Friday, August 26, 2011

Rock Candy Cupcakes

Rock candy is a weird food.  I mean, there isn't really anything that good about it minus that it's pure sugar, which is always a good thing, but every time I see it I get this giddy feeling in my stomach like I'm 5 years old at a country candy store and my parents have caved for once and bought me a treat. After sucking on it for about 3 minutes you realize it doesn't really taste *that* good.  But next time you see it you have to buy it all over again.

I think nostalgia probably tastes better than anything.

My kids about flipped when I made these.  They taste like you'd expect, but I have to be honest; the texture bothered me.  The soft cupcake combined with the rock hard candy made for a really strange combination to chew in my mouth.  Things aren't ready to swallow at the same time... It's awkward.  The kids were too busy crunching and licking and smacking their lips to notice or care. This is definitely kid food.

 Rock Candy Cupcakes

Update: 1/17/2013-  A reader wrote into let me know that she made these a night in advance with a 7-minute frosting and by morning the frosting was a runny mess.  I'm not sure if that was the result of using a wetter frosting, but just to be safe,  you may want to make these right before serving!  When I made these I used a thin layer of canned vanilla frosting and served them right away.

-Baked vanilla cupcakes
-White frosting (or you can tint it to match your rock candy color)
-Flavored rock candy (watermelon was my favorite!)  You can buy it at Michaels or Zurchers

First you need to get your rock candy off the stick.  Leave it in the sealed bag and gently "crumble" the rock with your fingers, starting at the bottom where crystals are thinnest.  You don't want to pulverize it because the big crystals are pretty, so be gentle.  When you can't get any more off with your fingers, open the bag and empty the loose crystals into a bowl.  Then take out the stick and push (fairly hard) against the big crystals to break them up.  Mine all came off pretty easily.

See how the crystals aren't attached to the stick anymore?
Repeat this process with all your rock candy.  You can do one color or ten.  You can even combine colors.  Put your rock candy in little bowls.
Frost your cupcakes with a layer of frosting and make sure it is sticky enough that the rock candy will stick.
Over a large bowl, sprinkle your cupcake with your rock candy crystals.  I just picked them up with my fingers and sprinkled.  You may want to strategically place the bigger crystals so they cover your "bare" spots.  Each rock candy stick should cover 1 cupcake.

Serve immediately.

Super hard recipe, I know.

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Unknown said...

I love the look of these!

BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} said...

These look so fun! I hear you on the nostalgia thing--it's amazing how much better some things taste in my memory than in real life.

Cassie | Bake Your Day said...

These are so fun, I can't wait to have an event so that I can use this idea

Unknown said...

I'd suggest testing these ahead of time before the big event. What type of frosting did you use? We used a 7 min frosting with egg white so that the frosting would "crust" a bit and dry. We frosted at 10 pm last night and by 6 am this morning, the frosting was a sad droopy mess, which made the birthday girl a sad droopy mess, too.My husband had to immediately run to the bakery for replacements. The baker told him that the rock candy breaks down the frosting and makes it run.

Unknown said...

What type of frosting did you use? We used a 7 minute frosting with egg white so that the frosting would "crust" or dry a bit, holding the rock candy in place. We frosted at 10 pm last night and by 6 am this morning, the cupcakes were a runny, droopy mess, which made the birthday girl a runny, droopy mess, too. My husband had to run to the bakery to find a replacement. The baker said the rock candy breaks down the frosting and makes it run. Turned out to be a very expensive fail for us. Had to toss the original cupcakes, plus buy expensive bakery cup cakes to save the day.

Dip It In Chocolate said...

Jodi, I am so sorry that happened to you! I just used a frosting from a can since I was only using a thin layer. I served them right away so I don't know if mine would have broken down if I'd made them the night before. I"m guessing a wet frosting dissolves the rock candy, just like rock candy dissolves in your mouth?

Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know. I will make a note in the recipe so no one else has the same experience you do. I am so sad for your daughter! :( I hope she had a good birthday anyway.

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