We had a pretty big age range of kiddos coming to Lila's birthday party so I struggled to come up with a favor that would work for all ages. Typically I find a book I love that goes with the theme, but with the age gap in addition to inviting a big group of kids, I needed to get creative! A lot of this party was inspired by this adorable baby shower from And Everything Sweet. I fell in love with the marshmallow fondant bird cookies and thought they'd make great party favors for the kids.
I've never made or worked with any type of fondant before, and on a scale from 1 to 10 my cooking skills are about a 2. Basically it was all just a recipe for disaster! I studied two marshmallow fondant recipes pretty thoroughly before getting started, here and here. I also studied a couple of sugar cookie recipes, here and here.
Somehow, the marshmallow fondant came together really easily and was actually fun to make! I really enjoyed working with it too! I think making MMF must lean more towards crafting than cooking. ;) I made the fondant the Friday before the party and stored it at room temperature and it was really easy to work with when I made the cookies Sunday morning. I made the cookie dough Saturday night so it could chill overnight in the fridge.
Here are my little fondant balls all coated in Crisco and wrapped in plastic wrap inside a Ziplock bag. I used AmeriColor Gel Paste in Sky Blue, Deep Pink (the lighter pink one) and Fuchsia mixed with a tiny bit of Super Red.
If I hadn't waited until the morning of the party to make the cookies, I would have spent more time adding details! They still turned out pretty cute though! I was definitely happy with my first attempt at marshmallow fondant decorated sugar cookies!
Here are some things that helped me a bunch while making MMF:
- I followed the recipes and directions exactly and got everything ready ahead of time.
- There was a point in the beginning when I thought I was just creating a sticky mess and I'd have to throw it all away, but apparently that's normal. It all works out if you keep kneading!
- I didn't use my mixer and I don't think I would. It seemed easy enough to just knead by hand.
- I wasn't able to sift the powdered sugar because with our sifter it would've taken me a week. There were definitely some little sugar lumps at first, but because I had to knead so much to add the colors, they were all gone in the end.
- I used a TON of Crisco (or what felt like a ton- in the end it wasn't that much). I practically bathed in it. I just had to keep coating and recoating my hands and my countertop. I actually did most of the kneading just in my hands while I was adding the color because I was using smaller pieces.
- One tip that worked really well was to dip a toothpick into the gel dye and to add it to the middle of the fondant ball and then fold the fondant over it. This kept the color from staining my hands too much.
- I bought a fondant mat and special rolling pin and I'm really glad I did. The mat is non-stick and the rolling pin has little rubber pieces on the ends to keep the fondant at either 1/8in. or 1/16in. thick.
- The fondant needs something to hold it to the cookies so I used regular vanilla frosting from a can.
- I drew the eyes on with an AmeriColor (edible ink) marker.
We packaged the cookies in clear plastic treat bags tied with baker's twine next to a little bag of gummi worms. The treats were in a bird gift box (thank you Target $1 section!) filled with brown crinkle shreds. There were a few babies, so they got books instead. :)