Thursday, August 25, 2011

Perfectly Pinterest: Cute as a Button Cupookies

by Darla

Can someone please tell me, at what point in our lives does running go from being a carefree, fun, exhilarating activity that we can do endlessly to a hard, ass-kicking, and exhausting chore that we can barely keep up with? Don’t get me wrong, I love running. I do. I never used to, but I do now…it’s grown on me. I love how I feel after accomplishing a morning of running.

But I hurt too.

And I distinctly remember that I never used to hurt from running. So what gives?

The Hubster’s theory is that I’m getting old and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. In fact, any time I have a little ache or pain, his answer is that I’m getting old. Um. Helloooo?!

No. I’m. Not.

I mean, isn’t 60 the new 40 or something?? That only makes me…like…ten years old or something like that. He’s just jealous because that already puts him at 15 or so. He’s obviously crowding in on middle age.

Okay, I may be adding decades onto that whole “is the new 40″ thing, but seriously, aren’t husbands supposed to be banned from telling you that you’re getting old?

The other day I told him my knee hurt, and he’s all like, “That’s what happens when you get old.” I was like, “Call me old again, buddy, and both of your knees are gonna be hurting. After I break your knee caps.”

Then I spent an hour in the bathroom, looking for gray hairs. He better thank his lucky stars that I’ve yet to find one. Fortunately for me, he has found some, and I get to pick on him about it. Except. Too bad men get all sexy and distinguished looking with their shiny silver hair. Damn it. Plus, he’s all, “Those aren’t gray, I’ve just been spending a lot of time in the sun lately. They’re blond.” Uh huh. You’re not fooling me. Who is old now? Huh?

Fortunately, I know I look younger than I really am. Well, I look like I’m about 12 (which really supports my whole ten years old theory), but still…I don’t look as old as I am apparently getting. And even better, I don’t act it either. So he can call me old all he wants. I keep him young. So there. Neener neener and I’m rubber and you’re glue.

*Ahem*

Moving on.

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you guys how I love Pinterest? How I’m pretty much obsessed with it? Well, this post is my Perfectly Pinterest Post. It may or may nor be something new that I do here. I haven’t decided yet, but you guys’ll be the first to know when I do.

You see, a few weeks ago I saw this (click through for the original blog post [Spanish]) and I was instantly struck, inspired, driven to turn it into an adorable, edible treat. Ironically, only a couple of weeks before finding the adorable button craft I linked, I had ordered this button mold from Bake It Pretty (you can also get an actual fondant/gum paste button mold from Wilton). Technically, it’s a chocolate mold, but I wondered if I could use it with marshmallow fondant

After much trial and error (seriously…I thought I’d just be able to push some fondant in and get some buttons…nu uh), I figured out how to make perfect little fondant buttons. This was a good experience, because now I can use any of my chocolate molds for fondant, and I know how to make it work.

First of all, you want to generously dust your mold with corn starch. Now, I tried sugar and cooking spray first. Yes, the sugar worked, but on a humid day, it melted and made the fondant stickier. And yes, the spray worked, but it made the fondant oily and shiny (BLECH!). Corn starch was perfect because it neither melted, nor caused shine, and it brushed away easily from the finished product.

Rather than just sprinkling the starch on the mold and hoping for the best, I used a half-inch wide paint brush to generously brush the mold. It applied the starch more evenly, preventing big ugly clumps from forming.

Once the mold is dusted, roll a pieces of fondant out to about a quarter-inch thick. I worked with small pieces of fondant at a time, for ease. You could easily roll out a piece big enough to cover the entire mold, if you like. Lay the fondant over the mold and gently, but firmly, press it into each individual mold, making sure to get it into every available area. Gently peel the fondant away from the mold, and lay it face up.

You can also try to do individual buttons, one at a time, but it’s tedious and annoying, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Plus, you have to get the exact right amount of fondant, and it doesn’t always come away from the mold as well as a sheet of fondant does.

Now, you have to be a little creative, because you need to cut the individual buttons from the sheet of fondant. I found that, for many of the buttons on the mold, a regular size decorating tip was perfect for cutting them out. I just used the base the cut them, like a cookie cutter. Be sure to use a tip that has a wider hole at the top, so that you can gently push the buttons out from the other side if they get stuck.

For some of the smaller buttons, I had to get more creative. I ended up using different sized ink pens. I took them apart, leaving me with the main barrel of the pen. Next I cleaned it very well and let it dry. Finally, I just used the pen barrel the same way that I used the decorating tip. Having a long skewer or lollipop stick was helpful here, when the buttons got stuck, but be very gentle when pushing them through, so you don’t damage the fondant.

Once the buttons are all cut out, use a clean, dry, soft bristled brush to brush away any excess corn starch.

If you don’t want to invest in the button mold, don’t worry, you can still make some sweet buttons with various stuff around your kitchen. In this case, I used a large round tip to cut the button out. Next I used the small end of a coupler to make a small ring just inside the edge of the button. You’ll notice that the coupler has a small cutout where the fondant won’t get pressed. I just pressed the fondant, then turned the coupler around 180 degrees and gently pressed again to get a full circle. You can do this with any two items that can be used for cutting and pressing, use your imagination.

