Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gingersnap Swirl Soap

My Gingersnap soap
September is already almost gone, and the holidays will be here before we know it! I've been busy making some Christmas soaps for family and friends. (I hope everybody likes soap because that's what they're getting.)

It just isn't the holidays without gingerbread. Every Christmas, I insist on making ginger cookies for the family gathering and then eating almost all of them myself. I can't imagine Christmas without my ginger cookies. 

I also can't imagine Christmas without my Gingersnap soaps. Neither can my mom, who is especially fond of them. I always make sure I include them in my round-up of holiday soaps not only for her, but also because everyone seems to love gingerbread-type scents, particularly around Christmastime.

For my soap, I used Bramble Berry's Gingersnap fragrance oil. It has lots of nice spice notes, like caraway, cinnamon, and cardamom - I loooove cardamom! - with vanilla for some warmth and sweetness. It smells a lot like gingerbread to me. My nose sometimes has trouble picking up spicy fragrances (I can almost never detect pumpkin spice-type scents), but I can smell this one pretty well. My mom says that it is super-yummy, strong, and true-to-scent, so I defer to her nose's judgment. I guess my nose is just silly.


Last year's Gingersnap soap. Meh.

I admit that I am not super-thrilled with how this soap turned out. It was much prettier in my mind's eye. I think it is an improvement over last year's Gingersnap soap, though, and I hope next year's will be even better.

Last year, I attempted to dollop some gold soap on top to make swirly peaks. The peaks didn't quite work out, though, and the gold didn't really come through. (I still have the hardest time with texturized peaks. It seems like they should be easy to make, but I can never seem to do it.)

This year, I decided to use my slab mold and to swirl some gold soap on top of my bars. I think I held back too much soap for the swirling, though. I'm always afraid of not holding back enough, so I end up with too much. And I poured the gold soap in too-thick lines. I think a squeeze bottle would have been cleaner and given me much more control. And I think white would have been a better choice for the swirls - white would have provided greater contrast than gold.

But other than all of that, the soaps turned out fine!

Here is a video of me making my Gingersnap soap:


Next year, I may just make a loaf soap with a couple of gold or white mica pencil lines running through it. Or I could use cookie cut-outs to make little gingerbread men. Or I could make some embeds for my soap, although I usually shy away from embeds because of the extra work involved.

The vanilla in the fragrance oil discolors the soap, so I left my swirling soap unscented. It was neat to watch the soap change from a golden color to a dark brown over the next couple of weeks.


Gingersnap and gingerbread scents seem to be really popular around the holidays. (No doubt why - they're yummy!) How many of you are planning to make, buy, or hopefully receive gingerbread-type soaps and toiletries this holiday season?


23 comments:

  1. Love hot these turned out, and you definitely worked with the discoloration very well! Thanks for the shout-out. :)

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    1. Thank you, Anne-Marie! Bramble Berry's Gingersnap fragrance oil is one of my favorites. It smells so yummy!

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  2. Those turned out really pretty! I actually like those two tones together..the gold swirl with the scented/discoloration part. Great video too! Whenever I swirl, I either take out too much or else not enough...hard for me to gauge the "right" amount. :)

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    1. Thanks, Kalla! I appreciate the kind words. I held back 3/4 cup of soap for the swirls, which turned out to be way too much for three pounds of soap. (I still had to pour some off into another mold.) I think maybe 1/3 cup would have been enough. Hopefully, I'll get it right next time!

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  3. MMMMM...I love gingersnaps! Your soap looks great, even if it wasn't what you envisioned. I can't so texturized peaks either - some soapers make it look so easy, but mine never look like peaks at all. :(

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Gingersnaps are among my fave cookies, too, and I look forward to my Christmas ginger cookies all year. (I don't think I've met many cookies that I didn't like, though.) I don't know what it is about texturized peaks. I see other soapers seemingly effortlessly making them. I've tried bringing the soap to a thick trace or letting it sit for a while before I start pushing it around with my spoon. It never turns out. I'm happy if I can get just a little bit of texture. Ah, well, I'll just have to keep practicing!

