While many birthday parties these days are much more extravagant than those of my childhood, decorating with balloons seems to be ever popular. Growing up, our birthday parties were simple; we played a few games, ate cake and ice cream, and opened presents in our family room which was decorated with brightly colored streamers and air blown balloons.
The games we played also often involved colorful air filled latex orbs. In one, each guest placed a balloon behind them on the floor. My mom would give the word to go and we’d all race to see who could sit down and pop their balloon first. The noise coming from our butts was enough to have us rolling on the floor laughing. Once all of those balloons were popped, we’d grab another one, stick it in between our legs, and race across the room trying to keep it in place. If it popped out, as it would most often do, we’d have to start all over again trying to do better the second time, or even the third. Oh, the simple joys of childhood.
Nowadays, I not only like to decorate my room for parties, I like to decorate the table with festive food. Recently, I created these Birthday Party Balloon Pastry Pops which I think will make a great addition to any tablescape for a party or can be used as a party favor for guests to bring home. They are super easy to make; store bought pie dough is cut into balloon shapes using a cookie cutter, is filled with Nutella or jam, decorated with brightly colored sanding sugar, put on a stick and baked. You can tie a ribbon onto the stick and arrange them on your table, or package them in cellophane bags to give as favors.
Birthday Party Balloon Pastry Pops (makes 12)
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust (or use homemade crust)
flour for dusting work surface
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
fillings – Nutella, jam, pie filling, peanut butter
colorful sugar crystals*
*Use as few or as many colors as you’d like. You can buy individual bottles of colored sugar crystals or buy containers with up to 6 different colors. Just be sure to use the large crystal sugar for this recipe. I tried adding food coloring to granulated sugar and decorating these pastries with it, but wasn’t happy with the result. The larger crystals look much nicer.
Thaw pie crust according to package instructions or make homemade dough according to recipe.Dust a cutting board or counter lightly with flour. Unroll dough and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about a 13″ round. Use the balloon shaped cookie cutter to cut out 24 balloons, re-rolling dough as needed.
Brush 6 of the pie dough balloons with egg wash using a pastry brush. Spoon (or pipe with a disposable pastry bag) about 2 teaspoons of Nutella, jam, pie filling, or peanut butter in the center of each balloon. Stick a lollipop stick into the filling. Set a second pie dough balloon on top and press the edges together sealing well. Repeat until you have 12 balloon pops.
Brush egg wash over the top of each of the balloons and sprinkle on colored sugar crystals. Move the balloons carefully onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I was able to pick them up by the lollipop stick and move them. If you bake them with a bunch of excess sugar around them, the sugar will clump together and the edges of your balloons will be misshapen.
Refrigerate balloons for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake chilled balloons for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Once cooled you can tie ribbons onto the sticks and arrange in a container such as a vase. You can alternately package each pastry pop in a cellophane bag, tying the ribbon on the outside of the bag. Keep stored in an airtight container for a few days.
Items used to make this project: