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We are still nibbling at the Valentine Candy Bouquet. It is delicious but very, very sweet. At this rate, it may hang on till Easter! Oh my! I do love the sparkling look of it though.
Here are directions on making the bouquet.
1. Cut Styrofoam to fit tightly in the bottom of a basket. Secure it firmly in the basket so it won’t shift or move at all.
2. Spread out a set of battery operated bouquet or centerpiece lights over the Styrofoam in the basket. I purchased this light set at either Michael’s or A.C.Moore several years ago. Alas, I do not know if these lights are still made or sold elsewhere. Insert toothpicks around the light set in the area where the ball will be placed.
3. Cut off a slice of a 5” Styrofoam ball so it can sit flat. Press the Styrofoam ball down firmly onto the toothpicks. Insert several other toothpicks around the base of the ball to secure it tightly. Trim toothpick ends with wire cutters.
4. Scrunch a length of 12” wide tulle around the base of the ball, covering the lights and wires. I used a piece 12″ by about 6 feet long.
Prepare the candy.
5. To make Conversation Heart Batons, use royal icing to secure conversation hearts to a lollipop stick. When dry, pipe royal icing between the hearts and sprinkle with mini sprinkles. Tie a bow at the base with an 8” piece of ribbon; trim the ends.
6a. For candies with square wrappers, twist one end of wrappers and wire three candies together.
6b. Twist the candy bundle together around the end of a lollipop stick and secure with the wire. Tie with an 8” length of ribbon.
7. Cut a heart from gold paper, punch a small hole at the top and write a message. Tie a piece of lace and the gold heart to a lollipop with string.
8. Prepare cake pops as desired. I made chocolate cake pops by following the directions in Bakerella’s Cake Pops cookbook and using homemade frosting instead of store-bought frosting. These were the first cake pops I’ve ever made so mine were a little lumpy. But I was really happy they turned out and they are delicious!
9. Cake Pop secret – use lots of sprinkles to cover up mistakes.
10. To help disguise the printed text at the base of lollipop wrappers, cut a fringe in the wrapper. Tie with a bow or twist tie.
11. I ended up not adding these to the bouquet. They looked very pretty in a glass dish next to the bouquet.
Assemble the centerpiece.
12. Using wire cutters, cut the end of one candy stick to make a slight point and insert it into the Styrofoam ball to see if you like the length. Remove the stick from the Styrofoam and adjust the length as desired. Cut sticks and insert candies, starting with the candy of which you have the fewest. I only had 8 sticks of rock candy so I inserted them first to evenly distribute them.
13. Start in the center and work your way out as you fill the bouquet. Cut some sticks shorter so the candies help cover the Styrofoam ball. Next time I will make more of the little candy bundles to fill in the base better. I made 11 but 14 would have been better.
14. If desired, fill in any remaining spots on the Styrofoam ball with ribbon or tulle bows on wires. You can also use green gumdrop leaves, tissue paper or artificial flowers and leaves. I decided to leave the center open so the light set would light up the candy more.
To make ahead, the cake balls can be prepared a day or two ahead, as recommended in Bakerella’s cookbook. This bouquet was made on Valentine’s Day and then refrigerated that night, covered with plastic wrap for storage. It is one week later and the bouquet still looks wonderful and the cake pops are every bit as delicious, especially cold. Next year, I’ll prepare the cake pops several days before, refrigerating them until needed. The candies can be prepared well in advance and set aside. Allow an hour or so to insert all the prepared candies and cake pops.
In addition to holidays, a Candy Bouquet would look lovely for a Baby or Bridal shower, or as a Birthday centerpiece.