Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spooky Candy Decorations

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky, they're royal icing eyes!

My 7-year-old has a stack of Halloween-inspired food books he pores over this time of year. I'm smitten with the candy eyes, but I've never spotted them in a store. Really, they're just like the Candy Buttons I loved when I was little ... and those are just like royal icing. Which is used to make candy eyes.

Make a stash of these candy eyes and you can add a bit of silliness — or ghostliness — to just about anything. Less than a half-hour's work yields a generous supply of long-lasting candies. They're perfect for decorating cookies, and they can add fun to to all sorts of food.

Dress up a small treat:

Add a little surprise to a wrapped candy:

Give fruit some personality:

Even use them on a sandwich:

Some royal icing recipes use egg whites. Don't risk salmonella: Use meringue powder instead. (Look for it in the baking aisle at the market or craft stores.) I stuck with simple black-and-white eyes, but by all means, tint them any color you want.

And don't stop with candy eyes! Draw simple shapes on waxed paper, flip the paper over, and follow your pattern when you pipe the icing. I made some ghosts and Jack Skellington faces for my younger son, who plans to be the Pumpkin King for Halloween. You also can use royal icing to decorate cookies, cement together a haunted gingerbread house, and even make sprinkles — see the tips following the recipe. (For non-Halloween candy dot fun, check out this great post inspired by Candy Buttons.)

Candy Decorations

You can use royal icing to pipe ghosts, bats, monster faces, fangs, pumpkins — whatever you can think of. If you want to flavor it, add a bit of clear extract along with the corn syrup. For color, use gel coloring.

2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on high speed until foamy.

Add the powdered sugar mix on low speed until combined. Add the corn syrup and beat on medium to medium-high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, just until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you chill the frosting, you may need to let it sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes before using it.

To make candy eyes, add a few drops of water and stir to make the icing a little runny. Pipe dots of icing onto waxed paper and let dry for several hours. (You can make these with stiff icing too, but you may end up with little peaks on each dot, like a chocolate chip. Just pat them down with a damp finger.)

To make the pupils, wait until the candy dots dry and then decorate them with edible markers. (You also could set aside some icing, tint it black, and pipe smaller dots onto the larger white ones — click here to see a great tutorial.)

When the candies are thoroughly dry, store them in an airtight container. (I hear they can be stored for years, but I can't speak from experience.) I keep mine right on the waxed paper. To affix the eyes, use a dot of icing or honey to make 'em stick.

  • Keep a damp cloth or plastic wrap over any open containers so the icing doesn't dry out. 
  • If you're using a piping bag, wad up a damp paper towel or wash cloth and put it in the bottom of a glass; when you're not using the bag, stash it in the glass with the tip nestled in the damp towel so it won't dry out. 
  • To create larger shapes, pipe the outline with stiff icing, then "flood" the interior with slightly thinned icing.
  • Make your own sprinkles: Pipe icing in long lines on waxed paper, let dry, then break it up to form sprinkles. You can make sprinkles in the exact color you want!

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...