Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake Pops

Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is steadily approaching at a faster pace then I can handle, I keep wondering, " Why oh why??" do I still have a huge bowl of Halloween candy sitting around patiently waiting for me someone to eat it.

Truth is, my kids are still a bit too young to understand the delicious factor of candy. Most days, they don't even want to eat real food, so candy is no exception to that.

So it sits.
And waits.
And waits a bit more.
And waits a little bit more.

Then a random thought pops into my head and I think.......

Hmmmmmmm I wonder if I could mix some of it up into a cake pop!

Now that seemed like an awesome idea, and one that wouldn't hurt at all to try out.

Now before you in your head with thought of how hard cake pops are to make please read this post on making easy and perfect cake pops every time, even if it's your first time! And you don't have to refrigerate them at ALL!!

To make them, this is what you will need:

For these cake pops although you can use any cake recipe you wish, to save time I opted for a good old box recipe, but the choice is yours. When I use a box recipe I also CUT the amount of oil that the box recipe asks for and replace the difference with apple sauce. (75% apple sauce to 25% oil)

This is huge people......this one little change eliminates the need to refrigerate them, which in turn prevents them from cracking after you dip them and eliminates the oil from the mix oozing out from the pop.

When your cake has fully cooled, break it up into a bowl until it is finely crumbled. Add in the frosting and mix until it has all been incorporated, it will be very mushy looking. For one 13 x 9 or two 8" rounds, I use no more than 2-3 Tbsp, if even that much. The key is you want to be able to shape them, but not have them be so moist with frosting that they can't hold their shape. The more you mix, they better they will be as long as you don't add to much frosting!

If you always end up with balls of mush.....it's because you add way too much frosting! You do want a nice balance of cake and frosting, and not just all of one or the other. 

When your cake is fully crumbled, add your frosting. I used my delicious dark chocolate frosting I made. (If you use my recipe you may want to cut it down or you will have a lot left over) But let's be real, you can also used canned frosting, I just like the taste that my frosting gives the pops.

 When you are finished mixing, it should resemble a big bowl of mushy cake.  Keep in mind that if you add to much frosting it will be too soft, too heavy and won't stay on the candy sticks. If you don't add enough they will be too dry. So start with the smallest amount of frosting and add more if needed.

Put the mix aside and start chopping up your Reese's Peanut Butter cups into a fine mixture. Add as much as you like within reason. You can leave it chunkier if you prefer, but the larger pieces may get in the way later on when it is time to insert the lolly pop sticks.

Add the chopped Peanut butter cups to the cake/frosting mix and mix it until it is all incorporated.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and get started rolling. I use a Tbsp. measuring spoon to scoop out the mix, this helps to keep all the pops roughly the same size. Roll them out one by one and line them up on the wax lined cookie sheet until there is no mix left. Cover them with wax paper or plastic wrap and put them to the side

Before you are ready to dip them, get your candy melts ready. There are many ways to thin out candy melts to get them to the right consistency for dipping. Some people add shortening or a tbsp. of vegetable oil. But whenever I use chocolate or a dark chocolate for dipping, I have found the best way to thin it out is to use a dark chocolate with a high fat content...80% or higher, I use about a two or three squares, adding more if I need more and it works incredibly, adds an intense chocolate flavor and hardens with a beautiful shine.    

(Be mindful that in the pic. I am melting chocolate chips, which is a whole other topic of chocolate melting, just pretend they are candy melts)

More importantly it makes the chocolate flow beautifully and is so easy to dip into, with no streaks from oil or shortening.

With your melted chocolate take the end of a lolly pop stick and dip it into the chocolate, then insert it into  the cake pop and put aside to set. This helps when dipping the pop into the chocolate..helps it to keep a grip :) It also helps to finish off the pop after it is dipped. 
Dip the pop straight down into the melted chocolate until the whole of it is submerged and lift it out. I usually swirl it around, if necessary to remove the excess chocolate. You can also hold the pop in one hand, rolling it and tapping it to remove any extra candy coating.

Place in something to hold it upright while it continues to fully set. I use a block of Styrofoam covered in plastic wrap, but if you don't have that on hand you can use what works for you.

To decorate the tops of the Cake pops I used Miniature Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I placed one on top of the dripping peanut butter candy melts I piped on top of the pops with a squeeze bottle. Before it all set I added in some chocolate sprinkles.

They were AwEsOmE......and have inspired me to make a whole lot more cake pops with all the other candy, so you'll be seeing more of these treats in the next few posts!

This recipe yielded approx 24 Cake pops.

****As I mentioned above if you don't have access to Peanut Butter candy melts, you can do a quickie fix by mixing some peanut butter into melted white chocolate, just mix as much as you need.

1/4 cup of white chocolate to 2 tbsp. peanut butter or more if you want more pb flavor.

You could also probably mix peanut butter into chocolate as well but the flavor won't be as intense :)

I hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please feel free to leave a comment below!!

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