Saturday, February 2, 2013

Southern Holiday Life Holiday Feature: Easy Valentine Cake Pops

Southern Holiday Life is excited to offer a special feature series in Lake Wedowee Life magazine about seasonal holidays and events we celebrate throughout the year. Southern Holiday Life will share with Lake Wedowee Life readers new crafts, recipes, party ideas, decorating and beautiful photography revolving around upcoming holidays or events. There will also be additional content placed on the SouthernHolidayLife.com website throughout the year. 


Easy Cake Pops for Valentines and Easter
     I am sure everyone is aware of the cake pop craze. If not, they are cute little decorated cakes on a stick like a lollipop.  Look around and you will find cake pop recipe books, cake pop appliances, cake pop pans and tools for decorating. 
     Upon further investigation in recipe books and magazine articles featuring cake pops, I have found pictures of cake pops decorated as baby chicks, bunnies, clowns, ghosts, owls, monster eyeballs and even a bride and groom.  A little over the top for me since all I want to do is make a cute little cake ball on a stick.
     There are many different ways to make the cake part of the “pop”. The most popular recipe is combining a baked sheet cake with a canned frosting. You crumble the cake and mix with approximately two thirds of the canned frosting. You form small cake balls with the cake mixture and then refrigerate the balls for a couple hours.  Now you are ready to dip the pops in melted chocolate and decorate.
     I found a much quicker way to get to the “fun” part of making cake pops by using donut holes! The little round cake like confection is perfect if you don't want to make anything too fancy. Now that we have our cake already made for us let’s move on to the dipping and decorating.
     Besides the donut holes you will need; .lollipop sticks (I prefer the 6 inch length), melting chocolate made for candy making (comes in multiple colors), a container for melting the chocolate in the microwave, a flat piece of Styrofoam or a board made to hold the cake pops on the lollipop sticks upright
Sparkles, tiny sprinkles, and paper plates or foil lined cookie sheet to catch the sprinkles and easy clean up of your work area.
     Once you start melting the chocolate you will need to be prepared to work quickly without interruption . 

Step one:  Melt a small amount of the chocolate in the microwave according to the package instructions.
Step two:  Dip one at a time a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and then push the coated end into the donut hole. Place the cake pop stick upright in the Styrofoam or prepared board. 
Step three: Place prepared cake pops in the refrigerator to chill for approximately 30 minutes.
Step four:  Melt more of your chocolate for dipping the cake pops. Again, follow the package directions for melting the chocolate.
Step five:  Dip your cake pops one at a time in the melted chocolate.
      Make sure to cover the entire cake pop and let the excess chocolate run off.  Spinning the cake pop slowly after dipping helps take off the excess chocolate.  
     Work in small batches of 3 or 4 pops at a time when dipping and decorating . The candy coating hardens pretty quickly. Add sprinkles and sparkles to the pops while the chocolate is still a little sticky.  Place the dipped cake pop upright on your Styrofoam or prepared board. 
     This is such a fun project to do with kids and using donut holes you cut down your prep by 2 to 3 hours. Depending on how many cake pops you want to do, this cake decorating project can be done in approximately 1 hr.
      Valentine’s Day is the holiday when truly the “thought is what counts”. Take a little time and do something special for the ones you love.  Make cake pops, fix a special dinner, or write a personal note about how much the special people in your life mean to you.  



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