Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
by Jennifer Wellsman
I started at the beginning of November thinking about some ideas for hostess gifts for the Christmas season. We have a number of family gatherings over the Christmas season and I wanted to bring something special. I had decisions to make. Should I buy a little token or make something? I decided it would be nice to make something. Being on maternity leave I have lots of spare time, right? Once I decided that I would make something, my next step was obviously what. I decided it would be some type of food item rather than a craft. I wanted it to be something that hopefully people would not only appreciate but enjoy eating. Being the Christmas season, I wanted it to be something that they probably wouldn't make themselves. In my research, I came upon cake pops.
|Chocolate cake pops with Christmas sprinkles|
1 Two-layer cake mix or cake recipe of your choice
2-5 tbsp icing (depending on desired consistency you may want to use less or more). I use the bought icing rather than making it as the quantities are quite small.
24 oz of melting chocolate (I use Wilton Candy melts - about 1 to 1-1/2 bags)
35-40 lollipop sticks
Toppings (crushed candy canes, chocolate or coloured sprinkles, coloured sugars. Bulk Barn has lots of options)
Directions:Bake the cake according to instructions. Let it cool and then break into pieces in a large bowl.
|Break the cake into pieces|
Once the desired consistency is achieved, form balls (1 1/2" mound) using a teaspoon of the mixture and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all the balls are formed, put the cookie sheets in the freezer for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, melt a little bit of chocolate according to the instructions on the packet and dip the tips of each stick into the chocolate then stick into the balls. The chocolate on the sticks helps them stay in the cake balls. Return the balls to the freezer for at least 30-60 minutes. The more icing you use, the longer the balls will need to be frozen.
When the balls are ready, melt your chocolate and prepare your toppings by putting them in bowls for easy dipping.
|Crushed Candy Cane|
|Dipping the balls straight down into the toppings|
|Using different toppings adds to the overall look & feel|
When packaging for a gift, use a decorative tin or mug. Place a piece of floral foam in the bottom to hold the pops. Then wrap using a plastic gift bag and ribbon.
|The finished hostess gift|
Of course, these cake pops make a nice alternative to cookies too. Why not keep some for yourself and impress your own guests?
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
Thanks Jennifer - and as a lucky recipient of these cake pops I can vouch for their deliciousness!