Reindeer “Boozy” Cake Pops

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Today is my birthday! Woohoo! Another year gone by, filled with family, friends, and cake pops :)

To help celebrate, Rachel from Sadie Baby Sweets in Ohio, is continuing in our Cake Pop Con attendee tutorial series, by sharing a really clever way to use her CPC swag.

It’s the holiday season and with that comes holiday parties.  If you are lucky like I am, you get invited to an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.  YAY!

I love parties and I cannot arrive empty-handed. I always have to bring the hostess a gift.  But what could I bring? Something “festive and fun”!

That’s when the idea of Reindeer Boozy Pops was born.  It’s a cheeky adult-themed party, after all.  What a perfectly cute and delicious party dessert, a few bites of chocolate cake pop and a shot of Bailey’s liquor!

Reindeer Boozy Pops 1

These Reindeer Boozy Pops are super easy to make and will surely impress your guests.

Supplies

  • Your favorite cake pop dough, already prepared
  • Chocolate melts
  • Bakerella’s DIY Sugar Eyes
  • Black edible-ink writing marker
  • Cinnamon imperials
  • Candy cane sprinkles
  • Bailey’s liquor
  • Pipettes
  • Paper straws
  • Ribbon

Reindeer Boozy Pops 3

 

I like to cut my paper straw so that they are 6in long. I think they display nicer this way and they look great through the picture window in my BRP Box Shop Cake Pop Carry Case.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 4

Next, I fill my pipettes.  This takes a little bit of time since you are working against gravity.  I dip the pipette into a shot glass full of the liquor, squeeze to fill and then flip it over with the opening towards the ceiling tapping the bottom on top of a paper towel……repeat these steps until the pipette bulb is completely full.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 5

Then cut the rest of the pipette tube off to about 1/4inch above the body.  I purchased Plastic Transfer Pipettes, 1mL graduated from Amazon for $10.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 6

To prepare the eyes, it is so easy. Bakerella for Make ‘n Mold DIY Sugar Eyes which come with an AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Marker in the package… genius!

Reindeer Boozy Pops 7

Here comes the fun part!  First, melt your chocolate so that you can dip your cake pop.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 8

Then, once the cake pop is dipped you have to work very quickly to attach the sugar eyes, cinnamon imperial red nose and then the pipettes – before the chocolate hardens.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 10

Eyes, nose, pipettes. This is the order that works best for me since I don’t like the chocolate to be “too wet” when inserting the pipettes, since they are a little heavy.

Push the pipettes into the cake pop almost to the bottom curve of the bulb.  Gently hold the pipettes in place until the pop is dry so that they stay where you placed them, instead of drooping or spreading out.

Next, use your edible marker to draw a smile.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 11

I like to dress up the reindeer a bit more by placing candy cane sprinkles in front of the pipettes.  This can be added while the chocolate is still wet or afterward by placing a tiny bit of chocolate melt on the back of the candy cane.

For the finale, add a festive ribbon “scarf” or bow to really complete the look.

Reindeer Boozy Pops 12

Rudolf never looked so snazzy!

Happy Holidays,

Rachel, Sadie Baby Sweets
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

 

Santa Zombie Cake Pops

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Next up in our Cake Pop Con attendee tutorial series, Lina from Zoe & Pea in New York has a trendy twist on holiday cake pops!

Hi all,

I am Lina, the creative mind behind Zoe & Pea. Today I want to share with you a fun little tutorial, based on this set of cake pops I made for a Plants vs Zombies themed birthday party.

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 1

Kim challenged us Cake Pop Con attendees to use our swag products in a fun way for the holidays. So, allow me to present to you… Santa Zombies! After all, the holidays are for the undead too.

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 2

I wanted to make these as accessible to everyone as possible, so I am using only candy and chocolate.  However, the possibilities for these fellas are endless. Feel free to add fondant decorations, disco dust, sanding sugar, etc. More intricate designs are a bit time consuming, but totally worth the effort.

Today, I am using candy from Miami Candies and paper straws from Aardvark Straws. Thank you Cake Pop. Com sponsors for your generosity.

