For every birthday party, it seems, someone asks for Cake Poppers. And while I still stand by the Red Velvet/Chocolate combination being my favorite flavor, I do like to try to have fun with the appearance once in awhile. Hobby Lobby sells some great colors of candy coating, but it’s all vanilla. And since it’s a different brand from what I normally use on the cake poppers, it’s a little bit of a different consistency. Thicker and sometimes globbier. (Is that a word? It is now.) But – it makes for pretty treats. I let Nikki and Wes pick their colors. We also dyed the white cake batter before we cooked it so the cake poppers were the same color on the outside as on the inside. THEN…we picked out sprinkles and – BEFORE THE COATING DRIED – we sprinkled each one. The end result was BEAUTIFUL. And if you like vanilla? TASTY. It’s not my favorite flavor so I stuck with the chocolate/red velvet.
Speaking of pretty colors…a certain little boy also asked for “Rainbow Cupcakes” which he also wanted to top with his star sprinkles. This turned out to be quite an easy project, albeit quite messy. Any project that dirties SEVEN BOWLS and SEVEN SPOONS is a bit extreme in my book.
All I did was mix normal white cake batter and then divide it “evenly” into 6 bowls. Everyone in town was out of Primary Food Colors (and you have to use the GELS…they color much better) but I made do with some pastel colors and a Neon color pack I found at Hobby Lobby. Without primary colors we had no “red” but the pink worked out just fine. I mixed each color and then just globbed (Another made-up baking term!) a spoonful of each into the cupcake holder. Don’t try to flatten it to make smooth layers, because then the colors get mixed up. They stay separated if you just let them be and – while it may not be a perfect layered rainbow – they are still AWESOME in every way. It only made about 16 a batch because I think you loose a little bit of the batter each time you divide it up, so I ended up cooking two batches. This meant I had to wash dishes first because I do NOT have 12 bowls to use simultaneously. But even with all of that mess? Still totally worth it.
OH! Make sure you use cupcake holders because seeing the expression on your guests faces when they pull it off and see all the colors? PRICELESS. The kids loved them and the adults thought I was pretty damn awesome. Which, you know, I TOTALLY AM.
Wes also wanted a few “with worms,” so I used chocolate icing on half and topped them with gummy worms. Easiest – and most fun – cupcakes ever. Since I never make cupcakes (I’m sure you could guess that by how hideous the icing job looks) I didn’t have a way to store them. I’m sure every one of you has one of these Awesome Cupcake Holders but it was new to me so I had to share it just in case it would be new to you too. TWO LAYERS! And it even allowed for my gummy worms. Nothing got smooshed. You do have to be careful making sure the lid actually locks on the bottom dish, but other than that it’s easy breezy.
Last, but NOT least, is a “new” treat I came up with recently. Nikki was talking about marshmallows and I had melting chocolates I needed to use but didn’t feel l like making another batch of cake poppers. (For the record, since the week the power went out? I’ve made about 700 cake poppers for various events. I would like to take a break for awhile.) I had an idea to use marshmallows and try to improvise some S’mores Poppers with my leftover melting chocolates. BEST IDEA EVER.
This was SO EASY. First I crushed some graham crackers in a large sandwich bag. Actually – I let the kids do that – they love that job. Then I melted the chocolates (I always use the stuff I mention here because it’s easy to work with) and grabbed some bamboo skewers I had laying around. I rolled the sides and the “bottom” of the marshmallow in the chocolate and immediately (but slowly) rolled them in the graham cracker crumbs. I popped them on the wax paper to harden and TA-DA! S’mores bites! E took some to school last week and said the didn’t last 5 minutes. SO EASY but also a HUGE crowd-pleaser. I only wish you could buy a size of marshmallows between normal and mini – because I think these would be perfect if the marshmallows were just a tiny bit smaller. They are a bit big for “bites” for small kids, but that didn’t stop my kids from eating them.
SO! There you have it. Some yummy treats we’ve made for various gatherings lately.
I can NOT believe I just wrote a blog entry about various alterations to standby desserts. Just the fact that I have standby desserts now is quite a huge change from where I was when I had Wes. He’ll never know me as someone who is NOT comfortable in the kitchen. And that makes me damn proud.
But not as proud as my rainbow cupcakes. Those things were AWESOME.