Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Party Fun and A Treat (Cake Pops) Tutorial!

Happy New Year!

Last night my boys (ages 4 and 3) attended their first New Years Eve party and stayed up till the ball dropped!  It was touch and go for awhile, but our surprise bags helped keep everyone's attention- as well as occupied!  

Here's a look at them before we left to go to the party next door...

The bags had coloring books, playdoh, sticker sets, matching games, puzzles, party hats, horns, noise makers, tiaras, etc.  But the last 2 bags were the most fun...sparkling cider (New Year party juice!) and confetti poppers- which they didn't open until 11:50pm!  By the time we got them 'loaded' it was time to celebrate!   
Here are my 2 'blasting' away!

So besides our bags of goodies, what else did we bring to the party?  My hubby's famous crab cakes and what I am known best for...cake pops!  I always have everyone ask how to make them, so I thought that as I made them this time, I would take pictures and post a 'cake pop tutorial'!  I make them for every occasion- both at home and school- and I have been known to be called the 'cake pop queen!'

Cake Pop Tutorial
1. Bake cake as you normally do- you can use any flavor or type of cake and I use 'store bought' mix, but a true 'homemade' cake would work just as well!

2. I like to scrape off the top 'crust' and cut off the edges so that my cake pops are less lumpy.  Then crumble the cake so that is a bowl of crumbs.  You want it to be fine but not 'dust!'
3. Add icing to the crumbs.  Again, I use store-bought icing, but you can use homemade.  I don't have an exact amount- I just add a few scoops until it gets to the right consistency (thick like cookie dough)- and then mix it all together.  I was using confetti cake mix (since it was for New Years) and didn't feel there were enough 'sprinkles' so I added some more to the mix, as well!  You can never have enough sprinkles if you ask me!

4. I use a cookie scoop (I got from Pampered Chef years ago) to make my cake pops.  It allows for them to be uniform in size.  But if you don't have one, no worries!  Use a tablespoon measuring scoop!

5. I line a baking sheet with wax paper and scoop them all out.  Once they are all scooped out and on the tray, I then roll each one into a ball with my hands.  You can also, at this point, form them into different shapes- but for time purposes- I just went with balls!
 Once they are all formed, throw them in the freezer for about an hour to harden.  They can stay in there longer if you need them to (and you can also keep them frozen in a ziploc bag for a few months if you don't need the whole batch at once- just take out what you need and decorate for a quick treat)!

While my pops were in the freezer, I made some decorative elements for the pops!  I melted the chocolate and then put it in a bag.  Snip the end and form the shapes/numbers on wax paper and sprinkle to decorate.  Allow to dry and then peel (carefully) from the paper!
6. Time to dip them!  Melt chocolate (either use chocolate melts or chocolate chips- after melting add a few drops of oil to the chocolate to thin it out for dipping) in a bowl.

Put the cake pop in, carefully spoon it around and then have the excess chocolate drip off.  Place it on wax paper and add sprinkles/decorations immediately (bc the cake pops were frozen the chocolate will harden quickly)

If you want them to be true 'cake POPs' here is how to add the stick:

1. Dip the stick in the chocolate and then push it into the pop.
Give it about 5-10 min to harden

2. Roll it around (carefully) in the chocolate and have the excess chocolate drip off (or gently help it off with the back of a spoon!)

3. Place it upright to harden- I use a cardboard box I have lying around- poke a few holes in it with a knife and it is set to go!  They sell cake pop drying racks- but a Styrofoam block works great too!

The cake pops harden within 10 minutes or so and are ready to be taste tested!  I was lucky to have 2 willing taste testers that gave a seal of approval!


But best was I got to try out one of my Christmas gifts!  A cake pop/cupcake carrying/displaying 'system!'  This thing is NO JOKE and I can attest worked wonderfully!  We carried it to our party destination 2 doors down, along with other party goods, foods/drinks and 2 kids and not one pop was out of place!

Some of my other cake pop treats:

I'd love to hear about other cake pop ideas- or if you have any cake pop questions, feel free to ask away!

My boys and are in the midst of our first project of 2014- be sure to check back to see the project you can do in both school and at home as a fun keepsake!

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