These edible stained glass roses are so pretty you won't want to eat them! They use a similar technique to pulled sugar, but they use hard candy, which is easier to find and work with.
I have not seen anything like them anywhere online or in a book, so I was a bit worried when making them. I made them solely based on trial and error! I could not imagine them turning out any better- they're absolutely amazing and look just like stained glass! They would make awesome lollipops, party favors, or cake toppers. Most importantly, they are also completely edible and delicious!
If you like this Instructable, please give it your vote in the Edible Art contest! (I really want the knife set!) :)
Step 1: Unwrap and Melt Jolly Ranchers
The roses need only one ingredient, which is hard candy. I used jolly ranchers because they are great-tasting and I think they look pretty when melted. You can use other hard candies too- I think peppermint roses would be great in the wintertime. Unwrap the jolly ranchers of desired colors and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I used a total of about 10 per flower, plus 4 more for the stems. It will vary based on how many petals you put on the flower. Melt them in a 300º oven for a few minutes, around 4-5 or right until they are melted.
Sorry, my pictures are a bit weird because I made three roses and decided to make a fourth after the other three were finished, so the pictures are of different batches.
Step 2: Break and Rearrange
Wait for the candy to cool. After a minute or two you can tell that it is pretty flexible and soft. When the candy is completely hardened, break it into small pieces with your hands. After a bit of experimenting, I have found that a rainbow shape makes for a really pretty rosebud when rolled, so rearrange the shards onto the baking sheet in a rainbow-type shape.
I used two different colors per rose to really get that cool stained-glass look, which I would recommend. Also, remember that the smaller the shards, the more interesting and multicolored the roses will look, and the larger the shards, the easier it is to melt (small pieces tend to melt to quickly and may burn). I went somewhere in the middle so the colors would be interesting but the melting was consistent.
If you have extra shards, be sure to save them for the rose petals.
Step 3: Melt Again and Roll Into Rosebud
Once the candy has been rearranged, slowly place it in the oven, making sure to keep the pieces in place. When you melt the candy this time, you have to be super careful, because if it bakes for too long it will brown and get too bubbly. If this happens, it's not that big of a deal, but it will definitely make it harder to work with and more easily shattered.
Once the shards have melted together, take them out immediately. Wait until they come off of the parchment paper cleanly but are still really flexible. Once they are ready, slowly roll them into a cylinder until they have a sort of rose shape. What I learned to do for the second batch is to pull out the different layers a bit to look more like a blooming rose.
By the way, if the candy ever hardens too quickly, then you can always pop it in the oven for another minute or two, then try again.
Step 4: Use Remaining Shards to Make Petals and Stem
Set the rosebuds aside. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the shards into circles in a petal-like shape. When they are done melting, they should be the same height as the rosebud or a bit shorter. For the stem, line up green jolly rancher shards and melt them into one large rectangular sheet.
When you melt the shards, again, be really careful and pay attention! Especially for the petals, there is a very fine line between burning the shards and melting them. Check on them every minute or so.
Step 5: Add All of the Petals
Once the petals are pliable, tuck them around the rosebud and open them up by folding them backwards a bit. It is a lot easier and self explanatory than I expected! Add them around the rose, then tuck them in any open crevices you see. The more petals you use, the more full (and pretty!) the rose will look. I went kind of crazy and attached the petals randomly all around the rose.
Step 6: Attach Rosebud to Stem
Once the rose is cool, wrap the stem around the bud like shown.
Step 7: Finished!
Yay! Your finished rose! I would love to see your own creations in the comments box, and again, please give me your vote in the edible art contest! :D