Amazon.


Rowaida said...

Good morning Andrew, drinking my tea and reading you beautiful blog.
I have a copy and I love this book, the recipes and projects are amazing. I ordered three more copies from Amazon UK to give as gifts for Christmas. I admire Jodi, very talented, inspiring and creative. I loved all the flowers she made for her wedding, gorgeous. Best wishes to her xx

jodi levine said...

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for this beautiful post!! I hope you have a great holiday! xo Jodi

(And Hi Rowaida, thank you so much for your sweet words. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!! xo Jodi)


Jodi, you are most welcome! You are a true fan favourite - always inspirational, always creative and always a delight.

greggandcheryl said...

Looks like fun and so cute too! Will do this with my granddaughter. Cheryl