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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday -- Peanut Pop

When thinking about what to share in our very first, official Tutorial Tuesday post, it occurred to me that this is Carnival season.  So many Oktoberfests, church carnivals, and Halloween festivals are in full swing right now!  So it makes sense that we do something carnival/circus themed.  Since we already shared our Clown pop tutorial, I opted for this fun Peanut instead.  Peanuts are at carnivals, right?  Sure!  Bags & bags of them, right next to the popcorn booth!  Ooh, maybe we'll do popcorn next week!  Maybe....

Anyway, here's how you make this fun Peanut pop.  Peanut butter cake is optional, by the way.  We prefer Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie, but you can use any cake or brownie batter you desire.  NOTE: If you use brownie instead of cake, just moosh up the brownie in step 1 and skip to step 4; do not add any frosting (you don't need it).

You will need:
9"x13" cake -- baked and cooled
Frosting to complement your cake flavor
8-inch lollipop sticks
Peanut Butter candy melts -- we used Wilton
Chocolate candy melts -- again, we used Wilton
1/4" wide ribbon in two complementary colors
Unused paintbrush
Food prep gloves -- unless you're just making these for family and then never mind
Microwaveable bowl or soup mug -- at least 5 inches deep
Mini glue dots -- available in the scrapbooking section of your local craft store
Styrofoam block
Flat plate or mini muffin pan
Large mixing bowl
Large dinner fork or pastry blender
Teaspoon -- the kind you use at the dinner table, not the measuring kind

What you do:
1)  Place the cooled cake into the large mixing bowl -- edges and all!  Don't waste any of that yumminess!

2) Using your large dinner fork or pastry blender, crumble the cake in the bowl by sticking your utensil in there and pulling the cake apart little by little.

3) Add about 3 forkfuls of frosting to the crumbled cake and mix well with your fork.  Add more frosting, little by little -- only if necessary! -- until the consistency becomes like brand new Play-doh.

4) Scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the cake/frosting mixture and roll it in your hands until it's a nice, round ball.  Put it on the plate or in one well of the mini muffin tin.

5) Repeat step 4 until your large mixing bowl is empty.  You should have about a dozen balls rolled.

6) Put the plate/muffin tin in the fridge for a few hours (or in the freezer for 15-20 minutes if you're in a hurry) so the cake balls will firm up.

7) Fill the microwaveable bowl with Peanut Butter candy melts.  You can use any light brown candy melts, but we liked having the peanut taste like peanuts.  :)

8) Melt the melts in your microwave at 40-50% power, stirring at 30-second intervals until the melts are nice and smooth.

9) Dip the tip of each lollipop stick into the melted candy, slide two cake balls onto each stick -- the first ball should go all the way on, leaving an additional 1/2" for the second ball.  The second ball should then be slid on so that the stick goes halfway through it.  Both balls should be nestled against each other (see photo of finished pop).

10) Using your fingers (fully gloved, of course!), gently smooth the two cake balls together where they meet.

11) Put them back in the fridge for a few minutes.

12) Leaving the other pops in the fridge, take out one pop.

13) Dip the pop into the melted candy (re-melt the candy as in step 8 if you need to), covering both cake balls and about 1/8" of the stick beyond.

14) Lift the pop straight up, out of the candy and let the excess candy drip back into the bowl, twirling the pop gently to keep an even coverage.

15) When the candy stops dripping, set the pop upright in your styrofoam block.

16) Repeat steps 12-15 until all the pops are dipped.

17) In a small microwave safe bowl melt about 10-12 of the chocolate candy melts using the same technique you did in step 8.

18) With your unused paint brush, paint on the little "indentations" on each peanut.  Set each pop back in the styrofoam block to dry.

19) Stick a glue dot on the stick of one pop, as close to the peanut as you can get it.  Stick the end of your primary ribbon onto the glue dot, wrap the ribbon around the pop, and stick it at the end with a second glue dot.  Cut off the excess ribbon.

20) Repeat step 19 for each pop.

21) Cut equal lengths of the two ribbon colors (about 8 inches), put them together, and tie a bow around the stick of each peanut pop.  See the photo of the finished pop above.

22) Serve the Peanut pops to your family and friends!

Have fun with your pop-making!  If you have any photos to share of your finished pops, we'd sure love to see them!

~ Pia

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