Remember the strips of colored candy dots on paper? You would strip the candy off with your teeth, and end up with just a little bit of paper in your mouth? If you had siblings, you just might nibble the paper into a small weapon? (I wouldn’t do that, of course, but SOMEONE might).
Well, that started me thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool to make candy buttons? Perfect for movie night.
There are a lot of recipes for candy buttons out there in cyber-space, but in the interest of full disclosure, I adapted the recipe by Jill at Sandy Toes and Popsicles.
I was lucky I had this inspiration and recipe when I had willing helpers (my beautiful and talented nieces Miranda and Monica). If you are lucky, you will find some willing helpers as well.
You don’t need a lot of ingredients. This picture features several food coloring and extract choices, but really I would think four colors would be fine. You will notice I have parchment paper on this picture. Do NOT use parchment, the dots will fall right off. I ultimately used computer paper from a fresh ream of paper.
Recipe: Candy Buttons
- 2 Tbsp meringue powder (or 2 egg whites)
- 6 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (use vanilla, lemon, peppermint, coconut for different flavors)
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar (1 pound = 3.5 cups)
- decorator bags or sandwich bags (1 for each color)
- food coloring I used gel, but any kind will do. Four colors is about right)
- paper cut into 2 3/4" by 10" strips.
- If you are using egg whites, separate the eggs. Also, if you can find pasteurized eggs, that would be the safest. There is a national brand, Safest Choice Eggs, that are pasteurized in the shell.
- Perfect. Now you have some egg yolks for....how about lemon curd?
- Whip together the confectioners' sugar and the egg whites (or meringue powder and water) on low speed for one minute.
- If you have a stand mixer, this is the time to use it. Your arm will get tired with a hand mixer (although, if you switch hands, you might be able to count it as an exercise).
- Add the flavoring and about 1/2 of the water. You may wish to add more water later to get this to the right consistency, but start out with a little less then you think you need.
- Whip mixture for 10 minutes on high speed. If the icing is too thick, think it out with drops of water until it is the consistency of sour cream. A drop should hold it's shape and slowly smooth out to create a smooth button.
- While the mixer is whipping the icing, cut strips of paper into 2 3/4" by 10" strips.
- You may want to use a template for candy dots if you wish.
- If you are using gel paste, you don't need to use much. I used bamboo skewers to get just a dab of the food coloring.
- Isn't this pretty? Maybe that's why I used bamboo skewers, it just looks so pretty while I am mixing it.
- This just makes me feel good.
- Divide the icing into small bowls. One bowl for each color.
- Pour each color into a decorator bag or sandwich bag and seal.
- Tip: Put the bag into a glass with the edges folded over the rim to easily fill with icing.
- Cut a VERY small corner off of each bag.
- Squeeze a drop of icing at a time onto the paper.
- You might want to place the strip of paper on top of a template, so you can see where to place each drop evenly.
- This may seem tedious, but it is actually very satisfying. Very much like popping bubble wrap. Only sweeter.
- Doesn't this look wonderful? And the candy looks good too!! (Come on. I'm Dear Sweet Aunt Jill. I HAVE to be cheesy).
- Place the strips on baking sheets in a cool dry place, uncovered, to dry overnight.
- Once the candy has dried, you can place the strips in a zipper bag or airtight container.
- You can store the leftover "icing" in the refrigerator in plastic bags.
- This recipe makes a LOT, and it would sure be a shame to waste any of this....Right?
It is much easier to make these if you have a template underneath the paper. Here is the template I used.