A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Day 103 — Nutella Cheesecake Pops

You knew these had to happen, right?

I had to try to combine Nutella and cheesecake. I just had to. The trick was in finding a balance that would capture the richness of the two primary ingredients, while making a pop firm enough that the pops wouldn’t get stuck in the molds. As usual, I went with trial and error, which resulted in a vastly large batch of base. As it happens, that’s a good thing.

The recipe:

1 very heaping teaspoon (probably equivalent to a measuring tablespoon) of Nutella
2 ounces of cream cheese
1slightly heaping teaspoon sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar

To that, I added enough milk that I ended up with 12 ounces of base. I blended the whole shebang in my Baby Bullet (FYI, don’t buy a Baby Bullet. Great idea, tricky operation) and froze.

The Husband was greatly amused as I chanted “don’t stick, don’t stick” as I unmolded my pops. But it worked!

These were so, so good! The initial taste was all Nutella, but the finish (don’t I sound all wine-drinky and pretentious?) was definitely cheesecake. Basically, these pops are totally worth buying a Zoku. Try them now.


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.


Day 40 — Birthday Cake Ice Pops

My middle child turned three today, and I thought it would be fun to try to translate birthday cake into an ice pop. I didn’t want to do chunks of cake in a pop again. Instead, I wanted the pop itself to taste like cake. For safety reasons, using actual cake batter was out of the question. Luckily, there’s a place to go on the web to find recipes to oodles of different desserts meant to taste like batters and doughs. And that place, my friends, is Pinterest.

As expected, Pinterest did not fail me. There’s at least one recipe for cake batter dip out there, and it seemed simple enough. Only 3 (or 4) ingredients:

Cake mix, yogurt, Cool Whip and sprinkles

The recipe for this dip makes a single serving, with a 3,2,1 ratio (3 T cake mix, 2 T yogurt, 1 T Cool Whip). By the time it was scaled up for a full batch, though, the ratios changed to 1 box of cake mix, 1.5 cups of yogurt and 2 cups of Cool Whip. That’s the recipe I used (even though the ice pops only use a few tablespoons of dip, I made a full recipe to serve at the birthday party on Saturday).

Making these pops was a trial-and-error process.  I wanted to add sprinkles to the pop mixture to mimic the funfetti cake mix the original recipe called for.  But I mixed them in too soon, and they melted into the base.  That’s why the pop on the right is purple.  I mixed up a new batch, and for the middle pop I just threw the sprinkles directly into the mold.  For the pop on the left, I stirred them into the base right before I poured.  These, too, melted, giving the pop a swirly appearance.

The decoration is a piece of fruit leather cut with fondant cutters.  I applied them to the side of the mold with a butter knife.  As you can see, it’s an imperfect process — I had a hard time lining up the exclamation point properly.

Honestly, I can’t tell you how these pops taste.  I was too full from the “real” birthday cake to eat more dessert.  I can say that the dip tasted pretty good — just like cake batter.  So I assume the pops taste as good.

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 4 — basic chocolate popsicle recipe

I was all set to apologize for today’s pop being kind of a punt. I meant to do a more interesting pop, but the baby got his four-month shots and was miserable. All he wanted was to be held while he screamed in my ear, and I kind of felt like I had to oblige. Poor kid.

Anyway, the plan for today was going to be hot chocolate pops, made from this amazing stuff:

A can full of yum

It’s Target’s in-store cocoa brand, and it is fantastic! Instead of just cocoa powder and sugar, this actually has ground milk chocolate in it. It cooks up rich and smooth and decadent. My plan had been to make a batch in the morning after the baby’s appointment, then cool it and make pops after the big girl got off the school bus. I’d actually done this right after Christmas, and the pops that resulted were rich and delicious.

But then the boy was screaming, so I didn’t pre-make the base. And the big girl came off the bus totally grouchy and started complaining about having to wait 10 whole minutes for her snack (I forbore from reminding her that in my day, we had to walk two miles in the snow, uphill both ways, just to reach the freezer so we could wait 4 hours for our ice pops to freeze), so the “frozen hot cocoa” idea was scratched. Instead, I went with plain old Ovaltine. I was worried about it tasting thin, so instead of straight milk, I used equal parts milk and 1/2 and 1/2. For 9 ounces of liquid, I used 2.5 heaping spoons of Ovaltine.

heaven on a stick

The resulting pops looked plain, but tasted fantastic. The half and half turned out to be a great call — the pops were creamy, a little softer than plain milk would have been, and very rich tasting. I’ve never been one to accept substitutions where chocolate is concerned, but I could easily see this satisfying a chocolate craving. Granted, that with the half and half, it’s not exactly health food, but the portion size is small enough that I think it makes a reasonable treat.

I can’t wait to experiment with this basic chocolate pop. I had intended to make a thin mint version tomorrow, but the girls are loudly demanding mango. Stay tuned to see who wins (hint: it probably won’t be me).

(and now for some bloggy admin:  pay no attention to the following.  USA26TYBUPYG

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