Drum Roll, Please

So, this weekend, in amongst all the studying, I finally made . . . (drum roll, please):

Cake pops!
Not that I pick favorites when I decorate baked goods -- not me, never -- but this guy is my favorite.

It's been a long time since a friend introduced me to this blog and since the day I saw it, I knew it was just a matter of time until I succumbed to the cake pop craze.  I mean, for goodness sake, even Starbucks is selling them now.   I mean, I have to jump on the bandwagon at some point, right?

Then BMM gave me the cookbook for my birthday.  It was a given that it had to happen someday.  I needed to make cake pops.  All summer I was looking for an opportunity.  But the opportunity didn't come.

However, Halloween provided the opportunity that summer never did.  First of all, there are about a billion different Halloween-themed cake pops.  Second, I was (notice that I say was) going to a party big enough to justify making 48 cake pops.

Then, the snow happened.  It was October 29, but it felt more like January 24.  Well, no.  It didn't.  That's my first day of classes next semester.  So, pick some other random day in January.
Before: A little snow.
After: A lot of snow.

I had spent the morning apple picking with NES and his friends.  It was a lot of fun, and I finally got my apple picking in!

It was cooooooold!

I can just honestly say I've never had to worry about snow storms coming the same day as apple picking before.  Or, you know, already had snow on the ground for apple picking.

But we found a really cool new orchard.  And, I discovered the wonderfulness that is Spencer apples.  So good.  Even this late in the fall.

But then, as I returned home to finish off my cake pops and head off to NES's party that evening, the snow began.  It started at 2:30.  By 7:30, we had 10 inches.  By the next morning, we had 22 inches.  It was a serious snow storm.

So, no party for me.  The snow just didn't cooperate.  They lost power there, too.  At least we had power to go with our 22 inches of snow.  So, I fed the cake pops to my parents, my unsuspecting office mates and NES and his roommates.

And then I got back to school (where there was much, much less snow) and didn't have power here.  Wonderful.  But it's back.  The worst part was getting rid of all the poor food that went bad in my fridge while the power was out.  Wasting food like that kills me.

And then I had the midterm of doom.  Well, part 1.  Part 2 is tomorrow.  And I'm just taking a studying break. I can't wait to be done studying.

Ok, enough story time.  Cake pop time.

First, I made the cake.  I felt a little bad getting it out of the box, but seriously, that's what Bakerella suggests.  Can't argue with that!

Plus, it was kinda homemade.  Knowing the pops would be pumpkins, I knew I had to use pumpkin cake.  It just wan't going to be right any other way.
After learning how to use an electric can opener this semester, it's so nice to just go home and enjoy the simple things.  Like a manual can opener.
Now, that is what I call pumpkin.  Mmmmm.
So, I found this recipe for cake mix pumpkin cake.  The interesting part about the recipe was that it uses pumpkin instead of oil.  So, in theory, it is healthier than your average cake.  Interesting.  And it was a tad on the dry side, especially in the corners, but it sure tasted good.

So, making cake pops involves crumbling up the cake (which I discovered was easier if you break up the cake into more pieces than just the 4 quarters Bakerella suggests),

Then adding 3/4 can of frosting -- of course I used cream cheese frosting (what else would you use with pumpkin?!)

 And mixing till it's well combined.

Then you roll the mixture into balls and put them on a cookie sheet
And refrigerate.  (Insert apple picking here).

Then, you dip a little bit of the end of a pop stick into melted candy coating and push it halfway into a ball of cake.

Then you dip it into the coating, and try and get it covered and out successfully.

I had a few casualties.

Then, I put a green apple tic-tac on top and broke up some bat-shaped sprinkles for the eyes and mouths.

Unlike cupcakes, you really do have to do each of these one at a time because the coating hardens pretty quickly.

Then, you poke them into Styrofoam blocks.  Who knew that Styrofoam was a brand name?  I certainly didn't!

And voila, cake pops.

They could have come out better, I think, but they were fun for the first try.  I never seem to get along with the candy melts.  Thanks to mom, I did have 3 bags of them, but I only ended up using two, so I guess it was TOO thick, but I still had a hard time getting them coated with out being really lumpy with excess coating.  I added shortening to thin it some, which helped, but next time I think I'll use vegetable oil and make it even thinner.  It still seemed on the thick side.  Maybe that's why I always have a problem using the coatings -- I don't thin them enough.

But don't worry -- I'm not about to give up cupcakes for these.  Frosting and I get along much better.

Actually, I'd love to try making these with melted frosting someday.  Yeah, I know they'd be messy, but I like frosting so much better!

Now, back to studying.  And eating a waffle.  With banana yogurt.  It is totally a banana yogurt waffle night.  And back to Algebra land for the night.  Tomorrow I am free!


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