Friday, June 13, 2014

D.O.T.S. cupcake display

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 Our stake's annual Young Women's recognition dinner was last month. I was once again asked to make a cupcake display for this special event where we recognized the young ladies who completed their personal progress this year and those girls who are moving on to Relief Society.
I got a little stressed out about this one but I'm so happy with the end result!
 This year's theme was D.O.T.S. It stood for Depend On The Savior. They asked for lots and lots of dots. The expectations were super high after last year's "Stand ye in Holy Places" theme and display. I was stressed out because how do you make dots cute? To stall my lack of ideas I made a backdrop to start by punching out a bunch of dots and stringing them together. How cute is the backdrop? I really loved how it turned out and felt more at ease knowing that even if I couldn't think of a cute way to decorate the actual cupcakes the display itself would look cute.
 Next I took some containers I had and attached some cake rounds, ribbon, and the letters. I knew I wanted some differing heights and sizes of rounds to put the cupcakes on. I covered the rounds with some cute colors that would add a bit of character to the display as well. In other words I continued to work on the display itself in hopes that some kind of idea for how to decorate the cupcakes would come to me.
 There was a budget for the event and since fondant could get a little pricey I didn't want to do anything where each cupcake had a fondant topping. Plus 180 fondant toppers right smack in the middle of all the birthdays and birthday celebrations and graduations wasn't very exciting sounding to me. So after searching the internet and Pinterest I decided I'd try to make some royal icing dots.
 I watched numerous videos on YouTube for research and said a prayer or two that the decorations would dry. I'd attempted royal icing decorations before but I'd always had problems with them not drying well enough. In Hawaii, when you have no ac in your home like me, the humidity makes any decoration making difficult. The making isn't actually the difficult part, in case you're interested here are the real difficulties:
-allowing the decorations to fully dry
-if they do fully dry how to store them so that the don't re-soften
(when the decorations aren't fully dried they melt fairly quickly once placed on the cupcakes and we end up with some not so cute melting decorations)
 Any guesses on how I get around these problems? 
-I store my decorations in a parchment paper lined t-shirt gift boxes
-I keep the boxes in my oven with the light on (make sure the oven is off)
-although fondant pieces can be made and stored for a few months, I try to make my pieces only a week or two in advance whenever possible because rainy weather will undo previous drying anyways. Plus I don't want my oven to be unusable as an OVEN because it's always storing cupcake decorations.
-Making decorations that can stay on a lollipop stick also does wonders because then they don't have to actually touch the frosting!
 So these are my tricks for fondant and gum paste decorations that I have picked up over the past two years. I'd never applied these tricks on royal icing decorations. Guess what? I piped my decorations on parchment paper instead of wax paper, then stored them in the oven in t-shirt boxes and they dried fully, stayed dry and I was able to peel them off on the day of and put them on my cupcakes! 
Add 4 little praying and scripture reading fondant ladies on a lollipop sticks and done!
Sione said the lesson he got from looking at the display was that if you read your scriptures and say your prayers you will be surrounded by cupcakes. How silly is this guy! I love him! And the girls loved (and leaders) loved the cupcakes so I'd say it was a success.
Check out all the other cute details the stake leaders included that night!
 These were for the girls who were receiving their honor bee.

 Needless to say it was a wonderful night!

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