Supplies:

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 2

  • White, Black and Red Candy melts
  • Lollipop Sticks or Paper Straws
  • Rolled Cake Balls (one full size ball for the head and about half of the ball for the hat)
  • Round white candy in two sizes
  • Black Edible-Ink Marker
  • Toothpicks

Instructions:

Molding the cake balls…

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 4

  1. Starting with full size cake balls, follow your normal preparation of cake dough. For this, I suggest you aim for a playdoh-like consistency. This way, you do not need to chill your cake balls and can work faster. I am using red velvet cake.
  2. Cut one of the cake balls in half.
  3. Shape that half ball to a cone shape. I start with a ball, then pinch one corner to create the tip, and flatten the opposite side.
  4. Take the full ball and create an oval shape. The bottom half of the ball should be thinner, as to resemble a chin. No further molding necessary.
  5. You should end up with an oval shaped ball and a cone shaped ball as in figure 5. Set aside.

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 5

  1. Go ahead and melt your candy melts. You should have four colors: Red, white, grey and black, The grey and the red are your dipping colors, so be more generous in terms of quantity with those. I prepare the grey by adding a few black candy melts to my white candy melts. Set aside

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 6

Assembly:

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 7

  1. Starting with your oval shape, dip the straw or lollipop stick in your grey candy melts and insert in that oval shape until you completely impale the ball and can see a bit of the straw/lollipop stick. In order to preserve that oval cake ball, gently twist the stick as you insert it in the ball.
  1. Dip the cake pop in the grey candy melt.
  1. While the candy is still wet, gently push the larger candy ball in to create an eye socket. I like this technique better because the pressure will add a crease to the chocolate that looks like an eyelid. Proceed with the smaller candy.

 

  1. Gently twist the cake cone in place, using the excess candy melt already in place as glue.

 

  1. Using a round candy as mold, create a small crevice for the candy to rest on top of the hat. Allow the chocolate to set or to expedite the process, refrigerate until the candy melts are had to the touch ( about 10 minutes)

 

  1. Dip the hat on the red candy melts. Shake the excess red chocolate with the cake pop completely upside down to minimize the amount that will fall back to the face of the zombie. While the candy melts are still wet, place the white candy ball on top of the hat. Allow the re candy melt to set, before proceeding to the next step. You could add red sanding sugar to the hat to make it even more festive.

 

  1. With a toothpick and white candy melts, go around the seam and add the white border. Create a texture by poking the white candy melt with the toothpick.

 

  1. Add some expression lines and eyebrows by guiding grey candy melt with a toothpick. You could also pipe it.

 

  1. With black chocolate, add two dots to the eyes and small ovals for the nose. Draw the mouth with the black edible marker.

 

  1. Add some teeth by piping with white candy melts.

 

Voilá, you are done!

Before I go, I also want to thank Pick Your Plum, another Cake Pop Con sponsor, for providing us with such amazing and generous disposable tableware. I had so much fun personalizing the chevron green cups and plates for the Plants vs. Zombies event.

Zombie Santa Cake Pops 8

 

I also used my mini stands from KC Bakes!Zombie Santa Cake Pops 9

I hope you have as much fun creating these little guys as I did. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Holidays to you all,

Lina
Facebook, Instagram, Website

Holiday MacaRONs

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During Cake Pop Con, I got to know so many talented bakers, and we received so many awesome products from our generous sponsors. Over the next few posts, some of baker attendees will share some creative ideas to bake for the holidays, using CPC Swag!

Holiday MacaRONs
by: Ace Galgana, Cake ‘n Stick (Hawaii)

I. Love. Macarons! They are just so pretty. But so many people are intimidated from by them. Don’t be! I know, they look fancy and complicated – and they can be. However, with my tips, some determination & a dash of patience, we will having you baking gorgeous macarons that will be the envy of every party.

“Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun.” – Julia Child

Now lets get started!

1. Combine and set aside – 1 cup of sifted almond flour and 1 3/4 cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar.

