Yes, the ARE as good as they sound!
I know, in the last post, I said the next one would be about J's time in the pool, but we haven't gotten to that yet. We got one of those itty, bitty kid pools (with Toy Story on the bottom!) today, and tomorrow we're going to try to make it to an actual pool. I was all ready to go, new bathing suit and all, but our favorite adopted uncle to Jake, Rob, came over, and I had to fight my own war of keeping 2 soldiers off my cake pops! Jake was the only testosterone-filled individual who respected my wishes ;)
Cake pops came up when my friend, Alena, and I started talking about our kids' first birthday parties! She was brainstorming up all kinds of super-presh ideas for little Sophia, and it reignited my I-need-a-deployment-distraction mentality. So, we lit up Twitter for a wee bit, then moved to an instant messenger where the cake pops came up. And, for those that have forgotten, we're having an early birthday party for Jake in California, at the end of August...so it's *NOT* weird that I'm already thinking about this when he's a September baby. NOT.
But, little Sophia's a legitimate August baby, so I made these cake pops so Alena could know what the process really entails before presentation actually matters at her daughter's fiesta in just a couple months!
CAKE POPS: MY EVEREST
These things are super simple to make. No special bells and whistles, but they ARE hard to keep pretty! (and, just to be fair to moi, I was more concerned with how they'd taste than actual presentation, so I didn't spend as much time as I could have to make 'em purty).
I picked up the Funfetti cake mix and frosting, because it seemed uber appropriate for our pretend occasion. I baked the cake, as if I was making a normal sheet cake, in a 13x9 pan and then crumbled it in the baby food processor I use to make Jake's purees. Then, dumped that into a big bowl where I already had the frosting waiting. (I had the frosting already in there to loosen it up. Ya know how frosting kinda needs to broken down like the older kid who picks on younger kids?) So, I mixed 'em together and this is what I created:
Once that's a combination of the entire cake and frosting (I used 1 whole can and like 1/4-1/2 of another can since we had extra in the 'fridge, just to use it. Even though, like Rob said, frosting and cockroaches will be the only things left standing after the apocalypse) you roll it into little balls and get something like this:
I had 2 cookie sheets. I put one in the freezer and one in the 'fridge , to harden them. Reason for that: I wanted to see if there was a difference, besides speed of hardening, especially since I only had room for 1 cookie sheet in the freezer with all our other crap in there. My scientific experiment turned up goose egg. I'd use the freezer, though, just to get it done.
So, you pull them out when they're firm, think "Goldilocks". And, then you start poking them with your lollipop sticks. I used skinny craft sticks, because I was in a rush today. I don't, however, recommend that. The wood is unreliable. You'll, inevitably, find yourself in a lawsuit when some kid at your meticulously-planned birthday party cries about turning into a porcupine from the inside out.
Now, start dipping in your candy. I've never melted anything for dunking-to-coat before. So, I grabbed 2 little containers of "dipping chocolate" and figured I couldn't go wrong! (Alena, if you decide to do this, I'll go with you to show you which ones I got)
So, I have the cake balls on sticks, still sitting on their parchment paper atop the cookie sheets, and 2 containers of melted chocolate (melted via microwave), and a plate of sprinkles, all spread out. Enter, problem #1. Go back and look at that picture of the cake balls. Go. Do it. They're huge! So, when I'd dunk 'em, I'd lose them in the chocolate sauce, then Gary and Rob would call "DIBS!" But, when they're a more manageable size (think: a little bit bigger than a superball), it dunks perfectly.
After you've dunked, hold the cake pop horizontal and twist it around to get excess off. I DON'T recommend tapping it, like the original recipe calls. Not only does the chocolate not come off easily, you don't want to risk having it plop onto the counter. Once excess is off, dip top into plate of sprinkles and put into styrofoam for hardening. Like so:
Problem #2. No matter how many twists I did, I couldn't seem to stop the chocolate from dripping down onto the actual sticks. There's probably a better substance to dip the balls (hehe!) into, but I'm a rookie-dipper, so we'll see!
Alena, these are RICH. Completely tasty, and two thumbs up from my soldier-taste-testers, but I do think cupcakes would be cuter!