With such a long and drawn out winter in Indiana this year, it seems as though spring will never arrive. Flowers, baby animals, and plenty of sunshine - ah, the joys of springtime! Gardening has been an interest of mine (and my husband's) for many years. We designed our flower beds, and every year it's a great joy to find colorful annuals to plant around our home. We welcome the sunshine and the beautiful flowers that will soon be growing in our yard!
To help us get into the spirit, we decided to create a little sunshine in our kitchen...and we did it! The recipe is called Simple Spring Flowers.
It's a little bit of sunshine wrapped up in a fun, easy-to-make treat that everyone will love. What's better than crispy rice treats on a stick with frosting and candy? That's pure sunshine!
My girls were especially excited to make this treat. They love the opportunity to bake with Mom in the kitchen, especially when the weather outside is a bit dreary. They each picked their candy of choice (for decorating the flowers), and off we went. The girls got a head-start on the "candy tasting," and so I was glad we still had some left for decorating.
To get started, prepare your pan by buttering it lightly. Making the crispy rice-marshmallow mixture is a quick process, so you'll be one step ahead by preparing your pan early.
Next, melt the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. After the butter is completely melted, add the marshmallows and stir constantly. As the marshmallows heat up, they'll quickly begin to melt into gooey goodness!
So yummy... and ready for the crispy rice cereal.
Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cereal.
Stir quickly and carefully. It shouldn't take more than a minute or two to get everything mixed well.
Dump the mixture into your buttered pan, and smooth out with a spoon or spatula. Work quickly because it gets harder to work with the mixture as it begins to cool.
To help pack the cereal mixture even more, you can butter your hand (or a sheet of waxed paper), and gently press down on it. By packing it, it'll keep a better shape when you cut it into flowers (or squares). Allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
You can eat it as is!
Or, to make the flowers, use a simple flower cookie cutter. Big or small, it doesn't really matter as long as it's an open cutter. Either way, they will look so beautiful! Place the flower cutter over the rice mixture and push down until it reaches the bottom of the pan. Lift it up, and you have a beautiful flower!
Next comes the fun part - decorating the flowers. You can use candy melts or vanilla frosting. Since I had a can of frosting on-hand, that's what I went with. Carefully frost each flower with a little bit of vanilla frosting. Be sure you're using enough so that the candy will stick to it easily.
To help make the treats easy to enjoy, and to help avoid messy hands, you can insert lollipop sticks or wooden skewers. To do this, position the stick in the middle of the treat, and use gentle pressure to insert the stick. Be careful not to distort the shape of the flower.
Next, arrange the candy on each flower. The more colorful, the better. I used mini orange slices, DOTS® and chewy cherry sours, but the sky's the limit!
To make edible grass, I colored some shredded coconut with green food coloring. It's as easy as adding a few drops of food coloring to the coconut and mixing it until the color is evenly distributed. It looks neat and it tastes yummy, too!
As a base I used a foam drink cup, turned upside-down, which helped to support the lollipop sticks inside the pot. With the green coconut on top, you've got a treat of sunshine!
I'd love to hear how you decorated your Simple Spring Flowers. Remember to rate and review this recipe.
Speaking of sunshine, are you looking for a taste of the tropics? On Thursday Liz has a dessert tart recipe just for you!
Julie is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.