Emphasis on SIFTED. If you skip this process then expect some lumpy macs. Some people recommend you sift your almond flour and powdered sugar together, but I do it separately and it works for me. After I sift, I quickly combine the two with a whisk and set it aside.

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2. Beat at medium speed until frothy – 3 room temperature large egg whites and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle in the sugar while egg whites are beating.

Emphasis on ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs. If you don’t have enough time to set them aside in advance, simply stick them in a bowl of warm water and let it sit for 10 min. Voila! Room temperature eggs!

Drop the egg whites in your mixer. Be careful to not get any yolk in your egg whites! If you do you, it’s easier to just start over. The yolk prevents the egg whites from whipping into a meringue, and it will not allow your cookies to dry completely before you bake them. They will feel tacky and will crack when they are baking. No bueno.

EggWhites

Before your egg whites get to that glossy stage, add your food coloring. For this I used Super Chinese Red by CK Products and Mint Green by Spectrum. Very “Christmassy” don’t you think!?

Continue whipping the eggs until you have medium-soft peaks. Not too soft, not too firm… medium-soft.

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Next is the “Macronage”, which is the folding process! Crucial step here, folks. Crucial.

3. Sprinkle your powdered sugar and almond flour mixture in your meringue, and fold. Fold, do not mix. Portion your flour mixture into thirds to where you are not dumping all of it into your meringue.

Now, some people say fold it for about fifty strokes, but I don’t. I just “eyeball” it to get it to the “lava” consistency. The more you practice, the better you’ll be able to eyeball it as well.

Folding

This is what you want, “lava-like” batter, so that when you pipe it onto your Silpat Macaron Mat, the batter doesn’t create “nipples.” Seriously, they are really called that. It should fall into a perfect circle with no points or peaks sticking up.

If it doesn’t settle on it’s own and leaves nipples when you pipe, then you under mixed. If it’s runny then you over mixed. Practice getting your batter to the right consistency. Don’t give up!

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Pour your batter into a piping bag. To make it easier, place the piping bag over a cup, which will support the batter as the bag fills up.

Pipe your batter straight down on to your Silpat Macaron Mat. I seriously love it – my macarons come off so easily and, it already has perfectly printed circles to guide you for the perfect size macs.

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After piping a full sheet of batter, let it sit!

I know you will be tempted to stick it in the oven right away – but don’t! Let your cookies sit until it forms a firm outer shell on top. If you do not wait for the dry shell to form, they will all crack when you bake them.

I’m saving you a night full of stress, please, wait it out!

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Bake for about 14-18 minutes at 285F- 305F.

Now, all of our ovens are different, and depending where you live, altitudes and humidity can play a role. It may take a trial batch or two to find that “sweet spot” of what time and temperature work best for you.

In my opinion, there are three things to a successful macaron:

1. A smooth top.
2. Your macaron is not hollow! Hollows are caused by under-cooking your macarons. See how nice and full this mac is?

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3. Macaron “feet”, which is the spongy looking part that forms at the bottom of the cookie.

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Let your macarons sit and cool before you peel them off your mat. Again patience. If you don’t wait until they cool, they will stick to your mat. You must wait.

After they are cool, it’s time to fill your macarons! You can use about anything to fill your cookies: ganache, buttercream, jelly, spread – whatever! That’s the beauty of these cookies – there are so many options!

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To give your macs some extra holiday flair, I decorated mine with Holiday sprinkles and piped decorations on with Bakerella’s Make ‘n Mold Marshmallow White candy wafers.

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The moral of this holiday story, patience and persistence. Don’t give up! Keep practicing and you will be the HIT at your holiday party!

