Well, I can't quite believe it, but it's that time of year again. The time when I have to start planning my daughters' birthday parties. How could a whole year have gone by already??? Boy, I am getting old! :-) But, yes, it's that time again and we are busy making plans. My older daughter is still trying to think of a way to top last year's Juicy party, but my younger daughter has decided on a tea party. A "fancy tea party", to be exact. I have done a great many tea parties over the years, so I am going to have to challenge myself to try to come up with some fresh, new ideas. I will be sharing many of the party details with you here because I think tea parties make a perfect theme for everything from baby showers to weddings to birthday celebrations.
Despite the fact that there is unlikely to be any real "tea" at our tea party (I am thinking pink lemonade), we will be in need of some sugar cubes...some fancy sugar cubes! I'm sure you've seen the kind I'm talking about. Places like Williams-Sonoma often carry them - sugar cubes decorated with royal icing bumble bees or little flowers. Unfortunately, they are often only sold in very small quantities with fairly large price tags. So, I decided to make my own. Here's what you'll need to make some, too...
* sugar cubes (readily available in the supermarket)
* fondant flowers (optional)
* gel food color in your choice of colors
* icing bag/couplers and small decorating tips of your choice
* wax or parchment paper
Begin by making your icing and tinting it to your desired shades with the gel food coloring.
If you are making your own royal icing, I would strongly suggest using powdered egg whites - especially if you will be serving these to young children or the elderly. Store your colored icing in small bowls and be sure to cover them with a damp towel, as the icing has a tendency to dry out quickly. Now the fun part - decorating the sugar cubes!
The sky is the limit here - I chose to make small flowers with dainty leaves, but you can do any design you like.
I like to pipe directly onto the cubes, but you can also make them on parchment paper first, allow them to dry, and then affix them to the cubes with a dot of royal icing. If you have never piped flowers before, I would suggest using the drop flower tip, as it is very easy to use and the results are quite pretty. You can also use cut-out fondant flowers, such as my blue forget-me-nots.
Let your icing set up and then store the cubes in a single layer in a sealed container. These sugar cubes are fun to make and quite a bargain. You can buy a box of 198 Domino sugar cubes for under two dollars! You can chose your icing colors to match your event decor. And you could even box these up and give them as gifts or favors.
Now, will that be one lump or two?