Category Archives: Baked Goods

Attack of the Zombie Cake Pop Army

Lately I have been totally obsessed with the blog, Bakerella.  This amazingly talented lady creates oodles of gorgeous (and delicious, I suspect) baked and candied goodies.  On of her signature creations is the Cake Pop, a smooshed cupcake rolled into a ball, covered with melted candy, and popped onto a stick.  Basic Cake Pops are pretty cool, but what really blows me a away are amazing decoration ideas she comes up with for them.  She makes chicks, sheep, easter eggs, even mini cupcakes out of her Basic Cake Pop recipe.

Red Velvet Batter Looks Pretty Gorey

I have been dying to try these things out, so when my neighbor had a birthday I hopped on the excuse!  He’s a huge Bruce Campbell and horro movie fan, and I wanted to make something fun that would be unique, yummy, and hilarious.  So? I made him an army of Cake Pop Zombies!

I started out by making a run to my local party store, and then grocery store, to pick up supplies: lollipop sticks, candy melt wafers and dyes, red velvet cake mix, a tub of pre-made frosting, Red Hots, Baked Bean Candies, and a huge, red, gummy spider.  When I got home, I threw together the cake mix and popped it in the oven.  While the cake baked, then cooled, I prepped my candy for use as decorations.  I cut several of the Red Hots in half, giving me an assortment of creepy red eye shapes.  I chopped the Gummy Spider into bits so that it could be used as brains.

After the cake was cool, I popped it out of its pans and into a huge mixing bowl.  Using a spatula, then a fork, then a spoon, then back to the spatula, I smashed and crumbled the cake until it was totally pulverized.

Crumbling the Cake

Crumbling the Cake

Next, I mixed in the entire tub of frosting.  This is where I think I made my first mistake.  First of all, Bakerella’s recipe calls for Cream Cheese Frosting specifically.  This detail had abandoned my brain while I was at the store, so of course, I picked up Vanilla Frosting.  Secondly, Bakerella suggests adding just enough Frosting to moisten and bind the cake.  In my enthusiasm, I added the entire tub at once.  Not too bright.

Mixing the Cake with Frosting

Mixing the Cake with Frosting

Forming my Cake Balls was challenging.  They cracked, they crumbled, they were pretty much uncooperative in general, the little bastards.  They were more or less spherical by the time I popped them in the fridge to chill – that was good enough for me.  I melted the Candy Wafers as they chilled, then took them out to insert the lollipop sticks.

Oh Cake Balls!

Oh Cake Balls!

Now comes the really disastrous part!  For some reason, I found coating these Cake Pops to be extremely difficult.  Because the Cakes were a little loose, they left crumbs in the coating!  Plus, I could not get the candy to stop tracing so that it would leave a smooth surface.  In fact, I couldn’t even dip the pops because the coating was just way too thick.  I am totally clueless as to what went wrong here.  I wound up having to spread the coating on with a spoon, which looked sort of awful.  I suspect that A) my Cake Pops were too big, and too shoddily constructed, and B) my candy coating was maybe not hot enough.  I had it in a double boiler, but maybe it needed more heat?

Coated Cake Pops

Coated Cake Pops

Zombies turned out to be a great first run of the Cake Pop recipe.  I’m afraid the technique has escaped me a bit, and I couldn’t for the life of me achieve a smooth surface on my Pops.  These guys ended up with all kinds of weird deformities.  Good for zombies, but if I had been trying to make cute chickies or easter eggs I would have had to abandon ship.  Luckily, all these craters, cake crumbs, and cracks gave my little Zombie Heads extra charachter.  I even decorated the true casualties, the Pops that has smashed or fallen from sticks during the candy coating process.

Cake Pop Zombies

Cake Pop Zombies

I used a tiny paring knife to carve out mouths and eye sockets for my zombies.  I filled these cavities with colored candy coating, dribbling them with blood and black ooze.  Some of them even had their heads chopped open so that I could show off their gummy brains. Yum?

Yummy? Terrifying? Yummyfying?

Yummy? Terrifying? Yummyfying?

Dean, and his wife Meg,  seemed to like his Zombie Army, though I think they might have freaked out their kids. 🙂

The Zombie Cake Pop Army!

The Zombie Cake Pop Army!

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Icebox Butter Cookies With Jam

Icebox Butter Cookies w Jam

Yum yum yum. These teeny cookies might not look perfect, but they taste GREAT.  I got the recipe for the cookie dough from my old stand-by, the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.  She lists a number of variations in the book, several of which I tried, but I wasn't crazy about any of them.  Scott Bobleo gave me the idea of adding jam to the cookies – which turned out to be pure genius! I squished a little thumb print into each cookie and dabbed on a tiny dollup of cheap Strawberry Jelly on each, then baked them.  The jelly formed up into the a cookie perfect goo, and added some much needed sweetness.  The Butter Cookies alone are very salty, so they pair perfectly with jam.

There is another Ice Box Butter Cookie Recipe on MarthaStewart.com, but it is not the same one that is in her Baking Handbook so I'm not sure how it would turn out.  If anyone tries that variation with the jam, let me know!

