Pineapple Flowers

These are flowers cake toppers are made from dried pineapples.
 I had seen this done before, and had to try it for myself. 
I am truly happy with the results!! 

To Make Them
Preheat the oven to 200° 
Slice pineapple into pieces that are as thin as you can get them
(its pretty hard to do by hand...don't worry if they are uneven or if pineapple piece
is not a perfect slice, it actually looks better

Place as many as you can fit on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven.
(if your slices are not whole round slices, just piece them together by laying them on top of one another, and press in the center, they will dry together)

Allow the slices to begin to dry out checking in after an hour or so, when they are starting to get tacky to the touch flip them over so that the underside can dry out.
Check them again after a a half hour or so...
(this is definitely a trial by error process, so just be patient, I promise that
they will turn out beautifully

You may have to flip them again a few times....depending on how thin the slices are.

Once your slices are starting to turn more of a rich golden color and the fibers in the center of the pineapple begin to stand up they are ready for the next step, so pull them out of the oven.

For this step you will need cupcake tins. (I found that the flowers turned out best when I used both mini and standard cupcake tins, but if you don't have both it's not a big deal). Take the pieces that you have been drying and center them over the circles where you usually put batter (you have no idea how difficult it was trying to think of how to describe what seems a totally simple thing...not so sure I even nailed it). Press down gently in center and then using your finger press around the edge of the circle at the bottom of the pan. Pop them back in the oven to dry out a bit more. Watch for the rich golden color to appear, the edges may start to brown a little, this is how you will know they are done.

For the final step, assemble them by starting with a piece of dried pineapple that dried flat, or didn't get put in a cupcake tin, dab a tiny bit of cream cheese, or whatever icing you are using in the center to act as glue. Next place the pineapple that dried in the larger cupcake tin in the center and press to secure. Dab a bit of cream cheese in the center, and place the pineapple that dried in the mini muffin tin in the center and voila beautiful yummy, and healthy cupcake toppers. I put them on pineapple upside down cupcakes, and they were a total hit. My brother-in-law Jim would have eaten the toppers alone as a snack if there were enough. (Actually, when we were taking the pictures for this post, he ate part of one of the samples not realizing what we were doing...that is why there are only two layers in these photos....I'm just glad they were a hit).

I would recommend making these a few days before you plan to server them because they are quite time consuming. Just be sure to keep them in the fridge in an air tight container, because moisture will cause them to become gummy and to lose form a bit. 

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