NO BONES ABOUT IT—just a glance at this tasty canine confection is bound to get guests' stomachs growling! The birthday dessert is surprisingly simple to prepare, too...beginning with a mouthwatering coconut cake recipe from Nancy. Like CT's cooks did, you can easily "groom" her baked teat into a pooch by adding chocolate, candy and a fruit snack to make a friendly face. So collar your own critter for a party...you'll have a howlin' good time!—Nancy Reichert, Thomasville, Georgia
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
- 4 eggs, separated
- 4 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 chocolate-covered peppermint candies
- 1 piece shoestring black licorice (4 inches)
- 1 red fruit Roll-up
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semisweet chocolate; stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup just until mixture is well blended, forms a ball and is no longer shiny. Turn onto an 8-in. square of waxed paper. Press chocolate mixture into a 7-in. square. Let mixture stand at room temperature until dry to the touch, about 2 hours.
- Let separated eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate with water at 30% power until chocolate is melted; cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla and white chocolate mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into white chocolate mixture with coconut and pecans.
- Fill four greased muffin cups half full with batter. Spoon remaining batter into two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Bake cupcakes at 350° for 15 minutes and cakes for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Set aside 1 teaspoon for decorating.
- Roll out chocolate mixture on waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut out two 4-in. x 2-in. ears; round one end of each. Cut out two 1-1/4-in. circles for eyes, two 1-in. long strips for eyebrows and one 5-in.heart for muzzle; set aside.
- To assemble, place one cake on a large platter or covered board (about 14 in. x 11 in.). Cut off cupcake tops; cut a 1/4-in. piece from a rounded edge from each cupcake and discard. Place cut side of two cupcakes against side of cake with edges touching; frost top of cake and cupcakes. Top with remaining cake and cupcakes; frost top and sides.
- Place ears opposite the cupcakes, inserting the flat ends into side of cake 1/4 in. from top. Fold ears over the top of cake. Position eyes, eyebrows, and muzzle as shown in photo.
- Place a small amount of reserved frosting on the back of each mint; insert two for eyes and two for nose. Place licorice on the muzzle as shown. With scissors, cut fruit roll-up into a 4-in. strip and round one end; place straight and under muzzle for tongue. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Puppy Dog Cake in Country Woman January/February 2001, p20
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