A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Posts tagged ‘vanilla’

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 134 — Strawberry Shortcake Ice Pops

I hope all you moms out there had a lovely Mother’s Day. I know I sure did — The Husband made me a lovely breakfast and showered me with presents, then took the kids over to his mom’s so I could putter around a blissfully quiet house. I used my time to finish The Bloggess’ book, which my sister sent me last week.  If you haven’t read it already, get it now.  You won’t be sorry.  Just don’t read it in front of your kids, because they will hear you laughing hysterically and you will be faced with the prospect of explaining what episiotomies have to do with Voldemort.  (though if you have a baby, you can read it in front of him, because he’ll just think you’re laughing at him, and he’ll start laughing too.)

Anyway, one  tradition we have in my family is that we spend the day with my in-laws, who I love and enjoy.  We have a  lobster dinner prepared by the men, and just generally hang out and have a nice time.  This year, we also had strawberry shortcake for dessert, and I decided to share it with all of you, in popsicle form:

Basic vanilla pop ingredients, plus strawberries and delicious pound cake.

I made the basic vanilla ice pop recipe, then diced up a little of the pound cake and one of the strawberries.  I tried to cram equal amounts of strawberries and cake into the molds, but some of the strawberries got stuck high up and precluded too much else from going in.  The resulting pops were good, but definitely could have used more of the add-ins.

I will admit, these do not even come close to being as good as the “real” dessert.  Still, as ice pops go, they’re quite nice.  You can’t really go wrong with cake and cream.

Day 115 — Strawberry Creamsicle Ice Pops

I got a new big bucket o’ strawberries today, so brace yourselves for more strawberry pops this week.

First up, strawberry creamsicle. It’s been a rough day, so no ingredients shot today. But I mixed 3 large strawberries with about a teaspoon each of sugar and water. I really want to say that my fruit-based ice pops don’t need sugar, but sadly that’s not the case. Adding the sugar smooths out the flavor and produces a less-icy texture.

Anyway, I also made a small amount of the basic vanilla ice pop base (I only made one pop today, so I needed only around an ounce of the vanilla).

I poured the strawberry base, waited about 20 seconds, sipped out the middle and poured the vanilla. Ten minutes later:

This pop was so, so good. Better, I dare say, then actual creamsicles. I may need to make this one again.

Day 104 — Black & White Cheesecake Ice Pops

Happy Friday, y’all! For this penultimate post in Cheesecake Week, I decided to go with the tried-and-true: a chocolate and vanilla cheesecake pop.

My first batch of cheesecake base had started looking suspect, so I made a new batch today. You’ll note that in this batch, I replaced the vanilla yogurt with the sour cream I’d intended to use in the first place.

For the chocolate layer, I mixed a large tablespoon of that amazing Philly chocolate spread with about three times as much milk.

I was feeling lazy, so I poured the chocolate mixture directly from my little blender, through a funnel. The funnel and I had a slight disagreement, thus the messy bottom of one of the pops.

These pops are great. I suppose I should have created my own chocolate cheesecake ice pop recipe, but when the premade stuff is so delicious, it’s hard to work up the motivation.

Tune in tomorrow, for a fruity finale to Cheesecake Week!

Day 54 — Cookies & Cream Ice Pops

A while back, I made Oreo cheesecake pops, but I hadn’t actually ever made just a straight cookies & cream ice pop. That changes today:

No ingredients shot today, sorry. I just mixed the basic vanilla ingredients with crushed Oreos. The resulting pop was, of course, delicious. There’s a reason why cookies & cream ice cream is a perpetual favorite.

Sorry for the short post today — I spent a sleepless night, and can barely muster the energy to type. I hope to be back with more verve tomorrow.

Day 34 — Peaches & Cream Ice Pops

During the winter, we go through a lot of frozen fruit in my house. Peaches are among my favorites, since they’re flavorful, they thaw fast and they don’t turn everything they touch purple. I like to mix them into yogurt, and if I’d had a chance to make pops today while the kids were awake, I’d have done that. But since I waited until after they went to sleep, I figured I could get away with a less-healthy version:

I pureed a handful of thawed peaches with a generous splash of lemonade, then used my basic vanilla recipe for the “cream” layers. As usual, I had some difficulty pouring the layers neatly until my husband dug through our junk drawer and found this:

We've lived in this house six years, and I have never noticed that we own a tiny little funnel.

These pops turned out cute. I’m glad I opted for several small layers, because that way I was able to get a little of each layer into each bite.

I love that the thickness of the peach puree gave me slightly slanted, tiger-ish stripes. They weren’t neat, but they did look interesting. Plus, they tasted great. I’m looking forward to trying more combinations of frozen fruit and cream.

Day 33 — Chocolate Cake Ice Pops

Today’s pop is kind of a two-fer. I wanted to tweak my basic vanilla recipe, but I didn’t want to do a “plain vanilla” post. Luckily, a friend brought us some munchkins yesterday, and eating the chocolate cake ones gave me an idea:

Last time I tried vanilla pops, they turned out too icy, so I made these pops a little richer. I used 4 ounces of half & half to 2 ounces of regular milk, a small splash of vanilla extract and a generous 2 teaspoons of sugar.

