Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cake Pops -- Practice Makes Cute!

Me and Bakerella at her book signing in Toronto
So my inspiration behind this whole blog is Bakerella.  I have been reading her blog for years now – I love the way she writes and her totally creative way of decorating these candy covered crumbled cake more commonly known as cake pops.  And, now that Starbucks has them, they are quite commonly known.  But I can attest to the fact that Bakerella brought them to many peoples attention including mine – and I’m going to try to explain the various processes in making your very own cake pops (and of course, if I don’t mention it my husband, and Director of Marketing, will kill me, you can always contact me to order anything on this blog including cake pops.)

As far as I can figure it out so far there are 3 ways to make cake pops:
1.     - with a box cake mix and canned frosting
2.     - crumbled Oreo cookies
3.     - your favorite ultra moist cake which may or may not need some cream cheese icing to help it stick together (this is what I do and my favorite chocolate cake recipe does not need any icing as it is so moist)

I am going to describe the process with the assumption that you have baked a cake (box or not – there are no judgments here at Flour Child) and may or may not need frosting to help with moisture.  If you are using Oreo cookies you crumble the cookies in a food processor and, I hear, they stick together for a no bake solution.  No matter once you have your crumbs the process is the same.

Materials Needed to Cake Pop:
cake and maybe frosting
candy chocolate melts – for this project I used pink and chocolate
multi-coloured sprinkles
M&M’s – for this project I used the pink breast cancer M&M’s
lollipop sticks
2 or 3 empty egg cartons
styrofoam block

Bake your cake and crumble it with your hands or in a food processor.

Shape your cake pop – this tutorial is making a cupcake shaped cake pops but you could also make a simple ball and decorate it a kazillion different ways.  NOTE:  If your cake does not stick together easily, you may need to add some frosting to the crumbled cake.  Better to add the frosting a little at a time because you really don’t want the cake pop to be too heavy.

TIP:  You can shape the cake pops and freeze them for another time as a cake may make up to 50 cake pops and you may not need all of them.

TIP:  I bought this My Little Cupcake gizmo that shapes the crumbs into a little cupcake.  I like this a lot because it really helps with size – even if I’m not doing a cake pop that looks like a cupcake it sorta ensure a consistent size which is really important.  But, the other day I was cruising around the internet and saw that people were using meatball scoop makers to do the same thing. Then I was thinking of my ice cream scoops I use for making perfect size cookies (I have 2 different sizes) and I think that would work as well.  Size, well probably really weight, is really important when making cake pops because you don’t want them to be too heavy or you will end up with a lot of cake pops that fall off the stick (or as I call them VERY tasty rejects).  I used to have this happen all the time but I think practice and the gizmo really helps. 

Place your shaped cake pops on a wax papered cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
Place the chocolate candy melts in a double boiler to melt the chocolate.  You could also microwave the chocolate but I always burn chocolate this way so I use a double boiler.   For this project I worked first in the dark chocolate and then in the pink.

Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool slightly before dipping.  

TIP:  I usually work taking 3 or 4 cupcakes out of the refrigerator.

One at a time, dip the bottom of the cupcake in chocolate (dip just until the top of the cupcake), insert the lollipop stick about half way into the cupcake and place the cupcake in the egg carton lollipop stick up to dry.

TIP:  I usually put about the egg carton in the refrigerator to help the chocolate cool but you don’t have to as they air dry really quickly.

Melt the pink candy melts in the same way you did the chocolate ones and don’t forget to temper the chocolate for a few minutes before

Dip the cupcake tops into the tempered pink chocolate – you may wish to double dip to make the cupcake tops pop.

Sprinkle with multi-colour sprinkles.

Stick lollipop stick in a foil covered styrofoam block to allow the cake pop to dry completely.  I cover in foil so that the drips are easy to clean up.

I put these cupcake pops in floral Styrofoam covered in foil paper in a rectangular vase and think they look super cute.
Here are some other cupcake pops I’ve made and feel really proud of.
Halloween Cake Pops
Thanksgiving Cake Pops -- the face is a jelly belly
Pool Party Cake Pops -- anything with Teddy Grahams + Chocolate is YUMMY!

I think the key to successful cupcake pops is a lot of plannin and a little of practice.

Cupcake pops are always a fun party pleaser and they are super yummy.  Its moist cake on a stick – how could it not be great?  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Too Wet to Play? Make "Cat In the Hat" Cookies!

Do you remember Dr. Seuss' “The Cat In the Hat”?  It was one of my favorite books as a kid.  Well it was one of those days.  “The sun did not shine.  It was too wet to  play.  So I sat in the house, all this cold, cold wet day.” (OK so its mid-July and really really hot in Toronto but don't rain on my blog...) Here is the twist, I sat and decorated these cookies and here is how I did it.

Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  Roll out the dough.  I got this cookie cutter from CheapCookieCutters.com.  The cookies are about 3.5” x 2” – so the cookies are a nice size to decorate and not too huge to eat.

Materials Needed for Decorating:

royal icing – Again, I’m really into the Ateco meringue powder
piping bags
gel colours -- I used red, black & white
1.  Outline the cookie and create the stripes in black.

2.  Fill in the white stripes.

3.  Fill in the red stripes.

Creating these cookies may keep you and your kids out of trouble with Thing One and Thing Two, and, I think they are really fun.

Friday, July 15, 2011

FORE! the Golfer in Your Life

I made these golf green and golf ball cookies for a 50th birthday but know they would also look great with a company or golf tournament name.  Hope you can get out, enjoy the sun and see some green this weekend 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ginger Doodle Cookies - Recipe

Some people save ginger cookies for the fall or winter but not me, I think they are great all year round.  My friend Deny from http://growlingdogdesign.com/ who created my totally cute logo asked for some gingerbread cookies but I thought she needed to taste these Ginger Doodles.  That being said she also mentioned she loves the cuteness of a gingerbread man so I made a few Yoga People for her too.  

I thought I might share the Ginger Doodle recipe with you, and here it is...   

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1¼  tsp ginger
1¼  tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¾ cup vegetable oil (preferably canola)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp coarse white sugar (for sprinkling)
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup + 1 tbsp molasses

Preheat oven to 350o

I always cover my cookie sheets with parchment paper – you don’t have to do this, but I do, so you may or may want to include this step.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl -- flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  Set Aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oil and sugar until really well combined.  Add the egg and molasses, and beat well.  Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (I use a cookie scoop to get pretty even size cookies) onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving one or two inches between cookies to account for spreading out. 

Sprinkle lightly with course sugar (you can use regular sugar if you don’t have course sugar on hand).

Bake for 10-12 minutes – until quite puffy and crinkled.

Cool on baking rack.


I hope you make these soon and they make your kitchen smell super sweet and spicy.  OR, as with anything on this blog, you can order these and many other interesting drop cookies from Flour Child.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strawberry Cookies Forever

Summer strawberries in Ontario are really delicious. Well the good news is, the season is on.  I swear they are better than any other strawberries I have ever tasted. Ontario strawberries are fantastic so go find a local farmers market to pick some up and enjoy.  The nice thing about these sweet cookies is that you can order them all year round to bring a little summer to your table.