This Little Explorer party (featured in the Spring '15 issue of OHbaby!) was the MOST fun to plan. So many little details that I would've gone crazy over when I was a kid. It's hard to pick a favourite project, but the edible butterfly collection is right up there. Maybe one of my favourite projects ever, in fact. My baker buddy Alice originally threw out the idea of hand-painted cookies and as I already had butterfly cutters and it just suddenly became obvious that we had to have a butterfly collection. It was an intoxicating moment of ideaspiration, I tell you.
We (and by 'we', I mean Alice) made vanilla sugar cookies with basic store-bought fondant icing to top them. It was pretty sweet, pre-made cookies delivered to my door... The variation of sizes gave a touch of realism to the final display, and I copied images from the net because it was really important for it to be super accurate. I can't remember why... I'm 100% sure I'm the only one who took any notice.
Supplies you will need: Food colouring, ice cube tray, paintbrushes, and alcohol based vanilla essence.
- In each compartment of your ice cube tray, mix a few drops of food colouring with enough vanilla essence to create the hue of your choice. The alcoholic content in vanilla essence will help the ‘paint’ to dry and can be replaced with any type of spirit.
- Apply a thin coat of colour to your icing canvas to form a base. You may wish to use a practice cookie first and allow yourself to perfect your technique before painting all of the cookies.
- After you have completed your base coat, use a thinner brush to add details or deepen the colours.
- Leave cookies in a safe place to dry, and store them in an airtight container until they are ready to serve at your party.
We labelled each butterfly and ‘pinned’ it with a toothpick. Instead of a plate, we took an empty wooden frame and backed it with Kraft paper, providing a simple backdrop for our collection. It was a dream.
These cookies also make great party favours or would create a fun and crafty party activity too! I'm pretty sure I would've died over them when I was a kid. I'm already planning another batch, for a different theme... Maybe later this year! Let me know if you give it a go - tag me on instagram so I can check 'em out!