Mickey Mouse Pops!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping a friend make these pops for her son’s second birthday. We had so much fun hanging out, but the actual pop making experience was challenging.  It was definitely a learning experience for both of us, but I’m glad we jumped in with both feet.  I think the finished pops were really cute!

One major change we made from the source of this recipe is that we used Oreo truffles as the base instead of cake balls.  We much prefer the taste of Oreo truffles over the cake ones, even though they are very rich and decadent.  I do think the cake balls generate a smoother ball, but again, the taste is more important in my opinion.  Also the Oreo balls are a little heavier than the cake ones, so that made dipping them difficult, but we managed.  I think the keys are to have really runny chocolate (but not too hot.  See step 11 about adding shortening to thin it out.) and to dip as fast as possible.

Please excuse my fuzzy photos, they were taken with my phone rather than a camera.  If you’re friends with me on facebook, you can see a couple more pictures there.  Also, I’m super excited that this counts as the first thing to check off from my 30×30 list.  Score!

Mickey Pops

Source:  Bakerella

You’ll need:

  • 1 box cake mix (bake as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)*
  • 1 16 oz can of ready-made frosting*
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
  • White bark coating {we omitted}
  • Black candy color {we omitted}
  • Chocolate candy melts
  • Round cookie cutter
  • Paper lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam block

*One cake makes about 48 cake pops. If you don’t need that many, then cut the cake in quarters and freeze any cake sections for another day. You’ll need at least one ounce of candy coating for each generic Mickey Mouse cake pop you plan on dipping and more for any extra decorating.

*If you substitute Oreo balls for the cake balls, you obviously won’t need any cake or frosting.  You will need one package of Oreo cookies and one package of cream cheese.   Crush the Oreos in a food processor, then add the cream cheese and pulse until combined.  Pick up at step 3 below.

Instructions:

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl.

2. With a large spoon, mix thoroughly with about 3/4 of the can of frosting. You won’t need the rest.

3. Roll mixture into quarter size cake balls and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Step 3

4. Place balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. Then transfer to the refrigerator to keep chilled and avoid freezing.

5. Prepare the ears. Use round chocolate candy melts and with a round cutter, cut off a small portion of each candy melt. Set the ears aside. Step 5
6. Melt white candy coating (we just used chocolate) in a heat-proof plastic bowl so that the coating is at least four inches deep for easier dipping. Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals on low, stirring in between. Repeat until melted and smooth. Step 6

7. Add several drops of black candy color (that does not contain water) into the white candy coating and stir until combined. Add color until you achieve the desired shade. {We skipped this}

8. Remove a couple of cake balls from the refrigerator at a time to work with.

9. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and insert into the cake ball. Then, grab two candy melt ears and dip the cut side into the melted candy coating. Attach the ears to the top/side of the cake pop and the coating will set like glue. Step 9

10. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

11. When dry, carefully dip the entire cake pop with ears attached into the bowl of melted candy coating. Dip and remove in one motion without stirring. Make sure the entire cake ball is covered. Using a deep bowl is helpful here. If your coating is too thick, you can add a few drops of vegetable oil or shortening to help thin it and make it easier to work with.

12. Remove and allow any excess coating to fall off the pop and back into the bowl.

13. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

14. When dry, wrap in small treat bags and tie with a decorative ribbon.

Note: You can use dark chocolate candy coating instead of tinting white coating black. Then, you can use the same glueing technique to attach the ears right on the surface.

You can also attach other items like Junior Mints or separated miniature Oreo Cookies to the surface of the cake pop right after dipping and before the coating sets.

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Rhubarb Crisp

My sister grows rhubarb and she graciously gave me some to bake with about a week ago.  After deliberating with Tim, I decided on this simple rhubarb crisp.

Also, sorry about not adding pictures at the moment, my computer is still on the fritz.

Rhubarb Crisp

Source:  grocery store flyer

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour, plus 2 Tablespoons

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup ( 2 sticks ) butter, cold and cut into small pieces

2.5 pounds fresh rhubarb, coarse ends removed and cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 8 cups) – I used appprox 6 cups rhubarb and 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries.

ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well mixed.  Add oats and stir to combine.  With fingertips or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea sized crumbs form (will be dry).

In a large bowl, stir rhubarb (and strawberries) with remaining 2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well combined.  Spread rhubarb mixture evenly into lightly sprayed 13″ x 9″ glass or ceramic baking dish.  Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over rhubarb mixture.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown; let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Enjoy!

Root Beer Bundt Cake

I was assigned to cover the dessert category for the Easter meal at my mom and dad’s house and I immediately wanted to make a bundt cake of some kind.  After much deliberation, I decided on this root beer cake.

