With just a few ingredients, you can make candy dots at home. Not only will you be re-creating a childhood favorite, but you’ll also place a smile on your kid’s face.
Raise your hand if your kid plays, lives and breathes Skylanders. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Consider yourself lucky. 😉 Judah was introduced to this children’s video game last month. We caved and bought it for him, and the rest is history. He’s hooked. It’s all he wants to talk about.
Many times I am sitting right there next to him, watching him play the game. While he’s playing, he cuddles with me, too, whether he means to or not. 🙂 He even rubs his little toes against my feet as he stares at the screen, and I love every minute of it. I’ll take any form of cuddling from this kid that I can get because I know it won’t last much longer. Soon he’ll be pushing me away and will be embarrassed of his mama. I might just end up like the coddling mother on The Goldberg’s. (Have you seen that show? Funny stuff. If you loved The Wonder Years, you’ll love this new comedy.)
All that to say, when Judah is really into something, he’s really into it. This trait is passed on from his father’s side of the family. If you know Ben and his dad (and brothers) at all, you know that they are a bit obsessive about whatever hobby they are into at that moment. It’s a good thing… for the most part. I like that they go full force into their hobbies. Maybe I’ll elaborate in a future post with some specifics, but for now this mention just serves as an explanation to Judah’s personality.
Which leads me to these candy dots. If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen how quickly and obsessively Judah eats these candies. About two years ago, my mom brought him an over-sized version of Candy Dots during her visit. He stood there and mindlessly peeled the entire sleeve within seconds. Because of this, I can’t buy them for him because he just wants to eat them all at once.
Kind of like how I can’t seem to keep a box of Cheez-Its in my house for more than two days. (Ben…?)
Because I knew how much Judah loves Candy Dots, I had a blast surprising him with this homemade version. I was able to control his intake by limiting him to one sleeve a day, and then encouraged him to give some away to his friends.
If you’ve ever worked with royal icing, then you already know how to make these. If not, then don’t be intimidated. It’s really super simple! Just whip together the icing and pipe dots onto rectangles that you will cut out from printer paper. I’m so nice and provided a print-out for you to trace the rectangles which also includes a dot grid as a guide for piping!
I piped a couple of sleeves into hearts for a fun homemade Valentine’s Day gift option. If homemade treats are allowed at your kids’ school, consider this idea!
Homemade Candy Dots [& Hearts]
- Candy dots template print-out
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
- 6 + tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract (or vanilla extract)
- Gel food coloring
Print out one page of the candy dots template. Place another white sheet of paper on top of the print-out and trace the two rectangles. Cut out the rectangles, set aside and repeat with how many candy dot sheets you plan to make. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the meringue powder, powdered sugar, water and extract until stiff peaks form and icing loses its sheen (about 10 minutes). Divide into separate containers, depending on how many colors you plan to use. Mix in food coloring with rubber spatulas. Add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin each color out so that when it drops off the spatula it quickly dissolves back into the remaining icing within 10 seconds. (But, thick enough to pipe and hold it's dot, or heart, shape.) Add powdered sugar if need to thicken. Keep covered until ready to use.
Prepare piping bags with small round tips. Place each color of icing into one bag each. Place two rectangle cut-outs over top the print-out sheet so you can see the dots through the white paper. Pipe dots onto the two triangles, following the dot pattern. Let stand for 2 minutes, then carefully remove and set aside to dry completely. Repeat with remaining rectangle cut-outs. Allow dots to dry overnight in the open air.
Recipe Source: Royal Icing recipe from Karen's Cookies