Cake “Truffles”

3 Sibs, 3 Days

In honor of there being merely THREE days until Christmas, I attempted to make cake pops for the first time ever. Well, okay, they weren’t really cake pops as much as cake balls (heh). And as a self-proclaimed lover of all miniaturized and adorable foods, I didn’t know why I had never bothered to make them before.

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Now I do.

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Making cake pops is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the lazy. I knew the general principle behind them. You mix a baked cake with frosting, shape ’em, refrigerate ’em, stick ’em, and cover ’em with chocolate. It sounds simple, right? Well, having to make an entire dessert in order to make a different dessert should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk (badoom-ching!).

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It is an extremely lengthy process. Being that I most definitely fall into the “lazy” category, I tried to make it easy for myself by spreading the steps out. I baked the cake (a box of Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti that I mixed with some green food coloring for funsies) on Tuesday night, then combined everything last night. With the refrigeration and the chocolate and everything though, it still took forevvvver, and by the end I had run out of both chocolate and patience.

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Now, I’ll be honest here and admit that this half-assed dessert effort wasn’t entirely the cake pops’ fault. I couldn’t find lollipop sticks or candy melts at Target or the grocery store, hence the amending of pops to balls (heh) because I was too scared lazy to go to Michael’s, even though I know they carry both there. In and of itself, though, not really a big deal.

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I also ended up with a bag of white chocolate instead of colored candy melts for the coating. This unfortunately, didn’t pan out that well for me because I had to find out the hard way that you can’t just add food coloring to melted chocolate and expect it to turn into colored melted chocolate.

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Nope. You end up with gross, clumpy, chocolate-ish paste. Le sigh.

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Don’t try to get fancy with me, Powell.

For the few truffles that I did actually cover with the leftover, untainted chocolate (thank goodness I was melting it in batches!), it worked really well though. Unfortunately with the chocolate shortage, I didn’t have enough to cover all 50,000 cake balls (heh) — seriously, it makes SO many of them — so I drizzled the it over the rest of them in what I thought was an artistic fashion…

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… but was clearly not. But okay, enough complaining. Let’s focus on the important stuff:

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Like how freakin’ delicious they were, in spite of the hassle. They are just like little doughy balls of Heaven. Nomnommitynom. In the future, however, I’ll probably stick to cupcakes as my miniaturized cake-form and leave the cake pops to the pros.

Have you made cake pops or cake balls before? Any secrets or tricks of the trade I’m missing out on?

Also, holy smokes — yesterday’s giveaway is still blowing up! Get your entries in for a chance to win a Vera Bradley bag!

Epic Cookie Fail

Maaaaaaaan.

I was really excited to kick off this Wednesday with a fantastic cookie recipe that would change your life. Not a health-food “cookie”, but a real, honest-to-goodness, made-with-butter-and-everything cookie that would make you the star of Labor Day parties country-wide.

Ingredients for Success

I was, in fact, so confident in this cookie that I even took the time to set up an Oh She Glows-style ingredient photoshoot.

Packed.

It seems I should really stick to what I know.

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I was convinced that I needed to share these cookies with the world after the success of my hurricane cookies (or not-success, depending on how you see my weigh-in, haha), for which I had used this recipe.

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Except that recipe originally called for 6 DOZEN cookies (er, that’s 72 cookies, my friends) and, errrr, that’s a lot. Even for me. Plus, I wanted to make it my own. Put my own Gretchenesque-spin on things, y’know?

Bake me!

Weeeeeeeell, I guess that my, er, creative cooking approach does NOT lend itself well to baking. Turns out I was off on my ratio of dry-to-wet ingredients by a mere quarter-cup! Guess it was enough though:

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Sigh. Flat as a board. NOT the full, round, chewy cookies I was supposed to pull out of the oven. I die. At least they still tasted great! Well, those that survived, that is…

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They were so soft and thin, that most of them were completely obliterated in the process of removing them from the pan. It wasn’t a total loss though. I see many deliciously topped bowls of oatmeal in my not-so-distant-future.

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Hopefully, despite the not-quite-intended-result, their deliciousness will still get me suck-up points with my coworkers, hehe.

Are you a cook or a baker? Any epic fails in experimenting with either?

A Gloomy Place

 

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

                                                   
 

As if you couldn’t tell from the above, I am in a bit of a gloomy place today. Feeling just a little bit hum-drum, dwelling in the doldrums, in a funk, etc, etc. Yesterday wasn’t a great day, I guess. But hey, it’s probably about time for another emotional roller coaster ride anyway.

I thought it would be a good day. A great day, even. When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, I was back at my pre-Fourth of July weekend weight! Which means that by some miracle I not only didn’t gain weight at the beach, I lost weight at the beach. So, as I said, it had all of the ingredients to become a good day.

But, it just didn’t turn out that way. So by the time lunch rolled around, and I walked into a meeting where free pizza was being served by the boxful, I helped myself to a slice. Then another. And even though I was stuffed after those two (tiny squares of thin-crust these were not), I helped myself to another after that. I’m trying to take solace in the fact that a year ago it probably would have been 5 or 6 slices, but it still doesn’t make me feel good that I still fall victim of my old habits: eating just to eat. Eating because you’re sad, or lonely, or just a little bit off.

After driving home in a scary torrential downpour, my spirits weren’t much higher, but around 6 the sun came back out and had dried out the sidewalk. So I tried. I really tried to take my pity-partying self and turn the day around.

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I tried to go for a run.

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And barely made it a mile before stopping to walk most of the way back. While the 19:45 pace showing on the watch isn’t my average pace, just the pace from my walking around taking pictures of my sweaty self, it might as well have been. I could probably try to blame it on the humidity (thick), the heat (all-consuming), having just eaten (I had) or other various factors, but really, I just blame myself. How is it possible to have degenerated from being able to run 3 miles at 210 lbs to not even being able to run 1 mile at 192 lbs? It’s just… disheartening.

I so wish that I could be one of those people that spews out quotables like, “You never regret a workout!” or “Running clears your mind.” or “Work out, and you’ll work out your problems.” But I can’t, because most of the time, I don’t really believe them. Running isn’t mind-clearing or peaceful for me, it’s painful. From the first step it is a full-on battle with myself: my body, my brain, my heart, and my willpower fighting to the death, fighting to see when I’ll stop. And yes, I do feel pride when I complete a race, or finish a run strong, and the “after” does sometimes outweigh the misery of the “during.” But it isn’t easy for me. So after a gloomy day filled with drama and tension and stress, a bad run was just the cherry on top of my sadsack sundae.

But okay. Enough. You guys don’t need to hear any more about my irrationally depressing day, and I know that I do have things to look forward to. Namely (perhaps only) this:

 

The midnight showing for which I shall be in attendance at tonight. If anyone else is going to be seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Tysons tonight, let me know! I’m really cool, and I could use a seat buddy. Yep. I’m so cool that all my friends deserted me and I’m going alone. But if anyone else happens to be going there, you can revel in the awesomeness of my rockin’ Gryffindor track jacket, you lucky thing.

Don’t be surprised if tomorrow I’m depressed too, just for a totally different reason. It’s the end of an era! And today’s run should be a good one. It will involve sprinting to get a good seat in the theatre, and that’s a mental battle I know I can win.