The butterfly is made up entirely of Wilton melts chocolate discs that I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. Up until the night I made these, I had never worked with Wilton melts before, and now I fear that I will go broke buying them. They were easy to use and produced such beautiful results that I will be looking for other new fun ways to incorporate them into desserts. Or, maybe I'll just make these pretty butterflies all the time. :)
Check out Annie's site for the tutorial on how to make these. The butterfly wings can be made up to a few days in advance and stored until the cupcakes are ready to be assembled. I used the buttercream icing she recommended as well, and let me tell you, it is rich and delicious and held these butterflies in place quite well. The icing recipe is posted below.
So if you now feel the need to run to JoAnn's for supplies, I completely and totally understand. I may even see you there! :)
Easy Vanilla ButtercreamIngredients:
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, April 2007