A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Posts tagged ‘indulgence’

Day 170 — Chocolate Cheesecake Chunk Ice Pops

So, Father’s Day was this past weekend.  As I usually do, I showed my appreciation for The Husband and his dad (my wonderful, wonderful father-in-law) by feeding them.  A lot.  I made Eggs Benedict for breakfast, a gorgeous steak dinner (well, ok, Husband did the actual steak cooking.  I made the sides), and for dessert, brownie cheesecake bars.  As you’d imagine, these were both fantastic and fantastically rich, so we have a lot left over.  And what better way to use up leftover cheesecake than in an ice pop?

I mixed up a pop’s worth of the basic chocolate ice pop base, then pinched off little chunks of cheesecake to throw in the mold as I poured.  I made my chunks a little too big and they got stuck halfway down, so the pop had less cheesecake in it than I’d planned.  Still, there managed to be at least a little bit in every bite:

Given the ingredients involved, this one was pretty much a sure-fire winner.  I was pleased that the cheesecake chunks didn’t really freeze solid.  They remained creamy and a little chewy and really had a lot of impact in the pop.  I don’t think I’d ever make a cheesecake just to make these pops, but they’re a wonderful way to use up leftover desserts.

Day 154 — Creamy Blackberry Ice Pops

I know I have made several Jello popsicles before and I’m sure you all get the idea. but I just can’t help it. They’re delicious, and so I have to keep making more of them.

Ok, I know that these two things are pretty much made of sugar and chemicals. Delicious, delicious chemicals. Sorry. I’ll make something healthy tomorrow.

Today’s version uses blackberry flavored Jello, mixed with Cool Whip. I’ve already mentioned that I adore Cool Whip, so these were super fun to make.

I used the recipe on the side of the Jello box — mix the Jello mix with 1.5 cups of boiling water, them whisk in a container of Cool Whip. I reserved about an ounce of the Jello before putting in the Cool Whip, because I thought I’d probably need the straight stuff to keep the Zoku stick from pulling out the softer Jello/cream mixture. Of course, that meant that I had to eat a spoonful of Cool Whip to keep the proportions right. This is a tough gig sometimes, I tell ya.

Of course, I was impatient when I poured, so my bottom layer ended up mixed into the middle section. Still, it did it’s job, hardening the pop enough that I was able to pull it from the mold with no problems (there’s no way this pop would come out of the mold if I only used the Jello/Cool Whip mixture. It’s too soft and airy). And it gave the pop a nice dip-dyed effect:

Oh, did this taste good! Sure, the blackberry flavor is vaguely reminiscent of Robitussin, but that kind of disappeared as I ate more of the pop. And the creamy layer was just so yummy. That’s seriously the best descriptor I’ve got — yummy. Putting aside the fact that it’s a nutritional void, this was a great ice pop.

Day 124 — Cookie Butter Ice Pops

I made my monthly pilgrimage to Trader Joe’s the other day, and came across a huge display of “Cookie Butter.” Actually, there were several displays — my TJs is pushing the stuff hard. Anyway, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that my ears perk up any time I see something new. I had to investigate.

So, this stuff. It’s like peanut butter, if peanut butter was made from ground-up nutter butters and was totally devoid of nutritional merit. I mean it — it’s a spread/dip made from ground-up cookies.  It makes Nutella look as nutritious at Nutella commercials would like us all to believe it is.  It’s absolutely horrific, from a dietary point of view.

It’s kind of a shame that it’s this delicious.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  Again, ground-up cookies.  It had a pretty good chance at being yummy.  The predominant flavor is of caramelized sugar (is that redundant?), nice and toasty.  The texture is silky smooth, but with tiny grains of cookie throughout.  It’s so good that two days after I bought it, somehow almost a third of the jar is gone.  I figured I’d better go ahead and pop-ify it soon before I managed to eat the rest of the jar:

I strongly advice against reading the nutritional information and/or the ingredients list. Trust me, you’ll be happier not knowing.

 

As usual when I play with a new ingredient, I was cautious with regard to the proportion of milk to the creamy ingredient. I ended up using a generous teaspoon of the spread and about 1.5 ounces of milk (I eyeballed it, and ended up with enough for one pop and a little bit leftover.

This pop was as delicious as I expected, though not in the same way that I’d expected, if that makes any sense.  I had thought the taste of the cookie would shine through, and it dd to a certain extent.  But the milk really takes the intensity down several notches.  But the texture and the flavor were spot on.  I think this is the closest I have ever come to making a pop that truly tastes like ice cream.  It was nice and creamy, with a non-overwhelming flavor.  It was a pretty terrific treat to end a long, hot day.

Day 59 — Chocolate Pretzel Ice Pops

Chocolate covered pretzels are one of the world’s great treats. Salty, sweet and creamy; everything you’d want, really. So I decided to make them in ice pop form:

Instead of using my usual chocolate base, I decided to make a second pop using that great Philly chocolate stuff I’d posted about a while back. I went back to that post to remind myself of the proportions involved only to realize I hadn’t posted proportions. Oops.

Let’s fix that — 2 parts milk to one part of the chocolate spread. So, for three pops, I used a half cup of milk then enough of the chocolate to fill to the 3/4 cup line (so, 2 ounces). Then I crushed up seven small pretzels, which I layered into the molds with the base. I put rather a lot of pretzels into each pop, because I really wanted the pretzels to be the centerpiece of the pops, not just a minor inclusion.

