Knockcast 10 – Ace and Wes

Ace and Wes kick off Knockcast 10 with a chat about rolling as a duo after six straight shows with guests and how 10 is a great number.  The two then discuss who their ultimate Knockcast guests would be, many of whom are already Knockaround fans.

Wes then tells the story of his "Instagram battle" with former NBA star, Gilbert Arenas.  Ace shares something similar that happened to him: the time Marc Ecko talked trash to him about the San Diego Chargers (via the @Knockaround account) on Twitter.   

Other topics covered on this week's Knockcast: the uncanny Ford Fusion / Aston Martin resemblance, early days of Knockaround's Instagram account, Franky, San Diego's great weather, multi-use stadiums and arenas, upcoming concerts, and POW! WOW! Hawaii (a week-long street art festival that is happening right now!)

"We don't need no stinkin' guests!"  Take a listen to Knockcast 10!


Southern California Christmas Cacti Cookies

The holidays in Southern California feel a little bit… different. Without flurries twisting in the sky, or even a chill in the air, sometimes it’s tough to get into that “Season’s Greetings” mindset. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Decembers past here in SoCal, it’s that a plate of warm gingerbread cookies can quickly elevate the Christmas spirit and accelerate everyone’s holiday cheer.

With that in mind, we teamed up with our good friends at Three50Bakes, our favorite San Diego baking company, to create these unique Southern California Christmas Cacti Cookies. Whether or not you’re located in the warm Southwest corner of the US, or buried in 2 feet of snow somewhere up North, these succulent-inspired sweets will surely be a hit among your family and friends. 

The ingredients list is listed at the bottom of this post.  Cookies by Angela Estes / Three50Bakes.  Follow Three50Bakes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Photos by Regan Russell

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, whisk and set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Drizzle in the molasses and mix well. Add the eggs, maple and vanilla extracts and mix. Add the flour mixture in two batches. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix one last time until just combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. When you're ready to bake, take the dough from the fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes until soft enough to roll but still firm. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Divide dough in half and roll out to a thickness of 1/3" on floured surface or parchment paper.

Cut out cactus shapes (or shape of your choosing) with your cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once during baking and until the cookies are puffed and set but still soft. Let cool on sheet for a few minutes then remove to cool completely.

To make the buttercream icing, beat the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla in a mixer until fluffy and combined. Add enough heavy cream cream to makes it smooth and spreadable. Add green food coloring one drop at a time until you get the shade you like. Smooth onto cookies with a knife or mini spatula.

Decorate the cookies with mini chocolate candies or sprinkles to look like christmas lights. Try piping the string with white buttercream or adding a star topper.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

To Decorate

  • cactus cookie cutter
  • green food coloring (i like the gel kind)
  • mini chocolate candies or festive sprinkles 


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