Tuesday, November 26, 2013

holiday treats-more or less!

We grew pumpkins again this year. They didn't grow as well as we'd hoped. We had a few white ones which were too small for much of anything and their rinds were THICK. So, I hacked them in pieces, cooked them down, and stuck them in the blender. They made a lovely pumpkin puree, which I then packaged in baggies. I had done this before, but it is always nice to find someone else who has done it as a reference. 
This gal writes a GREAT blog. And her directions are very simple.

I used one of the baggies of pumpkin to make cute little pumpkin pie bites. Jon thought they were named wrong, since they were really just tiny pumpkin muffins with cool whip. (Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites)
I wanted to make cake pops. I did make some gingerbread bombs for Halloween (basically a cake pop using left over gingerbread, rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate) and made those again. However, I wanted to try this pan I got from a friend. It was for 'bake pops' (as seen on TV....). At any rate, I also didn't have a cake mix, so made a homemade chocolate cake. I'll try these one more time with a cake mix, but I was NOT impressed. I used the last of the batter to make mini cupcakes and put white chocolate chips in them. They sort of didn't rise, so I flipped them over and drizzled them with frosting. Jon calls them Krakatoa Kakes.
The few 'balls' that I did, I used a pretzel instead of the plastic stick because I detest waste! The pretzels, however, are nasty after sitting in the cake ball...so they get tossed out anyway! At least, I know they are totally biodegradable!

The last balls stuck to the pans and were a mess. So, after salvaging the things, I ground them up for the kind of cake balls you make with frosting. I didn't have any canned frosting, except purple, (which I will use on my birthday) so I made some chocolate. I learned you CAN use  home made frosting in these and the best kind is butter cream. I used a recipe I found on Wilton's website, only halved it. Some cooks even use flavored coffee creamer as the sticking agent! But, I used the frosting. I made balls, til I realised they didn't' move if I left the bottom flat. (amazing, huh?) Which was really apparent when I pulled them out of the freezer and half of them rolled around on the cookie sheet and the rest stayed in place.
Since I didn't have handles in them, I skewered the frozen delights with a fondue stick from my chocolate fountain. The empty spot on top I drizzled with more chocolate and then added sprinkles. If you want a more professional treat, score around the bottom of the wet chocolate with a toothpick. After it dries, the excess will break off easily and you can pop it back in the melting pot. (I use a small fondue melting pot I got with my crock pot to melt my chocolate)
I also made Kit Kat Blondies, this week.  They were fun to make, just not exactly what I'd hoped for. My next projects will be a yummy Nestle's chocolate candy pizza for my friend Noelle's Thanksgiving birthday and I might use pumpkin for something or other!