Yes, I’m talking about St. Valentine’s Day. Some people look forward to this “holiday” as soon as New Year’s is over, some people loathe this day (for varying reasons) and some people (like me) are completely indifferent on the day. It really has no bearing on the way, (or more specifically when), I show my love for those that are close to me. The only impact it does have on me is that it’s an excuse to make some treats – not that I really need an excuse! This year, I made something new and a bit different than just my regular lovey-dovey heart shaped shortbreads, something that is sort of trending lately – Cake Pops. They were both fun to make and a big hit! The nice thing about the cake pop maker I bought is that it came with a pretty good recipe book, with simple recipes from scratch. To use the maker itself, is as easy as pie, as simple as ABC, like taking candy from a kid……well, you get the idea! It’s like a waffle maker – you can only mess it up if you put too much batter in each of the divots, which if you follow the directions of 1 tbsp of batter, you’re good to go!
Seeing as Valentine’s Day typically goes for reds, pinks, hearts, x’s & o’s, smoochy lips and chocolate, I thought it best to stick with tradition. We don’t have a microwave (and honestly, I don’t even miss it!), so melting the chocolate in the oven is the best option for me – plus, I find melting chocolate slow in the oven just works better. Dipping the cake pops into the chocolate does require a bit of patience, as you have to wait until the excess chocolate has dripped off so you don’t waste any or get it all over the place. The secret to getting the stick to stay in the cake ball is to dip the end of the stick into the chocolate first, then jab it in (gently of course).
If you plan on using sprinkles or small candies to decorate, keep in mind to roll the cake pop in the decorative whatever-you’re-using once the chocolate or glaze stops dripping and they are tacky, or you’ll get ‘bald spots’ on them! And if you are drizzling chocolate on them, make sure the chocolate or glaze is dry, otherwise the drizzle just slides right off! Just remember that however you choose to decorate them, they will be amazing because it’s YOUR creativity that’s making them!
Now of course, I had to make shortbread, but I wanted to do something really cool with them. Something I hadn’t tried before, something that tested my “skills”. So, these happened! My simple shortbread cookies became pretty! Ha
Although these took a little bit of time to create, it was relatively simple “artwork”. It just took some diligence and a steady hand. The trick to blending the icing without it running is to use flood consistency Royal Icing, which you can find on various different websites! You will need a #1 icing tip to create the designs, as well as a scribe tool. I wouldn’t try using a toothpick instead of the scribe tool, as the wood will soak in the icing and it will run, which won’t work too well for your little hearts.
It’s also important to remember to let your charming little indulgences set overnight so they don’t stick together when you package them up for a beautiful little gift d’amour!
Both cake pops and yummy shortbread cookies are great for all occasions – parties, luncheons, birthdays, family get togethers, even business meetings! Contact me to place your custom order!