“Pryvit, dahlink,” she said as she saw me, her long black hair blowing in the frigid wind as she enfolded me in her mink-covered arms for little cheek kisses, quickly pulling back to take a long drag of her ultra-slim cigarette between her cherry red lips that matched her equally crimson nails. “Ve go see Sergei, tak?” And after a lively night spent racing around on her Ukrainian lover’s snowmobiles at his mountain getaway and downing shots of chilled, crisp vodka by the open fireplace, we told Indiana Jones we’d help him find the Ark and played strip poker with James Bond.
…or we could have sat at the Cheesecake Factory eating fried mac&cheese balls in our flip-flops, then tried on cheap dresses at Loehmann’s while dancing to Britney Spears in the dressing room.
It could have gone either way, really.
“I read your blog sometimes,” she said casually as we sat at Cheesecake, each of us trying to outdo the other in how picky we are about things like vegetables. “Why haven’t you made cake pops yet?”
“You mean the things that housewives post on Pinterest that look like baby ducks and stuff?”
“Yeah. You should make them. I’d read about that.”
Grey, Me, Jen, and Yohanca
- Styrofoam board
- 6 inch lollipop sticks
- 9 x 13 inch baking pan
- disposable gloves [optional]
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 1 box of cake mix
- 1 jar of frosting
- Merckens candy melts in your desired colors
- Decorations of your choice [optional]
Preheat oven and bake the boxed mix according to instructions [I used strawberry cake because I wanted a spring pink color]. Let cake cool completely.
Slice off the ends of the cake, and, using a sharp knife, slice off the bottom and top of the cake. While I did have enough sense to cut off the crusty edges of the cake before crumbling, I didn’t think to trim off the top and bottom. If you don’t use JUST the inside of the cake, your balls won’t be uniform and will become unstable.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Crumble the cake into a very large mixing bowl. Pour the jar of frosting [I used a vanilla whipped frosting] into the bowl and mix with the cake [this is where the disposable gloves came in for me, but it’s your call]. Mix until cake becomes dough-like and there are no dry bits of the cake left.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll 1 inch diameter balls and place them on the baking sheet. Place the sheet in the fridge and chill about 1 hour.
Melt your Merckens colors [I did about 1 1/2 min. on 50% power, stirred, then did another 1 1/2 on 50% for an entire bag]. I make a point of saying Merckens because a lot of people [including myself] hate to use the cheaper Wilton alternative. Not only do Wilton candy melts taste like crap, they don’t melt well and your coating will become gloopy and gross. Merckens is more expensive, but it you want a perfectly smooth coating that tastes good, this is your best option.
Once melted, take the balls out of the fridge. Dip the end of the lollipop stick into the melts, then place this end about 3/4 of an inch into the ball. Tilt your bowl with the melts towards you a bit and, with your other hand, gently roll the ball in the melt. *Note: This takes a couple of tries to get the hang of. Try not to roll the ball too quickly, otherwise the stick will make too large of a hole in the ball and will poke through. GO SLOWLY. After you’ve coated the ball, leave the ball at an angle as you twirl the stick, watching the way the coating slides over the ball. Once the ball is completely coated and most of the excess has dripped off, place in the styrofoam. Let dry [they dry very quickly!]
Now, here’s the crazy part. Everything was perfect, as you can see above, until BAM! An hour later cracks everywhere. This could be due to a couple of things: 1. As the ball starts to un-chill, it begins to expand, causing cracks, or 2. As the coating begins to harden it contracts, causing cracks. Either way, I should have left some melts, re-warmed them, then re-coated. Maybe this is this solution? I read something on a cake pop forum saying store-bought frosting, microwaved [sans top, of course] until it’s fully melted works great too, though it’s not hard like candy coating.