Tag Archives: wilton

Delphinium Dollop Chocolate Cake Balls

13 May

Sometimes cake pops can be too time-consuming and labor intensive.  Sometimes a treat on a stick – no matter how trendy – is not the right dessert for your mood or your occasion.  Sometimes simple is best.

Save yourself time and effort and create a delicious bite-sized dessert with minimal effort by following my cake pop tutorial and tips here and here and simply topping your chilled cake balls with a dollop of my favorite buttercream frosting tinted a beautiful spring-into-summer delphinium blue.

Enjoy!

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First Shot at the Cake Pop

29 Mar

Move over cupcakes, here come the cake pops!

I tasted my first moist bite of this confectionery craze at my dear friend C’s bachelorette party last year.  Another friend of ours had commissioned naughty cake pops from Tracy’s Tiny Treats and “boy” were they tasty.  Since then I’ve been dying to bake a batch myself.

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The best (and prettiest) tutorials I’ve seen are Bakerella’s here (basic instructions) and here (Easter-themed pops).

Alisa Burke has a great tutorial here on Easter cake pops, too.  Other delicious variations of this tasty treat are chocolate covered cake pops and Oreo pops from The Sweets Bar.  And check out The Pioneer Woman’s technique for making her cake balls here.

Inspired, I baked these lovely springtime-themed pops last weekend:

They were definitely yummy, and with some luck, I’ll have the technique down pat before mug cakes and jar cupcakes make cake pops seem so yesterday!

Here’s how I made these fun treats and some helpful hints for your first shot at the cake pop:

Ingredients/Materials

Tip:  Choose the shorter lollipop sticks (or cut yours in half), otherwise you’ll have a tiny ball sitting at the end of a long stick, which doesn’t really work aesthetically or in terms of balancing the pops in whatever display container you choose.  Also, if you want your sprinkles or candy decorations to really “pop,” choose white candy melts for a bright, clean background.

Step 1 Bake the cake as directed on the box or per your recipe.

  • Tip: Choose any flavor and any mix.  I tried lemon cake with buttercream frosting for something zingy and fresh for spring.

Step 2 After the cake has cooled, crumble it up and place it in a large mixing bowl.

  • Tip:  If a fork or spoon isn’t cutting it, you can use your clean hands.

Step 3 Mix in almost one can of frosting (or about 1.5 cups of your homemade recipe).  Try my favorite buttercream frosting recipe if you want something really sweet!

  • Tip:  Make sure the cake crumbles are thoroughly coated with the frosting so the mixture is nice and moist.  You don’t want the cake balls you make in Step 4 to come apart because they’re too dry and don’t hold together.

Step 4 Shape the cake/frosting mixture into balls.  If you want to be precise, see here for a guide to measuring out the perfectly sized cake ball.  Set the balls on a baking sheet covered with a sheet of wax or parchment paper.

  • Tip:   The smaller the ball, the easier it is to work with, but the bigger the ball, the more decorating space you’ll have – especially if you use food markers to draw on faces or other details.

Step 4 Melt a little bit of the candy melts in the microwave or a double boiler.  Grab your lollipop sticks and dip one end of the sticks into the melted candy; then insert the dipped tips just under halfway into the cake balls and return the cake balls to the baking sheet.

  • Tip:  Make sure the tip of the lollipop stick is well-dipped so your ball doesn’t fall off the stick when it’s time to decorate.

Step 5 Refrigerate the cake balls until they’re nice and chilled (45 minutes – 1 hour).  If you just can’t wait, throw them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

  • Tip:   Chilled cake balls are easier to work with and don’t fall apart as easily.  A cooler ball will also help the melted candy dry faster.

Step 6 Dip the chilled cake pops in the melted candy.  Use a rolling motion with your wrist to twist the cake ball into the candy melts instead of dragging it through.

  • Tip:   Don’t dip too forcefully or your pop will fall apart or fall into the candy melts.  Also, if you can, use a double boiler instead of a microwave to get the candy melts as liquid-y as possible and keep the melted candy at an even temperature during the dipping process.  This will help the cake pop glide more easily through the melted candy and will ensure that the candy coating is nice and smooth instead of thick and heavy (which is tasty, but not pretty).

