2013 Resolution in My "Kid"tchenThat’s right. I made a resolution. Actually I made a couple of them. I think I am off to a great start on one of them, and now in retrospect not so great on another. I have decided that 2013 is the year of providing opportunities for my children to learn about meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Too many times over the last few years, I have been in the throes of putting dinner together before and after activities and meetings, so I shoo them out of the kitchen. As a child I was able to succeed and fail, and it is now time to provide them those same chances (with supervision) while they are home and aged only 11, 9, and 4.
This all leads me to January 2nd. My baby brother sent the Bakerella Cake Pops Set to my daughter for Christmas (it was on her list). We were out of town, so she opens a late present. Truly this is a great way of extending the holidays just a bit. She asks me nicely, “can we make cake pops?” Because of my resolution made the day before to involve my children in the kitchen, I quickly reply, “yes.” I soon find out easier said than done.
As we open the box, we realize the cake pop set has all of the plastic items to make them, but it doesn’t actually have any of the ingredients e.g. the cake mix, the frosting, and the candy coating. I guess I was thinking of one of those other sets – say, the Easy Bake Oven, which comes with a couple of mixes.
Not only for my daughter, but this is also my first voyage into the cake pop world. I have seen them, eaten them, but I had yet to make them. Because I am trying to keep my word, my daughter and I search online to make a cake recipe made from scratch. We proceed to make the cake, and then let that cool for a couple of hours. Next comes the frosting – once again from scratch, since I don’t keep frosting in the house. It turns out we don’t have powdered sugar in the pantry, but we learn that you can put sugar in the blender to make our own. Frosting – check.
I know, you may be wondering why I did not just stop this whole process for a day or two or drive to the grocery store to buy cake mix or frosting in a can. I am stubborn, it was before and after dinner, and I was not getting back in the car nor going back to the grocery store for the second time that day. Fortunately time ran out, and I was able to hold off on the candy coating. I had no intention of even trying to figure out if I could make those from scratch like the cake or the frosting.
I did buy candy coating, and we were able to make 24 delicious cake pops. One problem now as we have two-thirds of a cake left in the freezer, and a cup of frosting chilling in the fridge. I am starting to think my first resolution will sabotage my second…I was planning on fitting into one little black dress for my baby brother’s wedding come this May.
Adapted from allrecipes.com, One Bowl Chocolate Cake III
•2 cups white sugar
•1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
•¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
•1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 cup of milk
•½ cup vegetable oil
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 1 9”x13” pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake about 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pan.
Simple Vanilla Frosting – adapted from Simply Scratch
Yield: 2 cups
•4 cups Powdered Sugar (or 4 cups sugar mixed up in a blender)
•4 tablespoons Butter, softened
•1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
•4-6 tablespoons of Whole Milk (I used 1 %)
In your mixing bowl add the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Turn your mixer on medium low and slowly add your milk. Add more milk if needed. Increase the speed to medium until fluffy.
Instructions (for those without a cake pop kit)
Crumble cake until it resembles fine crumbs.
Add in frosting a little bit at a time and use hands to mix it into the cake crumbs.
Use a melon ball/ice cream scoop to form cake mixture balls, rolling mixture into a tight ball.
Repeat until all of cake is rolled into balls.
Melt 2-4 oz. of the candy coating.
Dip the tip of the cake pop stick into the coating and insert into cake ball about half-way.
Freeze for about 20 minutes.
Melt the rest of the candy coating for dipping the partially frozen cake balls and dip carefully until covered.
If adding sprinkles, do so while chocolate is still wet.
If desired, place into the freezer to speed up setting time.
Store cake pops in a single layer in an airtight container.
You may want to cover with a clear treat bag and ribbon or can place in Styrofoam block for setting.