A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Archive for May, 2012

Day 152 — Cookie Dough Ice Pops

You know that old saying “when you have a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail”? Well, now that I have a Zoku, everything starts looking like an ice pop idea.

Case in point: I made cookies tonight. I was spooning the dough onto baking sheets while trying to think of a pop idea for tonight, when I looked down and realized I had a perfect idea in my hands. So:

Basic vanilla ice pop ingredients (with whipping cream still standing in for the half and half I still haven’t gotten around to buying), plus a big dollop of cookie dough.

This is pretty much basic chocolate cookie dough, with a few modifications (I used a combination of oat flour and whole wheat flour. I figure that cancels out the sugar and butter). Now, I should admit that I’m committing a culinary crime here. My cookie dough contains raw egg. I probably wouldn’t serve this to my kids, but I figured it was worth the risk for myself.

Anyway, I chilled the dough while the cookies baked, so it would be firm enough to roll into tiny balls. Then I dropped those balls in as I poured the vanilla base.

Mmm, this pop was good. Tasted just like cookie dough ice cream (who’da thunk?) The whole-grain flours did make the texture of the dough a little grainy, so if I were to make this pop again, I’d try to use a dough made with the regular stuff. But still, a fun and easy (if a teensy bit dangerous) to use cookie dough.

Day 151 — Carrot Lemonade Ice Pops

While I still had the carrot juice, I decided I needed to try at least one more pop using it. I wanted to see if it would mix as nicely with lemonade as it did with orange juice:

I actually made three pops this afternoon — the lemonade one for today’s post, and two orange-carrot ones for the kids. I wanted to see if they’d figure out what they were eating, and whether they’d like it. It took my six-year-old about 30 seconds to guess that her pop had carrot in it, and another split second to decide she liked it. The three-year-old ate her entire pop, but then claimed she hadn’t liked it so I should make her a chocolate one.

That could be because of what she saw me do to this pop:

Namely, I took two bites, melted the rest in the sink and opted for a chocolate pop left over from last night, instead. Turns out lemonade doesn’t blend terribly well with carrot juice. It’s better than the straight carrot pop, but the lemon is completely dominated by the carrot. The resulting pop just wasn’t very good. From now on, I’ll stick with the orange juice blend.

Day 150 — Chocolate Nougat Ice Pops

Since I crapped out on you all yesterday, I figured I should make today’s pop a good one. Plus, a comment reminded me that it’s been a long time since I made a candy-based pop, so:

The part of half & half in my basic chocolate popsicle recipe is being played by a tiny splash of whipping cream because I ran out of half & half.

I found the Three Musketeers bar in my pantry; a leftover from Halloween figure if it’s already been sitting there this long, nobody was going to eat it and it was fair game for ice pops. To go with it, I made the basic chocolate ice pop recipe, and added in a teaspoon of malted milk powder. Then I chopped up a little bit of the candy bar, and threw the pieces in as I poured.

This pop was very satisfying. The nougat froze to a texture highly reminiscent of tootsie rolls, which gave the pop a satisfying chew. And of course, you can never go wrong with a chocolate malt base. It was a nice break from all of the fruit-based pops I’ve been making lately (not that there’s anything wrong with fruit).

Day 149 — Too pooped to Pop

Sorry y’all, we’re dealing with a baby who thinks his crib is made of boiling hot lava. No time to make a pop tonight. It would have been carrot-lemonade, in case you’re wondering.

Day 148 — Crystal Light Appletini Ice Pops

One of the things that the Zoku Pop Maker instruction manual warns against is using artificially sweetened liquids to make ice pops. Now, that’s not really a problem for me, as we generally avoid artificial sweeteners. But I received this in the mail a few days ago:

Now, if I’m drinking anything billed as a “‘tini,”, it had better have alcohol in it. There was little question of me actually drinking this stuff (at least, not without a shot or two of vodka). So I decided to risk making it into a popsicle.

I figured from my last experiment in breaking the Zoku rules that probably one of three things would happen with this pop. It could stick in the ice pop maker; it could come out but be too hard to eat, or it could be just fine.

Turns out it was door # 2:

I had a little trouble getting this pop out — the remover tool definitely had to work at it, and the first two tries I gave up for fear of forcing it and breaking the Zoku stick. But the third time I tried it, the pop slid right out of the mold.

Eating it, however, did not prove so easy. The ice pop came out extremely hard — eating it was more like gnawing on an ice cube. Tiny bits would snap off, but I couldn’t really bite it. Turns out sugar is kind of essential to making ice pops with a good texture.

Day 147 — Lemon Blueberry Ice Pop

Some days, there’s a decidedly seat-of-my-pants flavor to my pop making (hmm. That doesn’t sound quite right). Today was one of those days — I was busy preparing for a barbecue we’re having tomorrow, and I didn’t have time for any pop premeditation. Next thing I knew it was 10:45 pm and I hadn’t even gotten started.

