I'm sure many of you know that yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. A day for eating strange green foods and putting shamrocks on everything and of course drinking ridiculous amounts of alcohol. Although I over course, like a good Irish girl, did all three, here we will talk about the eating green stuff part cause this is a food blog after all!
A friend of mine recently brought to my attention that my experience is sorely lacking in one baking craze that is super popular right now, cake pops. Until a few days ago, I had never made them...thought about it once, but I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort for the occasion. She of course begged me to do a post on them though because she wants to make them for her daughter's birthday. So, being the wonderful friend that I am, I spent my day off working on cake pops. I learned a few things...one, I seriously have no patience with disobedient baked goods and two, cake pops aren't all that hard, they are just time consuming. Originally I was supposed to make a batch of rocky road ones for my friend but since I was making them the day before St. Patrick's Day I figured ought to make some for the holiday too.
Crumble the cake into a bowl and add frosting
Stir in frosting until all of the cake is moist
Roll into balls and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so
Melt candy pieces in a microwave, be sure to watch carefully so you don't burn them
For the Grasshopper ones, add a bit of food coloring or buy green ones. Also add peppermint flavoring, mix well and add more chocolate if needed to get the right consistency.
Dip the stick into the chocolate and then push into the cake ball.
Place back in the refrigerator so that the cake balls do not warm up and fall off the stick. When coating them in chocolate, be sure to only take out a few at a time so that they don't warm up before you can coat them. They will fall off the stick if they warm up too much before being coated, trust me I know...
Very gently dip them into the coating, covering them fully.
Allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl and then place the cake pops into a prepared Styrofoam stand. I got mine at Wal-Mart in the craft section for $7 and pre-poked 48 holes spaced far enough from each other so that the pops wouldn't touch.
Rocky Road and Grasshopper Cake Pops
makes 48-60 depending on size
ideas and hints mostly borrowed from Bakerella
Chocolate cake mix, any flavor or kind
Chocolate frosting, any flavor or kind
1 bag of dark cocoa candy melts, found at craft stores
1 bag white candy melts, or pastel green if you can find some
1/8 tsp green food coloring
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
pecan pieces and mini marshmallows
1/4 cup white chips, melted and placed in a pastry bag
styrafoam for holding cake pops
Bake cake according to package instructions. Allow to cool completely, I baked mine first thing in the morning and then worked on making the cake balls after lunch. When the cake is completely cool, crumble it into small pieces over a bowl large enough to mix in. Add about 3/4 of the frosting to the cake crumbs and mix until all of the cake is moistened and a consistent texture is made. Roll into approximately 1 Tbsp. size balls and place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for an hour or two.
Melt candy melts in a bowl, adding the food coloring and peppermint extract to the white ones, and dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the candy then stick into each cake ball. Place back in the refrigerator for a bit, I waited until after dinner, and then taking a few out at a time, dip into the melted candy, sprinkle on decorations or toppings and place in styrafoam holder. The candy melt will harden pretty fast as the cake balls are so cold. This will help minimize the drips, but still be sure to let all excess candy coat drip back into the bowl before placing in the holder. Allow to sit for a while to ensure that they are entirely cooled and hardened. I topped my grasshopper ones with white chocolate shamrocks to make them more festive.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!