Sunday, December 11, 2011
Reindeer Cake Pops
1 9-inch round or square cake, I used chocolate
3/4 c icing, I used store bought vanilla
24, 6-inch lollipop sticks
1 package chocolate melting candy
30 or more pretzels, I used chocolate covered ones
edible ink pen
small candies for eyes
Styrofoam to stick pops into so they stand up
I'd be totally lying if I said these were easy! They are not. The crumbling of the cake and forming the little balls of cake mush is easy and the melting of the candy coating isn't too hard either. Coating the deer heads takes a little finesse and a few practice runs. BUT those damn antlers put me on Santa's naughty list for sure -thanks to the expletives that came out of my mouth while trying to find a way to easily attach them to the heads!! Hopefully, Santa will forgive me!
(The Christmas tree cake pops that I made last year were waaaaay easier to make so I recommend that recipe if you are nervous or a cake pop virgin.)
These are adapted from Bakerella's beautiful reindeer cake pops.
What to do
1. Crumble cake by hand into a sand like consistency (if you have a few hard end pieces that don't want to crumble, eat them - or use a food processor).
2. For me the key to cake pops is adding the right amount of icing - too much and you end up with a sickly, sweet ball of mush. But add the right amount and they will be loved by kids and adults! I start with 1/2 cup of icing and mix it in with a silicone spatula. Often I will end up adding another 1/4 cup of icing so that the mixture is just "wet" enough to just stick together when formed into a ball.
3. Using a 1 inch cookie scooper, I form the cake mixture into 20-24 balls (I also use kitchen latex gloves so it isn't so messy) and place them on a cookie sheet.
4. Refrigerate the balls for at least 20 minutes but preferably an hour so that they harden up a bit.
5. Melt candy coating according to directions. (gotta be honest and say that I melt them over very low direct heat.)
6. Add 2 tbsp of vegtable shortening - this will thin the candy coating a little. If it is still too thick add a bit more shortening.
7. Get your lollipop sticks out. Take one stick and dip one end in the candy coating (1cm or 1/2 inch) and then poke it into the cake ball. Push it in so it is at least 3/4 of the way into the ball. Place back on cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls.
8. Place all of the balls back in fridge for 15 minutes.
9. Get a piece of styrofoam ready.
10.Remove from fridge and, one-at-a-time, dip the cake pops into the candy coating. Make sure the whole ball is covered. Gently tap off any extra coating.
11. Place the coated cake pop into the styrofoam so it stands up and can dry. Repeat with all of the remaining balls.
12. The candy should dry rather quickly or you can place them back in the fridge until you are ready to finish them.
13. Here is where you will learn from my frustration. To affix the antlers, cut pretzels in half (or not - I did both ways - half and full). Now, using some melted candy coating, place some of it on a spoon or in a little bowl. You want it to start to firm up a little - this way it will dry rather quickly and you won't be stuck holding the antlers on those cute little heads for an eternity while it dries. I tried sticking the antlers through the chocolate with limited success - sometimes the pressure cracks the coating. So, once the coating starts to firm up, dip the end of an antler into the coating and using it as "glue" stick it to the cake ball head.
14. For the eyes, I used some small white round sprinkles I had on hand. To add the pupil I used a black colored edible ink pen.
15. The nose is a red smartie. Both are added using a little bit of candy coating glue, just like the antlers.