It was incredible. If you haven't seen it, you need to. And it's worth the price of admission to see it on the big screen. The visuals and special effects are mind blowing and the story is fantastic. Plus you have Donnie Yen playing a blind, force-sensitive BADASS, and you really can't beat that.
I'm so glad we went on opening night, and I'm glad it worked out that we could bring little man.
There were stormtroopers and snowtroopers and free posters and STAR WARS EVERYTHING! I'm not exactly sure who between the two of us was more excited, but we'll say the 7 year old so I can save some of my dignity.
I love that he loves Star Wars as much as I do. I introduced him to the stories at a very young age, then showed him the original movies when he was about 4 years old. I'll never forget the first time he watched Episode IV.
Rebels had stolen the plans for the Death Star, but their ship was boarded by Imperial forces. The stormtroopers spotted Princess Leia and stun blasted her and she fell to the ground. Little guy looked at me in all seriousness and said:
"Pwincess Weia is sick! She needs to go to the dentist!"
From that day forward, Star Wars became his culture too, not just mine. That makes the release of these new Star Wars movies a big event for us to experience together... and I love every minute of it.
Because of our shared obsession, I was definitely not sad when little guy wanted a Star Wars themed birthday party this year... again. And in my search for the perfect non-fondant cake for said party, I ended up finding a new product obsession: Star Wars silicone candy molds.
I used them to make delicious chocolate cupcake toppers, but once I got them I realized that they're incredibly versatile. They can be frozen and used to make ice cubes. They can be baked at up to 500 degrees to make little cakes. I even saw a guy on YouTube melt down gummy bears and pour them into these molds to make custom Star Wars gummies.
I have yet to try anything other than making chocolates, but I guarantee that I will be playing around with some of the other ideas.
There are lots of candy options out there. I opted to use regular candy melts, which can be found at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I think Walmart carries them too. If you're looking to use white chocolate, I recommend the Hobby Lobby brand - they taste the best. But the Michael's brand is a brighter white, so it just depends on what you're looking for.
The molds don't need any prep other than an initial washing. I hand wash and air dry them, but they are definitely dishwasher safe. I only hand wash them because I live in a vintage house with no dishwasher. But whatever your method, give them plenty of time to completely dry before you use them.
The easiest way to melt them is to put them straight into a disposable pastry bag and microwave them. Not only does it save you dishes, but all you have to do once its melted is cut the tip of the bag - then you have a well controlled, clean way to fill the molds. And you can control the size of your flow depending on the shape of the mold you're using. If you're using a bigger mold, like the Millennium Falcon, you can make a slightly bigger opening. Then for the X-wings that have narrow areas to fill, you can make a smaller opening to get into all of the smaller areas. And you won't have to worry about it coming out too fast and overflowing.
Just don't cut off the tip of the bag until your candy is already melted and ready to be used.
You can fill the pastry bag pretty full, depending on how much candy you're making. Just zap it in the microwave at 50% power for about 25 seconds. This will only begin to melt them. Take the bag out and smoosh things around a bit to "stir" it, then keep heating in 10 second increments at 50% power and smooshing it around until you can feel that all of the little chunks are melted.
You don't want to heat them at 100% power. You aren't trying to cook the chocolate because that would be disgusting. Plus, even though most pastry bags are technically microwave safe, I'm wary of letting them get too terribly hot.
Be sure to fully melt the candy. If you try to shortcut it and it doesn't fully melt, there will be solid chunks that will clog the little opening you'll be making. You want it fully melted with a silky smooth texture. Then you can cut the bag to your desired opening size and get to work.
Squeeze the melted candy out, and be sure to get into all of the little cracks and crevices. Leave a little bit of space below the rim - you don't want to overfill or you'll have a lot of work trimming and smoothing out what will end up being the bottom of the candy.
Once you have it pretty full, you'll want to gently shake the mold and tap it on the countertop a few times. This will make sure the chocolate gets evenly distributed, gets rid of any air bubbles, and you'll end up with all the intended details and designs. It'll also smooth out the top a bit so it looks nice. If you need to fill it any more at that point, just make sure to gently shake and tap it each time you add more chocolate.
If any spills over the top of the design, wipe it off before it hardens. Easy peasy.
Once you're done, you can leave them out at room temperature to harden or you can put them in the fridge. That's my preferred method - they harden quicker that way.
For the most part, removing the chocolates is really easy. The silicone is bendy and non-stick, so you just carefully pop them out. Just be careful when using the ones that have thin parts - like the X-Wing wings and R2-D2's little feet. They can break really easily. For this reason, I highly recommend taking your time and having some extra candy melts on hand - especially your first time using them. You will break some and have to redo them. But with some practice, you figure out what works and what doesn't. Once you have your method down, you'll pop them out no problem.
For little guy's party I used the chocolates as cupcake decorations. They were a hit! They tasted delicious with the frosting remnants on them. Plus, they looked way cooler than the cheesy cupcake toppers you find in the store.
You can get candy melts in a multitude of colors. I tried light blue for R2-D2 and orange for BB8 and hated how they turned out. They looked tacky. So I decided to stick to milk & white chocolate on nearly all of them. I did use black for Lord Vader, because Lord Vader cannot be brown. And Master Yoda looked great in green.
The boyfriend suggested using cake decorating pens to color in details on the white chocolate ones. I didn't have time to try that out for the party, but I really want to experiment with that sometime.
Overall I was really happy with how the cupcakes came out. The chocolates gave them a really unique look and, even though they were very themey, I didn't think they looked cheesy. They were a more mature Star Wars cupcake. Or something.
But most importantly, little man was thrilled with them. And that's the most important part.