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Looking for a quick and easy treat you can make with your toddler? Then go to the store and buy a tube of cookie dough. Whatever you do, DO NOT MAKE CAKE POPS! There’s a reason why this blog is called “Sweets After Dark”. I make my goodies after the little guy goes to bed because he’s too little to really enjoy the process and I’m too OCD to really let him. Perhaps when he’s older the blog will change to “Sweets After School to Keep Him Off Drugs”. But until then I’ve discovered things work much better when I’m flying sans kiddo.

I decided to make red velvet cake pops for Valentine’s Day and mint chocolate brownie pops for those single folks out there who loathe the Hallmark created holiday. I had triumphs and failures with both types. I also dropped a 3 inch thick cookbook on my foot before the entire process even started. Cursing…another reason why my sweets are made after dark.

Bake your red velvet cake and brownies per usual in 9 x 13 pans. Let cool and then crumble each into a big bowl. The red velvet crumbled easy. The brownies were a gooey mess, which is never really a bad thing.

I mixed about ½ of a can of whipped cream cheese frosting with about ¾ of the red velvet cake. Then scooped with a medium size cookie scoop and rolled between my palms to make them round. Put in fridge to cool. Do not put them in the freezer, as after you dip them they will warm up, expand, and crack your chocolate coating.

My brownies did not need to be mixed with frosting because they were fudgy enough by themselves. I don’t add the third egg when I make brownies. In fact, I think it’s insulting that they give it as an option. If I wanted my brownies to be more cake like I’d make a freakin’ chocolate cake. Besides people living in the mountains, who adds the third egg? I think there should be a rule against it — perhaps a proposition to Congress banning the use of the third egg, to protect the sanctity of brownies. I’d call it Prop Ate.

My cake pops and Twinkies ready to be dipped! Oh, yeah, I also attempted to do mini Twinkies as well. I got the idea from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, but I thought dipping an entire Twinkie was just too much (this coming from me — a woman who has ingested chocolate covered deep fried bacon…on TWO separate occasions), so I found the little 100 calorie snack packs at the grocery store and was happy.

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
While I was melting the chocolate I realized that my husband needed to leave for work in about 2 minutes. I thought I would put the little guy at the kitchen table with some goldfish crackers and he would watch me dip away. Like a scene from Leave it to Beaver. That didn’t work, so then I thought I could pull one of the kitchen chairs over to the counter, he could stand on it and watch me dip. I can almost hear you screaming, “Noooooo!” at me through your computer screen. Things were going ok until the pops started falling off of the sticks while I was dipping them. I put a dipped pop on the tray and turned to put the spoon back into the bowl of chocolate. In the time it took me to do that he grabbed the still sticky pop and went to town. Then I turned again (I know, I’m an IDIOT) to grab a washcloth and by that time he was down from the chair and running into the living room. At this point I was just praying he didn’t have any throwing stars, as the only explanation I have for his speed is that I gave birth to a ninja. Of course after seeing how miserable my cake pops looked he did the only thing he knew how to do — grab our LAPTOP, which I assume he wanted to use to help me find a video on how to correctly make cake pops. That boy loves YouTube! So now the kitchen is a disaster, the little guy is covered in white chocolate, and the laptop and our dark brown microfiber sofa look like Casper the Ghost threw up all over them.

Part of the disaster area. I decided to do the brownie pops after he went to bed.

After thinking that the cake pops were too warm and that’s why they were falling off the sticks, I decided to put the brownie pops in the garage (Wisconsin winter). I brought them in and started dipping them. They looked fabulous! I put some sprinkles and inappropriate sugar letters on them and felt like I was going to end up with at least some nice looking brownie pops. After dipping five pops I looked over to see giant cracks in every single one of them! I did my best to cover the cracks with pink chocolate lines, but it’s definitely not my best work. The sad thing is that I know, and have told others, that putting things in the freezer and then dipping in chocolate is a bad idea. Why did I not heed my own advice?

Some of the red velvet pops that turned out ok.

Twinkie pops, a stick-less cake pop and some chocolates I made using a mold and the left over melted Andes candies chocolate.

Boxed up and ready to take to our work places for Valentine’s Day! I think all together there were about 30 pops (cake, Twinkie and brownie) that turned out decent enough to take to people we plan on seeing again. They really do taste fabulous, especially the brownie pops. However, I’m not sure if they were worth all the extra work. I know after the brownies came out of the oven I was tempted to just eat the entire pan as is. I probably would’ve slipped into a sugar coma, but after this experience I’m thinking a coma was actually the right direction to take.

Red Velvet Cake Pops (the very simple version)

1 box red velvet cake mix
½ can whipped cream cheese frosting
Lollipop sticks
White chocolate for coating
Sprinkles or assorted candy melts for decorating
Styrofoam block for holding

Bake cake per directions. Crumble ¾ of cake and mix with ½ can of frosting. Roll into 1 ½ inch balls and place in fridge for 20 minutes to set. Melt small amount of white chocolate. Dip lollipop stick into white chocolate about 1 inch then insert into cake pop. Put pops back into the fridge to set for another hour. Melt remaining chocolate in a 3″ deep, skinny glass. Dip cake pops into chocolate. Tap on edge to remove excess. Decorate while wet (or let harden and decorate with additional melted chocolate) and place upright in block of Styrofoam

Mint Brownie Pops

1 box brownie mix
Lollipop sticks
¾ bag Andes Candies baking chips for coating
Sprinkles or assorted candy melts for decorating
Styrofoam block for holding

Same process as cake pops, however no frosting is needed as brownies should stick together on their own. Do not add the third egg to the brownie mix.

Twinkie Pops

1 box of 100 calorie Twinkie snacks
Lollipop sticks
White chocolate for coating
Sprinkles or assorted candy melts for decorating
Styrofoam block for holding

Melt small amount of white chocolate. Dip lollipop stick into white chocolate about 1 inch then insert into Twinkie. Follow same directions for cake pop dipping and decorating.

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