Mommy vs. the Cake Pops!!

My love affair for Cake Pops started when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter.  It was a mid-morning and I needed a little pick-me-up, as most preggos do. So I drove through the local Starbucks drive-thru and to my delighted they had these things called Cake Pops.  Cake Pops? Do I dare? I do! So, I figured why not try them out; I am not one to pass up anything with cake in the name.

Starbucks Cake Pops

So I order up a Birthday Cake Pop and pulled around.  After receiving the Cake pop I pulled into a parking spot not far from the drive-thru to give this thing a thorough review. It looked gorgeous, a beautiful pink hue with small little white dots sprinkled on top.  I started to hear a voice coming from the backseat, I think my newly potty trained son had to go pee or something, but I was too distracted by this delectable delight before my eyes.  And then I took a bite. Hello! The moist texture of the cake, the crunch of the chocolate on the outside and sweet taste of this treat ranked right up there with what initially got me into this preggo mess. It was pure bliss. Once the bliss passed and the cake pop was gone I came to, back to reality, and realized my son was not saying he had to go potty but please mommy, please mommy, please mommy.  I felt horrible; I had eaten this cake pop right in front of him.  So, what is a mommy to do? That’s right, back through the drive-thru we went and this time I got two!

Since our first encounter I have tried to maintain a distant relationship with the cake pop out of respect for my thighs, but it isn’t easy.  They are at most children’s birthday parties and, after all, I don’t want to be rude.  I however have not personally attempted to make a Cake Pop, that is until last night.

My daughter has decided to hand out Hello Kitty Valentines and along with each, thanks to a search on the internet, we are including Hello Kitty Cake Pops.

This website has amazing Cake Pops. Source: http://www.bakerella.com/here-kitty-kitty/

I have friends that have made cake pops and they always look amazing and taste fantastic. Granted I am not in the same baking caliber as they are but I figured I would give it a gander. Why? Maybe it was my newfound confidence in cake decorating since receiving my certificate for completing the cake decorating class? Maybe it was because I did not want to disappoint my daughter? Maybe it was the 3 cups of coffee I had that afternoon?  What ever the reason, and I still can’t quite figure it out, I said yes to what would become a hot mess.

I started making the cake pops around 9pm, after the kiddos went to bed.  I had hoped to be done around 10pm so I could get a much-needed shower.  I was a little over-confident in the beginning.  I had no problem crumbling up the cake and mixing the frosting.  I had a tough time determining the actual size of the cake balls. I knew if they were to big they would not stay on the stick yet if they were to small they would just look weird. 

After I went through and resized the cake balls what seemed like seventeen times or so I finally arrived at what I felt was a structurally sounds size.  So I melted the chocolate, dipped the stick in the chocolate and then placed it in the balls.  And then watched them fall right off the balls.  I finally figured out that I would have to leave them ball side down with the stick standing straight up (this is not meant to be dirty, sorry). I placed them in the refrigerator for a few minutes then got them out to place the chocolate chips on the sides, which would help resemble Hello Kitty’s ears. That was a piece of cake (no pun intended). 

This is the image the website offered. Source:http://www.bakerella.com/here-kitty-kitty/

Then the most complicated step of the night, dipping the cake balls into the chocolate.  By now it was around 10:30pm.  So, I had to determine where the cake pops would stand to dry, the website recommended a Styrofoam block, I did not have a Styrofoam block. So I got the next best thing, I took apart our Thanksgiving Gratitude Turkey and used the Styrofoam ball from it, yes, I said ball, round sphere, not block, as recommend.

Cake Ball Down....Medic

On to the most tragic part of the evening, casualties, I had casualties left and right. The first one fell into the chocolate, the second stayed on the stick for a few minutes then fell, this continued for the next half a dozen or so. And yes, I ate the casualties, it was so hard just seeing them sit there, so sad.  

I can’t just leave him there!

Once I got the chocolate to the right consistency I managed to actually make 11 cake pops, ate roughly the same amount but 50/50 isn’t bad for the first time around, right? I finally gave up, I know when to admit defeat and that point is when I am in the kitchen at 11 o’clock at night sipping a glass or wine and crying over cake balls swimming in a pool of chocolate.

