• Place a dollop of frosting on the cupcake. Holding the cupcake in one hand, gently spread frosting around the top of the cupcake with utensil, rotating as you do so. Do not get frosting on the liner or go past the edge of the cupcake. To remove excess, wipe off your spreading utensil and make a clean swipe around the cupcake.
• For a cupcake with a generous dome of frosting, scoop more frosting onto your cupcake and use your utensil to shape it into a dome with smooth, long strokes.
Using Color with Frosting
While the mixer is running, add food coloring, a drop at a time, to the frosting in the bowl until desired color is reached. Gel and paste provide the most vibrant colors, but liquid coloring from the grocery store will work in a pinch.
Filling goodie bags? What could be more joyful than Pinkalicious’s star wand? It's a frosted sugar cookie covered with disco dust—a perfect party favor!
Tip: Kids can paint the sticks Pinkalicious pink!
Makes 12 wands
12 long wooden skewers or dowels
AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Coloring, electric pink
One 16.5-oz. package of store-bought sugar cookie dough
½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
½ cup royal icing, tinted with electric yellow AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Coloring
AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Coloring, gold
2 teaspoons Wilton meringue powder
CK disco dust, baby green
Twelve 12-inch ribbons, pink
To Make the Wand:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Paint the 12 sticks pink with the electric pink food coloring. Let dry.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar cookie dough with the flour, kneading the flour completely into the dough. Roll the dough out to ¼-inch thick on a nonstick surface dusted with flour.
3. Trace a star template onto a piece of cardboard with a black permanent marker and cut it out; use it to cut stars from the rolled-out dough.
4. Insert the sticks into the sides of the stars. Roll gently on the stick to ease it into the cookie at least halfway. Do not break the surface of the cookie.
5. Bake following manufacturer’s directions, remove to a wire rack, and let cool.
To Decorate the Stars:
1. Place half of the royal icing in a pastry bag fitted with a #1 tip, or fill a Ziploc bag. Pipe around the edge of the star, as close to the edge as possible. Let set.
2. Flood or thin the rest of the royal icing with water, a teaspoon at a time, to the consistency of paint. Paint the icing on the cookies, up to the piped edge but not over it. Let set.
3. Thin some gold food coloring with half a teaspoon of water, mixing more coloring and/or water to get a light brown color. Lightly brush the edges of the star with the light brown food coloring for shading.
4. Combine the meringue powder and 2 tablespoons of water. Using a pastry brush, brush all over the iced cookie, and blend the brown food color into the yellow. While still wet, sprinkle disco dust on top of the star. Let dry.
5. Tie the ribbons around the sticks right below the stars, and cut the ends of the ribbons into V shapes.
Makes about 4 cups
¼ cup meringue powder (available in specialty baking stores or online)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ cup warm water
Combine meringue powder and confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Slowly add water and beat for 7-10 minutes, until icing is glossy, fluffy, and thick. Use immediately or keep in airtight container for up to three days.
Recipes excerpted from Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook by Victoria Kann (HarperFestival 2013; $14.99). Photos by Kristen Hess.