Cookie platters are so popular right now, I decided to make one. Not only can they be part of the décor, they are the dessert. I love to make desserts where the guests can serve themselves and I can be the entertainment. Unless of course you want to monitor the intake of the dessert...because, one by one, the petals will disappear.
Cookies & Brownie Sunflower
And then the surprise...the brownie center.
Something about that brownie center makes me smile. Probably because it's chocolate and chocolate always makes me smile.
I guess, cookies make me smile too. So if you're in need of a smile today, let's make the cookies.
I made this little cutter for my petal using the cookie cutter making kit.
Or you may possibly have a cutter in a shape that would work.
Cut and bake at least 22 cookies for the petals.
Mix a batch of royal icing.
Add Wilton Buttercup Yellow to the icing, little amounts at a time until you reach your desired sunflower color.
Fill a disposable pastry bag and cut the end.
Pipe a border around the cookie.
Fill in the cookie with the icing.
Continue until all the cookies are covered in icing.
Let dry overnight.
Once the cookie has dried, mix a bit of the orange food color with vodka. The vodka will evaporate, leaving the color on the cookie.
Begin painting whisks of color from the base of the cookie toward the center.
Paint each cookie and let dry.
Next mix a bit of brown food color with vodka.
Paint a few swishes of brown over the orange.
Continue with all cookies.
You might be noticing a pattern here.
This time using the same buttercup yellow food color, add a little vodka and paint more streaks over the top of the orange through the center of the cookie.
Once they are dry, sprinkle with a little cocoa powder.
I've had these pans for such a long time, I was happy to finally be able to use them.
Five pans in this little box, all the same size - 6" round.
Making it easy on us all, I used the chew fudge brownie mix from Duncan Hines.
Follow the directions for the cake like brownie.
Wash and spry each pan with baker's joy.
Divide the brownie mix between the five pans.
Set the timer for around 9 minutes and watch until they are done.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan.
Once the brownies have cooled, run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan and turn the brownie over on to wax paper.
Gather 6" cake boards to hold the brownie.
Mix up a batch of brown frosting (or even canned frosting).
Add a dab of frosting to the center of the cardboard and place the brownie on the cardboard.
Frost the top of the brownie with more frosting with an off set spatula.
Immediately sprinkles with chocolate jimmies.
Each flower only uses one 6" brownie for the center.
Use can wrap and seal the remaining brownies and freeze.
Mix up a batch of buttercup yellow frosting and add to a Wilton grass tip #233.
Pipe a border around the edge of the brownie.
Sprinkle the edges with cocoa powder.
Add more sprinkles to the middle.
Now it's time to assemble the sunflower.
Starting with the brownie in the middle, arrange the petals around the outside.
Gently pushing each petal into the side of the brownie.
Continue until the brownie is surrounded in petals.
Then begin stacking more petals on the top of the bottom row.
Again gently pushing each petal into the side of the brownie.
Once the brownie is completely surrounded in petals, your sunflower is complete.
Finish, by sprinkling more cocoa powder and sugar sprinkles around the edge of the brownie and onto the petals.
This is how my garden grows. Click on the photo for a FULL SIZE VIEW of the detail.
Now you can make your own.
Or perhaps you prefer daisies?
I had to do something with the other circle brownies and daisies were calling my name.
Making the daisy cookies and brownie took no time at all.
Using the same cuter, cut and bake a dozen petals.
Begin by piping zig zags of white frosting with a No. 5 decorating tip.
Pull each zig zag down using a food safe paint brush.
Another tutorial HERE.
Continue until each petal is covered in white frosting.
Next mix up a batch of bright yellow frosting.
Using the same Wilton grass tip, cover the brownie with frosting.
Because these petals were buttercream... I couldn't stack and made only one layer.
Okay, here's the real reason, I didn't want to bake more, I only used one layer of cookies around the brownie.
Either way, they were worth picking.
Sunflowers or Daisies...
Which would you pick?