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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Royal Icing Hawthorn Blossom

The hawthorn blossom is the official state flower of Missouri (and rightly so; as many as 100 varieties of hawthorn live in Missouri). The hawthorn is easy to pipe; all you'll need are white, yellow, and pink stiff consistency royal icing, petal tip #104, round tips #3 and #2, star tip #16, a glue stick, a flower nail, parchment paper squares, a Styrofoam brick to rest the nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar. You'll notice I used a 5-petal flower template on the nail to help keep the five petals equal. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Hold the petal tip almost flat on the surface with the wide end in the center and the narrow end facing outward and slightly raised. Squeeze steadily and move the tip in an upside-down "U" motion to pipe the first petal.
 Repeat for a total of five petals.
 Pipe a yellow star in the center. Hold the tip at a 90 degree angle to the center, squeeze briefly, and pull the tip away. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch, and flatten the star slightly by lightly tapping it.
 Switch from the petal tip to the #3 round tip and pipe a cluster of stamens around the flattened star. Hold the tip against the surface, squeeze, pull upwards briefly, then stop pressure and pull the tip away. It's OK if the stamens are various lengths and aim in different directions; this will keep your flower looking real.
After the stamens have firmed up for a while, pipe pink dabs of icing on their ends with the #2 tip. Squeeze out a tiny dab amount of icing from the tip, and then wipe it off against the stamens (or pipe directly on them; they MUST be dry or they'll break). Now you'll know what to decorate your cupcakes with for Missouri Day (which, as I write this, is coming up; the third Wednesday in October!). 

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