Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving and Cake Balls

So it's been a while since I posted. What are you gonna do?

A couple weeks ago was Thanksgiving. We went to my mother's for dinner and then D's mother's to visit. The next day we had D's niece's 13th birthday party to go to and on Saturday we were invited to a friend's house for another dinner. On Sunday, I was exhausted and slept quite late. I will say for the most part, it was a good weekend. There were a few eye-rolls, but what are family for, right? Although, one of them wasn't family. That made it even worse actually. While at our friends' house, his little sister (who has 3 children) decided before leaving to rub my belly. Then proceeded to tell her 2 year old "Rub the belly, there's a baby in there". First, I am 6(ish) months and hardly showing. Second, ASK first! Third, I am not Buddha, back off the belly!

A few nights before Thanksgiving, I had decided to make cake balls. I had found a book on sale in Target for cake pops and decided to get it. (They're basically cake balls with sticks.) They're super easy to make. Bake a cake according to directions on the box. Let it TOTALLY cool. I will make mine the night before, let them cool for a bit then wrap in saran wrap overnight. The next day, crumble the whole thing into a bowl (rubbing the cake against itself works really good. It will stick to your hands so every now and them give them a rinse, but make sure they are completely dry before you do more. I usually have to rinse about 3 times per cake. Mix in about a half can of frosting & anything else you want to add (chopped nuts, sprinkles, toffee bits, etc.)  Then shape them into little balls or whatever shape you're going for (google for pics, there are some really cute ones out there) and place them on wax paper. After that, put them in the freezer for about 15/20 minutes to firm them up (or fridge for a few hours, but I'm impatient).

While they're in the freezer/fridge, set up the chocolate melts. I use a double boiler (electric skillet and small glass bowls) for the main dipping, but you can microwave nowadays as well. You'll want to read the direction on the chocolates if you go that route. You can add sticks if you want to do cake pops instead. To do that, make sure you dip the stick in melted chocolate then push it into the ball. Give it a minute to make sure it's cooled. This will stop the ball from falling off the stick.

Dip the balls into the chocolate and use a spoon to make sure it's all covered (be careful not to overdip or roll too much because cake bits will start to come off). They make dipping tools to make this easier (of course, I got some afterwards). Place it back onto the wax paper. If you want to decorate them with nuts or sprinkles, you'll want to do it before they harden too much. Or you can use a different color chocolate to decorate. The easier way is to put a few melts into a plastic baggy and microwave them (according to directions) til they're soft, then cut the corner of the bag to make a tip.

You can buy all the supplies at AC Moore or Michaels, including the mini baking cups & pop sticks. I just made a carrot cake tonight that tomorrow I will add cream cheese frosting and cashews or walnuts & coat in white chocolate. These are some pics of the devils food ones I made for Thanksgiving (1 box of cake mix made 64 1-inch (ish) cake balls) . This was my first attempt and they turned out fantastic. Google pics and you will get a ton of ideas.I brought them to my mom's & Doug's mom's and everyone loved them so I'm making a bunch more for Christmas.

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