Spring is finally here, and nothing makes me happier than seeing the cheery bright yellow daffodils that bloom this time of year! Daffodils are my favorite flower, and last year I came across a cute little craft project on Martha Stewart’s website – making paper daffodil candy cups. I loved the look of these delightful decorations and thought why not make them edible! So this year I turned them into a cookie with a candy cup center. These cheerful cookies would be the perfect accent for your Easter table. I’m thinking of putting a cookie at each guests plate; I could even write a name on each cookie and use them as place cards. They would be beautiful for a baby or bridal shower as well!
To make the cookies, I started with my Excellent Sugar Cookie recipe. I used the daffodil template from Martha Stewart’s site to make a card stock guide to cut out the cookies. I reduced the template to 85%, but I’m sure it would work at full size as well.
I baked the cookies on a Silpat non-stick baking mat. I love using these mats because the cookies slide right off, and they make for easy cleanup!
While the cookies are cooling, you can get the icing ready! I have tried a lot of royal icing cookie decorating techniques and recipes, and I have not always been successful. Through a lot of trial and error and searching, I came across a book called Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards. This is the most amazing cookie decorating book I have found. It has tons of tips, tricks, and methods for creating beautiful cookies, but most importantly it features what is, in my opinion, the perfect foolproof royal icing recipe, and the author, Bridget Edwards, has very kindly allowed me to feature that recipe here! Thank you Bridget!!! I should also mention that Bridget has a wonderful blog where she shares more of her lovely cookie creations and insight!
I used a bit of Americolor lemon yellow and egg yellow gel pastes to get the right shade for these cookies. I used a number 2 tip to outline the cookies with royal icing.
Next, working with three or four cookies at a time, I filled in the cookies with flood icing. Flood icing is just royal icing thinned with water. It is the icing you use to fill in the outlined area of the cookie.
I like to use these funny little picks called Bamboo Forks to drag the icing to the edges of the cookie. The ends of these picks are wider than a toothpick and I find that they really help me nudge the icing into those far corners. After I had covered the three or four cookies I was working with in yellow flood icing, I immediately piped the white dots onto the cookies.
Piping the white flood icing dots on top of the yellow flood icing was a bit intimidating, but it actually worked out great! Following the advice in Bridget’s book, I added the same amount of water to both icings (the yellow and white) to make sure that the flood icings were the same consistency. For the white flood icing I added Americolor bright white gel paste to get a super white finish, and to help me get the polka dots pretty uniform in size I used these tiny little squeeze bottles. I use these bottles a lot for chocolate details, but they came in really handy for these cookies as well!
Once I had piped all of the polka dots, I breathed a sigh of relief and let them set out to dry.
I love the shiny, glossy sheen on these cookies. It took about six hours for the cookies to dry. I usually plan for them to dry overnight just to make sure they are completely set.
Okay so I feel like this project is getting a bit long now, and the cookies are cute just as they are, but if you’re still as excited as I am about daffodil candy cup cookies, stay with me! I promise it’s worth it! I filled these little fluted candy cup molds with candy melts. I like to use a baby feeding spoon to drop a dollup of candy coating into the mold cavity.
You can use the back of the baby spoon to push the chocolate up the sides of the mold.
I made these candy cups in two colors, because I wasn’t sure which I would like better. I just let these candy cups dry at room temperature (it is 65 degrees in my house this time of year) for about 20 minutes, but you can stick them in the fridge to get the candy coating to set up even faster.
Now time to sort the jelly beans! If you have a little helpers, this is a great job for them! Just be aware that one or two jelly beans may go missing!
I used orange and yellow jelly beans, but you could fill the candy cups with other candies like Reese’s Pieces or anything you like!
I saved a bit of royal icing to use as glue to stick the candy cups to the daffodil cookies. Royal icing is very strong and just a small dab is enough.
By pressing down in the center of the candy cups, I made sure my daffodil centers were completely stuck. I allowed about fifteen minutes to make sure that the royal icing was dry before filling the cups with jelly beans.
Put these little treats in cellophane bags and tie a ribbon around the top and you have an irresistible favor or gift!
- ½ cup meringue powder
- 1 scant cup water (meaning not quite full)
- 2 pounds (32 ounces) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the meringue powder and water until foamy and combined.
- Sift in the powdered sugar, add the corn syrup, and mix on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 5 minutes.
- Increase the mixer’s speed to medium-high and continue beating, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. To check for stiff peaks, take the beater off the mixer and hold it so that the icing is pointing up in the air. If the peak is floppy, keep beating. If the icing holds a point and keeps that point when jiggled, you have a stiff peak.
- Note: Be careful not to overbeat the icing, or it might become flaky when applied to the cookie. Keep a close eye on the glossy sheen; overbeating will cause it to go dull.