Thursday, December 6, 2012

last minute cake pops, reindeer style

A couple years ago my mom gave me the Cake Pops book by Bakerella
I tried one attempt to make them and they were a disaster (chocolate didn't melt right, ooey gooey mess, blah blah blah).
So, the book sits in the kitchen.

And periodically Owen pulls it out and just flips through the pages, admiring each cute creation.  He loves that book! And of course asks me if I'll make some of them. 
(inner groan)
Well.  Tomorrow is his birthday.  And today he got to bring birthday treats to school.  So....
I pulled out the book and gave it a round 2, with Rudolph pops.  I knew he'd love it.
I gathered my supplies:
• Yellow cake and white frosting (per Owen's request)
• Cherry sourball noses - I cut off one end so they would be flat for placing on the pops
• Lollipop sticks - in the cake decor section of most craft stores
• Alphabet pretzels - I found these at our local Texas H.E.B. grocery store.  But if you can't find them, just use standard pretzels and break them up.
And then....drum roll please.....they totally worked!
Shiny nose and all!
I was pleasantly surprised.

Have you made cake pops?  If you have tips or secrets, please share with us in the comments.
 Here's what worked for me:

• Chocolate.  Last time I used chocolate chips and I think that was the problem.  You really need to use the candy coating/melting kind of chocolate (the small discs or the bars).  It's technically not "chocolate" but more like flavored shortening.  It actually tasted pretty good though, compared to the real thing.  I used the bar chocolate, cut it up into smaller chunks, and melted 1/2 of it in a soup-size bowl in the microwave.  Melt on 20 second intervals, stirring after each time.  And after you've dipped about 6-8 balls, warm it in the microwave again for 20 seconds.  You want to keep it smooth and thin for the whole process.
• Work in small batches.  I placed my rolled balls in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, then pulled them out 3 at a time. 
• Work quickly or the chocolate will set.  I was amazed at how fast the chocolate hardened (compared to chocolate chips).  So work quickly to place the pretzel antlers on first, and then the noses.
• I used a small tube of white frosting gel to draw eyes and mouths.
• Some of the pops cracked after cooling.  Not sure how to fix that.
• And some of them (ahem)...popped cake strings! It was the craziest!  I'd look over and there was a small bit of cake oozing it's way out of a hole.  Of course it was funnier on Ruldoph's backside.  Has that happened to you?  I hope so.  Made the night more exciting.
And that's about it.
It was still messy and still took a while but I was happy with how they turned out.
And the kids gasped when they opened the fridge this morning and saw them sitting there....all corralled in a styrofoam wreath.
Owen couldn't resist picking one up, talking to him, asking him about flying the sleigh, normal stuff like that.
And there they to his class.
Too bad they're so delicate.  I'd hang these reindeer on my front door.
 Thanks Bakerella for the fun! (and gorgeous photos)

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