Last weekend, I attended a Cast Party for a dance I did at our local Indian association event. While the piece itself was small, it was so much fun going to practices, picking out outfits, and dressing up for the ‘big show’. The entire segment involved almost 70 people – men, women & kids. A lot of kids!!
For many years, I had planned on making candy-melt Monarch butterflies that I had seen in a cake decorating book, but never got around to it. I figured it might be a good technique to use for fall cupcake decorations. Considering that there would be dozens of kids at the party, my reasoning was that no matter how the end result would be, the kids would devour them. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these decorations came together. I made the candy leaves one afternoon, and baked and decorated the cupcakes the day of the event. It’s easy enough that the kids can help – my 10 year old did. Suffice to say that the first of three boxes of cupcakes was emptied out even before dinner was served!
- Candy Melts in colors of choice
- Design printed on paper
- Wax paper for piping candy
- Cookie Sheets
- Piping bag with fine tip [OR] sturdy ziplock bags
- Toothpick (to fill in small spots)
- Metal spatula [OR] wide knife to lift the candy leaves
1) Make copies or free-hand sketch the design you want onto white paper.
2) Place on a flat, moveable surface (like a cookie sheet or sturdy chopping board) and top with wax paper. Once in position, tape down into place.
3) In a small bowl, microwave a handful of Candy Melts according to package directions till completely melted and runny.
4) Pour into the piping bag / ziplock bag (make a tiny snip at the corner for the candy to flow) and using a slow and steady hand, pipe over the designs.
5) Allow to harden – about 10 minutes.
As you can see in the picture above, I used a piping bag. The tray on top has the full outline piped in. The one on the bottom has only the ‘veins’ piped in. You will see below how these give two different effects.
6) In another small bowl, melt a handful of leaf color candy melt chips and pour into another bag. Pipe over the leaf designs and make sure to fill in the entire design. Go over the back of the ‘veins’ and make sure that all areas are covered.
(While you do not want clumps of candy, don’t worry about being super neat. In the finished stage, this will be the bottom of the leaf and will not show. Of course, if you plan on making the leaves stand up where both front and back will be visible, then take the time to smooth out the candy. Work in small batches to keep it flowing easily.)
7) Set the finished cookie trays aside to harden – about 30 minutes (depending on how thick you spread the candy). Alternately, stick them in the fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes to harden up faster.
8) When set, gently slip a spatula under the candy leaf – it should slide right out – and place on top of your completely cooled and frosted cake.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HERSHEY’S KISSES ACORNS:
- Nutter Butter Bites (Peanut Butter Sandwich Mini Cookies)
- Double number of Hershey’s Kisses (unwrapped)
- Mini chocolate chips
- Few Candy Melts to use like glue
1) Split the mini cookies and remove the filling (above). Lay them all in a plate, right side down. (Alternately, you can just use the cookies whole without splitting them up.)
2) Melt a few Candy Melts and pour into bag for piping (or use the leftover bag from the candy leaves). Place a small dot on a few cookies.
3) Quickly place the Kisses on top of the cookie and press down gently. Work in small batches, and make sure the candy melts do not ooze out from under the Kisses. Do not disturb them for about 10-15 minutes, till firm.
4) Now flip the cookies right side up and dab with another small dot of candy melt. Quickly top with a mini chocolate chip and press down gently. Set on plate to harden completely – another 10-15 minutes. (The chips might slide away from the center if the candy melt is too runny. Make sure to move it back to place as it cools.)
I used box cake mix & frosting – Yellow cake (my favorite!), Devil’s Food, Caramel Apple Frosting, Cinnamon Bun frosting, and plain chocolate frosting. I made a total of 4 boxes, and about 75 cupcakes.