Mahalo,
Ace Cake ‘n Stick

French MacaRONs

1 cup of sifted almond flour
1 3/4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
3 room temperature large egg whites
3 tablespoons of sugar
(Optional) 3 drops food coloring
(Optional) 1/2 teaspoon of flavored extract

  • Combine almond flour and confectioner’s sugar, and set aside.
  • Beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy.
  • Sprinkle in sugar while egg whites are beating.
  • Beat at high speed until medium-soft peaks form. Add food coloring & extract (optional).
  • Combine egg white mixture with flour mixture and fold until incorporated. Fold in until you reach “lava-like” consistency.
  • Transfer into piping bag and pipe 1 1/2 inch circles. Use Silpat Macaron mat for guidance.
  • Allow tray to sit until the batter forms a firm outer shell on top of the cookies.
  • Bake 14-18 minutes at 285-305F.
  • Allow cookies to fully cool before removing them from the mat.
  • Decorate & enjoy!

mac collage

How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks

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One great thing about cake pops is that you can make them several days in advance of an event… even a week (or two).

The chocolate coating seals in the cake, keeping it fresh. However – have you ever noticed that after a day or two, the stick starts to turn yellow?

1 How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks

The problem: standard cake mix ingredients include eggs, water & oil. Lollipop sticks are made from tightly-wound paper, which essentially act like a wick, absorbing the fat content contributed by oil.

The solution: Musselman’s unsweetened applesauce! It’s really that easy… substitute the exact amount of applesauce for what the cake mix calls for in oil.

2 Ingredients Applesauce

Did she just say applesauce in cake mix? I sure did! Don’t stress, it will not change the taste at all, I promise. I tested this solution with several friends, and not one person noticed the swap.

Most mixes require a 1/2 cup of oil. Musselman’s snack-size applesauce cups hold just about that same amount!

3 How to Fix Yellow Cake Pop Sticks with Applesauce

Next time you are making cake pops, keep that oil in the cupboard and peel back a snack pack of unsweetened applesauce – no measuring required!

I had so much fun working with Mussleman’s on this post… such a quick fix for a very common cake pop problem.

Now that you have pearly white sticks, here’s a fun & easy cake pop idea for Fall… Halloween Pumpkin Pops! {see my Pumpkin Cake Pop Tutorial to get started}

Halloween Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cake Pop vertical

Place melted orange candy into a Ziploc bag. Snip off one corner of the bag — the smaller corner you cut, the finer of a “tip” you’ll have.

Pipe on your desired design – then immediately shake black sanding sugar over the wet candy. The crystals will only stick to where you pipe – ta da!

Spider Halloween Cake Pop with Apple

Jack is so friendly looking, you almost feel bad eating him… almost :)

HH Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cake Pop

I especially love the sugar crystal effect for the spider design… it’s the perfect texture for a Halloween creepy-crawly.

HH Spider IG

Photo backdrop: www.inkandelm.com

Movie Theater Chocolate

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I love movies. So does my whole family. We practically speak in movie quotes…

If you were to ask, “How’s the weather?”, my dad would likely reply, “You got a window? Open it.” (Good Morning, Vietnam)

When we are comparing two things that are similar, someone will inevitably say, “They’re i- *clap* -dentical!” (My Cousin Vinny)

Going to the movies is such an adventure. Walking up to the theater, you can always smell the rich scent of buttery popcorn. But then you get to the concession stand, and there are so many yummy chocolate candies… it can be so hard to choose!

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (9)

I’ve come up with a delicious treat that satisfies both salty & sweet… Movie Theater Chocolate!

With only 3 ingredients, it’s easy-peezy to make – LorAnn Oils Buttered Popcorn flavoring oil, chocolate melts, and some crunchies.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (1)

Bakerella recently debuted her own line of Make’n Mold chocolates, one of which is this beautiful Sunny Yellow – the perfect color association for popcorn.

LorAnn oils are super concentrated, a little bit goes a long way. I added 1/4 tsp. to half a bag of candy melts… you can use more/less depending how strong of a buttery popcorn taste you’d like.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (2)

Using Make’n Mold’s Break Up Candy Bar Mold, start with a thin layer of “popcorn chocolate’, then immediately sprinkle on some Rice Krispies.

If you’re out of Krispies, like I was, you can use crushed Special K (no one will ever know… unless you blog about it, haha).

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (3)

You can also use crushed Oreos or a toffee crunch mixture!

