I also wanted to use a cake pop pan as opposed to the rolling method because there is less "junk" added. Having never made cake pops before, I charged ahead... confident in my baking skills.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!
I really hated this entire process and plan to never do it again... at least that is my feeling at this point in time.
Here is the whole nightmare-ish process.
First, I made cake pops. Actually, I made brownie pops because I purchased a Nordic Ware Cake Pop pan and found they recommended using the recipe on the packaging. Well, I didn't have any chocolate chips (Thank you, Hubs for eating them all.) so I thought homemade brownies would work just as well since dense cakes work better when using the cake pop pans.
The recipe I used...
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs well. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, blending well but not over mixing.
Spray both sides of the cake pop pan very well with cooking spray. Fill each divet (on the side with no holes) with 1 tablespoon of batter. Secure the top lid and place into the oven for 15 minutes. Brownie balls are ready when an inserted toothpick comes out fairly clean. A few crumbs is fine.
Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, remove the top pan and turn the brownie balls out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the excess ring of brownie with a sharp knife or kitchen shears to smooth. If still pliable, gently press the excess in to save time and hassle.
Before (Notice the ring around the center)
After (No ring... or at least less of one)
If any of the brownie balls are cracked or broken, they will not hold up through the coating process. So, enjoy!
If you have more to make, wash and dry the pan and begin again.
The Pop-ification process...
- Almond Bark (for 24 brownie pops, use only 1/2 of the package)
- 24 cake pop sticks
- Brownie balls (be sure they are not cracked)
Remove the Almond Bark from the package and place into a glass dish. Melt in the microwave starting at 90 seconds, stir, then continue to melt at 10 second intervals... stirring each time.
Dip a stick into the melted candy and insert about 3/4 of the way into the brownie ball. Continue until all have sticks. Place the dish into the freezer for a few minutes to give the melted candy time to set. This will make certain the stick is secure.
Begin dipping the brownie pops into the melted candy. It is helpful to use a spoon or spatula to coat the pop rather than twisting it around in the candy. This will prevent the brownie ball from coming off of the stick or breaking apart in the candy. Allow any excess to drip off.
Immediately add sprinkles to the melted candy coating for a festive touch. My daughter had a blast performing this step... at least for a little while. Place the pop onto a plate or baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for a few minutes to set.
Once set, remove from the freezer and package into pretty cellophane bags. Keep away from heat! These can be made a week in advance.
While these pops were DELICIOUS, they took a lot of time to prepare. I also became frustrated with the fact the sprinkles wanted to slide off of the pop after dipping. To help with this, I made sure all of the excess had completely dripped away and once the sprinkles were added, they went into the freezer right away. These tips helped a bit. I would even recommend working with cold (but not frozen) brownie balls. This way, the candy begins to set rather quickly.
Maybe some time away from this project will make me want to do it again... but I am not confident about that. At least not yet.