Most schools were closed yesterday, in light of wintry mixes that never came.  Alan and I spent the day baking, and by “Alan and I,” I mean “he.”  We went to Wal-Mart and snagged the rest of the shallow bowls we need for our centerpieces (exactly the amount we needed was in stock), along with some groceries to make an Asian Pear Pie and Bakerella’s Cake Pops.

We needed lollipop sticks, which Wal-Mart doesn’t carry, and decided to check Family Dollar.  Barbeque skewer sticks were our alternative, but apparently, they’re a seasonal item in Pennsylvania.  No shish kebabs in December for Pennsylvanians!

You may recall that we’re currently plagued with deciding which favors and how many.  So, we decided to experiment with the cake pops.  Even Shooter helped.

Shooter learns how to bake.

We mostly followed the instructions on the Bakerella website (actually, we used a Betty Crocker cookbook, because the cake pops were featured in one of the issues).  However, we used a bar of Scharffen Berger and a bag of Wilton’s candy melts for our candy coating, and we substituted whipped cream cheese frosting for whatever Bakerella suggested — I abhor frosting and icing, except for Grammy’s cream cheese frosting recipe.  Betty Crocker has nothing on Grammy, but at least it was better than adding insult to injury by using super-sweet and canned frosting.  Also, we used a hand mixer to combine everything.  I’m in favor of using my hands, period — the first time I met Alan’s cousin and cousin-in-law, we made Grammy’s sugar cookies and mixed the dough with a mixer, which left me secretly mortified — but I have to admit that hand mixers cut work time in half.  And stand mixers . . . wow.  I had never used one before I met Alan, and they are amazing.  KitchenAid on the registry?  Obviously.  KitchenAid has a pink tilt-head stand mixer, but Alan already has to deal with flak when he drives the Jeep . . . the Jeep with a pink Hello Kitty steering wheel cover (complete with bow); matching seat covers, head rests and floor mats; and the Hello Kitty with AK-47 window decal.  So, I told him that he could have a Disney kitchen.

The cake pops were decent.  I definitely think we could reduce the size, as they are rather rich, and if they are too large, they fall off of the stick.  Also, I highly suggest crumbling the cake as finely as possible with your fingers (and not the mixer, unless it’s a stand mixer and you have a shield).  Otherwise, there will be cake crumbs everywhere.  And, just to warn you, they don’t turn out like the cake pops pictured in the magazine.

Have you ever baked (or cooked) something that actually looked like the picture in the magazine?