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Operaton Postcard for Beverly, and Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcake Bites


Remember The Postcard Project?  Yeah, I sort of lost steam on it and forgot about it myself!

However, I received this message from my friend, Margaret, that revived my sense of purpose.

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I have a cousin that has a postcard project going for a lady that will be 90 years old her birthday. I think this would be a great project for the postcard group. She will let us know how many postcards she received and I will let you know. Thanks whether yes or no.

This is how I received it:

“You are invited to join Operation Postcard! The Regency Manor, where my Mother-in-law, Mrs. Beverly Harris, lives, has a map of the US and they mark each state a postcard comes from. Sadly, the map is not very full. Will you help me flood the map and Beverly’s mailbox with a postcard from your state? Please have your postcard sent by March 15, 2012. Also send an email to me (purpleisland@sio.midco.net) so I can keep a running total of postcards being sent.

Mrs Beverly Harris
3425 Dakota Ave, #32
South Sioux City NE 68776

Thank you in advance for helping in this very special display of appreciation for one great lady…Charlene Harris”

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OK, this makes me SUPER excited.  I’m so on this!  I already sent my postcard, and I told Margaret I’d spread the word  I hope many you will join me and that Mrs. Beverly will be able to mark every single state (and maybe even a few overseas countries) on that map!  I can just imagine her anticipation as the cards roll in each day and seeing her marking the map and later making a scrapbook with the cards.  I confirmed her address is a nursing home through a Google search, so just imagine the happiness all these cards will bring to this lady on her 90th birthday!

If you would like to get a card to her, please do it as soon as you can (by March 15th) and email her daughter, Charlene, at the email address she gave above.  Also, please put a return address label at the top if you don’t send a postcard featuring your state, that way she will know where it came from.  Thank you so much!

In the spirit of celebration, I thought I’d share this cupcake bite creation I made using leftovers from a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake (the cake domes I sliced off, plus the leftover frosting).  If you like the combination of chocolate and raspberries, you’re going to love these!

To make them, just use the original cupcake bites instructions, using the cake and frosting recipe from my Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake.  Or, if you make the cake and want to use the leftovers for these, here is the “recipe.”

Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcake Bites

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cake domes leftover from a Dark Chocolate Cake
1-2 tablespoons leftover Raspberry Buttercream
4 ounces (2 rectangles) chocolate candy coating/almond bark
4 ounces pink candy melts
sprinkles for decoration

Crumble up the cake tops in a bowl with your hands, or in a food processor. Using your hands, mush in the frosting until well mixed. Roll the mixture into balls (I got ten but you might get more if you had really high domes on your cake) and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Melt the chocolate candy coating according to package directions, being careful not to overheat it. Spoon the melted coating into miniature peanut butter cup molds, filling about 1/3 full. As you fill each one, press a cake ball down into the chocolate until it comes up the sides to the top of the mold. Once the mold is full or you’ve done all the balls, place in the freezer while you melt the pink candy coating.

Melt the pink candy coating according to package directions. Add a little oil or shortening if your chocolate becomes too thick (Wilton is especially prone to this). Pop the cupcake bites out of the mold onto foil or waxed paper. Pick up one at a time by the chocolate bottoms and dip upside down into the pink candy coating, making sure it covers the whole cake ball. Gently shake off excess and set right-side-up on the foil/waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle with sprinkles and continue to dip and sprinkle until all cupcake bites are finished. Serve at room temperature. You don’t need to refrigerate unless they will be outside the fridge for more than three days.

Cupcake Bites

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Although this is a Bakerella original, I actually got the idea from a friend who learned about cake pops from me and has never even heard of Bakerella.  She was going to make cake balls for her sister’s wedding, discovered that they are a pain to dip (I AGREE!!  I WOULD LOVE MAKING CANDY IF IT DIDN’T EVER INVOLVE DIPPING THINGS IN CHOCOLATE! ARRRRG!), and then came up with this idea all on her own.  I didn’t discover until after I’d copied her idea that she’s not the first to have it but it just goes to show, great minds think alike.  And I’m not just saying that in hopes that Tina will share some of her famous peanut butter blossoms with me soon.  Although I certainly wouldn’t object to a few.  Ahem.

