With the silly season fast approaching I found myself in a mild panic earlier this week about not yet having any decorations up or having a Christmas CD in the player. Normally, by the second weekend in December I am in full silly season swing – yet there I was at in the third week feeling incredibly disappointed in my time-management skills!
The good news it that:
a) I have made a 2011 Christmas CD which is now in the player ready to go.
b) I have also started with some decorations – so home is starting to look festive – I’m particularly enjoying the ‘readers digest trees’ (http://www.readersdigest.com.au/make-a-christmas-tree/) which are looking good – the just need a spray of gold glitter paint (which I can’t seem to find anywhere) and they will be done.
c) Most importantly, however, I’ve started with some Christmas cooking. In particular, reindeer cakepops!
My first introduction to cakepops was when one of my colleagues posted picture on facebook. Essentially, the concept is a lollypop made of cake. They are really cute and I put them on my list of things to try some day, but didn’t really think beyond that. The next week I received an email from another friend who had read an article in the paper about the ‘next big thing’, and you guessed it, cakepops – she sent me to the Bakerella website (http://www.bakerella.com/category/pops-bites/cake-pops/). The photo of the reindeer pops HAD me wanting to make these…So some friends came over and we made reindeer!
It was a fun afternoon and we made about fifty altogether. Though my final product wasn’t quite as perfect as Bakerella’s I think that for a first attempt they worked pretty well. I encountered a few problems trying to get hold of candy melts (thank you SC) and E shaped pretzels (I couldn’t even get hold of normal ones – thus you will not the different antlers since I had to make do with a christmas pack) .
What you’ll need:
Cake (I just made up one packet of Betty Crocker’s Vanilla cake mix – but don’t tell anyone ;P)
Frosting (again, thank you Aunt Betty!)
Packet brown candy melts (alternatively you can use chocolate bits)
Jaffas (for the nose – yep all of mine were Ruldolph)
Candy confetti (for the whites of the eyes)
Edible pen (to draw the pupils on the eyes and a smile)
Florist foam (or whatever else you can find that will work) to stand the pops in.
1. Make the cake according to packet instructions. I replaced the oil in the recipe with butter, having been told in the past that this will make the cake taste less like packet mix. Cool (the cake needs to be at room temperature before you can do the next step).
2. Crumble the cooled cake into a bowl and add about 1/2 a tub of the Betty Crocker frosting. Combine.
3. Roll into balls and place in the refrigerator (or if you are in a rush, in the freezer).
4. Melt a small amount of the candy/ chocolate. Dip the lollypop sticks in to the chocolate and push into the balls – make sure you get about half-way through. Too shallow the balls will fall off the stick and too deep the stick may go the whole way through. Return to fridge to set.
5. Melt the rest of the candy/ chocolate. Dip each cakepop into the candy, until coated. Allow to firm up and add the Jaffa nose and white confetti eyes. Dip the ends of the pretzel into the candy and push into the pop. Refrigerate to set.
6. Draw on pupils and smile with edible pen.
7. Store in the fridge.