There is something about a Mad Hatter Tea Party that screams sweet treats galore, or maybe it’s just me! At any rate, I decided to forgo a fancy, elaborately, decorated, 3 tiered cake for a few simpler, smaller cakes, along with some mini cakes, mini bundt cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and a few other items. I’ve been told I don’t know how to do simple, and I imagine this is proof of that precise commentary! It helps that my sister is awesome and bakes these wonderful cakes that help bring my creative vision to life for every celebration. That, of course, frees me up a bit to add in some extra treats to entertain my own crazy. In this case, I decided I wanted sugar cookies, wafers (to resemble the Cheshire Cat’s tail), and marshmallow mini top hats.
We have a huge family (and that is an understatement), so I wanted to make sure that (1) we had enough treats and (2) the laid out sweets would resemble a sort of “mad” display totally in character with what you would expect from the Mad Hatter himself. I went for a vintage backdrop feel with bright colors throughout.
I love sugar cookies and I am a fan of all edible art. I’ve also got hoarding issues, so you can imagine the collection of cookie cutters I’ve accumulated in the last couple of years. (Stay tuned for a post and pic on all that jazz). A Mad Hatter Tea Party is the perfect party to experiment with different cookie designs.
There are so many great tutorials for sugar cookies and royal icing. I have two go-to websites that I’ll link to in the next few days by updating this post. I wanted a funky unpolished look so I gave myself the freedom to just play as I went, experimenting with different freehand piping designs. If you prefer a more polished look, I did a second round of cookies for another party with the same theme, and I’ve included those at the very bottom of this post.
Here are a few more designs just to give you an idea of how experimental I got with this. I would recommend a #1 and #2 piping tip. That seems to help with cleaner lines – especially with writing and/or intricate details. Also, make sure you give yourself enough time for each layer to dry. Otherwise, you get runny designs. Refer to the fuzzy Alice and the blurred “We’re All Mad” to see exactly what I mean.
I love marshmallows, and of course, I couldn’t do without them here. I decided to make mini tophats to go with the mad hatter theme. Again, I went for that unpolished look. It’s also the “oh crap” last minute aesthetic. I have “procraftination” issues (as in last, minute, procrastination crafting).
How I did it: I got a 14 oz. bag of microwaveable chocolate candy wafers in dark green. I followed the instructions for melting in the microwave. Then, I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper which helps create a semi-nonstick surface. I spooned some melted green chocolate into mini-circles (for the hat brim). Once those dried, I coated regular sized marshmallows (not the minis) with the same chocolate and placed each marshmallow on top of each brim. I used the leftover icing from the cookies to give them each a colored accent. My helpers got creative with the icing!
Having had a second chance for this party (hosted by a friend), I switched up the cookies for her guests. Since the party was smaller in scale, I was able to make a more “elegant” batch to fit the style of that particular event.
For these cookies, I used my handy dandy sugar cookie recipe (as usual). I also used these beautiful, edible, sugar sheets that I picked up from my local craft store (Michael’s – and yes, I used a coupon!).
I used the same cookie cutter that I used for the cookies to trace the top layer. I got the cookie cutter online at Karen’s Cookies for a previous party, and I really love the shape. I basically held the cookie cutter in place and traced with an exacto knife. I used little dots of royal icing to attach the sugar sheets to the cookies. Then, I piped white royal icing as a thick layer on top with a #3 piping tip. Lastly, I used a #1 piping tip to add a pop of color along with some black handwriting.
I had so much fun decorating these treats! It’s amazing what you can do with some sugar and a bit of color. I’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments. ;)