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Bobleo’s Birthday Cake

Bobleo

It was my dear Scott Bobleo’s Birthday on Thursday! He turned twenty seven! Wowzers!  To celebrate, I baked him a cake. Not just any cake, the most kick-ass Peanut Butter Lover’s cake ever!! Get ready, people, I’m about to BLOW your MIND.

I un-cozied Edna, and revved her up for the big day.  “You’ve got a lot of work to do today Edna”, I said.  “Better get your ass in gear!”

Cake_1

As soon as she was ready I set to work making a Classic Yellow Layer Cake using the Yellow Cake from this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website.

Cake_2

I made two round cakes, one of which split when I turned it out of the pan!! EEEk! Z’ok though, luckily it split in a way that was easily overcome.  I just used the unstable cake on the bottom so the top would stay pretty.  Next, I made up a batch of Peanut Butter Frosting from this Whoopie Pie recipe.

Cake_3

This stuff was so delicious.  It will definitely be making appearances in other baked items sometime soon. Yum yum yum.  After that, I cooked up some Rich Chocolate Frosting.  This stuff was a little more liquidy than I had expected.  I suspect I either did something very wrong, or the picture from the cake recipe was not using the same icing.  I had to drizzle this frosting over the cake.  It was far from the light, fluffy frosting pictured in the recipe.  Luckily, the dark flavor of it offset the peanut butter filling very nicely.

Cake_5

After it was all frosted I sprinkled the whole thing with Reese’s Pieces.  My man loves his peanut butter.

Cake_6

And it looks like he loved his cake too! Happy birthday Bobleo!!

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Shove It In Your Pie Hole

Looky what I made!

Blueberry_pie

My very first pies, and aren’t they swell? I used a mix for the pie crust, and a can for the blueberry filling, but I made up for all that cheating with the cherry pie! Well, sort of. MAYBE I had some help from Michelle pitting all those damned cherries… and getting the crusts into the pie plates… and she GAVE me a pie plate… and she loaned me the other…. and we used her kitchen. So I guess I should really say Michelle and I made some pies. They were my first pies, I needed help. Plus, I don’t LIKE pie, so that made it even harder to know what to do. These pies really were for Mr. Scott Bobleo. He is always bitching about how much he loves pie, but how he only gets to eat it at Thanksgiving, where there are inevitably only apple and pumpkin to choose from. Poor guy, he needs some pie variety! So I made the two top pies on his list.

Cherry_pie

The cherry pie filling was made from scratch! Michelle and I sat down and pitted a whole crap load of cherries, but luckily we had a tip from you know who… (Overly successful DIY guru whose name begins with "M" and is mentioned by me more than is probably healthy) Find a little cake decorating tip that has a hole a tiny bit smaller than a cherry pit. Now sit it upright on a plate (with a little paper towel) and push the  cherry over it, popping the pit out the top! It really works, but watch your eyes!! Many a squirt was Squat at the two of us during this pit fest. Of course, I couldn’t settle with plain jane pie tops, so I added a little cookie cutter love to these babies. Michelle rolled her eyes a lot, but they look great, don’t they? Especially the "M".

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Honey Says Me Granola

OK, I lied. I couldn’t keep away from this blog for a whole week! I didn’t even make it a whole day! I have another post to make after this one. I need to show off my sweet little buddy, Gia! After that though… ZIP. Nada. Zilch. No more talky talky. (We’ll see) ANYWAY

My favorite breakfast lately has been strawberry yogurt topped with granola. Delicious! The only problem is that packaged granola is very expensive. To make matters worse, there is a certain man in the household who can plow through a box of granola in record time, making this very expensive grocery item disappear fast! Lucky for my pocketbook that I can be a very industrious woman when it comes to saving some dime. I found some simple granola recipes and after a few batches I perfected this all-around delicious blend of oats, honey and sesame. Dried fruit would be a great addition to this recipe. Just toss in 1/4 cup of your favorite dried fruit along with the oats and seeds. It is so easy to prepare that I cannot imagine ever going back to buying pre-made. The only problem now is that Mr. S. Bobleo seems to think he has his own personal granola factory. He likes this granola more than the store bought!
Honey_says_me_granola
Honey Says Me Granola

Ingredients
4 cups Rolled Oats or Plain Oatmeal
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/8 cup Olive Oil
1/8 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil (the stinky Chinese kind)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/8 cup Honey
1/4 cup Maple Syrup

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a second, smaller bowl, stir together wet ingredients. Mix them well, then pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix the granola very well so that all the oats are coated. Spread the mixture evenly over a baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and flip the granola over using a spatula. Bake for another ten minutes or until golden brown. Let the granola cool completely before bagging it up. It will get crunchier, the cooler it becomes.

PS – Our friend, Mr. Sharp was making fun of me (while stuffing his mouth with delicious homemade granola) that I’ve gone past hippie status. “Even hippies buy granola”, he said. Apparently I’ve gone past granola by making granola? Does that make me like… Wheatgerm?

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