You know those dinosaur desserts I planned out a few days ago? Well, I tried making them!
TL:DR – More powdered sugar! More butter!
Okay, so I have two options for making the pieces: fondant or candy melts. I’m trying fondant today. It’s harder to make, but easy to sculpt (as opposed to making candy molds for the melts to go into, which… blah, I’m not looking forward to). If the fondant fails, I always have the other to fall back on.
1. Making the fondant
I looked up a recipe online for marshmallow fondant. Hopefully it doesn’t taste like styrofoam (which is how every fondant has tasted to me so far). On top of that, I need colors, so this recipe for Jell-O fondant seems perfect. It seemed pretty straight forward. Melt marshmallows, add a tiny bit of water, add Jell-O powder until colored enough, add powdered sugar until firm. But, there’s one thing to keep in mind. You will never have enough powdered sugar. If it looks done, check again before you touch it, lest you end up with fondant gloves when you try to knead the last little bit of sugar in. Not that this happened to me or anything… with the purple fondant… all over the damn place. Nope. Not at all.
2. Make and form the Rice Krispie Treats
Standard recipe for the treats, nothing fancy. I made one third of a recipe for this test and got about 12 shapes. The shaping can be a little tricky. Make sure you have enough cereal in there, and make doubly sure you butter your hands before trying to roll that stuff into balls. Oh, and you might be asking yourself, do I have enough butter on my hands yet? No. You do not. To avoid your fingers becoming one with the marshmallow, re-butter yourself between every Rice Krispie ball. I’m serious.
3. Shape the fondant and put it on the Rice Krispie Treats
Here’s where I realize I have to deviate from the original designs. Legs need to be small balls under the body, not on the side (or it will look bulky – see the orange apatosaur). Details are tough. Skip them where you can. Use toothpicks to hold the head up, at least until the fondant hardens. Maybe I just didn’t use enough powdered sugar (there is never, ever enough), but that stuff gets floppy and sloppy pretty quick. Nerds candy make cute eyes. Butter hands to keep the fondant from sticking to hands, but not too much or the fondant will stop sticking to fondant. Oh, and some basic sculpting techniques for attaching parts – cut little crosshatches into the spot A and B will connect, then mush the edges of A into B, then B into A.
4. Taste Test
Wow. Okay, first, the Jell-O powder makes it kinda gritty. If you can grind it down before mixing, do it. Second, these flavors are intense. I recommend using food dye rather than adding more Jell-O to get the color darker. Third, obviously very sweet. Like, extreme sweetness. It’s like a massive, solid pixie stick. I couldn’t eat more than a bite of each color.
Cute! A couple of caveats, though. They get big with all that fondant, and I think they might be more work than they’re worth. Stegosaurus works best of the three I tried. I have a hunch T-Rex might work second best. Or Ankylosaurus. Probably best to use them as cake toppers or in very small batches of desserts. Partially a win, but I’ll try the candy melt method in the future and see if that works better.