Pretty enough to turn any dessert into a special occasion, you don’t need a green thumb to make edible candy flowers. With a little creativity, some fondant and gumdrops, you can turn your dessert table into a springtime garden.
Working with Fondant
Ready-to-use fondant is just as easy to cut and shape as play-doh, and a hydrangea gumpaste cutter set (petalcrafts.com) adds realistic details to your edible flowers. Find fondant and color dust at crafts stores or wilton.com. You can make these blossoms weeks ahead and store at room temp in an airtight container away from sunlight.
1. Dust work surface with cornstarch. Thinly roll fondant; stamp with petal veiner included in kit.
2. Cut blossoms with petal cutter. Press petal edges between finger- tips; shape and let harden on candy gummy rings until firm enough to lift.
3. Accent petals with dark blue color dust. Mold anthers; let harden, and brush with yellow dust. Dot petal centers with corn syrup; add anthers.
TK Tip: Use a silicon rolling pin to keep the fondant from sticking. And remember, you don’t have to stop with blue flowers! Throw in white, light purple, and pink fondant for a colorful bouquet of this favorite springtime flower.
Working with Gumdrops
Gumdrops are super-inexpensive, so play around and have some fun—the less formal the shaping, the more natural the flowers look. They can also be made weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Step-by-Step Rose Petals
1. Using your thumbs and forefingers, flatten one small gumdrop to 1/8 -inch thickness, lengthening and widening to form a petal shape.
2. Dredge lightly in granulated sugar to prevent sticking as you work. Repeat procedure for desired number of petals.
3. Place petals on a wire rack, and let stand uncovered for 24 hours.
4. Holding each petal between your thumbs and forefingers, use your thumb to press the lower center portion of the petal inward, cupping the petal. Gently curl the top outer edges of the petal backward.
TK Tip: Dampen fingertips to prevent sticking when kneading gumdrops together. (A folded paper towel moistened with water works great—it’s like a stamp pad for your fingertips.) Use a single brightly colored gum drop to shape the petals, or knead two colors together—such as red and white to make pink. For the prettiest petals, don’t over-blend the colors or be too exact with the shaping.
1. Using your thumbs and forefingers, flatten one small yellow or white gumdrop to 1/8 -inch thickness, dredge lightly in granulated sugar.
2. Using a stephananotis cutter, cut shape; flatten slightly between fingertips, and dredge in granulated sugar again.
3. Roll shape to resemble a trumpet; gently press seam to seal.
4. Fold petals down slightly to form a honeysuckle bloom.
TK Tip: Use the leftover scraps for rolling tiny buds and berries or other whimsical flowers. To make peach-colored honeysuckle blooms, knead 1 yellow and two white gumdrops together with about one-third of an orange gumdrop; dredge lightly in sugar, and divide into small gumdrop-size portions for shaping.
1. Using your thumbs and forefingers, flatten one small purple gumdrop to 1/8-inch thickness; dredge lightly in granulated sugar.
2. Using a blossom cutter, cut shape; flatten slightly between fingertips, and dredge in granulated sugar.
3. Pinch the center from behind, gently squeezing to form a bell-shaped blossom. Repeat procedure for desired number of violets.
TK Tip: Lightly cutting the cutter with vegetable cooking spray minimizes sticking. The same trick works with scissors if you use them to cut leaf shapes or to snip and trim free-form flowers from flattened gumdrops.