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flamingo marshmallows

flamingo marshmallow pops with FREE printable

My two year old looooves the zoo. (As opposed to all those two year olds who can’t stand the place??)  We live in Washington DC, and the National Zoo–which is free, by the way, with free parking for members–rocks so very much.

Visits with my two year old are bizarrely more fruitful than any visit I had with my now-seven year old. And more fruitful than any visit I’ve had in the last 20-some years of living in DC. She just has this mystical zoo luck thing. On one trip, we were yards away from one of the famed pandas hamming it up for the audience, rolling around and eating eucalyptus. On another a gorilla came right up to the window to play. And on yet another, we spent about 20 minutes face to face looking into the eyes of an orangutan, just a glass pane between us and few other visitors competing for the moment. On our last trip, a flock of flamingos were hanging out in the front of their space.

theDecoratedCookie.com--flamingos at the zoo

 

Which leads me to these easy-to-make flamingo marshmallows. I toyed with crafting the terribly inconvenient necks out of fondant or candy, but that would make these mush-less-easy-to-make. And I’m a big fan of easy-to-make. So a printable solved the problem. You don’t even need to use the printable for these. You can also just make your own flamingo heads from pink paper, and cut them out without the white background, too. One thing to note, I use dried spaghetti to insert the printable instead of toothpicks, just in case someone forgets to pull their printable out of the marshmallow before eating. Not that dried spaghetti is a joy to consume, but I’m thinking safety.

flamingo marshmallow pops with FREE printable

 

how to make flamingo marshmallow pops 

you will need:*

marshmallows
lollipop sticks
pink sprinkles
Styrofoam block
this printable
letter-size, white cardstock paper
tape
spaghetti

*Find lollipop sticks, sprinkles and the Styrofoam block in the craft store.

flamingo marshmallow pops with free printable

what to do: 

Skewer the marshmallows with lollipop sticks. Have a glass of water ready (small mason jars work well). Working with one marshmallow at a time, quickly dunk the marshmallow in the water, shake off the excess, hold the marshmallow over a bowl and coat with sprinkles completely. Prop the marshmallow in a Styrofoam block to dry.

flamingo marshmallow pops with FREE printable

 

When ready to assemble, use a color printer to print out this printable on letter-size, white cardstock paper. Cut at the gray lines. Tape a flamingo head to a small piece of spaghetti and insert into the marshmallow. You can use any tape, by the way, you don’t need to use the fancy tape I have here.

 

flamingo marshmallow pops with FREE printable

You can store the marshmallow pops in a sealed container until you are ready to insert the flamingo heads. Because the sprinkles form a sort of shell around the marshmallow, you can display them at a party propped in a Styrofoam block for a couple hours uncovered and they will still stay fresh.

IMPORTANT: Make sure kids know the flamingo is not edible! Especially the littlest kids. Instead of toothpicks, I’m using spaghetti here just in case those little hands get a hold of these and forget to take out the flamingo heads.

 

flamingo marshmallows

flamingo marshmallows

Ingredients

  • marshmallows
  • lollipop sticks
  • pink sprinkles
  • Styrofoam block
  • flamingo printable
  • letter-size, white cardstock paper
  • tape
  • spaghetti

Instructions

  1. Skewer the marshmallows with lollipop sticks. Have a glass of water ready (small mason jars work well). Working with one marshmallow at a time, quickly dunk the marshmallow in the water, shake off the excess, hold the marshmallow over a bowl and coat with sprinkles completely. Prop the marshmallow in a Styrofoam block to dry.
  2. Use a color printer to print out the free printable on letter-size, white cardstock paper. Cut at the gray lines. Tape a flamingo head to a small piece of spaghetti about 2 inches long and insert into the marshmallow.
  3. Store the marshmallow pops in a sealed container until you are ready to insert the flamingo heads. You can display them at a party propped in a Styrofoam block for a couple hours uncovered and they will still stay fresh.
  4. IMPORTANT: Make sure kids know the flamingo is not edible! Especially the littlest kids. Instead of toothpicks, I'm using spaghetti here just in case those little hands get a hold of these and forget to take out the flamingo heads.
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Kool-Aid marshmallow pops

Kool Aid marshmallow pops

Anybody else remember when the Kool-Aid man used to bust through walls? Does he still do that? I haven’t had the stuff since I was a kid, and I haven’t seen a commercial (thank you, Netflix) in about as long. We also had the Kool-Aid man video game for Intellivision. I don’t need to tell you the graphics were top notch. Preeetty awesome. Oh, yeah!

Kool Aid marshmallow pops

Kool-Aid comes to the rescue for a quick and easy way to add a touch of flavor and color to marshmallows. Want an even cooler summer treat? Store them in the fridge. The Kool-Aid taste is not super strong on the marshmallows, but it does add a little something extra. And they are so pretty.

