Sunday, June 22, 2014

DIY No-Bake Candy Buttons!

If you were a child of the 90's (heck, if you were a child of the 1930s!) you're familiar with candy buttons, or candy dots. They're drops of colored sugar on a piece of paper. While they're a classic of everyone's childhood (ok, most people), they did have a couple of disadvantages:

1. You always had paper stuck to the bottom of them and you subjected yourself to eating paper.
2. You were stuck with the three flavors made - cherry, lime (the blue ones), and lemon.

But did you know you can make your own? With the help of some Jello and wax paper, you can pick any flavors you want (grape, orange, berry blue - you name it) and not have to deal with eating paper anymore!

Here's what you'll need to make your own candy buttons:

1. White card stock paper
2. Wax paper
3. Jello (I chose cherry, orange, and lemon)
4. Powdered sugar
5. An egg white
6. Scissors
7. Double-sided tape
8. Plastic bags (for however many flavors you're making. 3 flavors = 3 bags)

Start by cutting your paper into 2"x11" strips (1 sheet of paper should get you 4 strips).

Do the same for the wax paper - cut four strips of 2"x11" wax paper.

Use double sided tape to attach the wax paper to the card stock.

Mix together 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar with 1 egg white in a mixer for 3-4 minutes.

Divide the mixture into as many bowls as you have flavors. Add 1/4 tsp. of Jello powder to each bowl.

Put each mixture into it's own plastic bag, cut off a bit of the corner, and squeeze the filling through the bag onto the wax paper. I did four rows of each color but however you want to divide it up is totally up to you.

Let them harden overnight and that's it! Your homemade candy buttons are ready to be eaten! The great thing about choosing the flavors you want is that you can color-coordinate with whatever holiday is nearby (red/white/blue for 4th of July, green/red for Christmas, and the ones I made look ideal for Valentine's Day).

Be warned: you'll have enough to make quite a lot! I made 8 paper strips and probably could have made 9!

TOTAL COSTS: About $12 to make 288 buttons, or 8 strips of 36 buttons
$.99/box of Jello
$2.49 for powdered sugar
$2.49 for a dozen eggs (but you only need 1 egg white)
$4.09 for double-sided tape
$2.09 for box of sandwich bags
Wax paper, card stock, and scissors already on hand

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: About 40 minutes + overnight to harden
15 minutes to cut out the paper and wax paper strips (though I used a ruler and was very exact, which took time)
15 minutes to whip up the powdered sugar and egg white and to add the Jello powder
10 minutes to pipe on four sheets
Overnight to harden

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
The only "difficult" part might be getting even-sized dots, if you're not used to piping. However, the more you do it, the easier it'll be and this project certainly gives you enough to practice with!

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