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Spooky Eyeball Cake Pops

My dog is regressing in his old age. Only his behavior is becoming so much worse than when he was a puppy. And it’s a lot less cute.

Amongst an assortment of other undesirable hobbies, which he has taken up in his senior retirement days, my dog has become a garbage-picker. He first taught himself how to nudge open the lid of the can in order to drag out each item, tear it into shreds and scatter it throughout the house. And let me tell you, the last thing you want to find when you walk into the house with 15 bags of perishable groceries and three cranky children, is a house covered in shredded bits of garbage.

So, we bought a garbage can with a lever-controlled lid, which he taught himself how knock over in order to complete his garbage scavenging mission.

We then decided to abandon the garbage can completely, in lieu of a plastic bag hanging on the doorknob, which we could easily throw into the garage before leaving the house. (He never fails to notice if we forget to throw the bag in the garage.)

In the absence of garbage to go through, he jumps up and pulls items out of the sink to lick clean; glasses, storage containers, cookware. You name it. I had to see it to believe it. This massive dog, with bad hips, jumping upright to pick through the sink. The force of motivation is strong within this one.

So, we learned to become diligent about making sure the sink is empty before leaving the house. But, as you may have guessed, he finds other mischief to get into, namely wrapped packages of food on the countertops. Say, an entire package of hamburger buns or a string-tied box of bakery cookies. Or perhaps a clean wooden spoon from my cookware canister. Are you beginning to understand how time-consuming it’s become to leave the house for even the simplest errand?? And this is on top of preparing three young children!

And now, his acts of mischief have become so brazen, or perhaps his brain is just slowly melting into a state of pure self-satisfaction. For lately, he runs straight to the garbage or jumps up to sink the very moment a door in the house closes. It doesn’t even matter if the house is still full of other people. A door closes and he heads straight to the kitchen to engage in his mischief. Seriously, buddy? I’m standing right here! At least show me the respect of waiting until I leave.

My fuzzy, senile friend is lucky he’s so good with the kids.

Speaking of the kids, I made them these cake pops. Cause the boys are totally into anything gross and spooky these days. Aren’t they cute? Cute and a bit time consuming to make. But, totally worth it for the perfectly creepy final product. They’re made with bright red velvet cake and have a fruit gusher candy nestled into the center to make them extra gross. I couldn’t wait to pack these disturbingly delicious treats into my sons’ lunch boxes for a surprise treat which would evoke shrieks from their tables of little friends at school.

Except, my dog; my darling, elderly dog; ate the cake pops, which I’d falsely believed were safe in the very center of the dining room table, surrounded by a barricade of heavy chairs. He ate every hand-crafted cake pop. Leaving a trail of chewed lollipop sticks scattered throughout the house as evidence of his misdeed.

Want to know the kicker?

He ate the cake pops while I was dragging the three kids out in the rain to pick up the dog food we needed for his dinner.

I wonder if he shrieked as he bit into the gushy center…

Learn from my mistake, dear friends. Make these cake pops, but be sure to store them in a place where your fuzzy friends are unable to help themselves.

Spooky Eyeball Cake Pops

Ingredients

  • 1 13×9 inch red velvet cake
  • 1 16-ounce container of cream cheese frosting (you won’t use it all)
  • Approximately 48 Gushers candies (available near the fruit roll-ups and fruit snacks)
  • About 4 dozen lollipop sticks
  • Approximately 4 cups white candy melts
  • Approximately 1/2 cup red candy melts
  • Approximately 48 gummi Lifesavers candies
  • Approximately 48 mini M&M candies

Directions

Prepare the cake pops according to the step by step directions found HERE. Insert a Gusher candy into the center of each ball as you roll.

Dip each frozen cake pop into melted white candy melts. Adhere a gummi Lifesaver to the pop while the white candy is still soft. Stand the pops upright in a piece of styrofoam until the candy has hardened. Place a small amount of the melted white candy into a small baggie. Cut off the tip of one of the corners of the baggie. Use the baggie to squeeze a bit of candy “glue” into the center of each gummi lifesaver. Place a mini M&M into the candy glue. Allow to dry. Melt the red candy melts according to package directions. Use a toothpick or fine-tip paint brush to give the eyeballs a bloodshot appearance. Store at room temperature for a few days.

Gusher center and candy decorations inspired by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

A few more cake pop hints and tips:

  • You can prepare the cake pops up to adhering the balls to the lollipop sticks and freeze them until you’re ready to dip and decorate. You can then dip and decorate a small batch at a time and leave the other pops in the freezer for later (or for when you dog eats all of the other cake pops).
  • If your candy melts are too thick for dipping, try stirring in a small amount of solid vegetable shortening.
  • Make sure not to introduce any liquid while melting the candies, which can ruin the candy’s meltability. Keep bowls and spoons dry throughout the melting process.
  • Dip the cake pops right up the the stick. The hardened candy will help the cake balls to remain adhered to the sticks.
  • Cake pops can be stored at room temperature for a few days.
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How to Make Cake Pops

Cake pops are all the rage these days…or am I thinking of cupcakes? Or is it macarons?? I can’t keep up. But, you can find cake pop recipes and ideas all over the internet and magazine covers these days. Starbucks even carries these sweet treats right next to the muffins and dessert bars. They’re insanely cute and super fun to eat. The best part is that there are a million possible flavor and design combinations.

Once you’ve got the basic idea, you can have a lot of fun customizing these little goodies with different flavors of cake, frosting, and candy coating! Then, get creative with the decorating! I’m already planning on making bloody eyeball cake pops for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving, and snowmen and trees for Christmas!

For my little guy’s third birthday (and my first attempt at cake-popping), I made a batch of decadent triple chocolate cake pops. It’s a simple, but somewhat time-consuming process, so plan ahead. Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

  • 1 13×9 inch cake
  • Cake frosting (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Candy Melts (approximately 4 cups)*
  • Sprinkles or other decorating candies (optional)

*If your grocery store doesn’t carry the candy melts, check your local craft store. They come in all sorts of colors and flavors!

Bake a 13 x 9 inch cake. Use your favorite homemade recipe or one box of any flavor cake mix. (You can bake the cake a day ahead of time, if desired.)

Once cool, crumble the cake into fine crumbs. This is a perfect job for little helpers.

You’ll end up with a big bowl of fine cake crumbs.

Combine the cake crumbs with any flavor frosting. A container of prepared frosting works fine or use your favorite homemade. Depending on how moist the cake is, you probably will not need the whole container of frosting. About 3/4 of a 16-ounce container should do the trick. You want the mixture to be moist enough to mold, but not too mushy. Mushy cakes will have a harder time staying on the sticks…lesson learned the hard way.

Refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes (or longer) to help firm up the mixture.

Roll the mixture into balls, just over an inch in diameter.

Melt a small quantity of the candy melts according to package directions. Dip the end of each lollipop stick into the melted candy, then insert the stick a little more than halfway through each cake ball. Place each pop upside down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until quite firm.

Once firm, warm the candy melts according to package directions. Use a container that is tall and narrow enough to fully submerge each cake pop into. A 2-cup pyrex measuring cup worked well.

Dip each pop into the melted candy. Gently swirl the pop to remove excess candy. (Skipping the swirl step will result in a candy coated stick. Trust me on that one.)

Decorate with sprinkles or candies, if desired. Then, place each pop into a piece of styrofoam to dry upright at room temperature. (Refrigeration will cause condensation on the surface of your pops. Another lesson learned the hard way.) The candy exterior will harden at room temperature.

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