Stay….stay…..stay……NO!!!!!
11 out of 45, my precious 11

The current state of my relationship with cake balls is a trial separation. I really can’t stand to look at them, it reminds me of that night.

Thankfully a few did turnout great….

A few of them turned out great; it’s like, Hello Kitty.
Then there are those where it’s like, HELLO kitty? Eck!
The lucky 11 went off to the Girl Scout meeting today.

 

 

Have you ever made cake pops? Or maybe you have had to admit defeat? Please share.

Chex Party Mix Exchange: Convenient, FUN, and did I mention convenient?

In celebration of the New Year one of our Playgroup Moms  hosted a Chex Party Mix Exchange and it was a blast!

I have to admit I was a little leery at first since I have never made a Chex Mix.  I always thought you had to have a microwave and since we got rid of ours I thought my chances of being able to prepare a decent Chex Mix was out of the question.  So when I was invited to the party my first thought was to kindly decline. Then I looked over the Chex Mix Party website and noticed all the amazing recipes and I was pleasantly surprised http://www.chex.com/Recipes/ChexPartyMixChange.aspx. The website offered great tips and tricks, creative packaging ideas, and a slew of recipes.

I decided on Goin’ Fishin’

Ingredients

3

tablespoons butter   or margarine

9

cups Corn Chex®,   Rice Chex® or Wheat Chex® cereal (or combination)

2

cups tiny pretzel   fish-shaped crackers

2

cups bite-size   cheese crackers

1

package (1 oz) ranch   dressing and seasoning mix

1/2

cup grated Parmesan   cheese
Variation
For extra fish   appeal, and even more whimsy, use fish-shaped cheese crackers.

1.

In large   microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 30 seconds or   until melted. Stir in cereal and crackers until evenly coated. Stir in   dressing mix and cheese until evenly coated.

2.

Microwave uncovered   on High 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. Spread on waxed paper or foil   to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.
Oven Directions: Heat oven to 250°F. In ungreased large   roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in cereal and crackers until evenly   coated. Stir in dressing mix and cheese until evenly coated. Bake 10 minutes,   stirring after 5 minutes. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15   minutes. Store in airtight container

I placed my mix in Mason Jars to pass out at the party.

When I arrived I was greeted by the amazing aromas coming from the kitchen.  Our host outdid herself and made a beautiful combination of savory and sweet hors d’oerves.

Okay, so I was partial to the sweets, they were so good!! 

It was so nice to be able to sit down, relax, and hear about everyone’s New Year and Christmas.  While each of us loves our children it was so enjoyable to be in a kiddo free zone for a night.   We could sit our beverages on the coffee table without the fear of a toddler drinking it or knocking it over, we could actually say words like crap and that sucks (come on, you know you have your own select few you allow around adults too), and maintain eye contact with the person talking (I always feel so rude when someone is talking and I just start running off because I foresee some accident waiting to unfold, usually involving my preschool and toddler, they can be a dangerous combination).

Everyone sampled each others Chex Mixes.  Wow, I have to admit, I am not usually a huge fan of lemon but my two favorite Mixes had lemon in them. Then we exchanged Chex Mixes and the host even had beautiful container for each of us to take our Chex mixs home.

It was an all-around fabulous night and I would highly recommend a Chex Party Mix Exchange.  The added bonus, in addition to getting away from the kiddos and having some fun “mommy time” was that I went home with enough Chex Mix for my kiddos to snack on for the next two weeks.

Thank you for a wonderful night Lilly, you outdid yourself (and thank your mom too, please).

So, if you are looking for a great way to celebrate any occasion (hello, Valentines Day is right around the corner) host a Chex Party Mix Exchange and invite some of your friends over and exchange these delicious (and so easy to make) treats. Added bonus, if you are room mom or in charge of any child’s holiday party you will have plenty of treats to share (this means you have to do a lot less work, hello, sing me up, right!?!). So, Chex that off your list as a “to do” (too much?).

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever attended a Chex Mix Party Exchange? Would you contemplate hosting a Chex Mix Party Exchange? Do you have a favorite Chex Mix you make? Please share…