One of our favorite ways to garnish cupcakes isn't with extra chocolate or sweets, it's with vegetables! They're cheaper, more cheerful and usually results in a good wow factor from your friends and family. They're quick and easy and all you need is a cookie cutter and some sugar... We've tried this same technique with other root vegetables with great success. Beets, parsnips, turnips and radishes are all great options although we come back to carrots time and time again. Especially since they are now available with ease in all sorts of lovely colors at the grocery store (or your backyard garden).
Simply cut your carrots into thick coins (they will shrink as they cook) and cut with a small cookie cutter (or paring knife). Add to 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 water over medium high heat. Simmer until they are your desired texture (sometimes we like them softer for certain things). Let drip dry on a silpat, baking sheet with wax paper on it or freezer paper. They can be added to your desserts at this point or be shaken gently in a bag of granulated white sugar to help keep them separate while you're working (like we did above).
They will keep in an airtight container for a week without refrigeration, longer if chilled.
Do you have an obscure garnish that you fall back on once in awhile? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: Playing with Your Food: How To Make Carrot Flowers!
(image: Sarah Rae Trover)