Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Cake Pops!

I discovered these little balls of fun on pinterest, my guilty obsession website, and I just HAD to make them mine. Have your ever seen anything so damn cute in your life? Other than LOL cats and fat babies?

Upon finding these things I automatically searched them on Amazon (its like my shopping wikipedia). I immediatly purchased this amazing book from Bakerella, the Queen of Cake Pops. So this isnt my first time making them. I started on them earlier this summer and this pic is my first batch I ever made. Only a small batch, which I recomend for your 1st time. Dont want to go too far on your first time and end up with more than you can chew! Actually you probably would end up chewing up a lot of them that fell off the stick and be perfectly happy with it. So yeah, Ive made em a few times.

Ironically this time I had both the most trouble and the most success. Doesnt that just make sense and figure out. So dont be discouraged by my first run of luck. The first batch I made were "Monster Pops". Cute little purple monster blobs with multiple sets of monster eyes, including a super cyclops.

These went pretty well, however it did seem more difficult than usual and I had a couple fall of the stick which I hadnt had happened before. I chalked it up to a random fluke and most of em turned out great! I used Wiltons Edible Markers to draw on the blue cyclops eyes and chocolate jimmies for the rest!

On to my ambitious "Pumpkin Pops". I was so excited about these because I had been dying to use an edible ink pen ever since I saw them in Bakerellas book. Yes, I get excited about something like that, leave me alone. That excitement wasnt long lived anyway. As soon as I started dipping the little balls of orange they quickly turned to balls of frustration. They all kept falling off the stick, there was no keeping them on. I was somewhere between crying and stabbing the first thing I saw with a lollipop stick.

I salvaged 12 of the things and then wouldnt you know it, they had bloom on em and I couldnt draw the faces on there. Bloom is something that happens from time to time to the candy coating, it gets this film on it which makes it pretty impossible to write on them. It just coats on the end of the marker. I only managed to draw 2 faces. This is when I got out the wine. I felt a little better.

The next day I was determined not to let these things take me down. Theyre little orange balls, I can take em down. I was also determined to make my next batch of "Mummy Pops" peferctly. I watched a few youtube videos and checked out some others Cake Pop experiences. I went to the store for more cake with super good tips and new resolve. I also found cool candy monster eyes while I was there, so there was that too. I bought decorating gel in black to draw on the pumpkin faces. Not as good as edible ink pen faces, but better than leaving them looking like mishapen discards from a closed down pumpkin patch.

First thing I did was make my funfetti cake and crumble it up after I had let it cool down. Then I busted out the chocolate frosting. This is where I had screwed up last time. If you havent noticed, and unless you neurotically read every cake box recipe as you walk by you probably havent, every store bought cake mix I could find was 'Super Moist'. Probably a good thing usually, but not when your mixing in 3/4 of the frosting can and wanting those little balls to stay firm and together. This is the evilness that overtook my pumpkin pops and turned them to mush pops. I now know better. I mixed up the cake crumbs with only somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of the frosting and no more. I wasnt sure it was going to be enough as I was stirring it up, but it turned out to be.

Another tip I picked up online from some of my fellow genius bloggers, is to use an ice cream scoop to scoop out even amounts of mix for each ball. Hello, I am stupid, why didnt I think of that before. Worked fantastic and it was SO much less messy on the hands with less frosting mixed in. I am now feeling good. Cue the LMFAO music. Im shuffelin cake pops.

I then stuck them in the freezer (after rearranging a bunch of food I didnt even know I had for room). The book says 15 min. Im hardcore today, I did 30-40. I then took em out and stuck em in the fridge (again with the major rearranging to make room). While they were in there I got out my candy coating and melted just a lil bit of it in the microwave. I didnt melt it all, just about 7 or 8 pieces. Ill tell ya why. Another tip I found online. I took the first plate of balls out of the fridge and dipped the tip of my stick, about a 1/2in, into the coating and inserted it into the top of a ball. I did this with all of the balls and placed them back into the fridge. Now Bakerella doesnt do this. Because she is Bakerella, Master of All Cake Pops, and I am Winerella, both whining when I screw it up and drinking it directly after. She's just better than me. But all joking aside, this worked so fabulously I will always be doing it and recomend it.

I left them in there awhile, read Harry Potter5 (Im 'Siriusly' dreading reading him the end of this one!) to my son,sent him off to bed
and put down my 15mo old daughter. Who protested. After all the wrangling, I sat down to Law & Order SVU and to dip my newly awesome cake pops. I melted the rest of the candy coating and added some vegetable oil. I use Wilton Candy Melts and I always add a lil veggie oil as it tends to be a lil too thick usually to dip all that well and smoothly. A lil vegetable oil (or shortening) goes a long way to helping that.

I gotta tell you these things dipped like a dream. Totally different experience from before. I was literally exclaiming to myself in my kitchen "these things are awesome", "I am in love", "Thank you for not falling apart", etc etc. I poped the eyes on after each dip and had the most perfect foundation for my "Mummy Pops"!

The next morning I tackled the 'mummy wrapping' icing. I could have easily done this the night before right after dipping all the pops, but I was too dang tired. So dont feel you have to wait to do that. I piped on the icing with a squirt bottle. They have candy writers at Michaels that I think I will try next time but this was fine, although messy. Oh well, they turned out great! I was super happy in the end, especially the way they looked in the cups I made for em!

I def recomend trying your own hand in cake pops, they taste so good and look even better. Bakerella's Cake Pop book has so many amazing character ideas, its amazing. You can also see her youtube video here on her methods. But I really do recomend adding the additional steps and tips I did in this blog. It made it so much more successfull and encouraging. Im now going to hand em out to my neighbors. Then come home and pout because they're all gone and probably being digested as I type.

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