I'm "cooking" up another "meaty" post, but while I wait to hear a Still, Small Voice with input on that specific post, I'll give you a "taste" of what we've been "cooking" up around our house.
By now you're probably nauseous with all the food references, aren't you?
Because I love to bake, and because I had absolutely nothing better to do, and because my son's preschool needed some treats for an event, and because trying out a new and fairly detailed recipe seemed like the thing to do, I did.
And, ta-da! Cake Pops and Cake Balls!!
I had seen these on both The Pioneer Woman's blog as well as Bakerella's site. They appeared to be easy.
But, appearances can be deceiving!
They weren't really hard to make, just time consuming. And, in case you'd like to fill your home, refrigerator, and belly with some of these delicious, delectable, delicacies, I'd like to offer some pointers.
Please remember I am not a professional chef. Nor do I purport to be a professional chef. Nor am I able to turn on some ovens I've encountered. But, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! I jest, I jest.
These are simply pointers from this Greyhaired Momma to you so as to enhance your Cake Ball/Pop making experience:
1. First, and most importantly, recruit a cute and very handy helper. Or two. Or forty seven. Guess it depends on the size of your kitchen. And the amount of your patience! Then, get out all your 'gredients and sunthin' to stir it around with...
2. Bake a box cake mix according to the package directions. I used a Devil's Food cake for one set of pops and a Red Velvet cake mix for the others.
3. Use Almond Bark for the topping, man! Fuhgedda 'bout using chocolate chips and adding the paraffin and yada, yada, yada. Almond Bark is my new best friend. At least when it comes to making these little tasties!
4. After the cake has baked and cooled for several hours or overnight, crumble it into a BIG GINORMOUS bowl.
Oh, and note to self: If the bowl says "Not for use in dishwasher," that's usually what it means. Or, you have a sickly looking bowl with the color peeling off.
5. Plop in almost (but not quite) an entire tub of store bought frosting. I used Cream Cheese frosting -- ultra yummy!
6. Mix it all together with a rubber spatula, or if you're feeling frisky, your hands. (Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any hands that are stained red, and remain stained red, for several days after making these pops if you choose to use your hands.)
Oh, sickly looking bowl, how sorry I am that I put you in Miss Dishwasher! But, how I love to have her wash the dishes and not me... Harumph!
7. Once the cake crumbles are all mixed up with the frosting, start to roll balls of cake. Goodness gracious, great balls of cake! Heh, heh, heh! You'll want to roll your cake balls smaller than I did. Mine are about the size of a walnut, which proved to be a problem when dipping in the coating. Roll 'em small, dude! Like the size of a hazelnut. I think it's a hazelnut. Not like I buy nuts in their shells... Okay, roll it like a shooter marble. Sorta bigish but still smallish. Am I making any sense at all? "Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?"
Can you tell I'm giddy from all the sugar that's been flying around our house the last few days??? Muahahaha!
Uh, back to the rolling of the balls...
Once rolled, place the balls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate. You want the balls to be firm in order to dip them.
8. Place several squares of Almond Bark in a deep, narrow bowl. Nuke them for 15 second intervals, stirring in between each interval. Keep nuking until Almond Bark is fluid.
9. Drop one ball into the melted Almond Bark. (I did chocolate on the Red Velvet, and vanilla tinted pink on the Devil's Food.) DO NOT ROLL THE BALL AROUND. Instead, drizzle the melted bark over the ball. Scoop up ball and tap spoon on side of bowl to allow excess bark to drip off. Place on wax paper covered baking sheet, or into small cupcake liners. (Yeah, this is a bit tricky to do with one hand, so no photos of this step!)
Remember a while ago I mentioned not wanting to roll the balls too big or that would cause you a problem when dipping? We might have had a problem when dipping. Around here, we call it the Great Ball Dipping Debacle of 2010. I'm going to take a risk with you all right now. I'm going to lay it on the line. When I rolled my walnut sized cake balls and skewered them on a lollipop stick, they looked fine. But fine they were not. Once I dipped them in the Almond Bark, they became too heavy and they slid down the stick. Oh, the horror!
Do not panic, dear friends! I was able to avert complete disaster and turned them on their tops. Not as I planned, but still cute none the less! Oh, and the taste?
"Mmph if rerry, rerry ummy!" (Say that five times fast with a mouthful of cake balls!)
I'll direct you now to PW and Bakerella's recipes, as I'm sure their directions are more specific than my own. And, I'm sure their photography of the whole production is much better! Make sure you check out all the varieties of cake pops that Bakerella makes. Makes mine look like Redneck Red Velvet Cake Pops! "Woo--ooo--ie! Shucks!"
Oh, and in case that's not enough sugary baked goods, here's what popped up in my kitchen this morning:
These? These little luxuries are called Monkey Muffins.
And, yes, my tastebuds, my waistline, and my treadmill are all thanking Pioneer Woman for yet another culinary delight.
Make some Monkey Muffins today for your family.
And your neighbors. And friends. And those people you pass on the street. These muffins have been known to make people emit lots of yummy noises and even, gasp, to swoon.
Not that I'd be one to make those yummy noises. Or swoon.
"Oh my stinkin' heck! These are so good! Huh? What did you say? Oh, I'm on? They can hear me? Uhhhh...."