Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bake Pop Pan Tutorial

Snow Day!!! Some people cringe at the thought of enough snow for a snow day, while others relish in it.  Me, I am sometimes confused as to why we get a snow day declared in our area.  I grew up in Buffalo and 3 feet of snow doesn't constitute a snow day, while 3 inches here in Oneonta can.  Oh well. 

Today was a snow day, and it was a blessing in disguise.  My little guy's asthma is acting up and I was going to keep him home from school.  I was not looking forward to the argument (he really likes pre-k), then when a snow day was called, my prayers were answered.  He can stay in his pj's all day and mommy is not the bad guy (or girl) who said he couldn't go to school :)

Normally on a snow day, I would take the kids sledding or play outside.  However, with my little one not feeling great we stayed inside.  As a blogger, I see this as an opportunity to get some blog material accomplished.  So today was cake pop day using the Bake Pop Pan.  When I was done, my older son acted as my delivery boy and spread the cake pop joy to our neighbors.

Step 1:  I used a boxed cake mix that included pudding (like Pillsbury's).  The manufacturer suggests this or add pudding to another brand.  Also they suggest to add an extra egg, and substitute the water in the instructions for milk, cutting the amount by half.  This makes a more dense cake, that will hold together on the stick better.

Step 2:  Fill the bottom portion of the pan up to the fill line.  Add the top of the top, secure with clips, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

Step 3:  Let the cake pops cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove the lid, and move to a cooling rack.  If the cake bakes up through the top holes, don't worry, just cut off with a sharp knife before removing the lid.

Step 4:  After the cake has cooled, melt a small amount of chocolate, about 1/8 cup.  You can use a double boiler or a microwave on short 30 second increments. Stirring in between. (I prefer a double boiler.) 

Step 5:  Dip lollipop sticks into the chocolate and insert them into the bottom of the cake pop, about 1/2 inch.

Step 6:  Allow the chocolate to setup, this helps the cake to stay on the stick.  Meanwhile, melt about 2 cups of chocolate, until smooth.  Put into a deep cup or bowl (I used a coffee mug) that the pops can be dipped in.

Step 7:  Dip each pop into the chocolate.  Allow the excess to drip off, lightly tap or swirl the pop to help the process. 

Step 8:  Insert pops into a piece of foam. I used a floral block covered in foil, for easy cleanup.  Top with sprinkles.

Step 9:  Allow chocolate to harden.  I put them in the fridge for a few minutes, to stop the chocolate from running down the stick.  Then allow to sit at room temperature to harden the rest of the way.  Wrap with a lollipop bag and curling ribbon.

Another idea:  If you don't want to make them into cake pops, just coat the balls in chocolate.  Allow to harden on parchment paper.  They fit perfectly into mini muffin wrappers.

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