I’m sure by now everyone has seen Bakerella’s cake pops. If you haven’t, you really must head over there to see her cute stuff. She even made cheesecake pops, which I am totally going to try. But anyway, I was going to make some cake pops as my final Valentine idea post, but my cake pop “dough” totally flopped. Did I add too much frosting? Was my cake too moist to begin with? I have no idea, but it was not working. I was bummed because I think cake pops are super cute. I was just about to bake up another cake and try again when I happened to link over to this post, which is on the Happy When Not Hungry blog, written by Kara, who commented on my Fortune Cookie post, which is how I found it. Are you following me so far? So her Peanut Butter and Nutella Rice Krispy bites (which sound amazing, by the way) reminded me of my Christmas peanut butter balls recipe, and I got to wondering if they would work on sticks. So I tried it.
And they were good.
It’s funny, I’ve made all kinds of treats for this blog– cupcakes, fortune cookies, decorated cookies, rice krispy treats, etc., and nothing excited my kids like these did. They walked in the door from school yesterday and said “Woa!! COOL! Can we have one? You know– after you take your pictures.” (They are well-trained) These are definitely kid-pleasers.
Here’s how you do it:
First the recipe.
2 T. light corn syrup
2 T. butter, melted
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup plus 2 T. smooth peanut butter (I’ve used both Jif and Skippy with good results)
Mix together the corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a medium-large bowl.
and the peanut butter
Stir carefully (so the powdered sugar doesn’t poof all over you). At first it will look like this:
And then it will form a dough, almost like peanut butter cookie dough.
Now you need to roll it into small balls. What I do to get them even is scoop them with my cookie scoop:
And then cut those in half. Kind of weird, but it makes the right size. You really don’t want huge balls of this, or the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate will be off. The smaller ones will be more like Reeses Peanut Butter cups. If you have a smaller cookie scoop than I do, you might be able to just use that.
So after you cut the scoops in half, roll them into balls. and put them in a pan so that you can put them in the freezer.
Freeze them for about 20 minutes. You don’t want them frozen solid, or they’ll crack when you put the stick in, but you want them pretty firm.
While they’re in the freezer, melt some “chocolate”. I put chocolate in quotes because this isn’t real chocolate. You can certainly use real chocolate if you want, but I’m a terrible chocolate temperer (is that a word?) My friend Tara is a real-life chocolatier, and she wouldn’t be caught dead using this stuff. But for me and my kids… yeah, I’m all over it. I actually really love using Merkens wafers. They’re pretty good for fake chocolate, and it’s so easy to work with. So melt some fake chocolate. Valentine colors are fun, so I picked pink to start with.
Dip a lollipop stick in the chocolate just so the bottom 1/4″ or so is covered.
Then take one of your firmed-up peanut butter balls and insert the stick.
Next, dip them into the chocolate. You’ll want to go straight down, and use a spoon to help cover them. If you’re swirling them around too much, they could come loose and fall off the stick. If you want a really great video on this, check out the Amazon page for Bakerella’s book, and it’s the exact same process. She does a good job showing you how to do it. I’m sure that video is on her web site somewhere, too, but I couldn’t find it.
You’ll want to lightly tap off the excess.
If you don’t want to put them on sticks, you can also dip the balls by themselves. I like to use two forks and a spoon for dipping. First, I dip the bottom of the ball into the chocolate, then set it on a fork. Then I use the spoon to pour chocolate over it. Then I tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to get rid of the excess. I move it over to a sheet of parchment paper, and use the second fork to push it off the first fork onto the paper. I hope that makes sense, because the only picture of the process I got was this one:
Which pretty much shows you nothing.
And of course I had to use the mini hearts because I love them.
They’re super cute without sticks, too.
I loved the crunch that the sprinkles gave them.
Ok, that’s it for Valentine’s ideas. From here on out, you’re on your own. Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I’ll be back next week with some cookies that I can’t wait to show you! My kids told me what to make (they even gave me sketches to go by) and I recreated their ideas in cookie form. I’d better finish ‘em up before they get home from school. They’re going to love them, and I hope you do, too!