Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cactus - Cake Bites!

Cactus are so hot right now! I lived in Arizona for over a decade and I hated them. I moved there from the California coast at 16 - right in the middle of my high school years. I hated everything about our new home, as many teenagers would after a move. But in time I grew to love the desert. I love the monsoon season, I love the color contrast and I love the complete quiet that can be found. My husband is a desert man and I know he misses it. Lately with the cactus craze, I've been painting more cacti and the other day I had an idea to make a cactus cake bite. Now you can too!

What you will need:
1 package of the super mini cake cones
1 package of any shade of cocoa candy melts (or you could temper chocolate)
1 package of mini marshmallows
1 package of graham crackers
1 package of Oreo - S'mores (though you could use any flavor - I just thought this went the best with the other flavors)
1 package of vanilla frosting (again, you could use any flavor)
1 package of green candy melts
assorted sprinkles, sanding sugar

I love these super mini cake cones - I keep finding new ways to use them. They are the perfect base for cake bites.

Slowly melt your cocoa candy melts. The bags give directions on how to melt in the microwave, but I adore my double boiler. Either way, once they are melted you will want to dip each cone in the chocolate and set to the side to harden. Don't fuss too much about any imperfections; they are to imitate pots and rarely those are perfect.

I let mine sit over night and work on them the next morning. With a sharp paring knife, you can trim down the base to help it sit right. You can also shave any really big areas of too much chocolate. Save the extra bits of chocolate - you will need them in just a minute.

Stuff mini marshmallows down into the pot. This will help weight it and allow it to sit. It's also a yummy surprise once the cake bite has been devoured.

*You could also use gummi bears or any other favorite small candy.

Melt the extra chocolate candy wafers and cover the pot tops. Before it hardens, sprinkle crushed graham cracker on top. This will be the gravel or soil.

Drop all the Oreo crackers into a Cuisinart and blend until they are all crumbled up. Since it has the creamy filling, they will be slightly moist. Now you will add a dollop or two of the vanilla frosting. You want just enough frosting that the Oreo mixture will stick together like clay, but you do not want it too sticky!

There isn't a perfect amount of frosting - it depends on how many cookies you start with, the weather, etc.. I would start with a couple big spoonfuls and blend. Check until it's the desired consistency.

Shape the Oreo cake dough into the desired cactus shapes. Check out pictures of the real plant, look at clipart, and other cactus art. Try to vary the shape - you may find some are easier to work with than others. And then place in the fridge for 20-40 minutes (do not place in freezer!)

*When you are shaping the cake bite, gently test it on the pot to see if it is a good proportion.

While your cake pops are hardening in the fridge, place a toothpick in the center of each pot. Be sure to let the cake pop eaters know about this so they don't get an unpleasant surprise.

Melt the green candy to coat the cactus. I found a really fun bright green at Michael's - it's Wilton's Vibrant Green.

Get your decorating yummies out and ready to use. I picked out green sprinkles, green sanding sugar and a few other goodies. Explore your nearest baking supply store for things that maybe fun to use.

Then you will dip and decorate your cactus. I placed mine to the side to harden and then placed gently on the toothpick center of the pot.

I think these would be so fun for any desert or Mexico themed party. Wouldn't these be adorable table favors at a wedding or fiesta? Your guests will love that their personal cactus is completely edible and delicious!

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