Overall it was a very good cake, super dense and moist as bundt cakes tend to be.  But I was disappointed that the root beer flavor wasn’t very strong.  However, I’m sure that the root beer enhanced the chocolate flavor though.

Root Beer Bundt Cake
Source:  Pink Parsley who adapted from Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking

For the cake

  • 2 cups root beer (not diet)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved.  Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined.  Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.  The batter will be slightly lumpy; do not over beat as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a small knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

For the Root Beer Fudge Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup root beer, plus more as needed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

To make the frosting, cream the butter, root beer, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Then gradually add the cocoa powder, then the powder sugar.  Mix until the frosting is shiny and smooth.  Add more root beer, a few teaspoons at a time, if the frosting is too thick to spread easily with a spatula.

Use a spatula to spread the frosting over the crown of the cake in a thick layer.  Let the frosting set before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.

Pineapple Casserole

I heard about this dish about 2 years ago and have been intrigued ever since.  I finally got around to making it for Easter this year.  Boy am I glad that I did.  It was a hit!  It is a great side dish for ham, but is sweet enough that it could be served as a dessert.  The texture is between bread stuffing and bread pudding, definitely not too mushy though.  I thought it was perfect.

Pineapple Casserole

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

12-14 slices (1/2 of a loaf basically) regular white sandwich bread, cut or torn into 1″ pieces

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla soy milk)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 can (20 oz.) of crushed pineapple with juice

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a large baking dish (such as a 9×13) with Pam or grease with butter.

Mix the eggs, milk, butter, and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the crushed pineapple with juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Then add the cubes of bread and stir just to coat.  Don’t over mix.  Pour into the prepared baking dish, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Can be served warm or cold.

Bob Andy Pie (custard pie)

I wanted to make a new pie recipe for Thanksgiving this year, possibly even an unusual or nontraditional pie.  That’s when I remembered the custard pie that was served at the restaurant that I worked at for (too) many years.  I went in search of a similar recipe and found one on Tasty Kitchen.  I have no idea where the name came from, but I guess it has something to do with the Amish??

It was pretty good, but not exactly like the one from the restaurant.  Next time I’ll reduce the amount of cinnamon and probably add a dash of nutmeg.

Bob Andy Pie

  • 3 whole large eggs
  • 9 Inch unbaked pie shell
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon – I will probably just use 1 tsp next time.
  • ½ teaspoons salt

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Crack eggs in a medium bowl; brush pie shell with a little of the egg whites. Whisk eggs until thoroughly mixed; whisk in milk. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl, then whisk into milk mixture.

Set pie shell on oven rack and pour filling into shell. Bake until custard has set and crust is golden, about 50 minutes.  {I baked it for 60 minutes and it was still jiggly, but it set up once it had cooled.}

Cool and serve room temperature or chilled.

Peanut Butter Fingers

Peanut Butter Fingers

Source:  Amish Friends Vol 2 Cookbook, page 71

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, soft

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour

6 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars.  Blend in egg and peanut butter.  Add soda, salt, vanilla, flour, and oats.  Mix well then press into pan.  Bake in a greased 9×13-inch pan for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top while hot, place back in the oven (turned off) for a minute or less.   Spread the melted chocolate with a spatula.  Cool.  Frost with peanut butter frosting.  Cut into bars, or “fingers”, for serving.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

2-4 tablespoons milk.

Combine all, stirring the milk in until it reaches the desired spreading consistency.

Ducky Cookies

The past few months have brought many new babies into my extended family so I had the opportunity to make a meal for two of the moms.  Along with the meals that I provided, I also took a treat in the form of cookies.  Who doesn’t love a cute cookie?

I was really excited for the chance to use royal icing again and to try to improve my decorating skills.  However, I’m still pretty new at it, so I stuck with one color.  I intended to add faces to the ducks, but they weren’t quite dry enough for the edible marker to work before I had to transport them.  Maybe next time.

I also wanted to do step-by-step instructions of how I made these, but my camera battery died.  And I also realized I have no business giving directions on something that I suck at.  Here’s what I did photograph though:

prepared work surface

cut out dough

baked and cooled cookies

decorated

I doubled this recipe for the sugar cookies.  But substituted lemon extract for the almond extract.  Honestly, I didn’t think the cookies were sweet enough so next time I’ll roll them out using powdered sugar instead of flour.  And I need to stop rolling the dough so thin!

And I used this recipe for the royal icing.

all packed up

I definitely encourage you to check out Bridget’s Blog called Bake at 350.  She is awesome at decorating cookies!!

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