Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My attempt at cupcake pops

I had occasion to try something I'd been wanting to do for a long time...cupcake pops.  If you follow the Bakerella blog, then you likely have seen these little pops of goodness.  I eyed the recipe many times over but it seemed like a lot of work.  I bought all of the ingredients and prayed for the motivation to actually make them.  We were having company on Saturday night and would see my family Sunday afternoon so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them a whirl.

First you bake a cake.  For some reason that escapes me, I chose red velvet.  Don't do that.  Choose ANY other flavor or else you will look like Dexter's kill room assistant.  I subbed applesauce for oil and baked to the box directions in a 13x9 glass dish.  After that, you let it cool completely and break it into chunks in a big bowl.


Okay, I should've used a slightly bigger bowl but I made it work.  I got out my pastry cutter, blew off the dust and broke the cake down into big crumbs.


I think the recipe called for a can of frosting but I used half a can and really can't imagine using more than that.  I used sugar free vanilla frosting because with the sweetness of the dipping chocolate, I wanted to cut out where I could.



It's one of those things you have to eyeball to your preference.  Grab a big ol' spoon and stir it until combined and make sure it's not crumby.  Now it's time to roll them into balls.  Wash your hands big time because you're about to be seriously manhandling this food or if you're like me, you bust out the plastic gloves because I know if someone brought these to work, I wouldn't want to think about how much someone's hands had touched them and how many times they licked their fingers when they did it!  Roll the balls to about 1 1/2" or so.  (Mine ended up being more "or so")  Put the balls on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet.



I didn't have time to wait around so I put them in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Then it was time to take them out to shape them.  You want to roll them so they are slightly oblong.  Okay, I'm gonna say it, they looked like you either just cleaned out the cat box or given the red velvet, it looked like something you'd call the doctor about.  Still hungry?  Yeah?  Good.  Get a little flower cookie cutter (about an inch I think?) and push the log down into the flower.  Put your thumb under the bottom so when you push down from the top you also provide pressure from the bottom so it fills in the flower cutter.  This will give it that crinkled bottom of the cupcake appearance.


Gently slide the flower cookie cutter off of the pop-in-waiting and repeat with the other 50ish pops until your bicep feels like it's going to cramp.  When you're done, they should look similar to this:


Time to pop these babies back in the freezer for about 15-18 minutes.  When you've got about 3 minutes left on your freezer time, get some melting chocolate.  I used Wilton Dark Cocoa and White Chocolate for the tops.


Put the chocolate you're going to use for the bottom in a microwave safe dish deep enough for you to dip appropriately and microwave for about 90 seconds and then stir and add on 15 seconds and stir until all of the chips are melted.


Now this would be the part when you dip each crinkled part of the pop into the chocolate and then shake them vigorous in place so the chocolate makes a nice flat bottom and runs evenly down the sides to coat it.  Perhaps a little toothpick or mini spreader action may be necessary.  Perhaps a second dip to coat all sides might ensue and then despite your best efforts when placing them on another wax papered cookie sheet on the tops of the cupcake to dry then decide to topple onto each other, thereby ruining one or two.  Perhaps these should not be attempted a week before mother nature visits with her monthly gift or else a pop might end up like this:



Yeah.  That would be the side of my fist print on a would be pop.  It served as a lesson to other pops not to even try it or this would be their fate.  A few others didn't listen but they saw the inside of the Mr and I's gullet because we considered it quality control.  (Yeah, I show you the ugly side of cooking attempts.  It's how I roll)  When calmer heads prevail, it should look like this:


Actually it should look better than that because this side was before I knew shaking it in place (like you're one of those foot vibrating thingy's at a fair) would shake the bottom of the chocolate flat.  I also didn't coat them as high as I should sometimes but by this time you're asking yourself "why the hell did I start this madness?"  You consider throwing in the towel.  You consider throwing a pop at the wall to see if it sticks.  You realize that this is the point where you should be adding the lollipop stick to the bottom to make it a true "pop" and say 'screw it!' and stick them back in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Then it's time to melt the white chocolate for the top o' the pops.  (Memba that show?)