Step 7 Sprinkle the sanding sugar over the not-yet-dried cake pops or press on any other decorative candies of your choosing.  You can also paint your dry pops with corn syrup in patterns wherever you want the sugar or candy to stick or decorate them with food markers.

  • Tip:  Don’t roll the cake pops directly into the sanding sugar or you’ll get an opaque coating instead of a light, sprinkly effect.

Step 8 Set the cake pops to dry in a glass or vase or stick them into a styrofoam block.

  • Tip:  Keep in mind that if you let the pops dry on the baking sheet, they’ll suffer from a little “bed-head” and flatten on one side!

Happy baking!

La Fheile Padraig Duit: Shamrock Rice Krispies Treats

18 Mar

Okay, so even though Hubby “Bah Humbug’d” St. Patrick’s Day, he was very happy to come home to these delicious, green Rice Krispies treats in cute little shamrock shapes:

Little Birdie Secrets inspired this fun St. Patrick’s Day activity that Jane and Sam enjoyed making and eating!

*Photo note:  We made these in the twilight hours between me coming home from work and the kids’ bedtime, so the photos are a little dark since I’m trying to learn how to use my camera without the flash – thanks for bearing with my experiment!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter

Kerrygold, of course!

  • 4 cups of mini-marshmallows (one 10.5 oz bag) or 40 regular-sized marshmallows (one 10 oz bag)
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal

First, melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.

Then, stir in the marshmallows and melt completely.

Jane "cooking" in her own pot

Just before the marshmallows have melted, add green food coloring (I used the tiniest smidgen of my trusty Wilton Icing Colors in Kelly Green for a light, lovely tint).

Once the tinted marshmallows are smooth and melted, remove them from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies cereal.

Then, smooth out the mixture into a baking sheet or pan with a buttered or cooking oil-sprayed spoon or spatula.  If you don’t butter your smoothing device (even if it’s just your fingers), the mixture will clump up and refuse to lie down flat.  Don’t forget to use parchment paper or butter/cooking oil spray to line your pan, too!

We used a baking sheet instead of a pan so our shamrocks would be nice and thin.

Even Sam (9-months here) loved this activity!

Wait for the mixture to cool before cutting.

An alternative to waiting for the mixture to cool: Roll it!

Rolling: Step Two

Rolling: Step Three

Finally, use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out 3 or 4 hearts per shamrock.  For the stem, you can either make one out of the Rice Krispies treats or you can insert a wooden stick into the finished shamrocks.  (We used chopsticks).

*Tip, the smaller the cookie cutter, the more likely it will look better with just 3 hearts than 4.

This St. Patrick’s Day activity was sticky sweet fun and our next Rice Krispies Treat baking project will definitely incorporate Jane’s innovative  rolling technique!

Bump up my post on Mom Blog Network

Favorite Buttercream Frosting Recipe

12 Feb

This is the BEST buttercream frosting recipe I’ve come across and it’s the same one my mom used for all of my birthday cakes since the ’70s.  It’s my mom’s recipe, but I’m pretty sure it’s basically the Wilton recipe.  This frosting is easy as pie and takes all of 15 minutes.  You’ll love it!

Frosting Delight!

Ingredients (makes approximately 3 cups of frosting)

  • 1/2 cup Crisco (or other solid vegetable shortening)
  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (approx. 1 lb)
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk

Mix the butter, vegetable shortening and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.  Then, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar.  Make sure the portion of sugar you’ve added is mixed in well before starting on the next portion of sugar.  Add in the milk throughout the process to keep the frosting moist enough to mix.  The frosting is ready when it has a medium, fluffy consistency.  Adding more sugar will make it thicker and adding more milk (or light corn syrup or water) will make it thinner.  Chill in the refrigerator before use.  The frosting is good for about 2 weeks — just re-whip before using.

To color, just add gel or liquid food coloring.

*Tip:  if you’re trying to achieve an intense red color, use the Wilton No-Taste Red food coloring as opposed to the regular red to avoid a bitter tasting frosting.

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