Introduction: Hand-Made Multicolor Candies
This is a method for using molding candy to make candy pieces in whatever shape you want. They're cute on top of cupcakes or, if you don't like cake (like me!) they're even better going straight into your mouth. They made molding candy a lot tastier than it used to be, and this method is a whole lot easier than trying to frost a cake with piping tips.
Step 1: Supplies
You only need a few things to make these, and they're pretty easy to get:
- melting/molding candy - these are usually shaped like big chocolate chips and are sold where cake decorating supplies are sold - they come in lots of colors - I used chocolate, white, pink and red. I used less than a quarter of each bag to make way more than enough pieces to decorate a dozen cupcakes.
- parchment paper - the finished candy peels right off
- plastic bottles - like you would use for ketchup at a diner, mine are about 4 oz and made of ldpe
- toothpicks - any will do, but sandwich style are easier to use
- pre-drawn designs (use mine or be awesome and design your own)
- tape - to hold down you print and parchment paper
- microwave - for melting candy (a double boiler would work but it would be much slower)
- standard kitchen stuff (plates, spoons, etc.)
Step 2: Setup
Put your designs down in a comfortable place to work. Tape in place. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover your paper and tape it down, too.
Be sure your bottles are clean and DRY. Cut a smaller piece of parchment (8x8" or so) and put it on a plate. Put around 15-20 wafers (of one color) on the parchment, microwave according to package directions. Mine said to use 50% power for 30 seconds, stir, repeat. They won't change shape if you don't stir them. I found that it took between 1 and 2 minutes to melt them.
Your candy will be warm - as warm as hot wax - so be careful. Do this part for kids if you have help. When the candy is melted turn the parchment into a funnel and pour the candy in. Close the bottle and you're ready to go.
Step 3: Shape the Candy
This should be pretty self explanatory how to do this - squeeze the melted candy onto the parchment. The order you do it in matter, though. The brand I used stayed where I put it - it didn't run at all. It also didn't matter how much one color cooled before I used another color next to it.
Lace edges - do these first. Squeeze out a little dot, touch it to the parchment (I started in the middle top of the heart), lift a bit, squeeze another drop, touch down in the next circle. Keep going all the way around. It doesn't need to look perfect, but try to keep it even.
Polka dots/polka heart, center heart of 'target' shapes - do these second. For polka dots it's like the lace edge - just squeeze out more candy and put it in the center of the circle. For hearts do two dots - the two top parts of the heart - then use your toothpick to drag the candy out to the edge of the hear shape.
Lines - do these next. Don't touch the tip of the bottle down - keep it cleaned off with a paper towel. Start squeezing a bit, let the candy touch down to start the line, then slowly squeeze and drag to the end of the line - hovering above the parchment. When you get to the end stop squeezing and the line will stop.
Open areas - fill in the rest of the shape loosely with the candy, then use the toothpick to drag it to the edges and completely fill in the shape.
I found I was able to keep melted candy of all four colors going all of the time - I would keep the four bottles filled, and when I wasn't using a color I would keep it inside the microwave. The occasional 30 at 50% kept them flowing well, and the microwave stayed warmer than the ambient kitchen temperature. After enough re-heats the candy starts to get stiffer but you can always mix in some fresh if this happens.
Step 4: Finish the Pieces
First of all, a lot of the pieces you make are going to look kind of rough. You'll get better with practice, and you can eat the mistakes. Before giving up let the pieces you have made cool, and once they have cooled completely, lift the parchment up and peel it away from the candy (don't try to lift the candy, you'll probably break it.) Flip it over - the back probably looks a lot better than the front.
You can just lay the bad side down on top of a cupcake, but if you want both sides to look good you can glue two pieces 'bad' sides together with a bit more candy. To get them to stand up on cupcakes or something similar just use a butter knife to make a small cut, then push the candy into the cut.
When I was done I put my bottles in the fridge for a while. When they were cold and I squeezed all of the candy broke away from the sides and came out of the bottle. It tasted great sprinkled over ice cream. You could also just leave the bottles in the fridge until your want to make more pieces.