So today I don’t really have actual *recipes* to post, as the basis for my day’s projects can be whipped up from scratch, box mixes and store-bought dough, but both projects came out fairly well so I thought I’d post the photos and basic instructions on what I came up with.
First off, for my son’s preschool class I made little brownie cupcakes that look like pots of gold. I always thought that disc candy melts (like you use in molds for wedding favors and the like) looked like little coins, so this was a natural next step:
These little guys are easy enough to make on a weeknight before a school party: Whip up a batch (or two) of brownie batter, pour into cupcake liners and bake (mine took about 30 minutes to get nice and chewy in the oven). Cool completely; frost with chocolate frosting (a lot of brownie mixes come with a fudge pouch–mine did), and top with seasonal sprinkles and yellow (or peanut-butter) candy melt discs. Be sure to turn the discs upside down as you place them on the brownies for a more coinlike appearance.
While I waited for the brownies to cool to start decorating, I decided to whip up a batch of cookies to take to work with me as well. Again, if you don’t feel like making sugar cookies from scratch, you can always buy premade dough. If I’d had more time, I might’ve cut little shapes with cookie cutters, but plain old round circles tasted just as good and were much faster!
Bake sugar cookies until edges begin to brown; remove from oven. If the centers of the cookies have risen into little domes, use those scarce minutes while they’re still hot to tap the centers down with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Not a lot; just enough to let them “fall” gently to make a flatter, more even cookie for dipping. Cool on a wire rack. Melt colored candy melts (or chocolate chips) in microwave 30 seconds at a time on medium power, stirring at intervals, until
candy is completely liquid. Dip cookies halfway into the bowl (a steep, tall-sided bowl will yield the most good-looking cookies out of the available melted candy) and place on waxed paper to cool. Once cool, melt a contrasting color of candy disks (or chocolate chips) and spoon a small amount into a ziplock bag. Cut a tiny hole in one corner of the bag and pipe the melted candy onto the tops of the already-dried coated cookies. Cool and serve.
If you are transporting these cookies, it is an excellent idea to place sheets of waxed paper between the cookie layers in your cookie container. It will ensure that the bottom cookies look just as pretty as the top layer. These cookies are a great go-to treat for any season, as you can switch up colors to make any festive holiday look.
If the color candy melt you need isn’t available, you can always add food coloring to white melted disks, but I do recommend using Wilton paste rather than the thin, runny, liquid food coloring available at grocery stores. I haven’t tried the liquid kind, but I suspect it might interfere with the candy’s ability to “set up” again after being cooled.
Also note that cookies dipped in straight-up melted chocolate chips will take much longer to set up than those dipped in melted candy discs. (My mother recommends adding paraffin to chocolate chips when melting to help them set up and assures me that it is perfectly safe and will not affect the flavor of the chocolate in any way.)
Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day, and eat well! For more Irish/St. Patrick’s Day themed recipes, see these Red Kitchen Project posts: