Texas Cake Poppers Meet-Up

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Last weekend, I hosted my fourth Cake Poppers Meet-Up… number 4! I never imagined them catching on like this, but I’m so glad everyone is enjoying them.

On Saturday, June 14th, the Texas Cake Poppers Meet-Up was held in Austin. We did things a little different in Texas, and it was so much fun… we had activities at two venues! Search #TXCPMU on Instagram for pictures from the event. 

At check-in, each attendee received a name tag, event program and a swag bag FULL of goodies! See the end of this post for your chance to snag some swag!

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We started the day at Star Bar, where we kicked off the event with a fun icebreaker activity that got everyone moving around and interacting with one another. There were fun table topic questions to get people chatting, like “If you could be any cereal box cartoon for one day, who would you be and why?”

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For lunch, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ provided some of the most amazing food I had while I was in Texas – seriously, it was amazing. Miguel created a delicious taco bar with various meats, toppings & sides, as well as incredible handmade tortillas that everyone was raving about.

For dessert, our TXCPMU planning committee created a super yummy dessert table with Texas-themed treats – cookies and cake pops by Modesty, chocolate covered pretzel rods and Oreos by Sheri & red velvet whoopee pies from Julie. There was also fudge, and peaches picked right from one of the attendees’ trees!

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Karyn of Pint Sized Baker presented Photography 101, sharing valuable information about lighting, composition, editing & more. Everyone was jotting down notes, because her tips are simple, yet so useful! The littlest changes can make all the difference for an incredible photo.

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Next, I led a discussion Social Media Do’s & Don’ts. We talked about ways to improve your social media accounts, ways to be more efficient in posting, goal-setting and more. My favorite part of this portion is the open forum we have on the topic of what it means to be a good “social citizen” on social media. The bakers had great feedback and suggestions such as leaving good feedback if you like someone’s photo, giving credit where its due and supporting others.

Our raffle table was overflowing with really awesome prizes – from cupcake liners to books to artwork, we had a little something of everything. Check out our TXCPMU Raffle Winners so see all if the different goodies.

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Then we had one extra special raffle prize… a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer! Bakers posted a pic of themselves on Instagram or Facebook to enter, which resulted in some really cute (& hopeful) photos. Lucky ducky Karol was the big winner!

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Afterwards, we all packed up and headed over to Make It Sweet for Part 2 of the Meet-Up. We had a little bit of time before we headed into the instructional room, so everyone spread out to shop. This store is 4,000 square feet of bakers paradise – it has everything! I could’ve spent all day just standing at the wall of sprinkles.

Once in the group room, owner Jennifer shared great information about disco dust, luster dust and petal dust – the differences between them and best practices on how to use them.

IMG_2455Jennifer was so incredibly sweet and provided snacks & drinks for everyone! Each table was also given some cake dough, melted chocolate and various decorative supplies; attendees took turns sharing various techniques and tips – it was so rewarding to see everyone teaching and learning from each other!

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It wasn’t until everyone had gone that I realized we forgot to take a group picture – d’oh! I did manage to snap a pic of these lovely lades, my TXCPMU planning committee – (L-R) Julie (@jewelz51), Sheri (@blondiestreats) & Modesty (@mocakes). These lovely ladies were my local helpers that helped me plan such a great event all the way from New Jersey. They’re all so sweet, and really talented to boot!

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Now… the TXCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

One lucky KC Bakes reader will win…

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Here’s a close-up of some of the smaller goodies…

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And can you believe all of the boxes that fit into the BRP Box Shop Swag Portfolio?

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The winner will also get their choice of cake pop earrings from Bakery Charms – chocolate or rainbow?

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TXCPMU Swag Bag Goodies:

  • Aardvark red striped paper straws (2)
  • Bakery Charms cake pop earrings
  • BRP Box Shop swag portfolio
  • Caljava glam stick kit
  • Candiquik candy coating
  • Chefmaster candy dye
  • Hatch gift coupon for $25 off
  • Hoffmaster cupcake liners
  • Lorann Oils flavor dram
  • Lucks chocolate transfer sheets
  • Perfectly Posh samples
  • SpinningLeaf single cavity mold (2)
  • Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply vanilla sample
  • Sweets & Treats Boutique party bags (2)
  • The Great Texas Pecan Candy Company candy sample
  • TLC Farms Texas-shaped goat’s milk soap

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in a blog comment:

Where should I host Cake Poppers Meet-Ups next year?

After you leave a comment, click on the link below to earn 16 more ways to enter this giveaway!

Click here to enter —-> TXCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway Rafflecopter

Super Smooth Cake Balls

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I love posting pictures on Instagram as I’m baking, like this one, and I often get asked how do I get my cake balls so smooth?

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It’s easy peezy, and I’m happy to share my tips!

Tip 1: crumb your cake using a food processor. Don’t pack it in too tight… the pieces of cake need some room to move around. If you jam it in there too tight, the blade will just spin around and could affect the texture.

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The cake should be finely crumbed – no large chunks of cake…

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Tip 2: use frosting sparingly. I usually just “eyeball” it, but it’s equal to about 1/4 cup. If your cake dough is too wet, the cake balls won’t hold their shape and will have issues being dipped.

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Tip 3: to incorporate the frosting, use a spatula to press it down into the cake crumbs, almost like you’re smearing it against the sides of the bowls. Press the spatula down, and while applying pressure, drag it backwards… Does that make sense? It’s tricky to describe… I keep acting it out as I type this.

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Rotate the bowl as you press into the cake mixture with the spatula… see how it’s starting to look fudgy?

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As you do this, the cake will form into a dough. Notice that there are no crumbs left around the side of the bowl? Because they are so fine, they are easier to absorb into the dough, and won’t cause lumps or bumps.

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Tip 4: use a 1.5″ cookie scoop to evenly portion your pops. I use the same technique as if you were measuring brown sugar – packing the dough in nice and tight, then leveling off the scoop.

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After you eject the dough from the scoop, I squish it in my hands a few times, then roll – roll – roll. Ta da!

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If the cake balls fall apart, then they are too dry and could use a little more frosting. Your hands should also stay clean – if they are the color of your cake, you’ve added too much frosting. Unfortunately there is no recovery if you’ve added too much frosting… that’s why it’s important to use it in small amounts.

I usually average 36-38 cake balls per cake. There’s usually more if someone isn’t in the kitchen sneaking samples.

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Top the dipped cake pops with a simple drizzle or dunk them in some sprinkles… can you ever have too many sprinkles? I didn’t think so.

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Cake pop stand from kcbakes.com

Behind the Scenes Tour of BRP Box Shop

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit BRP Box Shop – it was an awesome experience that I’ll never forget.

I’ve been a big fan of BRP ever since discovring their boxes through their participation of my OCCPMU meet-up. Not only are the boxes incredible, but the people behind the scenes are some of the nicest, funniest, most genuine people. You’ll meet them, too, throughout this post.

I flew out to Chicago, met up with my friend Bob of Takes The Cake, and we drove a few hours to Clinton, Iowa – it was my first time seeing the Mississippi River in person! Sing it with me… M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i!

I was so excited to see how their amazing boxes are made, so we jumped right into a behind-the-scenes tour.

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When there’s an idea for a new box design, the concept goes through quite a few phases before it can go into production. First, Kip showed us how they design items on the computer. He made a swirly design – much harder to create than you’d think, actually.

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The design is then sent to this sample plotter, which has unique way of cutting out the pattern that was just mocked up in the computer. The picture is a little blurry because it moves so fast as it works! Do you see the swirls?

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Here’s Bob showing off our newly-cut swirly design.

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This process allows BRP to take ideas, design and cut them, then be able to hold the actual item and determine if it’s something that can go into production and become part of their product line. Such a neat process!

Next, we went out into the factory…

Connie showed us how the whole process starts. The box material comes in these huge, HUGE rolls – so big, they’re delivered by train.

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As you may know, BRP offers quite a variety of box colors – red, blue, pink, yellow, green, black, etc. Ready for this fun fact? BRP dyes the box material themselves!

Using the machine below, they place a large roll of white paper on the right and its looped through different feeders to go through the ink process. This job was making black paper – see the vertical strip on the left next to Box Maker Brad? Pretty cool, right?

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After the paper is dyed, it needs to be cut into the various box designs. For this job, they had loaded in a large roll of kraft paper (on right).

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As it runs through the center of the machine, it cuts out the individual box layouts at high-speed.

 

In addition to making a sample on their prototype machine, a big step in the new-design process is to consult with the engineers out in the plant who run the machines, to see if its something they are equipped to produce.

Remember that swirly we made? Kip showed our new ‘design’ to Gary to see what he thought. He wasn’t so sure at first, but I think we won him over.

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As the boxes are cut out, the remaining scraps are sucked up into a tube that goes to the adjacent room. The scraps travel up a conveyer belt and are baled into these huge bundles. I saw nothing but craft-project potential, but they are busy bees at BRP – so off to recycling it goes.

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If you get any BRP Boxes that have windows on them, like these cool cupcake boxes, they go through this machine – don’t stand on it. The boxes zoom through and get little strips of glue applied to the edges of the window area.

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Then they come out this end with the window attached. Can you see that purple glow around the edges? They use UV light to make sure it was glued just right. Pretty fancy!

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Some of BRP boxes are shipped to you flat. But some of them, like the pie boxes below, arrive already folded. Box Maker Dave showed us some pretty cool machines that do all of the folding – it was so interesting to watch. They go in as flat boxes as he’s showing below, then come out on the other end as complete boxes!

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Once all of the dying, cutting, gluing and folding is complete, there are huge stacks of final products ready to be packaged up.

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Afterwards, they are boxed and stored in their assigned areas in the warehouse. Can you hear the choir of angels singing? Ahhhh :) Look at all of those boxes, stacked quite literally from floor to ceiling!

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Beep beep! Eddi showed us how she maneuvers the forklifts to retrieve boxes from up on the high shelves. The dexterity she had with that big machine was incredibly impressive.

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Now, have you ever shopped online for something new, but the item only came in high quantities – so you have to debate whether or not you want to risk buying a lot of something, that you’re not sure if it will work right for your project? BRP solves that problem by allowing customers to Order Samples! For just $10, you can select up to 5 different box samples.

Here in the Sample Room, Jane & Madonna put all of the sample orders together and send them out to you bakers, while listening to their favorite tunes (slow country) on their radio. They surprised Bob & I with a Welcome sign, decorated with cupcake and cake pop stickers. We were so touched!

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Back in the offices, we got to meet Sue – if you call BRP, chances are you’re talking to her!

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We also met Linda, who processes all of your orders. She was showing me all of the pins on the world map where they’ve shipped orders.

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Then we spotted Ann up on the ladder in their photography room, where they take all of the amazing website pictures. Ann also runs BRP’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Be sure to tag @brpboxshop or use their hashtag #brpboxshop when sharing on social media, she loves reposting customers’ photos!

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And there you have it!

Did you have any idea just how much work goes into making a box? I certainly didn’t. I was honestly so impressed by the incredible box-making process, as well as the fantastic box makers themselves. It’s such a special place – you can actually feel the love they put in those boxes!

All good tours have a prize at the end, and this one is no exception…

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

BRPwinner

Florida Cake Poppers Meet-Up

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This past weekend, I hosted my third Cake Poppers Meet-Up! I can’t believe it’s already over… it feels like yesterday when my Florida girls & I were setting up swag bags and prepping for all the bakers.

On Saturday, April 5th, the Florida Cake Poppers Meet-Up was held at Crave in Orlando, Florida. Search #FLCPMU on Instagram for hundreds of pictures from the event. 

At check-in, each attendee received a name tag, event program and a SWAG BAG full of goodies! See the end of this post for your chance to snag some swag! Florida Swag Bag Being the third event, I’ve been able to keep up fun traditions (like the photobooth idea that started in OC) and bring on new ones like the Cake Pop Question Icebreaker we did at this meet-up for the first time.

There were questions like “What was the first cake pop you ever made?” and “What was your biggest baking fail?” The icebreaker game really helped everyone move around and get to know each other before settling in for lunch.

Tyler (in red) and his staff at Crave were fantastic and so incredibly accommodating. And the food was amazing! We had chicken parm, mahi mahi tacos and chicken fettuccini. Crave Staff For dessert, Jessica of Sugar & Spiked and Angie of O Pops by Angie teamed up to create a sweets table and created the “Love is Love” theme. The rainbow colors were carried throughout the entire event, and the bright colors were so pretty! IMG_2201 There were so many colorful treats! Please see the end of this post for full credits. IMG_2202 Look at these cookies by You Can Call Me Sweetie… it’s edible art! IMG_2203 Angie & Jessica jazzed up their cake pops with bling sticks from maskipops.by.adri & Bella’s Bakery & Bowtique… IMG_2209 Then, my favorite part, the sprinkle cake from Cakes by RC! I really just wanted the sprinkle-coated frosting, lol, but it was all delicious! IMG_2234 At the other end of the dessert counter, we had all of our amazing raffle prizes! Check out our Raffle Winners FB Album. Raffle Prizes Karyn of Pint Sized Baker was there to share her amazing photography wisdom. It’s so neat to hear the bakers go “ohhhh” when she shares a cool tip. She’s such a smart cookie! IMG_2224Next, I led a discussion Social Media Do’s & Don’ts. We talked about a lot of hot topics such as giving inspiration credits, watermarking photos, managing multiple social media accounts & more. I really enjoy the open forum because everyone has such great insight to share. (But no one told me to pose for the camera, haha)

photo credit @productosmitierra (IG)

photo credit @productosmitierra (IG)

We wrapped up the event with our panel of cake pop experts: Dee (Diva’s Delights), Angie (O Pops by Angie), Jessica (Sugar & Spiked), Jennie (The Cake Pop Shop) & Karyn (Pint Sized Baker). Everyone had great questions for the ladies who were happy to share their tips. I think we could’ve closed the restaurant if we talked as long as we wanted to, but all good things do come to an end, after all. photo Then we surprised the bakers that BRP Box Shop had sent Swag Boxes for them! BRP Boxes Before it was time to go, we squeezed together for a group picture. Doesn’t everyone look so nice? IMG_2253 I’d like to send big hugs out to Brandi, Dee A., Dee R. & Karyn for all of their amazing help with set-up and assembling the swag bags on Saturday morning – you girls rock!

Oh… and BIG NEWS… click here to find out where the next meet-ups will be!

Now… the FLCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

Two lucky KC Bakes readers will win… IMG_2290

  • Aardvark red striped paper straws
  • BRP Box Shop variety pack
  • CandiQuik Easter candy kit
  • Florida Citrus items – recipe book, ruler, lip balm & silly putty
  • Layer Cake Shop orange sprinkles
  • Make’n Mold lollipop accessory kit & candy mold
  • My Little Cake Pop heart mold
  • OXO mini beakers measuring set
  • O Pops by Angie acrylic stick sample
  • Pick Your Plum popcorn boxes
  • Spinning Leaf single cookie mold
  • Susypops Easter treat tags
  • Sweets & Treats Boutique cupcake liners & treat bags
  • Sweet Life Cake Supply vanilla sample & sanding sugar

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in a blog coment:

Where are you located? And what is your favorite thing about your state? :-)

Then visit the RaffleCopter Widget on KC Bakes’ Facebook page to verify your comment & earn 20 more ways to win!

Sugar & Spiked and O Pops by Angie Dessert Table vendors:
1. Treats by Sugar & Spiked:
– Cake Pops
– Push Pops
– Dipped Marshmallows
– Dipped Oreos
2. Treats by O Pops by Angie:
– Cake Pops
– Rice Krispie Treats
– Merenguitos
3. Rainbow cake & cupcakes by Cakes by RC
4. Cookies by You Can Call Me Sweetie
5. Bling sticks by maskipops.by.adri and Bella’s Bakery & Bowtique
6. Push pop & paper straw stands by KC Bakes
7. Banner & dessert labels by Jenae Creates
8. Custom confetti by The Confetti Bar

Amazing Cake Pops – Review & Giveaway!

If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, you know this winter has been a cruel one. Single digit temperatures and endless snow. But I have something super exciting to brighten up your day… a giveaway!

One lucky KC Bakes reader will win The Art of Cake Pops, the latest book by Noel Muniz of The Cake Poppery!

Summary: In this follow-up book to The Art of Cake Pops, Noel Muniz brings you even more challenging and fun designs for the little treats that are still the hottest confections in bakeries everywhere. From football helmets to corn dogs, polar bears, party hats, meatballs, beehives, and castles, Amazing Cake Pops is jam-packed with incredible designs that will spruce up any party or occasion. Along with the basics of making cake pops, more advanced tips and tricks are included for anyone wishing to bring their cake pop–making skills to another level.

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My Review: One of my favorite aspects of this second book is the personal anecdotes found throughout the Introduction. “I figured it wouldn’t be hard to dip cake into melted chocolate. Boy, was I wrong.”

Reading about Noel’s own initial struggles provided an odd sense of relief, in the sense that – whew, I’m not the only one that this can be challenging for. There was a particular paragraph where Noel describes the challenges of running a cake pop business. After reading each sentence, I found myself saying, out loud, Yes! Yep! Uh huh! Oh my gosh, so true! Then, in one breath, he describes why it’s all worth it… “You are not just making pops, you are making memories.”

If you’ve struggled with any aspect of making cake pops, the first 75 pages of this book troubleshoot every aspect of the process – cake and frosting recipes, types of chocolate, cracking, yellow sticks, shaping, chilling, dipping – even shipping cake pops! Noel breaks down the problem, why it happens, and what you can do to fix it.

The remaining pages are filled with most beautiful pictures, 85 designs to be exact. Noel’s photos are so bright, crisp and clear, it could qualify as an art book. I happened to have it with me when I was babysitting my niece & nephew (ages 6 & 8), and they loved every single picture, shouting the titles as we turned each page… PENGUINS! POLAR BEARS! A WALRUS!

Their favorite was the flying pig, which had them giggling quite a bit. I loved the bold color and food-themed designs, especially the baguettes below – they look so real!

Final Thoughts: From A to Zebras, Noel covers every aspect of cake popping that you can think of; this book is a must-have for all cake pop kitchens. If you’ve never made a cake pop before, or you are a seasoned pro, this book can be enjoyed by all experience levels.

The Giveaway!

PrizeOne (1) copy of Amazing Cake Pops: 85 Advanced Designs to Delight Friends & Family

Entry DeadlineFriday (3/14/14), 11:59pm EST. Any comments left after the deadline will not be considered.

To Enter:
Leave a comment answering this question: 

What issue gives you the most trouble while making cake pops? **

** Rafflecopter: Verify that you commented by visiting the Rafflecopter widget on KC Bakes’ Facebook page. While you are there, complete additional items for more chances to win!

 

Easy Punny Pretzel Valentine’s Treats

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Valentine’s Day really snuck up on me this year. One minute we’re counting down the seconds on New Year’s Eve, then -poof- it’s February!

I’ve got the cutest last-minute gift idea for your friends, co-workers, family, kids’ friends’ – or maybe even your mail carrier? Hey, they deliver KC Bakes’ stands after all… hard work deserves a treat.

Ingredients: flat pretzels & candy melts – it’s that easy!

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Drizzle your favorite colors in an even zig zag motion – and allow them to dry. Once the chocolate sets, you’ll need to break off the chocolate lines that run across the holes in the pretzels.

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Another way to sweeten up your pretzels is to dip them in melted candy. Personally – I don’t like fully coated pretzels b/c then one end winds up melting in your hand as you eat it, so I like this half-dipped approach. Add some sprinkles for… well… do we really need a reason for sprinkles?

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Now comes the fun part – some cute pretzel puns!

Twisted Over You (1280x853)Or how about this one…

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As I was making these pretzels, I had to keep digging through the bag to find the whole ones – I kept coming up with all of these broken pieces. Then, an idea hit me to put those random bits to good use… drizzle chocolate on them!

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Download the tags here for FREE: Pretzel Pun Tags

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Free Conversation Heart Cake Pop Tags

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I may be aging myself, but conversation heart candies have really changed from the way I remember them as a kid.

Now they have messages like “Text Me” or “Tweet Me”. And rarely is the message stamped squarely in the center of the candy… seriously candy makers, you have one job to do, lol.

I found a really cute font this morning, so I made these cute conversation heart-inspired tags to add some whimsy to your cake pops or other Valentine’s Day treats.

Conversation Tags

Download the PDF for FREE: Conversation Tags

Tags are sized to work with a 1.5″ round punch. Visit my Ultimate Tag Tutorial to learn the best tools & tricks to make your tags a success.

Enjoy!

 

Owl Be Your Valentine – Cake Pop Tutorial

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Last year, Pint Sized Baker & I teamed up to do a Love Bug cake pop post to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This year, I’m absolutely swooning over our theme – owls! Have we met? :)

When I think of owl cake pops, my friend Nicole instantly comes to mind. Her owl cake pops are incredible, so I asked if she’d stop by le’ blog and share her tips. Like any good Valentine’s Day proposal – she said yes! So, without further ado…

Hey all! Nicole here from Bella’s Bakery & Bowtique. I love creating bite-sized pieces of art and sharing tips and tricks along the way. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see lots of my yummy food art.

Some of my favorite cake pops to dip & decorate are owls. Today I’m going to show you how to make this pretty and sweet bird with some Valentiney flair. (Totally a word.)

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Here’s what you will need:

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  1. Candy melts (any fun color)
  2. Oval shaped cake ball
  3. Bling sticks
  4. Candy eyes
  5. Candy hearts (2 sizes)
  6. Rainbow chips
  7. Chocolate chips
  8. Flower candies
  9. KC Bakes cake pop stand

First, cut the top swirl off of chocolate chips at an angle to get a perfect owl ear shape. Make sure you taste test the chips… it’s important.

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Dip your blingstick into the melted chocolate and insert into the oval cakeball (just take a round cakeball and rub between your hands until you get an oval shape).

While that sets in your KC Bakes stand, attach the ears. Make sure the points are facing inwards.

Once the ears set, dip the pop into your melted chocolate and tap off the excess candy. I usually count to 12 while tapping then turn upright. Then give a couple extra taps and let dry completely. Next, brush on some sparkle! I used luster dust in cotton candy on this beauty.

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* Important – leave the pop alone for a good 20 minutes. This way when you attach the candy features, you won’t get cracks.

Ok, time for the candies!

  • First apply 2 dots for the eyes. (I use a toothpick to apply all chocolate “glue”)
  • Second – the beak. Get it nice and nestled below and in between the eyes.
  • Next – the wings. Practice placing them without glue first. Sometimes I apply them flat, other times at an angle. They look great multiple ways!

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Finally the feet (talons sounds kinda harsh). I use flower candies but you could also pipe on some chocolate feet.

To take this beauty bird to the next level, I added a chest pattern in hearts. It’s Valentine’s Day after all and whooooo will always love you?

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For some finishing touches, I add a sparkle in her eye (dot with white chocolate) and some luscious lashes. Start with 3 dots, then swipe upwards and outwards with a toothpick… just how I apply my mascara :)

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Tadaa! Isn’t she a beauty? Here are some of her friends, in their KC Bakes stand:

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All packed up and ready to make someone’s day a little sweeter! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love the bling sticks? Check them out in our Etsy Shop!

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Be sure to check out Pint Sized Baker’s post for more Valentine’s Day treat inspiration!

My Big Dark Baker Secret

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Do you know what today is? My birthday, weeeeeeee!

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Also celebrating today are Christina Aguilera, Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt, Steven Speilberg, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Keith Richards & DMX. Ah, what a fun, ecclectic party that would be.

But that’s not what I’m here to tell you today. Truth of the matter is… I’ve been keeping a secret from you. A big one. It’s pretty embarrassing. In fact, it’s hiding in my closet.

So, for my 30th birthday last year, my best friend bought me a beautiful, white KitchenAid Mixer. I was totally surprised, and posted this pic on Instagram. I finally felt like a legit baker!

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Oh gosh… here comes the secret part. I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, for fear of losing any street cred’ I’ve built up over the years.

OK, here it goes… just rip off the Band Aid, right? *deep breath* 1… 2… 3…

MY MIXER IS STILL IN THE BOX!

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I knowwww… oh, the shame & agony. But yes, it’s true… I never opened my KitchenAid Mixer. It’s still in the box, one year later! 

I understand there’s no acceptable reason for such an atrocity, but hear me out…

With my birthday being a week before Christmas, our house was all set-up for the holidays. My parents were staying with us last year, so in an attempt to clear some floor space, I put a lot of stuff in the closet, including le’ mixer. And there she sat.

I’ve had so many well-intentioned instances where I wanted to bring her out and whip up something fantastic. However, I usually have so much going on, I always defaulted to my hand-mixer to make a quick dessert – rather than spend some quality time getting to know Wendy & figure out how she works. I literally just named her as I’m typing… it just feels right… Wendy the White Mixer. I love a good quasi-alliteration.

I, of course, feel tremendous guilt for squandering such a generous gift. To make it up to my friend, and Wendy, I’m going to embark on a rather ambitious quest… and I need YOUR help.

In 2014, I’d like to make something different each week, using my KitchenAid mixer. Rather than Google some random ideas, I’d love to try out some of your favorite recipes!

So… for my birthday… I’d love if you would tell me what things you like to make with your KitchenAid Mixers – sweet or savory.

Please share a recipe link in the comments below & tell me what you like about it. If email is easier, please send recipes to kcbakes@hotmail.com. I will give full credit to whomever recommends the recipes I make – so if you share an original recipe, please let me know.

I need at least 52 good recipes to get me through the year… I can’t wait your recipes!

My Favorite Cake Pop Supplies

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Cake pans with lids and spatulas so sturdy,
Cookie scoops, chocolate and twisties so purty,
A cake pop stand so your Styrofoam can grow wings,
These are a few of my favorite cake pop things!

Seasons greetings, friends!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m sure you all will be busy baking for parties and family gatherings. So, I thought I’d share what tools of the cake pop trade I like the most… and give them away!

KC Bakes Favorite Cake Pop Supplies Numbered

1. KitchenAid Cake Pan. The key to great cake pops is to start with a well-baked cake. This awesome pan’s non-stick finish will make sure that there’s more cake to crumble. It also has really nice side grips and comes with a lid! (donated by KC Bakes)

2. GIR Spatulas. Over the last few years, I have snapped so many spatulas. But not my GIR’s – they are so durable! They can be used in hot cooking as well, and come in a variety of fun colors. I love that they are a solid one-piece unit, which makes them easy to clean. (donated by GIR)

3. OXO Cookie Scoop. This tool is absolutely crucial to my cake pop process. I use it for portioning to ensure that each cake pop is the same size. OXO products are so high-quality, it will last you for a long time. (donated by OXO)

4. Make’n Mold Supplies (candy melts, lollipop sticks, treat bags, twistie ties, candy molds). I use Make’n Mold everything when I make pops. I really like their candy melts, which have such a great consistency, and cover cake balls so smoothly. Their new premium flavors are really tasty, too – try the salted caramel, yum!. (donated by Make’n Mold)

5. KC Bakes Mini Cake Pop Stand. I may be a bit biased on this one, but I really do love my cake pop stands. They make it so easy for you to decorate, display & transport your cake pops. (donated by KC Bakes)

So… who’d like to win all of my favorite things? :)

KC Bakes Favorite Cake Pop Supplies

To enter: visit the Rafflecopter Widget on my Facebook page. It’s very simple, 5 clicks and you’re entered to win all of the above goodies!

But wait! There’s more!

I’ve teamed up with 19 bloggers for a Holiday Blog Scavenger Hunt with a HUGE grand prize! We’ve come up with a fun secret holiday message that you need to decode.

What’s the prize? A KitchenAid PRO Mixer!

KA Mixer Giveaway - Instagram

OK, now grab a pen & piece of paper… you’ll want to write down all of the secret words to figure out the message.

My secret word is… POUT.  Write down POUT, then head over to Pass The Sushi for the next clue!

To enter the KitchenAid Grand Prize Giveaway:

Step 1. Leave a comment on my blog answering this question…
What you would you make with your KitchenAid Professional Mixer?

Step 2. Visit the Rafflecopter Widget on my website & follow its instructions.

Please visit all of the participating blogs below. There are 19 clues, good luck!

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