On my Tray of Bliss today are fields of lavender...well figuratively speaking...
I've been making lavender bath fizzies. These are so easy, and a wonderful gifts for teens. If you haven't ever made them, give these a try!
Ingredients you'll need:
300g Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Citric Acid
1 tablespoon olive oil (preferable not to use nut based oils due to nut allergies)
2 teaspoons Lavender fragrance or essential oil
Food coloring if you want them colored
2 medium sized metal or glass mixing bowls
Molds. I suggest tea strainers, plastic lids of small containers, cookie cutters, egg rings, and those push through sushi moulds. You won't be able to use them for sushi afterwards though because the lavender oil will permeate the plastic. They are cute and inexpensive enough to buy though!
You'll also need...
Cooking spray...you won't be cooking them but it's useful to grease the cookie cutters and molds.
A spray bottle containing clean cold water
Skewer to add food colouring
Parchment paper and a space on your bench or table
Cellophane wrap, organza bags, party favour bags or some other packaging
Cover your bench or table with a long sheet of parchment (baking) paper. Line up several molds in your desired shape. You need enough shapes to use up your mixture as it can't be left sitting for too long. Spray each one very lightly with Cooking Spray.
Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and the citric acid into the mixing bowl. Combine it well by tipping back and forth between the two mixing bowls and turning it over and over and sifting it through your fingers.
Measure 2 teaspoons of either fragrance or essential oil into mixture. Most essential or fragrance oils might cause the mixture to fizz a little so work quickly to combine it with the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and do the same.
Use the spray bottle to spray a little of the cold water onto the dry mixture. You won't need too much so just spray a little at a time, working the mixture with your hands constantly so it doesn't fizz.
Squeeze a ball of the mixture into your hand every now and again to check for done-ness. As soon as your mixture bonds together in your hand when squeezed, it's ready to mold. Quickly add some food colouring by dipping the skewer into the bottle of food colour then dipping it in the mixture. This is the best way to achieve a pretty pastel colour. Rinse between dipping into the mixture and redipping for more food colour. I find 4 dips transfers sufficient food colour for a soft hue.
Now is the time too, to add dried lavender, lavender buds or other pretties like a love note, super fine holographic glitter, or tiny pieces of gold or silver edible foil (available at cake decorating suppliers).
Press the mixture very firmly into the molds and/or cookie cutters on your parchment paper, ensuring that it's well packed and there are no holes or air bubbles.
Unmold them immediately onto a separate sheet of parchment. Now there's a bit of a trick to unmolding the more complex shapes of cookie cutters or molds without the mixture coming apart. You need to pack it firmly with your fingers, especially into the points of the star or the top inward point of the heart shape. Once it's packed rock hard, start pressing veeeery gently around the edges of the mold. NOT the middle. Press, press, press ever so gently around all the outer edge, loosening the mixture very gradually. It may take up to a minute or two to loosen each shape. Shake the cookie cutter gently from side to side and up and down from time to time to check whether the shape is ready to fall out. Once it falls out, neaten any edges quickly with your fingers and allow it to dry and set.
If you're using the sushi molds, it's just a matter of putting the mixture into the mold, popping on the lid to compress, and shaking it out...voila! To make another using the same mold, spray lightly with cooking spray before repeating the process.
Your bath bombs will set hard in about half an hour. Allow them to harden in a cool dry spot for 24 hours. You can then package them into your wrap, gift bags or boxes, tie them up with pretty ribbon and they're ready to go.
To use, simply pop on into your warm bathwater and let it fizz away. Soak and relax. It's not quite Provence, but it'll do for now.
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?