Store-bought goodies, including a pound cake and cookies, create the planter for these edible hyacinths and tulips.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 package (10-1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
- Red and blue liquid food coloring
- 4 cups Frosted Cheerios
- 15 leaf-shaped spearmint gumdrops
- 15 wooden skewers (8 inches)
- 3 strawberry-flavored Fruit by the Foot fruit rolls
- 6 large marshmallows
- Colored sugar
- 3/4 cup chocolate frosting
- 1 loaf (10-3/4 ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed
- 12 crisp rectangular cookies (about 3 inches x 1-3/4 inches)
- For hyacinths, combine the butter and marshmallows in a saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Divide into two large bowls. Stir 2-3 drops each of red and blue food coloring into one bowl; stir 1-2 drops red food coloring into another bowl. Add 2 cups cereal to each bowl; stir until well coated. Insert one gumdrop on nine skewers. With greased hands, quickly shape about 1/2 cup cereal mixture into a 3-to 4-in.-long hyacinth shape around gumdrop. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and chill for 4 hours or until firm.
- For each tulip, cut six 2-1/2-in.-long pieces of fruit roll. With a kitchen shears, trim one end of each piece into tulip petal shape. Trim 1/4 in. from each corner of opposite end. With a small pastry brush, lightly brush water on one end of marshmallow; dip in sugar. Lightly brush water on sides and bottom of marshmallow so top of petal is 1/2 in. above sugared end (see photo below).
- Repeat five times, overlapping the side of each petal by 1/8 in. Fold bottom of petals under marshmallow, overlapping tapered ends Brush with water if needed to hold petals together. Insert a skewer through petals into center of marshmallow. Insert a gumdrop into the other end of skewer to hold marshmallow in place.
- Frost top and sides of cake; place cookies vertically around cake. Just before serving, insert flowers into cake, trimming bottom of skewers to varied lengths Yield: 8 servings of cake plus 9 hyacinths and 6 tulips.
Originally published as Flower Box Cake in Quick Cooking March/April 2000, p59
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