Feb 26

Hinamatsuri Flower Candy & Printable Gift Tags

in Candy, Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day), Japanese, Printables, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

** This week we’re getting ready for Hinamatsuri (Japanese Girl’s Day, March 3rd) next week!

Earlier this month I read a post on Serious Eats about making homemade conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day.  I immediately thought of adapting the recipe for Hinamatsuri, and used it to make flower shaped candies that are perfect for tying up in little goody bags to give for Hinamatsuri.  I also made gift tags that you can download and print on cardstock paper and tie onto goody bags.

Hinamatsuri Flower Candy

These candies are not a traditional Hinamatsuri food, but they are made using traditional Hinamatsuri colors and are a fun way to tell your favorite girls that you love them.  Pale pink symbolizes peach blossoms, white symbolizes snow, and green symbolizes grass. This mirrors the seasonal change from winter (snow) to spring (grass) and the arrival of peach blossoms.

The dough only uses four ingredients, plus whatever food coloring and flavoring you decide to add.  Just make sure you plan ahead, because the candies take between 24 to 48 hours to dry (depending on how thick you roll your dough).  First you mix up the dough in your mixer.  It makes a very stiff sticky dough.

Candy dough

You then scrape this dough out onto a work surface (I used a silicone baking mat for easy cleanup, but still got powdered sugar EVERYWHERE) and knead it, sprinkling it with confectioners’ sugar as you go, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky—like modeling clay.

Knead the candy dough

Then you divide the dough into 3 equal portions, and wrap up 2 of the portions in plastic wrap (the dough dries out quickly).

Divide dough into 3 pieces

Then shape one portion into a disk, and add a drop of red/pink food coloring and a drop of flavoring in the center (I used a combination of orange extract and almond extract), and begin to fold the disc over on itself, kneading the dough until the color has been evenly distributed throughout the dough and you no longer see any streaks of color in it.

Add color and flavor to doughEvenly colored ball of candy dough

Wrap up the ball in plastic wrap and repeat the process, making one of the other balls a light green, and leaving one white.  You will not need to add any food coloring to the ball of dough that you are leaving white.  Then you roll out a small portion of your dough (I used about 1/2 of a color at a time so that the dough wouldn’t dry out too quickly) on a surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar until it is about 1/3-inch thick.

Rolling out the candy dough

Then use small flower shaped cutters (I used those Wilton fondant cutters I mentioned in the Chirashi Sushi post) to cut flowers out of the dough.  Transfer the cut flowers to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  You can keep re-rolling scraps as you go to make more flowers.

Cut out flowers using fondant cutters

Continue until you have used up all of your dough.  The cutting step is a wonderful way to get your little ones involved in the process.  Squirrel loved pressing the cutters into the dough (although many of her flowers had to be re-rolled after she tried to pick them up herself because they got a bit squished).

Squirrel lifting out flower shapes

Let your candy pieces air-dry for a minimum of 24 hours.  Depending on how thick you roll your dough, they may need more time to dry.

Hinamatsuri candy laying out to dry

When they have dried put them into small cellophane bags (I used bags that were 4 inches x 6 inches in size).  Print off a sheet of gift tags on cardstock paper and cut them out.  Punch a hole in one end, thread a piece of yarn, string, or ribbon through the hole, and then use it to tie your bags shut.

Hinamatsuri Candy Bagged & Tagged

For the recipe, see this post on SeriousEats.com.

Download the Hinamatsuri Gift Tags

Hinamatsuri Gift Tag

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy February 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Love, love, love these! I’ve wanted to make custom candies like these for the longest time. Thanks for posting this. Could be perfect for weddings as well.


Elisabeth February 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Nice spin on the ubiquitous conversation hearts. And Happy Hinamatsuri. You go girl(s)!


The Cooking Ninja February 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

That’s one good activity to do with kids. My poppet would want to cut it out and pick it out herself. She won’t be happy to just press the cookie cutter only. LOL!


Bob February 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Heh, I bet they taste better than conversation hearts. I’ll have to forward this to my siblings with kids, it would be a fun activity.


Fuji Nana February 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Cute little flowers could work for a May Day treat as well.


Kristi Rimkus February 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm

What a wonderful tradition, and wonderful pictures!


Velva February 27, 2010 at 5:40 am

These candies are just stunning. Beautiful.


Paula - bell'alimento February 27, 2010 at 7:22 am

Okay could these be any cuter? I think NOT! Even the packaging is fantabulous! Brava & Happy Hinamatsuri!


sugar plum February 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

this is so so so so sweet …i love those cutters too….and squirrel sure is going to be as good as mama soonnnnn…..adorably so….


Lauren February 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Oh my gosh. Coolest thing ever! And they’re even gluten-free =D. Might have to give these a go!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction February 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Wow – these look *amazing*!! I think they would make adorable little Easter candies, too… Definitely going to give this a try!!


Melanie (Kimono Reincarnate) February 28, 2010 at 6:52 am

These are gorgeous for girls day! Hope you have a lovely celebration in your house with your two sweet little ones.


Kelly Azuma March 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

They look wonderful. I’d love to give them a whirl sometime. :)


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

Beyond adorable!


Liz March 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I just clicked over from TK and I just absolutely LOVE these! I may make these for our Easter guests just like another commenter mentioned! Fun and special! Oh and thanks for the add!


samuelwangenye May 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I luv it chao.


Kevin March 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Very cute idea. What else do you use those little flower cutters for?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 15, 2016 at 11:01 am

I’ve used them to cut vegetables and slices of cheese into flower shapes to use as decoration in my daughters’ bentos (packed lunches)! I’ve also used them for adding decoration to a pie crust!


Himel March 22, 2022 at 1:39 pm

Wow, this is looking so beautiful.


BK Go Gift Yourself June 27, 2022 at 1:48 am

This looks really creative.
Thanks for sharing!


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