Anyway, cupcake bites are basically cake balls made to look like little cupcakes.  They are easier to make and there is almost no chance of messing them up the way there is with cake balls and cake pops.  And they are even cuter than cake balls and cake pops!  I’m so in love with them, it’s ridiculous.

What is a cake ball/pop you ask?  Why, only the most brilliant dessert invention ever!  It’s cake crumbled up and mixed with frosting until it’s a truffle-like consistency, rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate with or without sticks on one end.  And they are so. good.  Please make these in any form–you will be hooked!  (If you want the original cake pops/balls/truffles recipe, I have it posted here and have a modified version for using extra cake here.)

OK, so to make these babies, just mix crumbled cake with frosting to make your cake ball centers.

I'm recycling my old photo, which shows more frosting (probably 1/2-2/3 cup) than what I use now. This is OK, but not necessary.

Melt up a whole package of chocolate candy coating (chocolate flavored almond bark).  Or melt real chocolate with a tablespoon of oil or shortening.  Spoon some into a peanut butter cup candy mold about 1/3 full (I overfilled mine in these pics).

Place the cake balls on top of the chocolate and press down gently until the chocolate comes up to the edge.  Place filled mold(s) in freezer until the chocolate is set, about a minute or two, then pop out.

They really shouldn’t be this high, but like I said I overfilled the chocolate.  But they’ll still be cute regardless of how much chocolate you use.  No worries!

Melt white (or whatever color you please) candy coating and turn the cupcake bites over to dip the tops.  Shake off excess and shake on sprinkles, if desired, while the chocolate is still wet.

That’s it!  It still does take some time, but when it’s all said and done, there is like 100% less stress-related heart attacks and spontaneous combustion associated with making cupcake bites, versus cake balls and pops.  Or so I would imagine, based on my own zen state afterward, versus my usual crazed, eye-twitching state after making cake pops.  There is no cracking (the number one complaint of people making cake pops and balls), and there is no tap, tap, tapping foreeeeeeeeeever to get the excess chocolate off while wishing upon a star that the cake ball doesn’t fall off the stick before you finish tapping.  It’s made in a mold so it’s got a perfect shape, so you don’t have to bite your lower lip off while trying to get your chocolate to look completely smooth on the cake ball.  So.  I would highly recommend buying one of these molds and getting your own cupcake bites groove on!

Cupcake Bites

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 baked cake (I used a devil’s food cake mix)
1/3-1/2 cup frosting (I used my cream cheese celebration frosting, because I always have it in the freezer and it’s the diggity)
1 (24 oz) package chocolate candy coating
1 (24 oz) package vanilla candy coating
sprinkles or nonpareils (optional)
peanut butter cup mold

Crumble the cake into a large bowl, preferably using a food processor to get fine, even crumbs.  Mix in 1/3 cup of frosting with your hands, mixing well.  This will probably be enough–you just need enough so that the crumbs stick together when you pinch off some and roll it into a ball–but if not, add a little more and mix well.  Roll into balls a little smaller in diameter than your peanut butter cup mold and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  A small cookie scoop works well for this.  Refrigerate a few hours (or overnight) or place sheet in the freezer for a few minutes until chilled but not frozen.  Melt the chocolate candy coating and spoon into mold until each cup is about 1/3 full.  Place a cake ball in each mold, pressing down just until the chocolate comes up to the edge.  One the mold is filled, place in freezer for a minute or two, until chocolate is set, then remove and pop the molded cake balls out onto a second baking sheet.  Repeat this process and while the second set is chilling, melt the white coating and dip the tops of the cupcake bites with bottoms, shaking to remove  excess before placing back on the baking sheet and sprinkle on some sprinkles or nonpareils while the chocolate is still wet.  Store finished bites in the refrigerator if you are making more than a day in advance.  Will last a week in the fridge.

Recipe source: too convoluted to be fully ascertained. Bakerella posted them first.  Tina thought of the idea without help.  I stole her idea and made up my own recipe and instructions without help from her or Bakerella.  So you figure it out.

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