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (4)

Make’n Mold’s Salted Caramel melts are so delicious. For just a hint of this flavor, add a little swirl of candy, rather than a whole layer of it.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (5)

Set these to the side for a few minutes to firm up while you are melting candy for the next step.

Fill ‘er up! Bakerella’s Chocolate Fudge wafers are the perfect pairing to top off this treat.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (6)

Tap the plastic mold against the table to get rid of air bubbles. When you are happy with how the chocolate has settled, pop the tray into the fridge for just a few minutes.

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (7)

Ta da! Don’t you just love the color?

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (8)

“When this baby hits 88mph, you’re going to see some serious sh–“… um… chocolate :)

LorAnn Oils Movie Theater Chocolate (11)

What is your favorite movie quote? Let’s hear some classics!

LorAnn Oils are so versatile! Check out these amazing ideas using LorAnn Oils for cakes, cookies, pudding – even sink freshening tabs!

 

  1. Strawberry Fudge from The Stylish Nest
  2. Pumpkin Spice Latte French Macarons from Rickabamboo
  3. Amaretto Cookies from The Blonde in the Apron
  4. No Soda Root Beer Cupcakes and Frosting from Juggling Act Mama
  5. Coffee Donuts from the First Year Blog
  6. Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies from Flippin’ Delicious
  7. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake from The Frugal Foodie Mama
  8. Sink Freshening Tabs in a Snap from Christina, Plain and Simple
  9. Marshmallow Cookies with Princess Cake Frosting from Mom’s Busy Helper
  10. White Chocolate Key Lime Shortbread from It Bakes Me Happy
  11. Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate from Delightful E Made
  12. Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie from Nel’s Nook
  13. Cinnamon Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting from Hezzi-D’s Book and Cooks
  14. Almond Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Spice Glaze from Mom’s Test Kitchen
  15. Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes
  16. Princess Sand Tarts from Diary of a Recipe Collector
  17. Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze from Deliciously Sprinkled
  18. Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
  19. Purple People Eater Popcorn Balls from Seven Alive
  20. Green Apple High Hat Cupcakes from Pint Sized Baker
  21. Pumpkin Pie Pudding Parfait from Fearlessly Creative Mamas
  22. Mango Butter Cake from Clark’s Condensed
  23. ‎Pistachio Lemon cake from Self Proclaimed Foodie
  24. Apple Crumb Coffee Cake from Healthy Deliciou
  25. Chocolate Chip Horchata Zucchini Bread from Plate to Gate
  26. Key Lime Cookies from Cooking with Curls
  27. Key Lime Margarita Cookies from Lori’s Culinary Adventures
  28. Chocolate Irish Cream Bundt Cake from Lynsey Lou’s
  29. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies from Never Skip Dessert
  30. ‎Maple Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce from the Paisley Barn
  31. Pumpkin Cinnamon Cream Puffs from That’s my Home
  32. Citrus Body Scrub from Melissa’s Cuisine
  33. Pumpkin Spiced Tres Leches Cake from Flavor Mosaic
  34. Salted Caramel Meringue Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
  35. Pumpkin Toffee from Eazy Peazy Meals
  36. Movie Theater Chocolate from KC Bakes
  37. Lactose Free Bacarian Cream Pudding from Travel Parent
  38. Red Velvet Muffins from I Love my Disorganized Life
  39. Maple Bacon Fruit Dip from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
  40. Maple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding from Awesome on $20 a Day
  41. Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn Snacks from Grumpy’s Honey Bunch
  42. Cranberry Cheesecake Bites from Lady Behind the Curtain
  43. Pumpkin French Macarons from Sweet and Savory by Shinee
  44. Caramelized Apple Spice Cake from The Freshman Cook

Grilling Peaches in the Rain

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All summer I’ve been reading about grilled peaches… how amazing they are, the rich juiciness, and amazing flavor. I don’t have a grill, but luckily, I was visiting my parents and they have a big ol’ grill!