Kool Aid marshmallow pops

 

how to make Kool-Aid marshmallow pops

you will need:*

Kool-Aid packets in varying colors
marshmallows
lollipop sticks
glasses or small mason jars
Styrofoam block

*Yellow Kool-Aid is too light, so choose flavors that are red, orange, blue, purple or green. Find lollipop sticks in the craft store.

Pour a packet of Kool-Aid (about 1 tablespoon) in a glass or small mason jar. Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, or enough so the marshmallow can be submerged. Skewer a marshmallow with a lollipop. Submerge the marshmallow in the Kool-Aid for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and prop in a Styrofoam block. Use a paper towel to catch drips. Let the marshmallow pops dry for 15 minutes. The color will set and deepen as the marshmallow dries. If desired, store in the refrigerator.

what to do:

Pour a packet of Kool-Aid (about 1 tablespoon) in a glass or small mason jar. Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, or enough so the marshmallow can be submerged. Skewer a marshmallow with a lollipop. Submerge the marshmallow in the Kool-Aid for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and prop in a Styrofoam block. Use a paper towel to catch drips. Let the marshmallow pops dry for 15 minutes. The color will set and deepen as the marshmallow dries. If desired, store in the refrigerator.

Kool Aid marshmallow pops

 

Kool-Aid marshmallow pops

Kool-Aid marshmallow pops

Ingredients

  • Kool-Aid packets in varying colors (except yellow)
  • marshmallows
  • lollipop sticks
  • glasses or small mason jars
  • Styrofoam block
  • what to do:

Instructions

  1. Pour a packet of Kool-Aid (about 1 tablespoon) in a glass or small mason jar. Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, or enough so the marshmallow can be submerged.
  2. Skewer a marshmallow with a lollipop. Submerge the marshmallow in the Kool-Aid for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Remove and prop in a Styrofoam block. Use a paper towel to catch drips. Let the marshmallow pops dry for 15 minutes. The color will set and deepen as the marshmallow dries.
  4. If desired, store in the refrigerator.
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http://thedecoratedcookie.com/2015/06/kool-aid-marshmallow-pops/

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

simple flower cookie pops

flower cookie pops

‘Tis the season for simple flower cookie pops. Spring, Mother’s Day, birthdays, parties, I could go on with the number of uses for simple flower cookie pops… This particular arrangement I donated to an auction benefiting the DC Diaper Bank, a kick tushy organization that provides expensive diapers, ie. “health and happiness,” to families in the metro DC area.

 

flower cookie pops

When in doubt for donations, I choose flowers. They are pretty, simple, and can be used for anything. I also include instructions on how to freeze cookies, so the recipient doesn’t need to use them right away. And just in case you forgot, here’s a reminder on how to freeze cookies: Place the cookies (you can keep the cello bags on them, if they are wrapped) in gallon-size, freezer-safe Ziploc bags. Freeze. To thaw, remove from the freezer, but keep IN the Ziplocs. Let thaw completely at room temperature before removing from the Ziplocs. That’s it. It works super duper well for me.

 

flower cookie pops

 

 

how to make simple flower cookie pops

you will need:*

cookie dough
royal icing
flower cutter
lollipop sticks 
food coloring (yellow, pink, orange, blue, green and white used here)
disposable decorating bags
couplers
decorating tips (sizes 3 and 4)
rubber bands

*Find the cutter, lollipop sticks (6-inch and 8-inch used here), decorating bags, couplers and tips at the craft store. You’ll also find cello bags, ribbon, containers, tissue paper and Styrofoam blocks at the craft store, if you are making an arrangement. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Pastes (Bright White, Electric Pink, Egg Yellow, Orange, Electric Green and Sky Blue used here).

For basic cookie decorating how-tos, CLICK HERE.

flower cookie pops

 

step one: bake your cookies. Prepare cookie dough according to the recipe, chill it, roll it out about 3/8-inch thick, cut out flowers, insert sticks and bake. Let cool completely. For detailed how-tos on making cookie pops, CLICK HERE.

step two: make your icing. Prepare royal icing according to the recipe. Divide and tint your colors. Prepare decorating bags with couplers and tips. Fill with the icing and close tightly with rubber bands.

flower cookie pops

step three: decorate your cookies. Pipe a spiral in the center of the lower in yellow with a size 4 tip. Outline the petals with a size 4 tip. Pipe to fill the petals with the same color and let set about 15 minutes. Pipe dots on the flowers with white using a size 3 tip. Let dry overnight.

