Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cake pops and Halloween

I am never quite sure who or what will show up in my classroom on Halloween.  We celebrated it a few days early this year due to the fact that we don't have school on October 31.  Great timing for the end of the quarter and a faculty workday.  This guy came in the door.  As did this famous American.
A uni-tard kind of costume in various colors and patterns is big this year evidently.  I saw purple, camo, yellow
and black.
I have to admit that I miss the costume-making days.  I made lots of them over the years, most of the time some character who wore a cape, such as Batman, Robin Hood, and Power Rangers.  The Duke Blue Devil was my first.  Son #1 wore it everywhere when he was two years old.  Even to the annual Duke-UNC football game that year, 1989, I think.  A photographer spotted him and he made the front page of the Herald-Sun newspaper the next day.  (Duke lost unfortunately.)
Way cute, n'est-ce pas?
Anyway, back to 2011.  Yesterday we carved pumpkins and made haunted gingerbread houses for fun and to raise money for UNICEF.  Everyone votes for their favorites by placing money in the UNICEF boxes.
We delivered the decorations to two local retirement homes at the end of the day.

One enterprising young man sold jokes to raise money for his UNICEF box.
My advisory group decided to have a cupcake sale to raise money.  One of the girls really wanted to try to make cake pops.  And, not to be out done by a 7th grader, I decided to give it a try, too.  (I also found out that Pioneer Woman had whipped some up, so that was an added incentive, I must admit.)
They were fun to make.  And they sold quickly.  They were pronounced delicious by the middle schoolers.  (The Ex-Ex had one for breakfast and I didn't even make him pay for it.)

Cake Pops
one cake recipe makes about 20, depending on size
Supplies can be found at most any craft store-- Michael's, Jo-Ann's, etc.

1 cake recipe, any flavor or color, homemade or boxed
1 frosting recipe, any flavor or color, homemade or from a can  (I used vanilla)
1-2 10-oz. bags melting chocolate, any color (I put it on kind of thick)
1 bag lollipop sticks
Various tubes of gel icing and sprinkles for decorating

Bake the cake according to directions in a 9x13-inch pan.  Cover the cake with a dishtowel and allow it to cool completely.  (I baked the cake the night before.)
Once the cake has cooled, gently crumble it into a large bowl, about 1/4 of the cake at a time.  When finished, you should have fine cake crumbs.
Use two forks to work the icing into the cake.  Keep working until the icing is no longer visible. 
Roll the mixture into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets (or whatever will fit into your freezer). 
Place them in the freezer, uncovered, for at least an hour.  They need to be very firm before coating them.
Place the melting chocolate pieces into the bowl of a double boiler and heat. (I just put them in a pot that fits into another pot with simmering water in it- just be careful not to get water in the chocolate.)  Stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.
Insert the sticks into the balls and coat the ball with the melted chocolate.  I did this using a spoon.  It was easier than trying to roll it.  Be sure to thoroughly coat the bottom of the ball where it meets the stick.
Roll the balls in sprinkles, if you wish.  Lay them back down onto waxed or parchment paper.  I stood mine up instead of laying them flat.  Do as you wish.
Decorate with icing or however you wish!  I had orange, white, and black melted candy to coat mine with and then just mostly drizzled different colors with a spoon.

Bon appétit, Halloween! Happy Trick or Treating!

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