As for the button holes, I just used one of my fondant modeling tools to press a couple of small round indentations in (clay tools work great too). And voila! A cutie button in no time at all (each one took me about thee to four seconds, once the fondant was rolled out). :)

Be sure to make lots and lots of colors and sizes. I used an average of one dozen medium to large buttons and six to eight small buttons on each cookie. I know it seems like lots of work, but no matter which method you use, these buttons are fast and easy.

As for the cupcake wrappers for my cookies, I just used the same cookie cutter that I cut the cookies out with (from Bake It Pretty). I only used the bottom half, and cut out “papers” for each cupookie. Once they were all cut out, I used a toothpick to draw/press lines into each one, making it look more like a cupcake paper. For this, the toothpick should almost be laying flat on the fondant as you draw it down from top to bottom. If you stand the toothpick up too much then it will cut into the fondant, rather than pressing.

Now it’s time to add all these pretty elements to our waiting cookies. Just pipe royal icing onto each cookie, leaving a good half-inch of cookie around the edges, and fill it in. Lay a “paper” on the bottom portion of the cookie, pressing it gently into the icing to set it. Next, arrange the buttons, in various shapes, sizes, and colors, on the top portion of the cupookie. Be sure to layer and overlap them to create a full look. I always did all of the medium and large buttons first, then I used the small buttons to fill gaps and add a needed color to a certain area. From piping to finish, it took me an average of about 45 seconds to one minute to decorate each cookie…and that’s probably only because I’m so picky. :) They’re much faster than they look and soooo easy.

If you want them even faster and even easier, though, you can skip using so many buttons. When piping the icing onto the cupookies, pipe the top portion out closer to the edge. Add the “paper” as usual, then just top the top of the cupookiewith a single, adorable button. These were way, way fast, and they’re still so very cute. I kept all of my icing white, but it’s super simple to tint, so mix it up if you want.

For the most part, I made all of my cupcakes have this shabby chic, mix and match look, with a variety of colors.

Each cookie is easily customizable, though. I love this all pink version that I did. It’d be perfect for a pretty, pretty party, or to honor breast cancer awareness.

There are so many variations of these that you could make. I’m dying to try some wicked Halloween cupookies, with orange and black, green and purple! Then there’s Christmas and New Year’s, with lovely reds and greens, or silver and white. Oooo! Or pretty golds and white. How lovely would these be with just a few golden or silver metallic buttons each?! Love it!!

Whether you keep these fast, simple, and sweet…

…or go all out and button them up to the nines, these are just about the happiest little cookies pretty much ever. (FYI, I got crafty and made these flowers to pretty up my photos…just in case you’re wondering.)

From conception to creation, these were one of my favorite treats to imagine and make. I was excited about them from the get-go, and I’m so happy that they turned out as I’d envisioned them. :) Don’t be intimidated by them, they are far easier than they look, and so worth it. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did! Enjoy!

Rolled Sugar Cookies (Gluten Free Girl’s cookies linked here)

Faux Royal Icing

Marshmallow Fondant

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela @ The Dancer Bakes August 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

You make the most adorable creations! I need to get the hang of sugar cookies so I can try these :)

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2 Sincerely Jill August 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

These are adorable! I haven’t quite mastered decorating cookies to the degree I’d like so this is a good little push. But what I loved even more was your little diatribe. I agree it just isn’t fair that men look distinguished when they get older and women just look older…. I say whatever, I’m young now and I feel that way even when I get older.

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3 Kathia August 25, 2011 at 11:32 am

These are adorable. I also have the cupcake cutter from Bake it Pretty ( I love that store). The “cupookies” came out so cute and colorful.

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4 Jenni Price August 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

These are just super cute! You are so creative and I enjoyed seeing how you made them!

Blessings,
Jenni (Art Pancakes)

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5 SUZ August 26, 2011 at 1:22 am

I love this tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing!

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6 Melissa August 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

These are so flippin’ cute!!!!!

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7 Luciana August 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

So beautiful! I love this tutorial!

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8 Lora August 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

These are beyond adorable.

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9 Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats August 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I don’t think I have the patience to make these, but I’d totally eat them. And I know others already said they are adorable…….but they ARE adorable!!

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10 Tres Delicious August 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

It’s such a brilliant creativity. It’s a must for me to taste these button cookies.

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11 Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) August 29, 2011 at 1:59 am

I love the moulds! I have made buttons for some of the cakes that I decorate with the second way you show, but the mould makes it so much easier!

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12 bttrflybabydoll August 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

Adorable Darla! These are so cute! I’m brainstorming ideas for my daughters birthday now, and these are on the list of possibilities now. Too cute!

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13 Miriam @ Overtime Cook September 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm

These might just be the most gorgeous cookies I’ve ever seen! I’ve never worked with fondants (scared of it…:-/) but these are tempting me! Love how you did the buttons- a perfectionist after my perfectionist’s heart! :)

-Miriam

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14 Elizabeth September 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That’s crazy how much work and effort you put it. But they’re absolutely amazing… like SPEECHLESS.
Total respect for that and I’m a fan of your blog :)

Look at my teenage, baking/ cooking blog on http://teenage-baking.blogspot.com/

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15 Adelina October 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Uhm….Soooooooo…I don’t know if I mostly admire you for the creativity, the patience, the great attention to details, the end results – Totally Awesome looking cookie, or the motivation to even think about making these cookies! I guess, it is all of the above!

Absolutely worth pinterest!!!

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16 sarah March 13, 2013 at 5:02 am

Amazing job, wow. I just love the look of these yummy looking buttons.

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