Crazy 4 Color

Wilton, Ateco/Spectrum/DUFF gel colors

I hadn’t planned yesterday’s post to be about play-dough, I hadn’t thought about the playdough recipe for a few years – SO, imagine my surprise when I opened Phillip’s backpack this morning (we should’ve done that 5 days ago…  because this morning we way behind schdule >Mom vs. The Alarm Clock)  Anyhoo… every week he brings home a red folder full of graded papers and buried in there (I think so we parents look through all the papers) is a small square of paper to sign & return stating that we looked through all the papers. Guess what, I searched & searched and that little square of paper was NOT in there, so I had to make one…write a note that there was not one & then Phillip & I signed it. Of course, now we are even MORE behind schedule than we were).  The surprise part was there was a 2-sided sheet of paper with all kinds of “play-dough” recipes (including the one I shared). Weird- huh??

So, speaking of play-dough – it’s more fun to add color to it and once upon a time I used the liquid food color (the kind that used to come in the really cool looking tear drop style plastic bottles by Mc Cormick, but now they come in mostly cylindricalish looking bottles). Btw, I think those tear-drop bottles are so cool and I kinda miss them in a nostalgic way. However, I think it might be less messy and it will offer SO many MORE color options if you dye the play-dough with food grade GEL dye. The first brand I ever used (and the brand I have used for 25+ years was Wilton & it comes in the mini-round-tubs and you have to use a toothpick to get it out & it dries out over a few years, especially if you tear the foil off the top all the way. The good thing is you can get it at Michaels & JoAnns and use a 40-50% off coupon.  Wilton also makes a NO-taste red – FYI.  AND, lastly I’ve seen Wilton gel colors come in squeeze bottles now. That’s kind of the pros & cons of Wilton – I also seem to have to use more of the Wilton gel to achieve the color I want. OH – and my FAVORITE (I have lots of baking favorites, but I have lots of stuff, so I have to have more than one favorite)… my favorite is the Wilton “Icing Color White-White” -it comes in a 2 oz. bottle and you can get it at Michaels and of course, use a coupon 🙂 You can use it to lighten a color – giving a tone on tone effect. For example, when making lighter/darker dots with icing. (if you are asking, “what’s that mean?”, it’ll be in a future blog. Also, I like the taste of it, too – reminds me of the lollipops/suckers that have the white images on them. For example, the round, red, flat lollipopss (or heart shaped) that have a white heart on the front & you can put it on your tongue and make a white “tattoo” of a heart. I’m a big kid & I love candy & sugar (one of my down-falls) — the big kid part works well tho’, when teaching 1st graders.

More pros & cons over colors – it seems that most bakers use Americolor. I purchased Ateco/Spectrum – I’ve read in several places one company owns the other, but I could be wrong. I purchased them on Amazon.com and was happy with them – ESPECIALLY the SUPER black & SUPER red – these colors are the most difficult. I received FREE shipping and I was also able to participate in a buy 2 get one FREE offer (so I save $16 too). I have never met anyone who does NOT like to save money… however, I’m kind-of driven to it. I DO NOT like to spend money until after I’ve sought out the DEAL (sometimes this is not such a good thing, because ALL of the hours I spend seeking the deal is wasted time – so keep that in mind when deal searching). I purchased a set of 12 3/4 oz. bottles – very small bottles – perfect for the home-baker not so much if you are going to use it a lot – so that’s another “pro” – they make 4.5 oz and 13 oz bottles.  I’m not sure about Ateco, but Americolor offers at least 3 different 12 bottle assortments. As I mentioned, the one I purchased came with SUPER Black and SUPER Red – this is worth mentioning twice, you HAVE to use these colors if you want to make red or black icing. Otherwise, you have to use not only A LOT of gel color, but your icing will taste YUCKY/AWFUL/BLECK because of the amount of coloring gel that you have to use.  My set didn’t, but some sets come with Bright White (I have not used this, but I am 99.9% positive it serves the same purpose was Wilton’s White-White). Another use is – it keeps white icing “white”, makes buttercream frosting “white” instead of tinted yellow from the butter & it some-what counters the effects of pure vanilla extract which is brown. (Wilton also makes clear imitation vanilla & butter extracts, but I like real ingredients when I’m baking.)

Another option is DUFF (as in Charm City Cakes) gel colors – I found these at Michaels, using a 40% coupon I purchased the primary colors & the electric colors (there’s one more set I didn’t purchase). FYI: Michaels sometimes offers 50% off coupons, too & if you don’t get the Sunday paper, you can get them on-line 🙂

GO get COLOR CRAZY and please feel free to share your CREATIONS – via the comment section or post on FB at Baking 4 Six.

Colored Dough ~ still waiting to add icing & pizazz to these...However, they are cute as is AND if your kiddos can play with playdough, they can make these cookies, too.

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