I was excited to try out this “campfire cone” idea I had seen on Pinterest. Most people stuff mini marshmallows & chocolate inside of a waffle cone for a s’mores effect, but someone had suggested peaches, white chocolate & sliced almonds and that peaked my interest. Not a huge almond fan myself, I swapped in chopped walnuts & was looking forward to making them.

The weather was calling for passing showers, but the skies were blue & it was a beautiful afternoon… those weathermen always get it wrong. OK, if we are being honest – it was hot & humid, but the sun was out and it was perfect picture-taking conditions.

I had all my ingredients ready, the grill was hot and I was ready to go…

grilled peach white chocolate walnuts campfire cones

I put the peaches on the grill, closed the lid and heard a single psst noise… then a few more, psst psst. It was rain drops hitting the hot metal grill lid. No, I thought, please no…

And then I’m pretty sure I heard Mother Nature laugh, because within seconds, the sky ripped open & a mad dash ensued to get everything under cover.

caught in rain

Hubby was so nice and dashed to our car for my big umbrella… I was a woman on a mission, a little monsoon was not coming between me & some grilled peaches!

I kicked off my flip flops while the family watched in laughter as I balanced a tray of ingredients, tongs, my camera and the umbrella, splashing through puddles as I scampered over to the grill. Luckily the grill was mostly covered by the garage roof.

grilled peaches

I rubbed a tiny bit of olive oil on cut side, so the peaches didn’t stick to the grill. And look how pretty they turned out!

Next, I layered in the goodies… diced grilled peach, chopped walnuts & white chocolate chops.

campfire cones assembled

Once the cone is filled up with your desired ingredients, wrap it in foil and cook it on the grill (or campfire) for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate starts to melt.

on the grill

Peeling back the foil was like opening a little present. The white chocolate chips were warm and melty, and it all smelled delicious!

finished grilling

The first few bites were so good, the juicy peach bites paired really well with everything. However, I hit some “dry pockets” where it was just nuts & chocolate… it was okayyy, but it didn’t taste amazing. Hmmm, how could this be remedied?

Then genius struck – I added a scoop of softened vanilla bean ice cream – MAGIC! The soft ice cream dripped into the little nooks and crannies throughout the cone, bringing all of the flavors together for a wow moment. Now THAT was tasty :)

Normally a rainy day would have a blogger packing their camera away. But I have to say, the weather antics made it such a fun adventure!

Back to School DIY Treats

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It’s so hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is upon us already, signaling the unofficial end to summer. And if summer is wrapping up, that can only mean one thing…

It’s “back to school” time! Some of my friends’ kids went back weeks ago, while others aren’t starting for another week… crazy how the start times can vary so widely.

As I was browsing Pinterest for a few minutes hours, I kept coming across the cutest ideas for Back to School Treats… so I just had to gather them up & share them with you.

Regardless if your kiddos are in-session, or still enjoying the last days of vacay, these fun treat ideas will brighten anyone’s days – teacher or student!

 

Chalkboard & Apple Cake Pops by Cake Poppin’, featured on Pint Sized Baker

backtoschoolcakepops-cakepoppn

M&M “Glue Sticks” by Mirabelle Creations

gluestickpushpops

Rolo “Pencils” by Hoosier Homemade

rolo pencils hoosier homemade

Rice Krispies Treats “Desks” by Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

school desk rice krispies treats

String Cheese “Pencils” by Moneywise Mom

String-Cheese-Pencils-1024x768

Pretzel Rod “Crayons” by The Girl Who Ate Everything

edible-crayons-line

Ok, these next ones aren’t sweet… but COME. ON. I would eat every subject, lol. They are SO CUTE!

“School Book” Sandwiches by Hungry Happenings (Beth has a lot of great BTS sweet treat ideas at the bottom of her Rice Krispies School Bus post)

school-book-sandwiches-end-of-year-parties

What will you make for back to school?

Beach Cake Pops Tutorial

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Living on the East Coast, summers at the beach are a must. The warm sand, the cool ocean – so many fun memories and adventures!