Luckily, I always have lemonade and fruit on hand, all one really needs to make a fun ice pop:

I’ve wanted to try fresh blueberries in pop for a while, but was waiting until they came into season.  I happen to have six pints in my fridge right now, so it was easy to grab a handful and throw them in the Zoku with some lemonade.

The finished pop wasn’t much to look at:

It tasted good, though. The blueberries froze, but not too hard to chew. They just ended up as little pockets of berry flavor hidden throughout the lemonade. It would be fun to try these with a dark juice, so they’d be hidden little gems.

Day 146 — Orange Carrot Ice Pops

I asked yesterday for ideas on making carrot juice into a more palatable ice pop, and commenter Donnelle suggested mixing it with orange juice.  So I did:

I used equal parts of each, and of course tried the combination first.  It tasted pretty good, so I poured it in.

 

Y’all, this was SO much better than the plain carrot!  The OJ sweetened things up considerably without obscuring the taste of the carrot juice.  And the carrot juice softened the intense sweetness of the OJ.  They were like the peanut butter and chocolate of juices!  Unlike yesterday’s fiasco, this pop was a pleasure to eat.  Thanks so much for the tip, Donnelle!
I also received comments and messages suggesting adding ginger to the carrot juice.  As soon as I get my hands on some ginger, I’ll give that one a try.

Day 145 — Carrot Ice Pops

They can’t all be Nutella pops, y’all.

A few days ago, a friend asked me why I don’t make more veggie ice pops. True, I did make a Green Monster ice pop way back in the beginning, but since then I have stuck largely to fruit and other sweets. She wanted to know where the sugar snap pea pops were.  Since I had no inclination to liquify sugar snaps, I tried this instead:

Now, truth be told, I don’t like carrot juice. It’s just a little too weird for my taste. And it probably would have been a good idea to use this with some other juice the first time I tried it, just to ease me into it. But I was feeling lazy, so I just poured and waited:

The husband tried it first and had this to say: “It’s hard. Tastes like a carrot.” After the obligatory “that’s what she said” joke (though actually, I prefer an old-fashioned, Lorelai Gilmore “Dirty!”), I tried it. It wasn’t really that hard (dirty!).  It had the same consistency most juice pops have — not soft, but easily bitten. And it tasted like a carrot.

If you like carrot juice, this pop will make you happy. But on its own, carrot juice makes an unappetizing ice pop.  I’m willing to try this mixed with other fruits or juices, though.  Do any of you know if carrot juice plays well with others?  If so, do you have any combinations to suggest?

Day 144 — Blueberry Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops

This week, I had the rare treat of having two of my favorite fruits in season, locally, at the same time. The kids and I have been eating strawberries all month, and now blueberries have shown up in my produce box. I figured I’d take the opportunity to make them into an ice pop:

I pureed a handful of each berry with a splash of lemonade.  The blueberries didn’t blend in smoothly and the mixture turned out more red than purple, but it still looked good.  And so did the pops:

This pop tasted ok, but to be honest, they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.  I didn’t really intend for these to be a lemonade-centered pop (as those of you who saw this post before I edited know).  I wanted the berries to shine through, but in this pop all you could really taste was lemon.  I am going to have to try this one again, with plain sugar and water instead of the lemonade.  Tune in tomorrow…

Day 143 — Cantaloupe Ice Pops

When I was a kid, I hated cantaloupe. Refused to eat it willingly, though I seem to recall being required to try it every so often. There was just something about the taste that I despised. I couldn’t imagine what people saw in it.

Then one summer in undergrad, I tried cantaloupe one more time and discovered, to my shock, that I liked it. Since then, I have learned that cantaloupe can be very, very good when it’s ripe and in season. Still, every spring, when I cut into the first local(ish) melon of the year, it feels kind of like a dare. Some little part of me is always in the background yelling “but you hate cantaloupe!” And every year, I’m a little bit surprised when I shut that voice up with a mouthful of luscious, sweet melon.

Today was that day this year, and luckily I had a very good melon. So once the kids and I had eaten our fill, I had to make it into an ice pop:

As usual when I make my first pop of any type of fruit, I went with straight fruit, nothing added. I like to see how the fruit itself works before adding unnecessary sugar or other ingredients. So I threw a handful of cantaloupe chunks into my Baby Bullet and whirled away.

To my surprise, the cantaloupe whipped up frothy and almost creamy. I think I’d assumed it would break down into a watery puree like watermelon does. But this one was thick and much lighter in color than the chunks I’d started with.

I can’t decide whether I like this popsicle or not. On the one hand, the texture is great as soft and easy to eat as if I’d added sugar. And the cantaloupe flavor withstands the freeze nicely. On the other hand, the sweetness of the melon is significantly blunted by being frozen but I’m not certain adding sugar would really help with that. I didn’t dislike this pop, but I’d be hard pressed to claim I liked it, either.

I think maybe cantaloupe is one of those fruits that plays better with others than alone. As the season progresses, I’m going to have to keep incorporating cantaloupe into my ice pops in different flavor combinations. I have a feeling the perfect one is out there…

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