Treats such as cherry pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, a flag cake, or red, white, and blue muffins are always a hit on an American holiday such as Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day.
However, you are not limited by these choices. You can make almost any dessert special for the occasion with a quick little candy treat. Cakes, pies, cookies, and bars can all be made patriotic and festive with them, and you can even place a candy garnish or two gently on the top of a pudding or custard (or on a plate beside them.)
|I decorated individual servings of white chocolate mousse with snowflake candy decorations for a fancy winter party.|
Even if you buy a dessert instead of making one, you can make it more special with this decorating trick!
How to Make Candy Garnishes for Desserts
- some white chocolate chips or candy melts you like.
- a stove or microwave
- a frosting bag or zip-lock bag
- wax paper or parchment paper
- food coloring (oil-based or powdered food coloring only)
NOTE: Adding a water-based product to melted chocolate will make it seize.) I used the powdered kind of edible coloring. If you are okay with your decorations being chocolate-colored, using milk, dark, or bittersweet chocolate works well for this too.
If you prefer not to draw the decorations with the melted chocolate freehand, you can easily trace them: Draw or print out the shape you want to make on a piece of paper. Place this underneath the parchment paper so it shows through. You can either just make one drawing and move it around to create each shape, or you could make a full page of multiple images to trace.
- Slowly melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler.
- Fill and prepare your piping bag or zip-lock bag. (Use a small round decorating tip or snip a very tiny corner off of the zip-lock bag.)
(For a great tip on how to neatly fill a decorating bag, see my Red Velvet Pretzel Heart Candy Recipe.)
- Softly squeezing the bag, create your shapes (freehand or traced) from the melted chocolate (or candy melts) onto the parchment paper.
- Let these set up until firm.
- Gently peel the shapes off of the parchment paper, and place them on your dessert.
You may need to melt a little extra chocolate and use a small dab to adhere the shape to cookies and bars.
If some of your shapes did not turn out, you can even crumble them up and use them as extra sprinkles for your dessert.
I'm not kidding when I say this is quick. It took me under an hour from set-up to finish to make my garnishes and do the photo shoot for this post. Actually, I probably should have spent more time on the photo shoot, but the chocolate sets up fairly quickly so I had to work fast. Using one hand to draw the stars and the other to take the pictures did not produce my best efforts. I am sure your stars would turn out even prettier than mine did this time!)
Red, white, and blue stars are the perfect choice for an American holiday, but the colors of any country, organization (i.e. school colors for a graduation treat!) can be used - and the shape doesn't even have to be a star! Use this little trick to make any dessert look extra special.
Who doesn't love an extra little bite of chocolate or candy?
What colors and shapes would you use to make your desserts extra- special?
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