Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekend Favorites

1. This youtube video from Todrick Hall which mashes up a lot of Taylor Swift songs into one. He is so creative and talented, I can tell this video took a lot of work, and it shows! It is so catchy!!

2. I'm lusting over this Kate Spade watch! I'm in the market for a few watch, do you have any recommendations for good brands that I may not have heard of?

3. The new Starbucks cups!? So cute, and makes me so excited for all of the fall things that are coming!

4. My mom (owner at Limited Lane Custom Designs) made me this shirt last week after I told her what I wanted it to say, a lot of my friends liked it, so she listed it on her Etsy shop for sale! I love it so much!! 

5. Pumpkin. Spice. Oreos.  Do I really need to say more?

I hope you guys are as excited for fall as I am! I thought I'd hop on here really quick this weekend and share a few of my current favorite things. I just started my second year of graduate school, along with a full time job and an internship, so I haven't been posting quite as much as I am used to. I am going to have a few subscription box reviews coming up, and a fun hair-product post coming up shortly also.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xo.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Oreo Cake Pops

Time for another baking post! I love posting recipes that I'm in love with, because I've depended on other people's recipes for parties/potlucks that I am always happy to share my recipes with others.

Today I'm going to be sharing my recipe and tips and tricks for making cake pops! The cake pops in this post are Oreo cake pops, but you can do whatever flavor combination you'd like and follow the same recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
- Cake
- Eggs/Oil >> This was what was required to make my boxed cake, so you will need the supporting ingredients for your choice of cake
- Oreos
- Frosting (I used butter cream)
- Candy Melts
- Lollipop Sticks
- Decorating Materials

 I chose to use a boxed cake, for the simplicity and quickness of it. You can choose to make one from scratch, or even use leftover cake from a party!

Step One: 
First step is making your cake. Like I said, I used a box cake. I didn't include super detailed pictures of this step, because it is pretty straight forward! It doesn't matter what size pan you cook it in, because we will end up destroying it after it is done baking.

Step Two:
While my cake was baking, I crushed up my Oreos. The ideal way to do this would be in a food processor, but mine has been in storage since I got out of college so I just had to make it work with my hands. I mashed them up as much as I could with my hands, and then put them into a baggy to smash even further. This was one row of Oreos, and after I added them to my cake I ended up doing a second row. You probably could even do a full package of Oreos!

Once your cake is done baking, this should be  your next set-up. You will want a bowl that you will be mixing your cake again in (I ended up switching to a much larger bowl than the glass one in the photo below, you will definitely want a large bowl). You will also want a cookie sheet, with your lollipop sticks accessible.

Step Three:
You will want to break up your cake. You can use your hands for this, or a spatula like I did. You will want to just start breaking it up as small as you can, and moving it into your large bowl with the crushed Oreos.

Step Four: 
Once you have your destroyed cake, and crushed Oreos in a bowl, you will add frosting. This step is very important. this is what adds the moisture to your cake pop. There isn't an exact measurement that I can give you, because it will depend on how moist the cake you baked is. I started by adding a large spoonful at a time, and I ended up adding three total. I would start with a little, and then just start looking for the texture that you are wanting. The cake should start to stick to itself and your mixer, and you can even stop and try making a ball to see if you have the right consistency. You can never take frosting out of the bowl, so I'd take this step slow.

Step Five: 
You will then mix this all together. Like I said, I ended up adding three full spoonfuls of frosting to my cake mix. You can see in the second photo below the type of texture and consistency that we are wanting.

Step Six: 
You will now start rolling your cake balls! I used a tablespoon just to ensure that all of my cake pops were the same size, but you can definitely eyeball this step and just roll them however you want. I scooped a tablespoon, leveled it off, and then popped it into my hand. You will then roll it into a ball and place it on your cookie sheet. This makes around 40 total, so you will want to place them really close to each other. Also, if you are rolling a ball and notice that it has a big chunk of Oreo in it, you can just pick it out. That happened to me a few times, where I couldn't get a perfect ball because of a big chunk of Oreo that didn't get broken down completely.

Step Seven:
You will now want insert the lollipop sticks into the cake balls. This is another important step. Often people have trouble with cake pops because the cake ball will slide off of the stick when it comes time to dipping them. My little trick here is to melt a few of your candy melts. You will want to dip the end of the stick into the candy melt, and then insert into the cake ball. This will help the stick really adhere to the cake ball, and you'll have a much better chance of them staying on. After you've inserted all of the sticks, you will want to put into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to really make sure they stick.

Step Eight:
Now it is time to dip the cake pops! You will want to make sure you have your drying station all set up also. I recommend letting them dry cake ball side up in the air. You will see photos below, but you don't want to dip the cake ball, and then return them back to the cookie sheet. This will end up having the candy melt dry as a flat surface, and it won't be pretty. I bought this cake pop stand at Walmart for $3.50 and it worked pretty good! You can also use a styrofoam block, I just didn't have one on hand. You will also need to melt your candy melts at this time. I bought two bags of candy melts, and it was the perfect amount. I melted about half of a bag at a time since this is a time consuming process. I used a cup but you can use a deep bowl also.

 I would do around 4 at a time. I would dip them and put them on the drying rack, and then start with the first one I did and decorate with sprinkles. I do this to let them dry a little bit before putting on the sprinkles. I've found if I go from the candy melt straight to sprinkles, it can weigh down the cake pop and start sliding off of the stick. I used a spoon to cover the cake pop in sprinkles, I didn't dip the cake pop into the sprinkles.

I kept a spoon nearby so that I could stir the candy melt before each dip, this helps it stay really consistent. Once you dip the cake pop, it will look like the photo above, with a lot of extra candy melt hanging on. You will just have to start twirling the cake pop so that all of the candy melt settles and drips off before putting it aside to dry. 

That's really it!! Once they dry, I like to then go back to displaying them cake pop side down. These turned out absolutely perfect. They were the perfect amount of moisture, and the Oreo flavor really came through. I already am thinking of future flavor/color combinations that I want to try out! They were really easy to make, and turn out really good! Please let me know if you have any questions about the process.