The pretzels are hard to see from far away, so let’s go in for a closeup:

Mmm. Pretzels.

These pops were great. Putting lots of pretzels in was the right call, because it allowed their salt and crunch to shine through. Amazingly, just that addition made this pop taste completely different from the plain version I’d made the first time.  Definitely a worthy variation.

Day 57 — Nutella Ice Pops

When I’m making ice pops, I usually really like to work out my own recipes. I can’t, of course, claim that all of the pops I make are my original ideas. But I do enjoy the trial-and-error process of making my own “recipes.”

Today’s pop is not my own recipe, however. I found it on Pinterest, which led me back to this site. The recipe I used is actually from “Julie’s” comment on that blog post — she called for 1/2 cup of milk and 1/6 cup of Nutella to make 3 ice pops. I stuck as closely as I could to these proportions without actually measuring my Nutella. I just used a big glob and assumed it was close enough.

It’s important to note that Nutella does not willingly play well with others. It did not want to dissolve smoothly into the milk. If I were a more patient and forward-thinking person, I’d have melted it in earlier in the day then chilled the mixture. But since I usually make my base mixtures moments before I freeze them, I didn’t want to warm it up too much. I just accepted the fact that my mixture wouldn’t be smooth.  It turned out not to matter in the finished pop.

Given the proportions here, I was rather shocked at how deep and rich these pops came out. The Nutella flavor really shines, and the texture is nice and soft. These are a definite hit, and I think they will lend themselves to all sorts of customization in the future.

On another note, the wonderful Domestic Diva, MD nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger” award, and I am both honored and grateful.  The rules of the award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award on to 7 more bloggers that you enjoy.
  4. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated!

My Seven things:

1.  I am an identical twin.

2.  I love the idea of crafts, but am terrible at following through on projects.  Somewhere in my house are wonky, crooked, half-finished baby blankets for each of my kids.

3.  I grew up in New Jersey, but now that I live in North Carolina I can barely understand why everybody doesn’t live here.  Then I read about our legislature’s recent hijinks and I remember.

4.  I love to read. Sara Paretsky and Laurie R. King are among my favorite authors, because they write strong, smart, difficult women.

5.  I am constantly singing to my kids.

6.  I am a homebody.  Given the choice, I will almost always choose to stay at home and play board games with my husband rather than go out.

7.  Speaking of husbands, I’m pretty certain mine is the best one ever, for many reasons.  I kind of feel like I won the lottery the day I met him.

I am going to have to nominate my seven bloggers tomorrow, as it’s getting late and this post is already quite long.

The Bloggers I am nominating are:

1.  Savory Simple — I love her photos and the originality of her recipes.

2.  Obscure and Demure — Just plain fun.

3.  Trials in Food — I love her concept.

4.  Going Dutch and Loving It — One of the most interesting blogs I’ve seen in a while, with fantastic photography.

(I’m sorry, y’all.  I’m going to have to finish this post tomorrow night.  The baby just woke up and I need to get this posted).

Day 43 — Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Pops

I have big plans to do a “cheesecake week” in the near future. I figure I’ll work out a good recipe for a cheesecake base and spend the week playing with it. In the meantime, there’s this:

I saw this Philly chocolate stuff in the store about a week ago and knew I had to try it. It’s delicious on its own, but it was clear to me that it’s true purpose is to make ice pops:

I thinned out a large spoonful of the chocolate with a generous splash of milk. I expected the finished product to taste and feel like a colder version of the spread, but I was wrong. Freezing the mixture intensified the chocolate flavor, while the slight tang of the cream cheese faded further into the background.

The real revelation, though, was the texture. It was soft and creamy, exactly like the pudding pops I ate as a kid. I’ve been trying to achieve this texture in my actual pudding pops without success, but this pop nails it. I’m sure it has something to do with the preservatives and stabilizers in the premade mix, but I’m hoping I can recreate it when I make my own, chemical-free cheesecake base someday.

Given how easy this pop was to make and how very delicious it was, I can seem some variations of it in the future. It’s just too good to wait a year to try again.

Day 42 — Cookie Dough Ice Pop

We’re still on sweet overload over here. My daughter’s birthday party was this morning, so of course there was more cake, plus an assortment of sweet dips I found on Pinterest.

Today’s pop uses my favorite of those dips, a chocolate cookie dough dip with I think was one of the first things I ever pinned. I made the recipe as pinned once, but since then have adjusted it to meet my tastes:

Re-enactment. The part of heath bits is being played by non-chocolate brickle bits.

To make a whole batch of this dip, I use:

1 8-oz package of cream cheese (light is fine)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup each of brown sugar and powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 bag (1 1/3) cups of heath bar bits (the original recipe calls for chocolate chips and brickle bits, but I found actual Heath bar bits with chocolate in them, and use those instead now).
Cream the butter with the cream cheese, then beat in the sugars and vanilla and stir in the candy. Then enjoy!

Anyway, since I love this dip so much I decided to see if it would translate well into an ice pop.  For one pop, I mixed one heaping tablespoon of dip with milk until it was thin enough to pour.

Oh lord.  These pops were soooo much better than I’d expected them to be.  I mean, I love the dip, but freezing it turned out incredibly well.  The milk diluted the intense sweetness of the dip just enough, while the cream cheese and butter gave it an amazing ice cream consistency.  I’m a little sorry now that I only made one pop.

 

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