recipe

Button up! Now you can make your own version of sweet, colorful button candy—perfect for parties, gifts, or Halloween.

safety
  • None
difficulty
  • Advanced
time
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, plus at least 8 hours drying time
yield
  • Makes 10 strips of candy buttons

hey curious cook—

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Prepare Ingredients

1½ cups
confectioners’ sugar
4½ teaspoons
milk, plus extra as needed
¼ teaspoon
vanilla extract
Pinch
salt
Yellow gel food coloring
Pink gel food coloring
Blue gel food coloring

Gather Cooking Equipment

Ruler
Pen or pencil
2
(15-by-12-inch) sheets parchment paper
2
cookie sheets or rimmed baking sheets
3
bowls (1 medium, 2 small)
Small rubber spatula
Plastic wrap
3
pastry bags
Medium round pastry tip (Wilton No. 8 Round Decorating Tip)
Scissors
Drinking glass
Bench scraper
Airtight storage container
1
 

Use ruler to measure and mark five 3-inch-wide columns across 15-inch edge of each sheet of parchment paper. Use ruler and pen or pencil to draw vertical lines to form columns.

 
2
 

Use ruler and pen or pencil to measure and mark 3 inches, 6 inches, and 9 inches along vertical lines on each sheet of parchment. (These marks will help guide where you place the buttons.) Place each marked sheet of parchment on baking sheet.

 
3
 
1½ cups
confectioners’ sugar
4½ teaspoons
milk, plus extra as needed
¼ teaspoon
vanilla extract
Pinch
salt

In medium bowl, use rubber spatula to press and mix sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt, scraping down bowl as needed, until smooth icing forms, 1 to 2 minutes (icing will be VERY thick). If icing is too thick to stir, add extra milk, ¼ teaspoon at a time, until icing has taffy-like consistency.

 
4
 
Yellow gel food coloring
Pink gel food coloring
Blue gel food coloring

Divide icing evenly among bowls, leaving one-third of icing in original bowl (you should have 3 bowls of icing). Use spatula to stir 2 to 4 drops yellow food coloring into 1 bowl of icing. Clean spatula before mixing next color. Stir 2 to 4 drops pink food coloring into second bowl of icing. Clean spatula before mixing next color. Stir 2 to 4 drops blue food coloring into remaining bowl of icing. Cover pink and blue icing with plastic wrap and set aside.

 
5
 

Prepare pastry bag, following steps below:

Use scissors to cut ½ inch off bottom corner of pastry bag.

Fold top of pastry bag out and halfway down.

Insert pastry tip through bag so tip is peeking out of snipped bag corner.

 
6
 

Transfer yellow icing to pastry bag, following steps below:

Stand bag upright in drinking glass (with tip touching bottom of glass). Use spatula to scrape yellow icing into bag.

Remove bag from glass and unfold cuff. Use bench scraper to push frosting down toward tip.

Twist top of bag nice and tight so there’s no air between frosting and top of bag.

 
7
 

Place 1 parchment-lined baking sheet in front of you, with long side parallel to counter. Starting at left side of parchment next to 3 inch mark, hold pastry bag straight up, perpendicular to baking sheet, with tip about ¼ inch from parchment.

With 1 hand, gently squeeze pastry bag to push small dot of icing out of bag. Release pressure from your hand and lift pastry bag straight up.

Continue piping 3 dots of icing per column until you reach end of parchment.

 
8
 

After piping 1 row of buttons, use your finger to gently tap “tails” on buttons, creating smooth surface.

 
9
 

Return to left side of parchment and pipe another row of yellow dots at 6 inch mark. Flatten “tails” on buttons, if needed. Repeat piping another row of yellow dots at 9 inch mark. Pipe 1 more row of yellow dots approximately 1 inch above bottom of parchment. Repeat piping yellow buttons on second baking sheet at 3 inch, 6 inch, and 9 inch marks, and 1 inch above bottom of parchment.

 
10
 

Cut pastry tip out of pastry bag and thoroughly wash and dry pastry tip. Insert clean pastry tip into second pastry bag and fill with pink icing. Pipe dots of pink icing in even rows (3 dots per column) approximately 1 inch above yellow dots on both sheets of parchment, flattening “tails” of each row as you go, if needed.

 
11
 

Once you finish piping pink dots onto both sheets of parchment, cut pastry tip out of bag and thoroughly wash and dry pastry tip. Insert clean pastry tip into third pastry bag and fill with blue icing. Pipe dots of blue icing in even rows (3 dots per column) about 1 inch above pink dots on both sheets of parchment, flattening “tails” of each row as you go, if needed.

 
12
 

Set baking sheets aside in cool, dry place. Let buttons dry at room temperature until fully hardened, at least 8 hours or overnight.

 
13
 

Once buttons are dry, use scissors to cut parchment into strips along the marked vertical lines. Strips of buttons can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 month.

 

Food for Thought