Beach cake pops are so fun & easy to make…

beach cake pops title

Make the “sand” by placing graham crackers in a food processor & running it until the crumbs are fine, but not powdery. You can also do this by placing the grahams in a Ziploc bag and going over them with a rolling pin.

If you’ve ever been on the beach, you know that sand is not just one color… to give your edible sand some depth, mix in copper disco dust (which will give it a nice twinkle as well).

graham cracker sand

Ready to take a dip? Well your cake pops should be!

The graham “sand” needs to be applied while the chocolate is still wet, so that it sticks. Prepare a “dipping” station like this to keep things running efficiently.

cake pops setup

After dipping your pops in melted blue candy, and tapping off all of the excess chocolate, lightly touch the top of your pop into the “sand” bowl – then place it in your KC Bakes cake pop stand to dry.

dipping cake pops

Next, we need some seashells!

I purchased this seashell mold from Lollicakes by Ella to make these starfish, seashells and sand dollars.

Just like sand, seashells aren’t usually monochromatic… after being tossed around in the sea, and washing up onto shore, they have various shades of color.

chocolate molds

I used both luster dust and petal dust to give some life to my seashells.

Luster dust is shimmery, which is a great way to give them some sparkle and shine. Matte dust has a flat effect, and is used to create more of a dirt-like smudge.

After dipping your brush in either dusts, tap or brush it on a plate to remove some of the excess powder… then add more as needed for your desired look.

luster dust petal dust

You can add as many shells as you wish to each pop, but usually 2 or 3 does the trick just fine.

Place a small dot of melted chocolate on the underside of your finished seashell to “glue” them to the sandy top of your pop. Be careful not to hold the shells for too long – since they are small, they will start to melt from the natural heat in your fingers.

beach cake pops

Ta da! Beautiful beach cake pops that are great for a beach-themed wedding or engagement party.

Add a twine/rope bow to give it a rustic, romantic look. Enjoy!

New York Cake Poppers Meet-Up

I don’t know about you, but summer is flying by me at warp speed this year, its already mid-August!

This past weekend, on Saturday, August 9th, I hosted my fifth event, the New York Cake Poppers Meet-Up, in Astoria, New York! Search #NYCPMU on Instagram for pictures from the event. 

We all gathered at The Astor Room, which is an amazing venue. Not only is it newly-renovated & simply gorgeous, with an amazing staff and delicious food – but it’s full of history as well! It was originally built as a commissary to a film studio that became Paramount Pictures & and major shows like Orange is the New Black and Sesame Street are filmed right next door.

NYCPMU Group SmallLisa (The Sweet Tooth Bar) styled and created this gorgeous (& delicious!) dessert table! Carolina (The Sugar Penguin) contributed her yummy sugar cookies, and Crystal (Lulu Popz) made the amazing mini cakes.

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The swag bags were hung by their chairs with care, and super fun raffle prizes were on display, waiting to be claimed.

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Karyn of Pint Sized Baker led a really good session on Food Photography. She discussed elements like photo editing and staging, and also showed us how just the slightest changes in lighting and composition can make all the difference in getting a great photo, regardless of whether you are using an phone or DSLR camera.

She also brought her camera and hooked it up to her laptop to do a mock photoshoot right there in the restaurant, demonstrating how she takes pictures for her blogs Pint Sized Baker & Dieter’s Downfall.

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I did a little presentation on Social Media Do’s & Don’ts… thankfully no one snapped my picture – I’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it, haha. Most cake poppers connect through social media, that’s how these meet-ups got started after all – so this session provides the bakers with ways to build their brand to create a positive experience for their followers.

We had a fantastic panel session too! (L-R): Lisa (Goodiebites), Dee (Diva’s Delights), Karyn (Pint Sized Baker) & Noel (The Cake Poppery). I can’t remember the specific comment that gave them all the giggles, but this portion of the event was so much fun… the bakers asked some great questions, and there were really informative discussions that followed – some of the topics included how to handle large orders, charging deposits and structuring order pick-up times. Noel also shared about his publishing experiences.

