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24 October 2013

Caramel Apple Cake Balls (Pops)



There is something so whimsical about October. I think the start of school in September is supposed to signify the start of Fall, but let's be honest with ourselves, because it never does. Instead, it's the preparation of Halloween that takes place all October that gets people into the Fall spirit. When vendors start reintroducing all their pumpkin spice seasonal flavors. The aroma wafts all over the place, and captivates people :) I love it. And when there is pumpkin in the air, boots on your feet and a scarf around your neck -- you know Fall is here. I also love Halloween because it gets you into the holiday spirit. Once Halloween hits, the ball just keeps rolling: Thanksgiving, Christmas (and the shelves are already filled with Thanksgiving and Christmas decor), New Years, and Valentine's Day -- all of my favorites. Oh and my birthday!!!

I really love Holidays, but I think Halloween is especially fun because it let's your inner kid out. The month when your supposed to get sick on candy, give candy and dress up as your favorite character. When your supposed to bake too much dessert and day dream about costumes....it only happens once a year and I choose to embrace it. I love seeing the aisles just stocked with endless amounts of candy and chocolate. Flavors that you haven't seen in a year: candy corn, taffy and caramel apple...mmm...You just gotta go with the flow and love holidays for the whimsy that they are meant to be. Though I am not a fan of the adults who choose to detract from the whimsy of Halloween by attempting to make it "how inappropriately sexy" can I be. Oh-good-gosh....stop! If you have to use a holiday meant to let your inner child out to prove your self-worth, you are doing it wrong! :) But this is coming from a girl who dressed up as Elmo ;)

This post is exciting for me, because it is the first of my seven day Spooktacular count down to Halloween, each day sharing a different Halloween inspired treat :) AND this countdown is my first "special series of posts" meaning this is my first ever theme inspired post! I know, the things I get excited about, clearly suggest that I need a life outside of food and blogging ;) Well, I've been picking out recipes for sometime. I've been a bit busy but I woke up early this morning to rush to the store and fill up on my Halloween goodies. While there, of course, my plan went out the window because I stumbled upon this Caramel Apple Frosting by Pillsbury! Say what?!? I love caramel apples, they are so Fall and Halloween all wrapped up into one. I knew I had to find a way to use it. And there is only one instance in which I ever use canned frosting: Cake Balls! Decision made. They came out perfect! Happy first spooktacular post :)








CARAMEL APPLE CAKE BALLS
A For the Love of Dessert Original Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Preheat oven to 350F degrees

1 box of white cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
3 eggs
1 c. of water
1/3 c. of vegetable oil
16 oz. container of Pillsbury Caramel Apple frosting
8 oz. of white candymelts or chocolate bark
1-2 tsp. vegetable oil
Sprinkles 

DIRECTIONS
Making the Cake balls (pops):
Make cake according to package instructions. Let cake cool completely (I usually cool over night). Once cooled, cut the edges off the cake (as well as top and bottom layers of the cake--the crusty part). In a large bowl using a food processor or your hands, crumble the cake into fine bits (I use my hands). Add slightly less than 1/2 of the caramel apple frosting. Mix well. If too dry add a tablespoon of frosting at a time. You do not want it too moist because the cake ball will fall apart. Roll into 1 1/2 inch round balls. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Dipping the cake balls (pops):
In the meantime, melt either chocolate bark or candy melt according to package directions. This is my secret, once the chocolate is melted I stir in the vegetable oil. This makes the chocolate have a smoother and shinier coating :)

Now, I am going to tell you how I get perfectly dipped cake balls but if you have your own method that works-- you are more than welcome to do it that way -- this is just whats worked best for me. Once chocolate has melted, take the cake balls and while holding the top half, dip the bottom half into the chocolate, then dip a cake pop stick into the chocolate (about 1/2 inch) and push into the center of the cake ball until about, no more, than half way through. Let cool. This will make it much easier to dip the rest of the cake ball. Otherwise I have found that the cake balls get stuck in the  chocolate or falls off the stick.

Once cooled, dip the top of the cake balls and a little part of the bottom, that was already coated into the chocolate. Shake off excess chocolate. Garnish with sprinkles (while chocolate is still wet). Allow to cool by sticking into flower foam. Once dried, holding the cake ball with one hand, gently twist the cake pop stick with your other hand and pull out. If you would like cake pops- leave on stick. 

Also see: No Bake Cake Batter Truffles for "My Little Cupcake" method. 

Enjoy,
Chika

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