Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Chocolate Flowerpots: Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Grass & Flower Cookie Pops

Sometimes, ideas spark when you get a new toy and want to play with it. In this case, the 'toy' in question was the Wilton tip # 233, which is most commonly used for piping grass (or hair). So when we'd planned to invite a bunch of guests for an informal meal, I thought a platter of flowerpots would be great for dessert.

All the recipes used here for the cupcakes, cookies and frosting are from Glorious Treats. The only major change is that I decided to make mini-cupcakes instead of regulars. Now, I don't remember exactly how many minis this recipe yields as I did snack on a couple as soon as they were ready (who wouldn't!), but it was more than 40.

For the flowers, you could just plop some sugar ones over once you've piped the grass, but I decided to try my hand at cookie pops. Apparently the sticks used for cookie pops are different from those used for cake pops. Since I didn't have any of the former, and also since I had mini cupcakes, I thought using toothpicks would be better. I painted them green with some diluted food colouring (and a paintbrush reserved only for decorating purposes!), and let them dry before using.

When making pops, it's safer if the cookies are a little thicker than usual, so they don't break during the popping process. I used my smallest flower cutter here. Once the shapes are cut, hold the cookie in one hand and with the other insert the toothpick. Think screwdriver here; you need to slowly rotate the toothpick applying gentle pressure till it's in about 1 cm. Check the back of the cookie and gently smooth over any breaks. Also, you must be sure to put the blunt side of the toothpicks into the cookies, to avoid any nasty pokes when biting into them.

Once all the cookie pops are ready, bake as usual depending on the size. I was quite apprehensive about how they would turn out as they seemed very fragile when I'd placed them on the tray, but surprisingly (and happily!) they're quite sturdy when they're baked. I had also made slightly bigger flower cookies (no pops), and leaf cookies just to strew about in the platter.

To decorate, I used royal icing in several colours. Just on a whim though, I decided to try decorating these cookies without any specialist equipment. I used a teaspoon to pour flood consistency icing on the cookies, spreading it out with a toothpick. Let this dry fully for a few hours. Then, for the petals, I blobbed icing with the blunt edge of a toothpick and then pulled it into shape with the sharp end.

I think they turned out alright for the most part, barring a few unsightly blobs here and there. So you definitely need piping bags and a selection of tips for consistent, professional work and to achieve various effects (like the grass and this basketweave). But even if you don't have this equipment for whatever reason, don't let that stop you from decorating sweets. It is still possible to make cuties like these with common kitchen items and imagination!


  1. Anonymous11:22 AM

    It's awesome that you could achieve such neat icing using only a teaspoon and a toothpick! :)

    1. Thank you! It takes some patience as it is much slower than using piping equipment, but it is achievable :)

  2. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Patience and imagination make a great combination as proved by your designs.