/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » tasty tuesday: the rocks that popped

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Or maybe I should say, “The rocks that pooped.”  Every so often, I make things here that flop.  Or, as the graphic above suggests, things that *don’t* work.  Meh.  It happens.  I’m just a home-cook; I have a decent sense of things that work together well and whatnot, but sometimes, I miss a step.  Or something flops.  Or I follow a recipe where the original author didn’t talk about the ins and outs of the recipe & potential problems.

dsc_0025Regardless, I had this fun idea around the Fourth of July to make these patriotic cookies.  I found a recipe online (actually, a friend pointed it out to me) and since I had guests coming for firework-watching, I figured it was worth the food dye and time to give them a whirl.

They tasted fine – they were topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting, and cream cheese frosting improves anything/everything and makes it worth eating.  But for the “bang” of the recipe and the annoyance I went through to procure the ingredients, they were a bust.

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So I used a basic sugar cookie base and pulled out my cake-decorating dyes (highly concentrated stuff).  I divided the dough in to three batches and left one plain (i.e., white), made ⅓ red, and the last ⅓ blue.  The “special ingredients” were Pop Rocks, which are candies impregnated with carbon dioxide and which “pop” in the moisture of your mouth.  I didn’t realize this knowledge wasn’t common until a friend overseas asked what they were when I tweeted about making them.  😉

Regardless, our small town is pretty kid-friendly, so I fully expected to find these candies easily.   It’s a novelty treat and somewhat of a rite of passage in American childhood to have these (not-so-great-tasting) little bits, but I struck out over and over.  I finally found them at a gas station – and of course, the $.50 package of these things ran me $1.20 per packet.  Gas stations are notorious for that sort of mark-up.  But by that point, I simply didn’t care – I wanted to get back home and make these silly things.

What I did not anticipate as I kneaded Pop Rocks in to the dough was that as the cookies baked, they would “activate” and cause little pockmarks in the cookies.  It wasn’t a problem, but I wondered why the author of the original blog post hadn’t said anything about it.

dsc_0024The cookies baked, cooled, and the frosting mixed up, I started with the work of decorating them.  They were garish colours, but all of the food dye was safe, so once every few years we consume a bit of extra dye.  Meh.  Whatever.

As I sprinkled the nonpareils on the frosting and added some coloured sugar, I figured I’d top them off with the remainder of the Pop Rocks.  Fantastic idea!

Until … something zoomed! past my face.  I couldn’t figure out what it was until another something smacked! me in the forehead.

What the heck?!  OHHHHHHH.  Pop Rocks activate with MOISTURE.  Guess what?  Cream cheese frosting is … MOIST.  These silly candies turned my kitchen in to an artillery range – I literally went in to the next room and hollered, “INCOMING!!” after one of the candies popped Brendan right in the proboscis.  😆

We hooted and laughed and I scraped activated/melted/moist Pop Rocks off of my kitchen floor, my refrigerator, and myself.  My mom thought it was one of the funniest stories ever, and as I related it to her, I realized that maybe the original author didn’t say anything about the downside of the Pop Rocks activating because s/he didn’t actually make them before writing about them.  I don’t know.

But unlike others who blog about food, I’m always going to be honest.  The cookies were so-so, the frosting rocked, and the dsc_0023extra effort to find the Pop Rocks and use them was a complete bust.

With that considered, here’s the rockin’ cream cheese frosting – this stuff is good enough to eat with a spoon.  :)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, straight from the fridge is fine
5 T. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth in the bowl.  Add (gently, slowly) the powdered sugar and combine until smooth.  Try to keep your fingers and extraneous spoons out of it and actually use it to frost cookies, cake, or muffins.  😉

Next week, I’ll write about a dish that isn’t a flop.  But in case you just wanted a chuckle today, here it is.  Enjoy.  :)

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  • http://www.andanotherthing.typepad.com Betsie

    I ended up making the same basic cookies, but I just used patriotic colored sprinkles. Your’s and Sharon’s stories scared me enough that I didn’t even try the pop rocks! I am so glad that you tried out my find, so I didn’t have to!
    .-= Betsie´s last blog ..Happy things =-.