Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY: Cake Pops!

I was so excited to finally be able to try to make my own cake pops for a recent Valentine's Day Party I hosted.  I got my inspiration from  here on A Beautiful Mess.  She has excellent directions with great pictures.  I am still working on getting better pictures on here.  My boys helped me the first time I did it, which made it a little bit more difficult and messy, but fun, none-the-less.  What you need:
1.  A box of your favorite cake mix and the ingredients to make the  cake (I used Red Velvet).
2.  A container of frosting (2 cups worth) or make your own butter cream frosting. (I used cream cheese flavored frosting).
2.  2-3 bags of candy melts in a variety of colors.
3.  50 lollipop sticks (the longer ones work better).
4.  A Styrofoam holder of sorts (I used a piece from inside our TV box and my boys decorated it).  You can also find foam rectangles at a craft store.

First make and bake the cake according to the box directions.


Next, the messy step....once the cake is cool, break it up into a big mess and dump in the frosting.  With your fingers, blend it very well.


Next, use your hands to roll the cake/frosting mixture into about 50 balls--the size of golf balls.  (No picture of this, but you can see the balls below).  Freeze them for 30-60 minutes or put in refrigerator for two hours.  While waiting, have your children decorate the Styrofoam.  Great job boys!


Next, place the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil.  Melt them and stir (try 60-90 seconds).  Next, dip your lollipop stick into the melted candy and then push it about 2/3 of the way into the cold cake balls.  Next, carefully dip into melted candy, being careful the ball doesn't fall off.  We also used a spoon to help spread some more candy over the ball.  This step is tricky as the melted candies cool very fast and sets quickly too.  The temperature of the melted candy is key to easy dipping.  You may have to put it in the microwave again.  Let the excess drip back into the bowl and then stick the lollipop stick into the Styrofoam to set.  You can then add more decorations, sprinkles, other colors of melted candies, etc.  The possibilities are endless!  Have
fun and get creative!

In the picture above, you can see the balls as well as the spoon technique.  My boys were such great helpers!


Our lovely cake pops!  I was very pleased with how they turned out for it being our first time making them.  Can't wait to do it again!



 I had some extra candy bags and placed them over the pops t keep them fresh.  Oh, don't refrigerate them as the candy may crack.  These cost me less than $5 to make 50 cake pops (well, probably more like 42 since there were some casualties).  Can you believe Starbucks charges $1.50 each?!?!? Maybe I should start a business?!?!?



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DIY: Bulletin Board Re-Do

Sorry  I have been MIA for a very, very long time.  But good news, I have several fun posts coming up over the next few days and weeks of DIY projects, homeschooling fun, and yummy recipes.  The first one is this:

Is that not one of the ugliest bulletin boards you have even seen?  This was a trash pick from 4 months ago and it actually says "Trash Please" on the back!  It smelled of smoke, has that terrible stain, and was in, over all, bad shape.  I thought, "I could use a bulletin board for my classroom, I'll take it home."  It has been sitting for months in the garage, so thankfully the smell is gone.  

Next, I pulled out my scrapbooking supplies and found some really cute and brightly colored 12 x 12 paper that was probably 5-6 years old.  I arranged 12 pieces and stapled them down and had a great new cover for my board.  I found a cute border in the education section at Joann Fabrics for $1.60 and added that around the ugly edge.  My sweet boys stood on my desk while I hammered the nails in, and....



There you have it a brightly colored, fun bulletin board for my classroom that was FREE and only took about 15-20 minutes to redo!  I took someone else's trash and made into something useful and beautiful for us.  Now I am excited to put stuff on it!  (Don't mind my messy desk).  What do you think?