It’s become a tradition of sorts for me to mark the beginning of spring and summer with a set of decorated cookies. So, this year, after a rather long and challenging winter, I decided I wanted a bold, cheerful set of spring cookies. Something that would put the long, grey winter behind us, so I decided on these Rainbow Flower Cookies. I mean, what says spring more than flowers and rainbows?
If you’ve been following The Crafting Foodie, you know that I love me a good rainbow dessert. These rainbow cake pops and this chocolate rainbow cake are two of my more recent rainbow creations. And pretty much every St. Patrick’s Day set of cookies has to have rainbows in them. My favorite are the rainbow clovers I made in this set last year. So, I knew this set of Rainbow Flower Cookies would have to bring the rainbow and bring it strong!
Rather than go for my usual royal icing, for these Rainbow Flower Cookies I was a little adventurous and tried my hand at fondant. Not only was I working with fondant for the first time, I also decided to make the fondant myself. It was actually quite easy (thanks to The Barefoot Baker’s recipe and instructions!), and it tastes amazing. Since my version of homemade fondant is made from marshmallows, the fondant tastes exactly like marshmallows. And you guessed it, marshmallows and sugar cookies make a deliciously magic pair.
I’m not going to lie, these cookies were pretty labor intensive. I made the fondant. Colored it six different shades of the rainbow. Then I had the rather tedious task of cutting out thousands of tiny fondant flowers. I used a set of four blossom fondant plunge cutters from Fox Run. The cutters worked awesomely, but I still had to cut out thousands of them. There was no way of getting round that 🙂
Putting the cookies together was much less time-intensive than I expected. I filled each sugar cookie with white royal icing, and while the icing was still wet, I laid the flowers down. When royal icing dries, it’s like the most delicious edible superglue. Nothing, I mean nothing, falls off of dried royal icing.
While I’d love to take credit for the idea behind these Rainbow Flower Cookies, I have to give credit to the amazing Darla from Bakingdom. She made a set of these cookies for her anniversary. While I didn’t use her cookie or fondant recipes, or her method for adhering the flowers, I did use her genius idea for these cookies.
These Rainbow Flower Cookies pulled double duty for me. I made them for spring and for Mother’s Day. I know flowers are a more traditional mother’s day gift, but I thought these edible flowers would be just as appreciated and loved 😉
- For the Sugar Cookies:
- 1 cup, unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tbs good quality vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- For the Royal Icing:
- 5 tbs meringue powder
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 tbs good quality vanilla extract
- For the Marshmallow Fondant:
- 8 ounces of marshmallows
- 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (I only ended up using a few tbs of shortening)
- 1 1/2 tbs water
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (I ended up using only about 10 ounces of the sugar)
- Gel food colors in the color of the rainbow.
- Make the fondant at least a few days before assembling the cookies.
- Grease a silicone mat with vegetable shortening.
- Place the marshmallows and water in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt the marshmallows and water until smooth. I did it in 30 second intervals. It only took about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to melt the marshmallows.
- Pour all of the confectioners’ sugar on the greased silicone mat. Make a well in the center of the sugar. Pour the hot marshmallows in the center of the confectioners’ sugar.
- Grease your hands with some of the vegetable shortening.
- Slowly start to incorporate the sugar into the melted marshmallows. Be careful because the marshmallows are very HOT!
- Continue to knead the marshmallows in the powdered sugar. Continue to do so until a cohesive bust still soft fondant forms. It feels like a stiff clay.
- Wrap the fondant in two layers of plastic wrap. Then place in a plastic zip-top bag. Refrigerate for at least 8 to 10 hours before coloring.
- Divide the fondant into 6 pieces.
- Working with one piece at a time, knead the fondant until it is pliable.
- Add a few drops of gel food color to the fondant and knead. The food color will come off on your hands and the surface on which you are kneading. Make sure to knead the fondant on a surface that is protected because color will come off on the surface.
- Once the fondant is colored, you can roll it out and cut out shapes.
- Lay the cut shapes on a parchment lined pan, and allow them to harden for a few days.
- Then they are ready to be placed on the cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, sift the all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar.
- Once fluffy, add the egg and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
- Add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Place the dough in a bowl, and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. Do NOT refrigerate this dough. The cookies must be rolled out and baked right after the dough is made.
- Line sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes and bake for about 7 to 8 minutes. If you’d like soft cookies, make sure that the cookies do not brown.
- Once the cookies are baked, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a mixer place the meringue powder and water. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the powder is dissolved and the mixture bubbles.
- Add the vanilla and hand whisk for an additional minute.
- Place the bowl in the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Add all the confectioners’ sugar at once.
- Mix on medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes. You know the mixture is ready when it’s white, fluffy, and stiff enough to hold peaks.
- Using a piping page fitted with a # 2 tip, fill the bag with 20 second royal icing.
- Working one cookie at a time, top the cookie with royal icing using the piping bag.
- Allow the royal icing to sit for a minute or two, then being placing the fondant flowers.
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