Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 12-11-2015 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Decorations on a cake make it so special. We decided to make this special Christmas Tree and Snowman Cake Topper to adorn our Chocolate Sour Cream Celebration Layer Cake recipe for this year's Christmas holiday.
CHOCOLATE RECIPE HELP / CANDY RECIPE HELP
1/2 cup green Candy Melts
Pointed ice cream sugar cone, 5-inches in length
Spearmint leaves candy
One Wilton 6-Pc. Leaf Fondant Double Cut-Outs Set, size E and F, or any 1.25-inch and 1-inch leaf cutters
Yellow Star Sprinkle, for top of tree
Mini M&M’s, for decorating tree
Small fondant rolling pin
4 ounces white fondant
1 ounce red fondant
1 ounce green fondant
Small piece orange fondant, for nose
Small piece black fondant, for eyes
Pink powdered food coloring, for cheeks (optional)
Wilton Holly Mix Sprinkles, for scarf
Orange Sixlet Candy, for ornament in snowman’s hand
Toothpick, to hold the head to the body
Pointed Fondant Tool, or toothpick, to draw line for mouth
Clean paint brush, used to food crafting ONLY
STEP I: MAKE THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Make the Christmas tree base:
1. Melt Green Candy Melts in the microwave, following the directions on the package.
2. Put your fingers into the large opening of the ice cream sugar cone and hold it upside down over the bowl of candy melts, then spoon it over the cone, making sure it is completely coated.
When coated, gently shake the cone, so the excess melts fall back into the bowl.
Place the cone upright on a plate. Place plate in the refrigerator until the melts have set.
Make the Christmas tree leaves:
While cone is chilling, make the spearmint leaves that will form the boughs of the Christmas tree. You will need a two sizes - size E and F, or any 1.25-inch and 1-inch leaves.
We needed 30-32 1.25-inch and 10-12 1-inch, depending on brand/size of cone used.
1. Spread a layer of granulated sugar on a silpat mat and roll the Spearmint leaves candy to a thickness that is a little over 1/16-inch.
Roll out one piece at a time.
2. Cut out 30-32 leaves with the larger Wilton leaf fondant cutter (size E or 1.25-inch).
First dip the cutter in sugar so the ctter won't stick. Then cut out the leaf. Push the leaf out of the cutter with your finger.
Re-dip the cutter in sugar, if necessary, before cutting out more leaves.
Stack up the scraps, press together, then sprinkle with sugar to reroll them.
4. Remove the green covered cone from the refrigerator.
Remelt the green Candy melts that you used to cover the ice cream cone; microwave for 10 - 12 seconds and stir before using.
5. Use a pointed skewer to add a dab of melts to the bottom of the cone and press a leaf in place.
NOTE: The Wilton leaf cutters used here have a slight bend to the tip, so I made sure mine were pointed in the same direction.
Continue all the way around the bottom of the cone, spacing them evenly. Roll and cut more leaves as you need them.
NOTE: as you are making your way up the tree, you will, most likely, have to remelt the candy melts a few times.
5. Continue to add more leaves, in rows, as you make your way to the top of the tree. Use a pointed skewer to add a dab of melts to the bottom of the cone and press a leaf in place.
Overlap the leaves slightly as you add the second row, spacing them in between the leaves in the row below.
NOTE: I alternated the rows so that one row of leaves bent to the right, and the one above it all bent to the left.
6. Repeat with rows 3 and 4.
When you reach the 5th row of leaves, use the smaller cutter (size F or 1-inch) for the rest of the leaves. We used 10-12.
Use a pointed skewer to add a dab of melts to the bottom of the cone and press a leaf in place.
7. The top row should take 4 of the small leaves to complete. Use a pointed skewer to add a dab of melts to the bottom of the cone and press a leaf in place.
Once they are in place, gently pinch the leaves to cover the tip of the cone.
The candy is quite malleable, and you should be able to do this easily.
Add the Christmas tree "ornaments" and star:
1. Remelt the green candy melts then add a dab in the space between the leaves and set a mini M&M in place.
Continue adding the “ornaments” in this manner, making sure to alternate the colors as you go.
9. Finally, add a dab to the top of the tree and set a star sprinkle into place.
Keep in a cool, dry and dark place until needed. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
STEP II: MAKE THE SNOWMAN
Make the snowman's body:
1. Roll a 2 ounce (body), a 1 ounce( head) and two grape-sized pieces of white fondant into smooth balls.
2. Roll the large ball into a slight oval shape, measure, then break off one end of a toothpick, so that 1/2-inch of it will stick out of the top of the large ball.
3. Lightly brush some water around the toothpick, then set the head in place.
4. Roll the two small balls into elongated teardrop shapes.
Curve the small end a little, then brush a little water on the curved side.
Place the arms in place. They should curve around the body.
Hold the arms in place for about 20 seconds, so they don’t slide down the body.
5. Gently pinch the end of one of the arms to create a little impression, or “hand”. This “hand” will eventually hold the Christmas ornament.
Add the snowman's face:
1. Use a toothpick to create two shallow sockets for the eyes.
Roll two very small balls of black fondant to create the eyes.
Brush a SMALL amount of water into the sockets, then set the balls in place.
NOTE: Do not add too much water, or the black color may bleed onto the white, and nobody wants a snow(woman) with runny mascara! ;^)
2. Using the pointed fondant tool or a toothpick to create the snowman’s mouth.
DRAG the tool/toothpick across the fondant, do not use the pointed end.
The point would tear the fondant, and not make a smooth line.
3. Roll a tiny piece of orange fondant into a carrot shape.
Brush a tiny dab of water on the end and set the carrot nose into place.
Add the rest of the snowman's details:
1. Lightly dust the silpat mat with cornstarch and roll out a piece of red fondant about 4” long.
Roll about pieces of green fondant into snakes, lightly brush water on one side and press them into place on the red fondant, creating horizontal stripes.
Lightly roll over the fondant to flatten the stripes.
2. Use a craft knife to cut out the snowman’s scarf.
The strip should be a little over 1/4-inch wide.
Put the strip around the snowman’s neck to measure, then cut it, making sure to leave enough length so it can cross over in the front of the snowman’s body.
Use the craft knife to cut fringe on both ends of the scarf.
3. Brush a little water around the snowman’s neck, then wrap the scarf around, overlapping in the front.
4. Roll out a small portion of green fondant, then cut out a narrow strip, slightly over 1/8-inch wide.
Put the strip on the top of the snowman’s head and measure to make the band of the earmuffs.
Cut the ends just above where the ears would be, if snowmen had ears.
5. Brush a little water on one side of the strip, and set it in place.
6. Roll two small balls of red fondant for the earmuffs.
Brush a little water beneath the end of the band and press the red balls into place, flattening them slightly.
Use a piece of balled-up aluminum foil to rough-up the balls, to make them look a bit fluffy.
7. Brush a little water on the area where the scarf overlaps and press two of the Holly Leaf and berries sprinkles in place.
NOTE: You may use any other holiday-themed sprinkles, if you don’t have this particular sprinkle mix available.
8. Dip a small DRY brush into the pink powdered food color and lightly brush it on the snowman’s cheeks, to give him a rosy glow.
9. Brush a little water onto the snowman’s hand, and press s Sixlet candy into place.
NOTE: We used M&M’s on the tree because we wanted to make it look like the ornaments were nestled into the boughs of the tree.
The Sixlets would stick out too much.
Keep in a cool, dry and dark place until needed. Do not refrigerate or freeze.