Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cake Pop Bouquet

I recently bought Wilton's cake pop book at Hobby Lobby as a spur of the moment buy and boy, did I want to make every cake pop in the book! I decided that since I couldn't go home for Mother's Day (a 6.5 hr drive) I would go home with my boyfriend, Will, and I didn't know what to bring for his mom, since flowers seemed to overdo things and nothing seemed inappropriate.
Finally, I decided to make flower cake pops and form a little bouquet to bring her before church.

While all of my plans completely failed, they ended up being, for the most part, a success. (I'm not sure why that background looks so messy, I'm not sure where this was taken...)
I started off making half of a brownie mix.
And I figured that they would bake just fine in my mini cupcake maker, right? I was thinking it should be a temperature around 350/375, right?
Well I was wrong!
They started getting oily and just looked awful. I thought that maybe as they cooked longer they might get better.
...But I was wrong again! They began to get hard around the edges and caramelize yet the center was still basically batter.
Yuck! I began to try to just get them out of there and give up, and it melted the plastic spoon I was using.
So maybe it was a higher temp than 350?
Doesn't this just look awful? I knew I would have to scrap them all, there was no going back.
And I had woken up early to make these, at around 7 am. I had to leave by 10 am and I thought I would have plenty of time, but once again, I was wrong.
That's when I saw these. See, cake pops are really just crumbled cake or brownie mixed with frosting. And I was trying to think of something else I could crumble up (like a cookie) and stick together with frosting, when it hit me: animal crackers!
I knew they might not be as good, but animal crackers and frosting are always yummy and they should work.
So I grabbed a few handfuls and threw them into a ziploc bag (double bag it so the bag doesn't tear) and began to crush them.
Once the crackers were crushed I poured them into a big mixing cup (my bowls were dirty from the brownies and I was rushed for time) and added some frosting.
I used this yellow canned frosting and used trial and error to figure out how much frosting to add. You want the mixture to stick together to form balls but not to be so sticky that it sticks to your hands and the bowl and everything in sight.
Form them into balls, even if they look a bit lumpy.
Then take a dowel, you can either get the kind you use for shish kabobs which are long and thin, or these craft sticks which are a bit thicker, which I liked better.
They were a bit too long though so I cut them in half, notching the center with scissors
and breaking it into two equal lengths. You'll hide the unfinished end in the cake pop so it's okay if they don't look perfect.
You're supposed to dip the stick in chocolate before you place it in the cake ball so that the stick stays a bit better, however, there was an incident with the chocolate....I swear I'm a good baker, I only put this in for thirty seconds!! I'm not sure what happened but the chocolate burned to say the least. Yes, it's on my window sill, that's how bad it smelled! Yuck!!
So I just put the sticks into the cake balls and put them into the freezer to harden up for a few minutes so that they wouldn't fall off when I dipped them. But the question was what to dip them in now that the chocolate went haywire...
So I decided to just melt the yellow frosting in the microwave for a few seconds and dip the balls into that. And for the most part, it worked out really well. The frosting didn't set up quite as well, but tasted great.
I put this mini cupcake wrapper around the cake balls so that they wouldn't drip and put some springtime themed sprinkles into the centers to give them some color.
Now for the petals. I printed out a flower shaped template and since I didn't have any card stock I used this old purple folder.
I traced the flower onto the folder and cut them out.
Next I carefully poked a hole in the center of the flower with my scissors and slid the dowel through the slit.
I used this half circle foam block to stick them in as I worked. It was only $1.50 at Walmart in the floral aisle.
Continue making the flowers until you have a nice bouquet.

I thought it looked a little bit like a kindergarten class, but they had taken me so long I decided to give them to her anyways.
I had also planned on placing the foam into a nice basket or flower pot and adding shredded paper and Easter grass to make it look nicer but I ran out of time.
Oh well! Maybe next time it won't all go wrong and I can make my brownie cake pops with a nice polished chocolate coating and bright sprinkles in the center.

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