I added the doughnuts to the pops by layering them in — I’d pour a little base, then stuff in a few chunks. Immediately pour more base, add more crumbs, lather, rinse and repeat. That gave me a decent distribution of doughnuts throughout the pops.

These pops were great. I think I have the base recipe right. Texture-wise, they’re still icier than my basic chocolate pops, but they still manage to be creamy. And while the base tasted quite sweet when I tried it before freezing, I don’t think the frozen pops ended up too sweet at all. I think this will be my keeper recipe.

Day 28 — Basic Vanilla Ice Pop Recipe

Today’s pop is not technically a finished product, but rather a first step in the process of developing a recipe (basic though it may be). Specifically, I set out today to develop a good vanilla “base” recipe, to be used as a jumping-off point for various decorations and mix-ins. I want it to be delicious, and I want it to contain the least amount of sugar and fat necessary for a creamy and delicious ice pop.

I started with the very basic ingredients:

Milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract

I used the same 1:1 ratio of milk and half & half that I’d used with in my basic chocolate pop recipe; 3 ounces of each to make 3 pops. To this I added 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Since ice pops are now a daily treat in my house, I tried to start at the lower end of the scale for amounts of cream and sugar. figure that I can add more in small increments until I find the ideal ratios.

I think I got the amount of vanilla extract right, but I need either a higher ratio of cream or more sugar in this recipe. While the pops tasted good (and plenty sweet), I was not crazy about the texture. They were just icy enough to have an almost unpleasantly squeaky mouth feel. They’re not bad, they’re just not the home run that the chocolate recipe was.

Day 16 — Zebra Pops

We were out of the house all day today, and that originally meant that I was going to do a plain juice pop. But we got home even later than I expected, and it turned out that I wouldn’t be able to make today’s pop until after the kids went to bed. This meant two things: first, I had about 40 minutes while rocking the baby down to think up an idea for today, and (2) in the absence of kids hanging over my shoulders, I could attempt a more involved pop than usual. And so, zebra pops (yes, it took me 40 minutes to think of chocolate and vanilla striped ice pops.  It was a long day).

The ingredients in these are simple: half vanilla pudding (leftover from Day 14 and thinned out with milk), and half the basic chocolate recipe. I was hoping to get a taste similar to the chocolate-vanilla swirl pudding pops I loved as a kid.

Chocolate. Vanilla. Simple.

Since I had a little time to concentrate, I decided to work on pouring stripes again and to try another slanty pop. My first pour was a disaster, leaving the edge of each mold coated in vanilla.

The mess was a little more obvious in person.

The spout on my chocolate cup is more precise, so the second layer was a little nicer.

For the third layer, I decided to try to pipe the pudding in using my turkey baster. That worked slightly better, until I tried to take a photo of me using it and accidentally spilled the vanilla all over my mold. Oops.

watch out, genius!

By the fourth layer, I had twigged that it was much easier to pour into the higher half of the mold and let the mixture flow down to the lower part. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure it out, but once I did the pops started getting a little neater.

Visually, the final product was cool, though imperfect:

Imperfection. Oh, the shame!

Same pop, other side, You can see the mess from the first pour.

I need to work on a couple of things before I can make truly beautiful striped pops. First, I need to figure out a neat pouring solution so I don’t end up with splashes everywhere. Second, I need to start measuring how much base I use in each layer, because when I eyeball it, I end up with wildly uneven layers.
Still, even though they weren’t neat, the finished pops were kind of striking:

A herd of zebras!

These tasted about as great as you’d imagine a chocolate/vanilla pop would taste. I’m trying to save the two leftover pops for the kids, but I might not make it. After all, there’ll be another pop tomorrow. And what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Right?

Day 14 — Blueberries & Cream Pudding Pops

One of the side-effects of keeping a blog to document my ice pop making efforts is that I tend to resist “plain” pops. Vanilla pudding pops may be delicious, but they sure don’t photograph well.

Still, I have small kids, one of whom has recently decided that vanilla is the best flavor out there. At some point, I was going to have to make the vanilla pudding ice pops I’d been promising, and today ended up being the day.

Of course, that didn’t meal all the pops needed to be plain vanilla.

One of these things is not like the others.

For breakfast this morning, I’d make pancakes with blueberry sauce, and I had a few tablespoons of the sauce left over. I decided to see if I could swirl that into the pudding to make the pops a little more interesting.

I don’t have an ingredients shot today, but I used instant vanilla pudding mix, milk and frozen blueberries cooked with a tiny splash of lemonade. Specifically, I used 1/2 cup of the prepared pudding, 2 additional ounces of milk and probably an ounce of blueberry sauce. I’d thought that the pop molds held 2 ounces each, but I still had a bunch left over (a smarter person than I am would maybe have noted exactly how much was leftover, but I didn’t. Maybe tomorrow).

Anyway, as I mixed the pops, I started getting excited. In the cup, the blueberries made a lovely swirl in the yellowish pudding. Alas, (1) I forgot to take a picture of it, and (2) the pretty swirl disappeared when I poured the pops and I ended up with semi-swirly purple pops:

Pretty, if not exactly the effect I was going for.

The pops tasted really good. The blueberries added a nice fruity flavor to the pudding without completely taking over. I have a feeling I’ll be trying this with other fruits as this project continues.

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