Monday, January 2, 2012

Pop Goes the Recipe

First off: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! Here is the winning choice, the framed family name that passed with a majority vote. The cool thing about this project is that we can switch out letters periodically to make the dissenters happy. I knew there were dissenters even before the vote because every few hours someone would swap out letters as the photos lay on the table.

Now on to new business.

Have you ever seen the movie Mr. Mom? You know the scene where the house was a disaster and the repairwoman asked, “You fed your baby chili?”

Have that in mind as you read this account of yesterday’s culinary wizardry. It will help you picture the state of the kitchen. Actually, the picture below will help you picture the state of the kitchen.

This was one of those recipes that you glance at and think “This is a piece of cake!” But then it isn’t. Not even close. The recipe writers sneak little phrases like “chill for 45-60 minutes” into a paragraph near the middle. Three lines after “let cool completely before proceeding.”

I really am talking about some pieces of cake here-cake pops to be precise. Thus my confusion at their complexity. The girls have wanted to make cake pops for two weeks. I finally broke down and bought some cake pop kits from the great, behemoth, coffee-Mecca I frequent.

We did not attempt this from scratch, in case you are asking yourself, “Did they attempt this from scratch?” Hey, the kits were on clearance, I’m not insane!

So yesterday’s plan was to assemble our intrepid crew at the kitchen counter, mix up a batch of cute little confections and have rows of precious petite pops to show for it.


Step one: bake the cakes.

The cakes, not the cake pops. I have labored under the delusion for years that the adorable little cake pops were baked as adorable little balls of cake. I was so far off it wasn’t funny. We began this process at 6:00 p.m. 30 minutes later we encountered the “let cool completely” line of doom. I discovered that once the girls scampered off for another task while we waited, they were tough to get back.

Around 7:15 we had cooled cake ready to be crumbled. The girls came back, washed and dried their hands a third time, and dove into the crumbling (actually, I test-crumbled the first batch while I was waiting.) We quickly moved on to adding the frosting and blending into a dough-like mixture. We were cruising-scooping dough, rolling cake balls, putting in the sticks. Then the emergency brake “chill for 45-60 minutes” popped up.

Taking the low end, we were ready for the white chocolate coating and sprinkling by about 8:15. At this point, I was down to one helper and I had to set aside the rest of the pops for Day 2. We finished the rest after school today, proving that it can take nearly 24 hours for relatively competent people to make 24 cake pops.

Lessons learned?

10 year-old, after making one: “I’m done. That’s all I wanted to do.”
7 year-old, after whining that she couldn’t make them all: “We could make 100 of these!”
6 year-old, after making several: “This was fun!”
Me, around 7:15 on Day 1: “I should have read the whole recipe!”


Karen said...

Ellie and I have done this! We've found that Betty Crocker's Super Moist Cake makes the best cakes to use. However, we also learned that Walmart sells cake pop makers for $15! Woohoo for non-crafties like me! The machine makes six cake pops in six minutes. It's like an EZ Bake for grown-ups!

Lisa said...

Should have called me. I've been making them for years. In fact, Ryan requested strawberry cake balls with chocolate coating for this birthday "cake" this year.

Summmer with 3 M's said...

I learned how to do these from Vicki. I haven't attempted the sticks but, instead, settle for round-ish cake mounds. I separated choc. cake balls from vanilla and should have put a note on the vanilla ones b/c when I went to get them for a holiday party-there were 4 left. Dang freezer robbers!

Emily said...

I appreciate the cake pop feedback. There may be more cake poppery in the future. And, Summmer, those freezer robbers have been to my house too!

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