Sally’s Baking Addiction: February, 2018 Challenge: Cake Pops!

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I now have to include the year in the title of my baking challenge posts because I have completed one full cycle of Sally’s monthly tasks! I am kinda proud of that fact. Sally launched her Baking Challenge in February of 2017, and I have managed to complete all 12, so far! It has been tricky to stay on track over the last 12 months as we have travelled, bought a new home and have had some really busy months. But I have persevered, and managed to not gain 10 extra pounds 🙂

This month’s challenge was not too tough as Sally set cake pops as the perfect Valentine’s Day treat for us to create. My plan was to omit the stick and go with cake pop truffles. I felt this would be easier, and slightly more professional, for my hubby and his coworkers to pop into their mouths, as opposed to sitting in a client meeting eating cake on a popsicle stick!

Sally’s chocolate cake and chocolate icing were scrumptious, and so simple!

The first step was to bake the cake, which I did a day ahead. This was cooled and crumbled into a bowl of Sally’s chocolate icing.

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The mixture was rolled into balls and refrigerated overnight.

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At this point you can insert the stick, but I skipped that! I made rather small truffles and had a yield of 65 balls to be dipped into melted chocolate.

I happen to have milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and red chocolate melting discs at my home. Yes, I have too much chocolate on hand at all times!

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I also have way too many candy decorations! So, my daughter came over to make and decorate truffles with me, and make some candy apples for her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.

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We made quite the mess, but so worth it!

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We had a blast dipping and decorating these little guys.

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They were also delicious! I was impressed that they were not dry inside-as I have purchased cake pops from bakeries before that required a full glass of water in order to choke them down.

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Another great Sally creation! If you can’t tell, I am a fan of her recipes!

They are all simple, delicious and accessible for any level of baking skills you may possess!

I hope to keep baking with her through 2018!

 

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Recipe Review: Texas Sheet Cake Bites

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Some things will never change. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs the other day, my son walked in and announced that I needed to supply desserts for his Junior Recital which was the following night. Information that would have been helpful weeks ago when he knew that a reception was to be held after his performance. You parents out there are probably thinking “typical teenage boy behavior”, and I would agree with you. However, this boy is actually a young man of 21 years of age, a professional musician and highly regarded rock climbing instructor in our local community. So why does he still have that “wait to the last minute and have mom fix everything” attitude?! I know why. Because I did fix it, it did work out for him and he played a beautiful concert. It’s my own fault, but it was wonderful to see him perform and I will know better next year when his Senior recital comes around!

About 40 people were expected to attend so I rushed over to my Pinterest boards and began searching for a recipe that would feed a crowd. I came up with two candidates. The first was a for frosting filled sugar cookie cups that would take about 20 minutes to assemble. That would take care of the  20 year old starving artists at a performing arts college demographic. For the rest of us I decided to make Texas Sheet Cake Bites, which are mini cupcakes with a fudge frosting, Yum! I had not made these before but had faith that anything chocolate and fudge covered would be delicious. The recipe began with pulling together the flour, sugar, soda and salt into a large bowl. IMG_0927

Then the butter, water and cocoa powder were combined in a saucepan and brought to a boil. One thing I should mention here is that I did deviate from the recipe slightly. It is against my religion to have chocolate without coffee in a recipe so I did add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder at this stage.

 

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The mixture was removed from the heat and added to the dry mix.

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Once the chocolate and flour mixture was combined it was time to fold in the buttermilk and eggs.

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I did not want to deal with mini muffin wrappers so I greased and floured two mini cupcake pans and started baking.

The frosting came together faster than the batter. I brought the buttermilk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan, then whisked in the powdered sugar and vanilla off the heat. So fudgey and good! I like the consistency of this icing but I would recommend thinning with a bit of coffee if you wanted to create more of a glaze consistency.

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They were gone by the end of the reception, but the store bought cookies that someone else provided were barely touched. I think that speaks to the quality of this recipe! If you need to feed a crowd and want something they will remember you can’t do wrong with this one! Enjoy!