My Cake-y Valentine

via Tina Phan flickr.com

This year I am sending edible Valetines in cake pop form to my lovely friends who live far away. I hope they don't get crushed by USPS.

Friends who live far away: I promise they're still yummy if crushed, just not pretty. See images above and below for reference as to what they should have looked like.

I haven't made it to the post office yet, so they'll be coming a little late.

via Tina Phan flickr.com

I love pink and hearts, so I went a little crazy this year pink, red, and hearts everywhere--sprinkles, cookies, cake pops. Love is in the air and more importantly, in my kitchen.

via Tina Phan flickr.com

via Tina Phan flickr.com

This dog (wolf) looks like he wants to play.

via Tina Phan flickr.com

Big thanks to lil Phan for taking all these awesome photos of my cake pop Valentines.

Happy Valentine's Day. I heart sprinkles you.

Pandamonium

Pandamonium
My friend Dee's birthday was last month. Dee love love loves pandas. She wants to sit in a cage with them and watch them eat bamboo. It's
that kind of love. Dee is one of the most wonderful people I know. She's a fabulous mix of beautiful geeky fashionista, gamer, scifi-nerd, and best of all she's HILAROUS. You should follow her on twitter @deekgeek. You're really missing out if you're not.
Pandas looking outside
For Dee Day, I made Panda Cake Pops. Her sister Sam and I plotted to shower her with pandas on her 27th. Sam baked panda cupcakes and I made panda cake pops.
_MG_9988
After much questing for ear shapes i ended up going with regular brown M&Ms. I made the eyes and noses with a candy writer which is really just a squeezable plastic bottle with a small pointed nozzle.
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Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and white chocolate candy coating. They were a hit at Dog and Duck.

Happy Dee Day.

I'm with COCO

I'm with COCO

To my disappointment, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien ended last week. I've always loved Conan O'Brien for his intelligent albeit bizarre humor. In support of Conan and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien I made these COCO and Jay Leno cake balls.

Conan vs Jay
Jay Leno

I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend a taping during his first week in LA.

The Tonight Show

A New York Times article was written about how young viewership of the Tonight Show dwindled from the start despite the overwhelming amount of support demonstrated during the last week. Much to my dismay, I admit that despite my love for Conan, I, too, rarely watched. I think this is a sign of the times and it's inevitable that the traditional ways of tracking ratings will change as the traditional ways of consuming media change.

Conan's final episode was quite inspiring, and his farewell classy.

"If you work hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien

Having worked hard and been kind my entire life, I do hope that amazing things will happen to me, too.

P.S. My computer seems to be fixed. I'll be blogging frequently (again).

How To: Cake Pops

Rolled

After many requests from friends and wives of friends. I'm writing this How To: Cake Pop post.

So far, I've created Twitter Pops and University of Texas Longhorn Pops successfully. Hooray. Can't wait for the next batch. The following cake pop tutorial takes you behind the scenes for the making of the Longhorn Pops.

How do you cake pop?

Supplies:
1 - 9"x13" baked cake
1 - 16 oz. can frosting
Wax paper
50 or so paper lollipop sticks
1 lb. Candy melts
Paramount crystals or shortening
Styrofoam sheet

Instructions:
1. Bake a 9"x13"cake from a mix or from scratch if you're feeling like an overachiever. I used Duncan Hines Orange Supreme (Hook 'em). Cool completely. I tend to cool overnight.

2. Destroy cake in a large mixing bowl. I use the the back of a large spoon, you could use your hands.

Destroy cake
crumbly cake

3. Mix in a can of frosting until well blended. (Classic vanilla frosting is pictured.) I use the back of a large spoon for this, too. It can get tricky, so I'll use my hands towards the end. You might want to wear gloves if you don't like getting icky.

mix in frosting
cake + frosting

4. Roll mixture into 50 cent coin or one dollar coin balls. Smaller than a golf ball, larger than a quarter. Cake Pop Goddess Bakerella says to make them about the size of a quarter, but this led to me having 70 baby Twitter birds. That's a lot of beaks and feet to find. Don't make the cake balls too big, either. The lollipop sticks won't hold their weight.

