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IndiPatterns: Valentine's Day Candy Buttons

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Day Candy Buttons

I was looking through my new Taste of Home and I saw a sheet of candy buttons on one of the pages.  I used to love those things as a kid.  With Valentine's Day coming up, I decided to make up some sheets of my own candy buttons.

Candy dots are so great for kids.  They are fun to make and inexpensive.  You start with a batch of royal icing.  I use the meringue powder recipe for royal icing.  I would make a 1/2 batch because a full recipe will make more royal icing than you could eat in a lifetime. 

Royal Icing Using Meringue Powder:
4 cups (440 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon, almond)
1/2 - 3/4 cup (120 - 180 ml) warm water
Note: Food Coloring (I use Gel Pastes that can be found at cake decorating and party stores or else on-line)

You can also make royal icing with egg whites. 

First, I removed 1/3 of the icing and put it into a sandwich bag.  I left it white.

Next, I tinted the remaining icing light pink and removed 1/2 of what was left and put it into a plastic sandwich bag or piping bag.

Finally, I mixed more red food coloring into the rest of the batch and made a dark pink icing.  I added that into a plastic sandwich bag. 


You can also use piping bag fitted with a small writing tip.  I used heavy duty sandwich ziplock bags.  That way you can close the bag and the kids don't get it all over the place. 

Cut the tips off of the bag.  

To make the heart shapes I traced around a cookie cutter on a piece of paper.  Then, I cut pieces of PARCHMENT paper and place 1 piece of parchment over the outline.   
 Pipe the dots on over the outline and then fill the inside of the heart in.  After you let the dots set up for a couple of minutes, you can poke down the spikes.
 If you want a more traditional look, you can cut strips of parchment and pipe rows of buttons.
 I put them on a cookie sheet and dry them out on the counter or in the oven (off) for several hours to dry.
 This is a great fine motor skills projects for kids.  My three-year-old made some candy worms. 

Another idea for working on the fine motor skills is to print out shapes, letter, or numbers and layer the parchment over the top. 

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