Have you guys seen the popular “Rawr means I love you in dinosaur”? This is where I got the inspiration for my dinosaur cookies. I decided that before I went back home for labor day I would make some cake pops and sugar cookies. My cousin Van is an avid baker as well and she got me interested in sugar cookies and cake pops. She introduced me to a great blog called Sweetsugarbelle. You should check this blog out if you really want to see what awesome cookies look like. The author of Sweetsugarbelle really knows how to make a simple sugar cookies look like art. edible art. Cake pops are just the in thing now. They’re pretty easy to make. The first time is definitely one for trial and error, but after that they are going to be the cutest little goodies you can make.
So I’m making this post not only to show pictures of my own awesome cookies and cake pops, but to share some tips on how to make your own sugar cookies and cake pops. Sorry the pictures aren’t that great. Next time I will take better pictures and post step-by-step photos as well. I’ve always loved that other bakers would go the extra mile and take pictures so that other people can visualize the process better and it lets them know if they’re on the right track or if they I messed up. And words can always be misinterpreted and hard to understand but pictures, well, it should look like the picture and there is no arguing that!
Materials: lollipop sticks, candy package, string or twist ties, styrofoam block, cake mix (you can make it from scratch or buy it at the store), 1 can of frosting, chocolate melts (I recommend Merckens. Don’t use Wilton’s Candy Melts)
- To make the cake pop, you first bake the cake according to the instructions on the cake mix box. Let the cake cool for a bit. Then crumble the cake in a bowl.
- Once you’ve done that, put about 1/4 -1/2 of the can of frosting into your bowl and fully incorporate the frosting into the crumbled cake (In my perspective, it’s better to put a little and then add more if you find your cake needs more binding agents)
- Now you can make the balls for your cake pop. TIP: put the cake in the palm of one hand and then use the other palm to roll the cake around. It can get a little messy and the cake can start to dry on the outside, so what I do to get a really smooth surface on the cake ball is I wet my fingers a little and smooth the outside of the ball. I think it helps to create a smooth, clean surface to work with when you start dipping it in chocolate.
- TIP: Once you’ve rolled your balls (which should be about 30-40/ cake mix), melt a little bit of chocolate in a bowl (preferably the melts that you will be using to coat your cake balls). Dip the tip of the lollipop stick into the chocolate and poke it into the cake pop. The chocolate will harden and act like a binding agent, providing a strong bond between your stick and cake pop. (you’ll find out this will be helpful later because once you start coating your cake balls the cake can start to crumble and sometimes fall under its own weight). Once you’ve created your naked cake pops(hehehe I see them as naked prior to their chocolate coating), place them in the fridge for a little while so that they may harden (I left them in there overnight).
- When you take your hardened cake pops out, let them thaw out a little bit (Immediately dipping your cake pop into hot chocolate can cause the chocolate to harden upon contact and you won’t be able to coat the cake pop well). Take out your stryofoam blocks. You will stick your cake pops into the blocks so it can dry after dipping. Melt your chocolate** in a bowl and start your dipping!!! TIP: be very careful when you are trying to coat the entire pop and when you pull it out of the chocolate. pushing it around and pulling it too roughly can cause the cake pop to crumble or fall off the stick. Just carefully rotate your cake pop in the chocolate to get a nice coating and slowly pull it out. There can be a lot of excess chocolate on your cake pop, so just spin your cake pop a little and tap off the extra chocolate. Let it dry on the stryofoam block.
- Right before the chocolate completely dries you can place decorations on your cake pop. Sprinkles, colored dust, candy… anything you’d like!!! Or you can wait til after it dries and draw emoticons on the pops or add designs by piping more chocolate on it. ITS UP TO YOUR IMAGINATION AT THIS POINT : )
** I really suggest getting quality chocolate to dip your cake pops. You don’t want to put so much effort into making your lovely pops to have it come out looking like an asteroid with a bunch of craters in it. Wilton’s chocolate can make a noobie cake pop baker think that he/she doesn’t know how to melt chocolate correctly or is doing something wrong. Let me assure THAT IS NOT THE CASE! Wilton’s candy melts are good for a lot of chocolate projects, BUT doesn’t quite get you the type of consistency that you would need to smoothly coat your cake pop. So, I just so happened to have bought Merckens white chocolate (lucky me!!), and decided I would melt that and see if there was a difference. And sure enough there was!! I put the chocolate in the microwave for 30 secs and it was liquidy and the PERFECT consistency for dipping cake pops. Thus, save yourself the frustration and get chocolate that melts really well.
**If you already bought Wilton’s, I found out online that you can add some cooking oil into your chocolate to improve its flow. I, myself, have tried this. It’s a good start if you want to save your Wilton’s chocolate, but I didn’t really like the fact that there was added oil in my chocolate. The thought of it just doesn’t make it seem very appetizing and it only helped a bit. It never reached the same consistency as the Merckens chocolate.
For those who are wondering where I got the awesome transparent paint can like containers, it’s from Michaels (use a coupon! never shop at Michaels without one!) The large ones are about $5 and the smaller one was about $3 (retail). They come with this little washer attached to the handle that allows you to pop the top open just like a paint can. It’s a really nifty container.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post : ). Read part 2 of the “Rawr! means I love you in dinosaur” series if you want to know how to make awesome sugar cookies!