I was out shopping, stopped for a coffee and saw these scrumptious looking cake pops in their bakery. I love seasonal things. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Eggnog, Apple Crisp Donuts, Cinnamon Ice Cream…and now these tasty little bites.
A tradition in my house is to make lots of Christmas cookies. There are always those few staples that we wait all year to make but then I like to add a new one each year. Some are total disasters and disappointments but that never scares me off from attempting a new treat.
After devouring my Starbucks Peppermint Cake Pop I knew right away that I would have to try this one for our cookie extravaganza this year. I have made cake pops before so I knew the basic starting recipe/procedure.
I call mine the “ugly twin sister” because they are not as pretty and perfect as SB. But I am guessing they don’t have one Midwesterner with a standard kitchen and apprentice elves whipping these babies out. And all the proper tools. (Wait ’til you see what I used as a cake pop stand) But let me tell you this…they are delicious!!!! (We had a few casualties and they were taste tested for quality assurance)
1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1 Can of Milk Chocolate Icing
1/4 tsp. Peppermint Extract
24 oz. Vanilla Almond Bark (You could also use white chocolate chips)
Crushed Candy Canes
White Decorators Sugar
Cake Pop Sticks
LOTS OF PATIENCE AND THE “I CAN”T BE PERFECT” ATTITUDE
Bake the cake mix according to package directions but make sure to bake it in a 9×13 cake pan. Let it cool completely and then crumble up the cooled cake with your hands into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 can of milk chocolate icing and add 1/4 tsp. of Peppermint extract. Mix the crumbled cake, icing and extract together until you can form a ball.
The hubby doesn’t care for peppermint that much and since I was trying this for the first time I didn’t want to overpower the flavor. I am sure you could add a few drops of extract to the cake batter as well but again this was a first time deal.
Place all the cake balls onto a pan and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
I forgot to take a picture off the above steps and then my hands were all schmutzy with cake mess so here ya go:
The bowl on the left is filled with half of the bark. I have found that it is better to melt chocolate in steps because the more you heat it they weirder it becomes. Not smooth, chunky, runny…all sorts of yuck. So I only melt half of the bark for half of the cake pops. Then do the same process for the other half. Also, I found melting the bark in intervals (if using the microwave) works the best. Begin with 90 seconds, stir; 15 seconds, stir; 15 seconds, stir and continue until nice and creamy. You can even add a drop or two of oil to thin it out. But VERY little.
But before the dipping process FIRST dip the cake pop stick end into the melted chocolate and press into a cake ball and back into the fridge/freezer they go. It helps keep the cake ball on the stick when dipping. But not fool-proof…trust me, several fell off and became “samples”.
This pretty Cupcake Gems Shimmer White Sugar (on the right) was in the Wilton section of the store. It makes the white icing look like shimmery snow. I also found these red and white Wilton cake pop sticks in the same aisle. I cut them in half to make mini versions. The sticks just seemed too long.
Here they are drying. I had to use a box covered with parchment paper punched with holes because I forgot to buy a Styrofoam block. Oh the drama…but then I just had to laugh at myself.
After you gently dip the cake balls into the white chocolate, quickly sprinkle on the white sugar and crushed candy canes before the chocolate begins to harden. When all of the pops are dipped and dried I put them into a container and refrigerate.
And if they fall off the stick, which they most certainly might, just call them Peppermint Chocolate Cake Bonbons. 🙂 Enjoy!