Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cake Pops for the New Year

I have been wanting to make cake pops for some time. They have been popping up all over the Internet and seem like something up my alley.

I decided there was no better time than New Years Eve!

I did a search for Cake Pops and found this blog tutorial. It seemed to make really clear sense and I went with it! I won't go through the whole thing because you can just print off her directions, but I'll give you my spin on things.

1. Get your ingredients. I got the Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge cake mix.
-I got Wilton candy melts in white, chocolate, and red.
-I also got the lollipop sticks in short and medium heights because I thought it would look neat in a basket with different heights.
*I bought the candy melts and sticks with a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. I would never go to Michaels without a coupon of some sort!*
-I got my Styrofoam from The Dollar Tree...for $1...obviously. But it is way cheaper than a craft store. I left the wreath Styrofoam in the plastic so it didn't get messy and I can use it again.

2. Make the cake.
(I cannot imagine how I ever lived without my KitchenAid. It is super awesome. And my co-workers are even more super awesome for getting it for me!)

3. Let the cake cool.
(When I do this again, I will probably bake the cake the day before so that it has plenty of time to cool. I was watching it closely because I was in a time crunch).

4. Break the cake apart with your hands until it is a pile of crumbles.
5. Get the frosting ready. I made my own frosting using the Wilton recipe (with butter instead of shortening and no meringue powder since I was just mixing it in). I thirded (is that a word like halved?) the recipe to make one cup instead of using half a can of store bought frosting.

6. Use your hands to mix the frosting and cake crumbles together until they are a messy ball!

7. Roll into 1 inch balls. Be careful not to make them any bigger or they won't stay on the sticks very well. I made a few too big because I was running out of room on my baking sheet and I should have just stuck to the smaller balls and used another baking sheet! Also, I stuck them in the fridge until they were cool (maybe 20-30 minutes) because I read it helped keep them together.

8. Melt your Wilton Candy melts following the directions on the package. Little Miss Momma suggests dipping your stick in the candy first, then the ball and letting it harden in the Styrofoam. I think this went very far towards keeping the balls on the stick well.
9. Follow the tutorial regarding how to dip them. I completely agree that you can't swirl the ball around in the melted chocolate. It will fall off. Make sure you dip it on the side, spoon the rest of it over, tap on the edge and spin until the excess has all come off (VERY IMPORTANT not to have excess!).

10. If you are going to add sprinkles, make sure you do it when it is still very melty. It hardens quickly!
-I used the little ball sprinkles and the sugar sprinkles. I actually like how the sugar sprinkles looked much better.

11. Put the pop in the Styrofoam until it is dry! It doesn't take very long until it is completely hard.
12. If you are going to drizzle a different color candy melt over it, wait until it is completely hard and then put some melted candy in a ziploc bag, cut off the end, and drizzle the design on the top.
13. ENJOY!

Check out the finished product:

Other decorating notes:
-I actually like how the ones with the red sugar on the chocolate and red looked a lot. It looked almost sparkly rather than standing out.
-I didn't prefer the red sugar on the white or the ball sprinkles as much. I think they were too loud. I was going for loud and festive for New Year's, but it just didn't work for me.
-I loved the way the ones looked with the drizzled candy on top. I think a nice combination of those and the red sugar sprinkles on the dark candy would be my preference in the future.

They DO take quite a bit of time to decorate, but they aren't difficult to do. I already have lots of ideas for what to do with them in the future. I'm seeing 4th of July "sparklers", baby shower favors, and more!

They were seriously amazing. They went really quickly and are super addicting. They are SO moist and tasty. Even though I am much more a salt person than sugar person, I am seriously addicted to these. I highly recommend them!