I decided that the way to launch this new page was to plan a family project similar to the projects we are showing on GMFS. So I called in my fellow crafters, Deb, my sister-in-law, and Olivia, my niece. We hadn’t planned on it being a snowy day, but that made the project even better. Imagine snow falling outside, the smell of brownies in the oven, and cups of coffee and hot chocolate adding to the family fun and fellowship. This project can be a show stopper centerpiece for your next party or a kid friendly get-together for a birthday.
1 brownie mix
Brownie pop pan (a pan holds 8 pops so you will need to cook several batches)
Cookie sticks (we used 6 inch)
Tub of chocolate icing
Assorted colored sprinkles
7 7/8 inch half foam ball
3 inch flower shaped fondant or cookie cutter (or use the template below)
1 pound fondant (You can make your fondant using the recipe below or buy it prepared. We used the primary 4 pack of ready-to-use fondant, but added white to the green.)
Foam block to hold pops until you make your bouquet
Plastic wrap to cover fondant while you aren’t working with it
Powdered sugar to keep fondant from sticking
Rolling mat (optional: the mat makes it easy to roll the correct size circle to cover ball.)
Mix brownies according to package directions. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Fill each cavity 2/3 full. Bake approximately 25 minutes. Allow brownies to cool slightly before removing from pan. If brownies come out slightly misshapen, you can reshape them while they are still warm. The icing will cover the tops. Wait until the brownies are cool to insert the cookie stick, otherwise the brownie will slide down the stick. (We found that out the hard way and were force to eat the evidence)
While brownies are cooking and cooling you can cover the foam ball. You will need a baseball size ball of green fondant. If you are mixing two colors, knead them together until the color is uniform. Be patient, it will take a lot of kneading. Roll the fondant out, picking the circle up and flipping it over every few rolls. This will help keep it smooth. Dust with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the rolling surface.
Your circle should be large enough when it is about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. The fondant should be fairly thin at this point. We covered the ball with a light layer of shortening to make the fondant adhere to the ball. Smooth the fondant over the ball and trim around the bottom edge. If the edge isn’t smooth or the circle a little too small, don’t panic. We can cover that later.
Place the ball on a large plate or round cake board. Use some icing to make the ball adhere to the plate.
Now for the pops! We covered the end of the pop with icing. Hold on to the brownie itself instead of the stick so the brownie doesn’t slide down. (Oops! Another lesson passed on and evidence destroyed) Sprinkle the top with the colored sprinkles while the icing is still damp. If the icing dries, the sprinkles won’t stick.
We used our fingers to spread the icing. We put the pops into a foam block so they could set up until the next step.
Then we had to clean up before the next phase of the project.
Roll out small amounts of fondant in different colors. Keep the fondant covered with plastic wrap when you aren’t working with it. The fondant should be very thin before you cut it. Poke a hole in the middle of each flower with a cookie stick.
Set the flowers aside to dry. This is a good time to clean up the kitchen from all the mess made so far. The good thing about working with family as that everyone chips in and the cleanup is easy. Then sit back and drink some coffee or hot chocolate if it is snowing outside. The fondant flowers should dry for an hour or so. When the flowers hold their shape without bending too much, they are ready to attach to the pops. It is best to wait for them to dry more, but some of us don’t have much patience. (mainly me)
Spread a dab of icing on the bottom of the pop. Slide the flower up the stick and attach it to the pop. Wrap a small dab of fondant to the stick at the bottom of the flower to hold it all together.
When you have all your flowers completed, poke them into the ball to make a bouquet. You can finish the bottom of the bouquet in several ways. You can place a fondant ribbon around the bottom (this is what we did with a red ribbon), or pipe an icing border. Other suggestions can be to scatter green tinted coconut to make it look like grass, graham cracker crumbs to look like light mulch, or chocolate cookie crumbs to look like dirt.
I hope that you have as much fun as we did with the project. We won’t talk about any possible weight gain here from destroying evidence of “mistakes”. Deb and I are thinking of trying this project for Olivia’s birthday party with help from all the girls. It should be easy with our “dry run”
Our favorite fondant recipe:
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 Tablespoon water
1 ½ - 1 ¾ cup powered sugar
Place marshmallows in a standard 1 cup measuring cup. Push down and pack in. Place in a microwave safe bowl and add the water. Put in the microwave for about 20 seconds – just long enough for them to soften and puff up. Take out and stir with a spoon until it is well combined. At this point it looks kind of soupy. Then add the sugar and mix and fold until all is incorporated and it is no longer sticky. Take it out of the bowl when it gets to the point where most of the sugar is incorporated and knead by hand. This takes roughly 5-7 minutes. Roll it out as you would with any type of fondant.
Marshmallows with more sugar!!!! That’s why I like it.