Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Four Weeks of Cookies: Santa Hat Cake Pops

Next up in Four Weeks of Cookies...drum roll... CAKE POPS! And not just regular cake pops, santa hat cake pops, just in time for Christmas. Merry Christmas, y'all!

It's been a while since I last made cake pops. I try to make them about once a year, but hadn't gotten around to it yet in 2013. Luckily, my coworker told me he loves cake pops, so I promised to make a batch during the holidays. I had already done reindeer, Christmas trees and snowmen in years past, so this year I opted for the last holiday-themed design in my cookbook, santa hats. While they appear simpler than some of my previous batches, looks are deceiving. Because they are red and white, as opposed to one solid color, they require triple dipping. Oof.

As you can imagine, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. Cake pops require lots of time, effort, and most of all, patience. Oh, and practice doesn't hurt. I would recommend setting aside at least two and a half hours for the entire process. However, all that time and effort does pay off when they're done. If you ever want to impress a crowd, make some cake pops- works every time.

That's about it from me, folks. Most of what you need to know is below, or for troubleshooting see my original cake pops post, here.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope everyone enjoys their holiday. I am in Atlanta for the week with my family, loving the great food and board games.

Om nom nom nom

Bon appetit!

P.S. Stay tuned for the fourth week of cookies, should be good one!

Santa Hat Cakes Pops
Makes 30-35
1 box cake mix of your choice (I used triple chocolate fudge)
1 can icing of your choice (I used vanilla)
16 oz (1 lb) white candy coating
35 paper lollipop sticks
Styrofoam block (used for holding up the cake pops once on the lollipop sticks)
32 oz (2 lbs) red candy coating
35 small marshmallows or white chocolate chips or white chocolate coated espresso beans (anything to go on top of the santa hats)
White sugar crystal sprinkles

Bake cake in a 9x13 in. pan according to instructions on box. Cool completely on a wire rack. If you crumble the cake before it's completely cool, your cake pops will be too moist. Once cake has cooled divided into 8 rectangular pieces. Crumble cake by rubbing two pieces together over a large bowl. Once all the cake is crumbled, run a fork through the bowl to break up any large pieces.

Mix thoroughly with 3/4 can of frosting. Use the back of a large spoon to combine the cake and frosting. Mold into cone shapes and freeze for 12-14 minutes before transferring to the fridge. The cones should be firm but not frozen when you transfer them.

The cake and icing mixture should be this consistency before shaping

After you have transferred the cake to the fridge, melt about half of the white candy coating according to the instructions on the package (I usually microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each go in the microwave. Once the coating is mostly melted, keep stirring to melt the rest, you don't want to overheat, as it will get chunky and will be unusable). Use a small but deep microwave-safe bowl to melt the coating. When you are ready to dip, remove a few cake balls at a time from the fridge, while keeping the rest chilled.

Hold the top part of the hat, and dip the bottom in the melted white candy coating, covering it about one-third of the way up. The top two-thirds of the hat will still be exposed. Gently wipe the bottom of the hat on the side of the bowl, so that the bottom is still white, but any excess coating is discarded. Insert a lollipop stick into the flat bottom of the hat. Place in the Styrofoam block to dry. If your candy coating gets too thick while you're working, do not microwave it again, instead add some shortening to thin it out. Whatever you do, don't add water. Water will ruin the candy coating and all your hard work will be for nothing. Bummer.

Once you have dipped all of the hats in the white candy coating, melt about half of the red candy coating in a second small but deep microwave-safe bowl. Dip the tops of the santa hats in the red candy coating, so that it meets the white at the bottom. Then, holding the stick in one hand, gently tap that wrist with your free hand. This will cause any excess coating to come off without making the cake pop fall off the stick. Place a marshmallow, chocolate chip or espresso bean on the top of the hat before the coating dries. Place back in the Styrofoam block to dry. Once you run low on candy coating, melt the rest of the red coating to finish the process.

Once you've dipped all the hats in the red coating and they've fully dried, heat the rest of the white candy coating in another small but deep microwave-safe bowl (or just wash the first bowl, but make sure to dry thoroughly). Gently twist and remove the lollipop stick from one pop at a time. Then, holding the pop by the top of the hat, re-dip the bottom in the melted white candy coating to make the coating thicker at the bottom. Once again, gently wipe the bottom on the side of the bowl. Then dip about 1/2 inch of the lollipop stick in the candy coating and insert it back into the bottom of the hat. Dust the white candy coating all over with the sprinkles and set back in the Styrofoam block to dry. Repeat with each pop until they're all done.

The finished product!

Source: Cake Pops by Bakerella

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