Halloween Eyeballs: A Retrospective…

18 Nov

Well, howdy again!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, but i have truly been up to my…well…eyeballs in projects for the kids. This included making…well…eyeballs…for my son’s Halloween class party. (But lots of other fun projects, too, some of which I am finally getting around to posting…so stay tuned.) Meanwhile, I give you today’s incredibly-out-of-date feature presentation:

Eyeball-on-a-Stick

   

I decided to make these as an (overdue) excuse to finally try out Bakerella’s famous cake pops.

Mix up a quick cake.

While she hasn’t made any eyeballs that I know of, I figured it’d be much more fun to create something new than just copy the Halloween treats she’s already come up with on her wonderful cake pop site. So here’s how you do it:

1.) Bake an easy box-mix cake. I chose red velvet because I thought it would be hilarious for three- and four-year-olds to chomp into eyeballs and find yucky-looking red stuff inside. (My son approved.)

Stir canned frosting into the cake crumbles.

2.) Cool the “naked” (unfrosted) cake and crumble it into a large bowl. Crumbling the cooled cake takes about ten minutes if you do it thoroughly. I did the first few steps the night before I coated and decorated the pops so I could refrigerate them overnight.

3.) Empty the contents of a can of storebought frosting (I used cream cheese) into the cake bowl. Stir with spoon (or hands) until all of the frosting has been evenly absorbed by the crumbled cake bits. (Because the crumbles are so incredibly absorbent, your finished mixture will be the exact same cake color it was before the frosting was added.)

See how the cake retains its original color despite the frosting addition?

4.) Cover a couple of cookie pans with waxed paper (I taped it down to the cookie sheet a little to prevent slippage) and remember to take off your wedding band.

Rolled cake balls on waxed paper.

5.) Scoop a little bit of the cake/frosting mixture into the palm of your hands and begin rolling into a ball about the size of a large marble shooter. Place on waxed sheet. Repeat about seventy more times, or until you run out of cake mixture.

6.) Place the cake ball sheets into the freezer (or fridge) and chill until firm. (This can range anywhere from 30 minutes in a cold freezer with smaller balls to overnight in the refrigerator, depending on your schedule.)

"Hole-y Styrofoam, Batman!"

7.) Take a large styrofoam block (available in most craft or floral store sections) and begin poking holes about 2-3 inches apart all over the top of the block. The best way to do this is to take one of the lollipop sticks you’ll be using and make a pencil mark on it as far down as you want the finished pops to rest in the foam (while they dry) and begin using the stick to create the holes you’ll need. (This way you won’t have to “chisel” each hole down using a lollipop with a big melty, fragile cake pop on the top of it; you’ll easily be able to “drop” each pop in quickly and move on to the next before your candy bowl cools off.)

Ready for dipping.

8.) Once firm, take your bag of clean lollipop sticks (available in the candy-making section of hobby stores or Wal-Mart) and gently insert one about halfway into each firm ball. This TOTALLY does not work if you insert the sticks BEFORE chilling the balls to firmness. They fall off everywhere during the later steps and make a huge mess. I don’t even recommend doing them all at once when they’re frozen (like I did in the photo), but rather one-at-a-time right before you coat them. It works much, much better.

Heat, stir...heat, stir...

9.) Melt 1 lb. white candy melts (those little disc-shaped things also available in the candy-making section of stores) into a small bowl, according to the directions on the candy melt package. FYI, stoneware bowls retain heat much longer than crummy plastic ones, meaning you won’t have to reheat the candy melts as often to keep them smooth and thin.

Do most of your coating using the spoon hand, NOT the lollipop stick!

10.) Holding a spoon filled with melted candy coating in one hand and one of your cake pops by the stick end in the other hand, slowly cover the cake ball in melted candy. Remember that if you twist the lollipop stick too much, you’re liable to twist the cake ball right off of it, so when in doubt, move more with the spoon hand than the cake pop hand. This might sound confusing, but once you’ve done two or three, you’ll understand what I mean. It doesn’t matter if they don’t come out perfect circles. Once they’re decorated, no one will notice. Place the coated pops into the styrofoam block holes.

Don't worry if some don't look perfectly round. Each eyeball should look a little bit different!

11.) Make sure to keep alternating between cookie sheets of frozen cake balls, sticking one back into the freezer for a few minutes while working from the other for a few lollipops, then vice versa, back-and-forth, until all of the cake balls are coated in candy. This will keep them nice and firm and somewhat uniform. It will also keep them from sliding right down the lollipop stick and landing on the foam block and making a gooey mess.

Use food coloring markers to draw red eyeball veins...

12.) Chill the pops standing up in the styrofoam inside your refrigerator. Once the shells have hardened, remove from fridge and allow any condensation to collect on the candy for a little while. If a lot of moisture has collected on the outside of one of the candy shells, you can use a paper towel to gently blot it away before decorating the eyeball.

13.) Using food coloring markers (again, widely available at supermarkets, Walmart, hobby stores, etc.), draw squiggly red veins around each white eyeball, and draw an iris and pupil on each one.

I think the ones that don't come out perfectly round look better than the ones that do. Or at least creepier.

SPOOOOOOKY:

 
 

My son had his heart set on bringing rings on his cupcakes (like those horrid storebought cupcakes always have in the frosting), so I looped a plastic Halloween ring on the bottom of each lollipop stick. He was happy.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Halloween Eyeballs: A Retrospective…”

  1. Rheannon November 18, 2010 at 7:13 PM #

    I love Bakerella. If you dip the stick in the chocolate then stick it in the cooled ball it works a little better. It cools down in there and holds it on the stick.

  2. Gracie November 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM #

    Rhee, that is the greatest idea EVER. I’m so glad you posted that tip — I am certainly going to try it that way next time. Good call! 🙂

  3. Heather November 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM #

    What a great idea! These look darling. I bet the children loved them!

  4. Gracie November 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM #

    Thanks, Heather– I see from your site you know a thing or two about making cake pops, yourself. 🙂 Thanks for visiting! I’m having fun poking around your site right now…

  5. redforkhippie November 23, 2010 at 12:39 AM #

    I think you just totally one-upped that Supermom at the rugrats’ daycare.

  6. Gracie November 23, 2010 at 9:02 AM #

    🙂 She’s on maternity leave. She gets a free pass. LOL

  7. redforkhippie November 24, 2010 at 3:13 AM #

    On an unrelated note, I am making our Thanksgiving turkey in the Crock-Pot. If it turns out well, I’ll post it.(Is it wrong that I like those turkey circles we used to get in Cookin Bags way better than I like real turkey?)

  8. Gracie November 24, 2010 at 9:45 AM #

    I always liked those turkey circles better when I was a kid. 🙂 Are you doing your turkey similar to my recipe for Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken and Stock? Or are you stuffing it with stuffing?? I’m curious. 🙂

  9. redforkhippie November 25, 2010 at 2:31 PM #

    No stuffing in the Crock-Pot. I was afraid it would get too mushy. It’s more like your chicken, except I threw in two lemons, most of a head of garlic, and a handful of Scarborough Fair spices and then drizzled the whole mess with olive oil. It was magnificent.

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