You take it to the table and get out all of the accoutrements (aka-topping schtuff) like

I found the cutest mini cupcake cuppy thingamabobs at a local craft store, some M&M's and I could only find the sprinkles for Valentine's Day but oh well.  Oh yeah, I did find some turtle ones I got in Hawaii too.  You then realize you've missed the entire college football game you planned your day around and start to resent the "pops-that-aren't-really-pops-but-you're-gonna-call-'em-that-because-you-pop-'em-in-your-mouth-and-that's-what-you're-going-to-tell-people-the-original-intent-was-anyway.  Then it was time to dip the tops into the white chocolate and add the sprinkles and an M&M to the top while it was still wet to finish.  Then you look at them and they're so damn cute that the 4 hours you just wasted in blocks of time suddenly seem worth it.


Yeah...I know.

I wonder what they look like inside...


Yeah...my thoughts exactly.  For as good as it looks, it tastes just as good.

You can sit them there by themselves on a plate, or when the white chocolate is wet you can put a candle in it like my hubby did for me for my birthday or you can put them in the cute little cups for desserts and then put them in an airtight container for a day or two (or refrigerate) and bring them to a function or to work and be a hero.

Click to enlarge
My friends and family all loved them.  So did we...to the tune of 6 over 2 days.  Make sure you tell them everything involved in making these as they eat them because it makes them taste better to the indulgee.

They'll think you're a culinary goddess...and of course if you make these...you are!

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12 comments:

  1. You did a great job and I am glad you tried them. They were awesome tasting and everyone loved them. The only thing I found odd was that people thought the M&M's were skittles... Not sure skittles would be very good on top of these but who knows.

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  2. I've seen those and they're so cute! It looks like a lot of work, but you did a great job, I'm glad you and the family enjoyed them!

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  3. Those look sooo good! I'm going to have to try making them soon. Like maybe this weekend. LOL

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  4. They sure are cute and look yummy, too. You are way more industrious than me to make those thingies!
    I've only ever had 1 cupcake pop and it was peanut butter covered in chocolate. Divine!

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  5. I made these as favors for my engagement party last summer, HUGE HUGE hit but my wedding party had had it with me by the end of the project. They are very time consuming but so worth the end result!

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  6. They look absolutely adorable AND delicious! But a culinary Goddess I am not...so I'm glad you went over the steps because now I can get over any possible craving I might have had in the future to actually make them myself! :-)

    But way to go girl - you ROCKED those cupcake pops!

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  7. You are my idol. Cake Pops and weight loss? You go girl! ;-)

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  8. So absolutely adorable!! Not sure I could do it...not that I'm challenged in the kitchen...but I'm challenged in the patience department-lol! Love that you made them and enjoyed them :).

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  9. Thanks for the kudos guys! I seriously wanted to hurl those little effers across the room at one point but I'm glad I refrained.

    You'd better bet I told everyone the process at the family lunch too because after I went through all that my aunt said "it makes it taste that much better knowing how much effort went into it!" That was pretty rewarding! :)

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  10. Those are sooo cute! I know I've visited the Bakerella blog and thought "I need to try those". Now I know NOT to use red velvet cake to make them (I don't want to become Dexter's kill room asst). Maybe my co-workers will get lucky and I'll make some for Halloween. If I'm really lucky, I'll remember to take a picture and then all I have to do is figure out how to post it...

    Lots of work but they really look fantastic!

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  11. If I ever make them, they'll just stay little round balls on a stick and one dip in chocolate and we're good! Your's were extra cute though!!!

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  12. For some stupid reason I bought 3 things of melting chocolate like I'm gonna do something big with them. What a glutton for punishment I am! LOL

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