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  4. You always choose the most fun music for your videos! =) Your soap turned out so nice Jenny, I love the way you swirled it! I looove Gingersnap too, it’s not too heavy on the cinnamon but still spicy like gingerbread. Do you find that the gold stays shimmery in CP?

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    1. Thanks, Cee Gee! I'm glad that you liked the video! I get most of my music from Jamendo.com. They have a ton of Creative Commons-licensed music that is free to use. I love the Gingersnap FO, too - it behaves so well in CP and it smells yummy! The gold mica doesn't really seem all that shimmery in CP to me unless I use a lot of it. It usually turns out to be more of a creamy yellow. If I use more, I can get a richer color with a little bit of shimmer. I used the same gold mica in my Cucumber Melon gradient soap, to give you an idea. I used quite a bit of the mica in the top layer of gold. Thank you again for the compliments!

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    2. I was hoping it would stay shimmery, but I love the yellow color you got with the gradient soap...I'll have to try it, thanks Jenny :)

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  5. I think your gingersnap soaps turned out very pretty, Jer! I adore the way they smell and can't wait til Christmas for my new bars! (Looking forward to your ginger cookies, too!)

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    1. Thanks, Mom! Everyone seems to love the Gingersnap soap, but I especially make it for you! I am already looking forward to the ginger cookies, too. I guess I could make them any time I want them during the rest of the year, but a batch of ginger cookies hanging around the house might be dangerous! :)

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  6. They are sweet Jenny, I really like the swirls! I just soaped Gingersnap this week too....twice >.< First time I was using a different recipe than usual and went about my business of making the whole thing up only to realize it was lye heavy after cutting because I added the same old amount of lye out of habit when it should've been 0.3oz less! Second time it turned out great :) It actually moves pretty quickly on me though! Maybe it's because I am trying out a new shea butter recipe that it got so thick, I'm not used to working with shea so I couldn't say for sure. I bought the FO on your recommendation though, and I love it! The boys in the house seem to really like it too, and you know how hard they can be to please! As far as peaks go, I CP'd with my friend once (who'd never soaped before), and she found the peaks frustrating too and ended up writing her name down the top of the loaf with a spoon. It actually turned out really cute once it was cut haha!

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I'm glad to hear that you like the Gingersnap FO! So sorry to hear about your lye-heavy batch. That's always a bummer. The Gingersnap hasn't accelerated on me. I'm still using the bottle I got last year, though (turns out I did have just enough). I don't think that BB's formulation for the FO has changed. Maybe it had something to do with the temps, recipe, or water amount or something like that. I'm also glad to hear that I'm not the only one having trouble with peaks. I sure wish I could get the hang of that! Maybe I'll start writing messages on the tops instead - SOS (Save Our Soap). :D

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  7. What a great soap - I think it turned out extremely well. And what a colour change! It's funny how that can happen sometimes. The scent sounds amazing too xx

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    1. Thank you, Polly! The fragrance oil is wonderful, and the discoloration works really well for this scent.

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  8. Great video Jenny! Looks like your soaps turned out really nice. You have my interest now and I may just try out that fragrance oil! :) I laughed when you mentioned that your family is getting soap for XMAS since it's the same in my end :)

    Love your soap mold by the way!
    Thanks for sharing! Roxana

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    1. Thanks, Roxana! I'm glad that you liked the video. The Gingersnap fragrance oil is very nice and it is a crowd-pleaser, especially around the holidays. If you try it, I hope you like it! Oh, and I got my acrylic slab mold from Soap Making Resource: http://www.soap-making-resource.com/slab-soap-molds.html, in case you were interested. :)

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  9. I have never tried ginger in the soap, but I would really like to try it!Your soap is really nice and I am sure you will have nice presents for Christmas!

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    1. Thank you, Natalia! Everyone seems to love the Gingersnap fragrance oil, especially for the holidays. I hope that they will make nice gifts!

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  10. I love how the Gingersnap got nice and dark. Really lovely swirls.

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    1. Thank you, Fiona! The discoloration does work well with this soap. :)

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  11. After your last two posts now I am really in a fall soap mood. This soap looks like the perfect bar to use after working outside and getting chilled. Great clawfoot tub soap I would say. Nice job

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    1. Thank you, Donna! I am so happy that autumn is here. There are so many yummy soap scents to play with!

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