I almost titled this post “cake ballz.” I wanted to, but this isn't really that kind of blog. I think I'm just in a punchy kind of mood because I'm exhausted, just finished a large cup of coffee, and think I may be developing strep throat. Oh, the joys of Christmastime.
Some of you may remember my first attempt at cake balls. It didn't go well. I twenty-questioned my cake-ball-wizard friend for tips this time, and they did go better. I think the first time I didn't have enough frosting. These babies need to be pretty darn wet to hold the ball shape well.
I used scraps from the wedding cake for the cake balls, and leftover frosting, and added peppermint extract because chocolate peppermint cake balls are my favorite. But as I was starting my second batch, I discovered I didn't have enough peppermint extract, so I rummaged through the internet and the house to find a solution. Creme de Menthe would have been perfect, but we didn't have any. This shall be remedied as soon as possible. I ended up pulverizing candy canes (from last year, mind you) in the food processor and adding the dust to the frosting. It worked great for flavoring, but left the cake balls a weird peachy-pink color and made them ultra wet as the candy cane powder melted. Why do candy canes melt when crushed?
One tip from my friend was to use almond bark instead of actual chocolate or candy melts for dipping. She says it tastes better than candy melts, and melts better than chocolate. The Queen of Cake Pops, Bakerella Angie, has more tips in her cake ball tutorial. You should check there if you want to make them yourself.
I set the kids up for assembly-line sprinkling. Waxed paper on the table and a row of easily accessible sprinkles. I dipped the balls in the hot almond bark, then placed them immediately in front of the children. The almond bark cools quickly on the cold cake balls (they dip more easily if really cold), so you can't monkey around. You have to make a sprinkle plan, little people! As soon as they were done sprinkling one, I would
bark at encourage them to prepare for their next cake ball, so they'd have enough time before the almond bark hardened. We made it into a speedy game, reminiscent of the old I Love Lucy candy factory episode, without the eating. It was fun.
I gave away some and packed most of them away for Christmas Eve/Day, but kept the rejects out for us. You know, the lumpy ones, the ones toward the end that had crumbs in the almond bark, the ones that didn't get all the way covered and had little cake hernias. There were several in this condition.
And now, I'm a little tired of peppermint cake balls. I'll have to make two flavors next year.
Are you baking this week?
What's on your baking list this year?