Dastardly desserts for a howlingly good Halloween
Say hello to the newest, cutest sweet treats: cake pops, bite-size spheres of cake on a lollipop stick. They are the perfect dessert for a spook-tacular Halloween party. The pop cakes can be eaten as they are – no forks required – or they can be baked into a larger cake to create a ghoulishly unique interior.
But first things first: Let’s talk about how to make cake pops.
Pastry chefs were the ones to discover it was a neat way to use leftover baked cake.
“Every time I make a cake, I have to trim some of the edges,” said Heidi Trelstad, owner of Chef Sugar Cakes & Confections, 6942 N. Academy Blvd. “I do about 30 wedding cakes a week. That’s a lot of trimmed caked. We mix the cake crumbles with frosting, then shape it into small balls. We freeze the balls and dip them in melted chocolate, and decorate.”
You could certainly do the same thing. But if you want to have perfectly shaped cake pops, consider getting a Baby Cakes Cake Pops Maker (about $20 at Kohl’s). This is an especially easy way to make the cake pops. It’s sort of like a waffle iron, except it has 12 half-ball indentions. The lid has matching half-ball indentions. Cake batter is portioned into the base indentations, the lid is closed, and the cake puffs into the other indentions in the lid to make perfect balls of cake. They bake in less than five minutes. The result: doughnut-hole-like cakes.
Once you have a batch of cake pops baked, pull out the frosting and cake decorations to have some monster-size fun jazzing them up.
To give your guests a big surprise, serve up a cake that is filled with polka-dots. It makes a stunning centerpiece for your party table. We spotted this idea on snowybliss.blogspot.com, and Chef Sugar's Trelstad figured out an easy way to get the job done.
Use the Baby Cakes maker to bake orange-hued batter into cake pops. Then whip up a box of devil’s food chocolate cake mix using the directions for high altitude. Dose the batter with more black food coloring. (McCormick makes Banshee Black food coloring that deepens the chocolate, allowing the orange cake pops to, well, pop. Wilton has a black food color, too.)
Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Cut a circle of waxed paper or parchment to place in the bottom of the pan. Grease and flour the pans. Fill the bottom of the cake pans with orange cake pops. It takes about 24 cake pops to fill each pan. Then pour prepared devil’s food chocolate cake mix over the cake pops, filling the pan about two-thirds full. Bake as directed on the cake mix box.
You would think the cake pops would get hard with the second baking, but they don’t. The chocolate batter insulates the cooked cake pops, so both the pops and the chocolate cake stay moist. And the orange and chocolate flavors are a delicious contrast.
When the cakes are cooled, spread orange-tinted buttercream frosting between the layers and on the outside of the cake. Decorate the top with more Halloweenish cake pops or –- if you want to give away the surprise of the polka-dots inside –- with candy disks.
Not in the mood to bake?
At justapinch.com/, we found a No Bake Oreo Truffles recipe contributed by Hope Vaillancourt, of Payson, Ariz., that, she promises, “Will WOW your taste buds.”
The beauty of this recipe is it’s only three ingredients: one package of Double Stuf Oreo cookies, a 4-ounce package of softened cream cheese, and a 24-ounce package of almond bark or chocolate chips.
Chop the cookies in a food processor. With your hands, mush the cookie crumbs with the cream cheese. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Freeze for 15 minutes. Melt chocolate chips or almond bark and dip the chilled cookie balls in the melted confection. Garnish with Halloween colored sugars or assorted candies. And, of course, serve on lollipop sticks.
My Little Cupcake Pops molds are available online at mylittlecupcakeblog.com/. They are used to shape the no-bake cookie recipe. Once the dough is shaped and chilled in the freezer, it can be removed from the mold and decorated. These are no trick to make and all treat to eat.
Contact Teresa J. Farney at 636-0271, Twitter @tffoodie, Facebook Teresa Farney