Monday, July 1, 2013

Patriotic Cake Pops!

I work for a pretty awesome tech company (and we're hiring, FYI)....great people and culture, breakfast every day, lunch on Fridays, company sponsored happy hours and team events, the works. There are so many different groups to join that it would be hard NOT to find something that fits your personality and interests.

I joined Flour Power, natch. It's a weekly baking club of like-minded treat lovers split up into groups of 12. You bake one week, and you get treats the other 11 weeks. Pretty fab, right?

This week is my week, and I made Patriotic Cake Pops!

I can't start a cake pop post without paying homage to the queen herself - Bakerella. Love her. When she started blogging about cake pops, I think it was life-changing for me. The base of the recipe/instructions I'm using is hers....the decorating is all me :)

I'm going to break this post up into 2 parts - making pops and decorating them.

Here's what you'll need if you want to make these:

Cake Pop Base
Yellow Cake Mix
Vanilla Icing
Cookie sticks

White fondant
Star Cookie Cutter
Blue Edible pen
Red Candy Melts

Making the Base of the Pops

To get started, make a cake and then destroy it! Seriously, you need to destroy it. I used boxed mix here for two reasons: (a) because it's easier and I have like 30 seconds to myself every day, and (b) in my mind, there is no substituting the deliciousness of yellow cake mix from a box. It just can't be replicated.

I'm not going to to into detail about making boxed cake mix - the box does that for you. Just make one (any flavor will do):

And then destroy it (once it cools)!  Crumble the whole thing up.

Next you turn the cake crumbs into a paste by adding in about 2/3 a tub of frosting.

Time to get messy! Start rolling out the paste into golf ball sized balls and place them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Once you have them all rolled out, pop them in the fridge for several hours or the freezer for an hour to firm them up. 

Now we need to turn these pups into pops - insert one of the cookie sticks into the base of the ball and go about 1/2-2/3 of the way in. A tip from Bakerella - dip your cookie stick into the melted chocolate first, then insert the stick.

Decorating the Pops

Time to make them beautiful! This is the most fun part because you get to be creative. If you look back through my instagram pictures, you'll see I've made cherry pies, ears of corn, turkey drumsticks, cornucopias...the sky is the limit.

Melt your Candy Melts (I always use Wilton) in a small bowl (and melt a lot of them so it's easy to dip your pop). Dip your pop in at an angle and kind of twirl it around, then take it out and twirl/tap some more to let the excess chocolate run off. 

You'll need to find a place to hold your pops while you decorate them. I like florist foam bricks (that I cover in wrapping paper and later use to serve them too), but you can use a glass filled with rice or beans instead.

For my pops, I decided to make blue and white fondant stars to attach to the sides.  I made these a few days in advance to let them get a bit hard so they would be easy to attach.

To make these, roll out some white fondant (I used pre-packaged Wilton fondant here) on a powdered sugar covered sheet of parchment paper.

Start stamping out your stars - I made enough to put 2 on each pop (but in the end I only used one).

Let your stars dry on the counter for a few hours until they are pretty solid, then you can decorate them. I used a blue edible pen to draw a line around the edge of each one.

And about this far through it, I was like "why the hell did I decide to do this?!?"

Take a toothpick and dip it into your red melted chocolate. Dab a little on the cake pop, then attach your stars.

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you enjoy these delicious treats!

**PS - One of my colleagues asked how I find time to do this stuff....well this project was a 3-day affair. I wait until Little M goes to sleep, and try to do an hour or so of crafting and blogging at night. On Saturday morning I made the stars during one of Little M's naps, and I decorated them when she went to bed. On Sunday night I baked the cake and made the cake pop bases (and pre-wrote most of the blog post while the cake was in the oven). On Monday night, I decorated :)

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