Last week, my Christmas baking extravaganza continued when Elizabeth came over one night after work.
My goals for this baking session included the following:
- Turtle Cookies (thanks Pinterest!)
- Chocolate candy
- Cake pops
I had a 66% success rate.
Cake pops are my new nemesis.
The candy making went well, if a bit slow. For me the process starts out where I want to paint all the pretty designs into the molds and make them look like little snowflakes and Santas and penguins and reindeer. After about 30 minutes and less than a full mold of progress, I tend to change my tactics.
You’ll notice I did only one tray with any real “painting”. Then I switched to things that I thought would look nice without all the crazy detail work.
I didn’t actually make too much candy because I was multi-tasking between that, cake pops, and turtle cookies. I might do another round of candy making, involving more mixins and such, but we’ll see.
The turtle cookies went well with the exception of me being concerned that the recipe did not call for any baking powder or baking soda. In case I am not the only one who wonders this, know that these cookies do not rise much, but they still turn out good. Here I am using a teaspoon to dent the cookies prior to their oven visit (not a 1/2 teaspoon as the recipe suggests! I am such a rebel …).
I made 1.5 times the recipe here, and it made about 40 cookies I think. While I was working on cookies, Elizabeth was hard at work with her 12 Days of Christmas chocolate. She also made some cool blue and white swirly angels which I thought came out nice. I find myself lacking pictures of these, so you will have to check her blog for those.
Since both the turtle cookies and the candy turned out well (and since I said cake pops are my new nemesis) you have likely figured out that my failure was in the cake pops.
I bought a box of red velvet cake mix and baked the cake the night before. I used a food processor to crumble up said cake. It was fairly moist in the center and spun into large chunks of cake poo for some of it. Afterwards, I added 1/2 a canister of the store bought cream cheese frosting. I threw the cake pop material into my freezer for about an hour while I turtled and made candy.
Elizabeth helped with the first round of cake pops. She started by rolling the dough into fairly large balls, and then held both in her hands for an epic picture.
The balls were then placed in this cute Christmas mold I bought at the grocery store. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Then we clamped the mold shut and squeezed.
The mold produced some pretty cute Christmas shaped cake pops. Following the directions from the package, we dipped lollipop sticks in melted chocolate, and stuck them into the cake where the stick spot was shown. We stuck the mold with the sticks into the freezer to solidify. After they came out, the cake pops looked passable, and I had some small hope that we might succeed in this endeavor.
That is the face of a hopeful me, holding up a very cute and red Christmas tree shaped cake pop. Hopeful Me is about to dunk / roll said cake pop in the bowl of green chocolate you can see on the table.
Hmmmm. The chocolate went on very thick, and we wound up with cake pops that look like below. It was a very careful balancing act of leaning two cake pops in a shot glass while they dried a bit. I will totally invest in some foam blocks before I attempt cake pops next time. If there is a next time. In the picture, you will see the total amount of cake pops that we made. The second round we attempted to thin out the chocolate so we could still see the shape of the pop after it was dipped, but the shinier green and red swirly tree is not significantly better than the first one.
What do you do with failed cake pops?
1) You taste them. I don’t know if it was because I used a box and store bought icing, but they didn’t really taste very good. Maybe red velvet cake pops are not the best ones to try?
2) You brandish them at your poor unsuspecting dog who is sitting amiably on the couch.
Note my hand in the upper right and the Penny amidst the couch blankets looking ready to leap away from the super scary edible sweet! It was hard to catch her on the move, but this cake pop was apparently also HER nemesis. She slinked under and behind the Christmas tree all the way into the corner to get away from it.
She looks pitiful and terrified here. I must say I share her sentiment now, but I never realized cake pops were quite so scary. Elizabeth and I were doubled over laughing at Penny’s reaction to our failure. I expected that offering her people food would result in her eating it. Man, she is cute when she is pitiful. How can you resist those eyes!!?
To end on a lighter note, below are the finished turtle cookies, which look very much like the picture I pinned on Pinterest! 🙂
If you have any tips for cake pop making, please share. I would love to make cute Christmas cake pops SUCCESSFULLY next year …