Earlier this year, my friend Deanne came over and we tried to make cake pops, cake truffles, cake balls, whatever you would like to call them, ala Bakerella. We failed miserably. I couldn’t understand why–it looked so easy on-line.
I thought and thought about why this didn’t work. Deanne suggested maybe we didn’t cool the little balls of cake and frosting long enough before dipping them in the melted chocolate. I thought maybe the chocolate was too thick. Then Bakerella’s terrific new cookbook was released. I bought a copy, read it cover to cover, marked the creations that most interested me. I bought every color of candy melt they had at Michael’s, got the proper tools including styrofoam blocks and lollipop sticks and invited Deanne and Emily over for some fun in the kitchen. It was going to be a successful do-over. We were going to get it this time.
But we didn’t. The texture of our cake pops is great, they are tasty. Much more practice would be needed to capture the cuteness that Bakerella makes look so easy. This project falls into the “Looks ugly, tastes good” department. This time I decided I was done trying to make cake pops and am very content to look at the gorgeous photography in Bakerella’s book. It has a long-term parking spot on my coffee table.
Gluten-Free Apple Cake Pops
1 Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mix (Bake according to package directions)
1 container frosting (not the whipped kind)
red candy melts
gluten-free pretzel sticks
green tic tacs
(Great instructions on how to make apple cake pops are located here. I won’t go into detail because I am not an expert. Check out the instructions for good information from the expert! I substituted tic tacs for the jumbo diamond sprinkles.)
In trying to make this project work, we tried many variations. This is one of my favorites, Deanne’s caramel apple cake pop. So cute!
This week’s Sweet Friend is Cathy. I met Cathy at the gym about 2 1/2 years ago. We were in the same strength training class with the fabulous Mandy. Early on in that class, Mandy asked all of us what we thought about signing up for a marathon or a half marathon. No way did I think I could do it, but along with Cathy and a few others, we signed up as a team.
Months and months of training followed. We all learned a lot about each other on those high-mileage training days. I learned Cathy is a cancer survivor. Many days when I wanted to whine or quit, Cathy served as a reminder that I could do it, she was doing it and not complaining one bit.
At the end of all of that training, a large group of us along with husbands, children and supportive friends, jetted off to San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Marathon. Some of our group completed the full marathon, some of us the half marathon. All of us crossed the finish line standing, no one had to crawl. We had conquered a daunting challenge, climbed many hills (I mentioned this was in San Francisco, right?) and finished successfully, due in part to the friendships that were formed during our training. While I have fond memories of the race and the training, the time we all spent together in San Francisco was even better. We ate amazing food, saw many wonderful sights, rode cable cars, ate more amazing food…it was a great trip to one of my favorite cities.
This past weekend I participated in another marathon, two years after that first distance race in San Francisco. I thought a lot about that race while ticking off the miles this past weekend, about how many things have changed, how many miles I have under my feet since then. The one thing that has remained constant is the friendships that were formed during that first round of training. I’m thankful for all of those friends, including Cathy.
(An extra special thanks to Cathy for loaning me her fancy apple gadget. I’m using it in an upcoming recipe. It sure was a time-saver!)