 

Want to make an arrangement? First, I wrapped each cookie with a cellophane bag and ribbon. Then, I wrapped a Styrofoam block in tissue paper and shoved it (tightly!) into a container. Then I inserted the cookie pops. That’s it. For more information on making cookie arrangements, click HERE.

flower cookie arrangement

 

SUPPLIES:



Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

lemon herb shortbread cookies for Tablespoon

lemon herb shortbread cookies

While I’m all about silly, fun food here, I’ve been moving out of my comfort zone a lot in the last year. Instead of baking, I’m–gasp–cooking a lot more. With fresh vegetables and herbs and oils and whatnot. So in this vein of experimenting with fresh ingredients, I’ve been wanting to try baking with herbs for ages. (Only on a food blog can one type that sentence.) These lemon herb shortbread cookies are easy to make, but the balance of flavors is so divine they feel complicated. They aren’t. And I added the herbs on top instead of blending in the dough so you could try a variety of herbs for one batch.

Want to try? Find the recipe HERE at Tablespoon. 

 

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

5 ways to make cookie decorating EASIER!

5 tips for making cookie decorating EASIER

I’ve been decorating cookies since 1998. The first ten of those years at a shop for 8-plus hours a day. As a result of all that practice, at home, I can whip them out relatively quickly. Relatively. The whole process of making dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting it out, baking it, making icing, coloring the icing, filling decorating bags, decorating and letting dry is inherently cumbersome. Even with my relative speed I kind of groan every time I have to make cookies, because it takes forever. And I have so much stuff to do. Because I’m so busy and no one understands. But I digress…

On to cookie decorating. Let’s make all of our lives easier, shall we? Here are a few tips to speed things along.

 

cookie decorating how-tos

1. Use disposable decorating bags. Instead of washing out bottles, I use disposable decorating bags. These are just all around easier to use, I find. And I use them for a lot more than cookie icing (I stuff pasta, fill cupcake liners, make pancakes… and I use them all the time to make candy pops, like these sea animals or chocolate bacon pops). I buy them by the 100s. To decorate cookies, insert a coupler (without the ring) into the bag. Snip the tip of the bag below the edge of the coupler. Fit a tip on the coupler (around the bag) and screw the ring on the coupler. Fill with royal icing and close the bags tightly with rubber bands. Pipe away! When you’re done, cut out the couplers to re-use and toss the bags. To flood cookies, I fill an empty bag (no coupler) with thinned icing and just snip a bit off of the tip, then pipe to flood the icing. By the way, the picture above is from my book, Sugarlicious.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

2. Embrace the sprinkles! I use sprinkles liberally in cookie decorating. Why? They cover all your imperfections. Rather than create two consistencies of icing (one thicker one for outlining and one thinner one for filling in), I often just create the thicker consistency. Then, I pipe to fill the cookie and immediately coat the icing with sprinkles of the same color. Sparkle and easy all in one. Here are a few examples of how this is done: Make sparkly rainbow cookie bites, grape cookies, swirly cookie pops, and star cookies.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

3. Break things up and make stuff ahead. Making and coloring icing, preparing dough, cutting out and baking cookies and decorating can take many hours. I usually make icing, color it, and prepare my decorating bags up to a week before I cut out and bake my cookies. Making royal icing with meringue powder instead of egg whites means it can last at room temperature for several weeks. You can also freeze cut-out, undecorated cookies. Stack in freezer-safe ziplocs and let thaw in the bags at room temperature before decorating. I also often freeze my decorated cookies. To freeze decorated cookies, let them dry overnight. Place in a single layer in gallon-size ziplocs and freeze. To thaw, let the cookies thaw completely in the ziplock bags at room temperature. Do not remove from the bags until they are fully thawed.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

4. Circle cutters are your friend. I love my Ateco set of circle cutters. When in doubt, I go for an easy design using a circle shape. Not only does it look better (I think), but it saves hours in decorating. For example, instead of making 20 character cookies, why not choose one element of the character (such as a pattern on their clothing) and just make circles? Here are some examples of where I used circles: Cupcake cookies, fruit and veggie cookies, burger and fries cookies, rainbow cookies, and superhero cookies.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

5. Perfection schmerfection. I (clearly) don’t worry about being perfect. If you see my lines a bit? Eh, who cares? Often, instead of making two consistencies of icing–one thick to outline and one thin to flood–I just use an in-between consistency to outline and fill. Life is so much easier that way. Here is an example of where I just pipe to fill. You can see my  lines (and you can see me totally unconcerned by this): Birthday candle cookies. You may also use the design to work in your favor to only use one consistency of icing. I do this in these “chaos” letter cookies or these monster cookies.

 

 

And before you go, here are some links to help you:

cookie and icing recipes

basic cookie decorating how-tos

all about food coloring

where to find supplies

where to buy cookie cutters

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!