Rolled

5. Place cake balls on wax paper and into the fridge for a few hours so they firm up.

IMG_9817

6. Melt candy melts as directed on package. I used a microwave. Anyone lucky enough to own a double boiler can use it. Add paramount crystals or shortening to smooth out melts if necessary. I used a combination of yellow, red, and light cocoa melts to mix a burnt orange.

Note: I just found out what paramount crystals are...they're a solid emulsifer (easier to store). Austinites can get them at All-In-One Bake Shop. they have a bunch of different melts and chocolate in different flavors. They also have different sprinkle types and tons of colors, too. A great place to go if you're on a cake pop roll. I'll see if they'll let me come in and take pictures for a future blog post. Candy melts are also available at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and at the dreaded Walmart. I swear each time I go to Walmart a piece of my heart dies. I've been so many times, is there any heart left?

6. Dip a single lollipop stick at a time into the melted candy coating, covering a about a 1/2 inch. Poke lollipop stick into cake ball about halfway. Repeat about 50 times.

IMG_9822

7. Put these in the fridge for a few hours to firm up again.

IMG_9821

8. Dip cake ball into candy melts and rotate until the entire cake ball is covered. Make sure the part with the stick is covered to seal the new candy coating with the part that holds the stick to the cake ball. I had to use a spoon with candy coating to make sure the stick was secure.

i dip. you dip. we dip.

9. The tough part. Hold the covered cake pop in your left hand and use your right hand to tap your left wrist 2-3 times. This shakes off the excess candy melt. Don't tap too hard, or else the entire cake ball will fall off. It'll feel like you just decapitated your cake pop. Sad times. I hope to make a video of this tapping sometime. It's difficult to explain in written words.

10. Let the cake pops cool standing up in a styrofoam sheet or block covered with wax paper. The wax paper will protect the foam from drips so you can reuse it for future cake pops. Styrofoam can usually be found in the floral section of a craft store. It's strangely expensive for what it is, so try to use a coupon or stock up when Hobby Lobby has those 1/2 weekly special sales.

cooling cake pops

11. Decorate. I used fondant, circle sprinkles, and an edible marker to make these Longhorns. Use a toothpick dipped into melted candy coating as glue. They tasted like the cake equivalent of a Creamsicle.

Longhorns and Football Cake Pops

If you're feeling really adventurous (or sporty), you can make cake footballs. They're a little more difficult to evenly dip in candy melts. FYI the footballs were covered in premium dark chocolate melts and tasted like a Terry's Chocolate Orange. You know...those foil covered chocolate oranges that break apart into individual slices when you pound them against something?

Twitter Cake Pops

Twitterpops

For my yearly holiday party (usually around New Years) I made Twitter cake pops. I believe 2009 to be the year of Twitter (bird).

Cracked

Using Bakerella's Easter spring chicken cake pops as inspiration, I created blue Twitter birds. This was my first try at the cake pop and sadly, quite a few cracked. I'll call those wounded birdies the Twitter fails. Maybe I should have made some fail whale pops, as well?

Pink and Blue Pop

They are strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla shell. Really tasty. I love how the pink pops against the blue.

FYI the little beaks, wings, and feet are labor intensive. After making a third of the birds I had Chris dig through the muticolored sprinkle jars for orange and yellow sprinkles as he watched some college bowl games. Now he claims he helped make the Twitter pops. I guess, it's true.

I gave the leftovers to a few of my co-workers. What lucky co-workers...

Quite a few people have requested a recipe/instructions. Check back on Monday night for a how-to post. Until then, in case of Twitter bird pop emergency, please consult Bakerella's blog.

Please Retweet.

An Important Day in Texas Longhorn Football

Longhorn Cake Pop
Longhorns and Football Cake Pops

Happy New Year blog readers. Can you believe it's 2010? Crazy stuff.

I made these cake pops to cheer on the Texas Longhorns in the BCS National Championship today.

Burnt Orange Cake Pops

I'll be watching tonight's game at the Alamo Drafthouse with fellow University of Texas alums and other Texas fans who weren't lucky enough to make it to Pasadena. Haha the Drafthouse site calls the Mack Brown the director of this "film.".I plan on getting there early so I don't have to sit in the front row. Movies are one of the only events in which front row tickets are terrible. Where will you be watching?

Stay tuned for a longer post on cake pops this weekend. Hook 'em.