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To wrap up the day, Noel did a book signing of his two books – The Art of Cake Pops & Amazing Cake Pops (find them here on Amazon).

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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 (& wishful) photos – baker Al D. was the lucky winner!

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Speaking of prizes… the NYCPMU Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

One lucky KC Bakes reader will win…

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And inside that BRP Box Shop portfolio…

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Those boxes have minds of their own, though… I turned my back for one second, and they got into the NYCPMU photobooth props made by Jenae Creates!

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NYCPMU Swag Bag Goodies:

  • Aardvark paper straws
  • All Beauty flavored water (2)
  • Bakery Charms cake pop keychain
  • BRP Box Shop boxes
  • Cake Play isomalt nibs
  • CandiQuik melting candy (vanilla & chocolate)
  • Chocolate Treasures mini pipettes
  • Confetti Couture sweets kit
  • Green Pan 9″ round bake pan
  • Hatch gift card
  • Jenetiqa skin care sample
  • JJ Pops homemade caramel
  • LorAnn Oils twin pack
  • Pfeil & Holing sanding sugar
  • Sweet Imaginations poppy stick sample
  • Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply clear vanilla
  • Sweets & Treats Boutique cupcake liners
  • The Glitter Shoppe sample pack
  • ToGoSpa eyedews sample

PLUS – both of Noel’s books and a KC Bakes mini cake pop stand!!!

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

What has been your favorite memory so far this summer? 

Was it a vacation? A party? A special moment with family? Share in a comment to be entered to win!

After you leave a comment, please navigate to our Rafflecopter to verify that you commented (link below). Be sure that you are signed into Facebook and it should only take you 2 minutes to earn 24 more chances to win all of these amazing prizes!

Click here to enter —-> http://tinyurl.com/ma7zul8

Deadline to enter: Friday, August 15 @ 11:59pm EST – limited to US Residents Only

“Ice Cream” Cupcakes Bar

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for… cupcakes?

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That’s right! Ice cream cone cupcakes have been a favorite of mine, ever since my mom made them I was younger. They are such a fun way to serve cupcakes, and I have a new twist to make them into an interactive activity for kids.

I was babysitting my niece and nephew, ages 6 and 9, who have grown used to the fact that every time I come over, we are baking something. We’ve made quite a few things over the years, from Tie Dye Cupcakes, to cake pops, cookies and more… so I wanted to do something different.

While I was in the grocery store, I spotted Duncan Hines Frosting Creations and had an idea – we could make an “Ice Cream” Cupcakes BAR, with different flavors of “ice cream”! *note: this post is not sponsored by Duncan Hines*

IMG_8712Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees & prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. You can use any flavor mix, but I like using Confetti Cake because the cake looks more colorful when you bite into the cone.

IMG_8714Portion 2 tablespoons of batter into each cone. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it is just the right amount.

IMG_8716If you don’t have measuring spoons handy, any spoon will do… just let your kiddos know to fill the cones to just below the inner ridge of the cone (below the open squares/pockets that go around the top/inside of the cone).

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In the oven they go for about 20 minutes.

IMG_8721She was mesmerized when the batter started to rise…

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Keep an eye on them around the 18 minute mark. If the tops start to get golden brown, bring them out and test the cake with a thin knife or tooth pick… if the knife/pick comes out clean, then you’re all finished.

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As the cones are cooling, begin to prepare your “ice cream” (aka various flavored frostings). One can of Duncan Hines Frosting Starter is all you’ll need; simply portion it out in equal amounts into smaller bowls.

Start by sprinkling in about a third of the flavor mix, stirring thoroughly. Using a separate spoon, taste a small amount to determine if you need more flavoring… this was the kids’ favorite part – somehow we kept needing to taste more & more!

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Time for dessert! This would work great for a birthday party treat… everyone can add their own “ice cream” frosting and toppings for a DIY “Ice Cream” Cupcake Bar.

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The pastel sprinkles I bought at Chocolate Treasures paired so nicely with the light colors of the frosting.

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My favorite flavor was the Strawberry Shortcake frosting… it was so good! Enjoy!

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