I can honestly say that food has played a big role in my relationship with Patrick, my boyfriend of over 4 years. But not in the way that most people would expect – especially if they know from my blog what a food geek I am! My polar opposite, Patrick views food as a source of energy and nutrients. Sure, he’d prefer it to taste good going down. But to him, food’s certainly nothing to spend much time planning for, much less fantasizing about as I like to do =).
Add in that I’m a veggie-loving pescatarian (someone who eats no meat other than seafood) while he grew up on hearty, meaty meals, and surely the big picture is starting to come together. Our food habits were originally about as compatible as oil and water… It’s embarrassing to admit this, but our differences were so daunting that we simply cooked separately our entire first year of living together!
Not every couple has such divergent eating habits, but I think Patrick and I faced the same challenges as any other couple just living together: discovering each other’s ins and outs (some to your taste and some not) then learning to communicate and compromise to maintain a healthy relationship. For Patrick and me, this translated to less meat but more hearty vegetarian meals; his openness to my experimental dishes as long as I made his favourite stand-bys often; and my learning the subtle signs of when I’ve nailed a dish from a man who will simply never gush about food the way I do.
While I’m proud of how far we’ve come from that first year, I have to say there is one type of food we’ve agreed on even from the start…dessert! Through cakes and cupcakes, tarts and French macarons, Patrick has been my indispensable in-house taste-tester. And he also recently surprised me with his foodie-worthy enthusiasm for these Cookies N’ Cream Cake Pops. What I love about these adorable treats is that they’re equally at home at an elegant wedding, children’s party, or your kitchen counter. I hope you will try them and love them as much as Patrick and I do!
It’s fastest and easiest to use your hands to work with the cake mixture, so wash up and dig in! If you’ve never tried cake pops before, be prepared for a creamy, truffle-like consistency inside rather than a texture just like regular cake.
- Chocolate Cake (use your favourite recipe)
- 14 Oreo or other chocolate cream-filled cookies, chopped 460g
- white chocolate OR white chocolate chips/bark
- 1 to 2 Tbsp butter
- About 20 to 25 paper lollipop sticks (I use 4-inch/10-cm sticks).
- Oil-based candy colouring or powder food colouring, optional.
After cake has cooled completely, crumble it into a large bowl, removing any overcooked/crusty pieces.
Add in the chopped cookies, and mix them into the cake crumbs thoroughly using your clean fingers.
Most of the white filling from the cookies should be absorbed into the cake so that very little is still visible.
This will provide the cake pop mixture enough moisture to hold together.
Line 2 large baking pans with non-stick silicone mats or parchment paper. Roll/press the cake cookie mixture into balls 1 to 1 1/2-inch (2.5 to 3.5-cm) wide.
Repeat until the remaining cake mixture has been used up (you should have between 20 and 25 balls), setting all the balls on one of the lined pans.
Place candy melts and 1 tablespoon of shortening into a heatproof bowl and microwave at for 1 minute on medium heat.
Stir well, and then continue microwaving at 30-second intervals on medium heat, stirring between each, until the mixture is mostly melted and smooth.
Continue stirring (but without beating which will add unwanted air bubbles to your coating) until the mixture becomes completely smooth.
Dip the tip of each lollipop stick into a little melted chocolate and insert halfway (not more!) into the middle of each cake ball.
Place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up so they won’t melt when dipped later.
Meanwhile, pour your melted coating into a clean and dry cup that’s about 2 1/2 inches (7 cm) wide until the cup is filled to 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top.
Once cake balls are firm, dip an entire cake ball straight down into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered, and remove it in one motion straight up. (If you stir it around, it is very likely that the ball will fall off the stick and you’ll be very upset, trust me)
Make sure the coating meets at the base of the lollipop stick. This helps secure the cake ball to the stick when the coating sets.
Once you lift the cake pop out of the coating, immediately turn the pop so that its stick is almost vertical with the cake ball pointing upwards.
There will be extra coating still on the cake ball that you can remove.
Hold the cake pop in one hand and use the other hand to gently tap the first wrist.
Rotate the lollipop to allow the excess coating to drip evenly back into the cup of coating, but never let the stick tilt too far down or the ball may fall off. If too much coating collects at the base of the lollipop stick, you can wipe the excess off with your finger.
And if the coating seems too thick, stir in more shortening 1/2 a tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
When most of the extra coating has fallen off and it is no longer dripping, turn the cake pop over again so that the ball is down and the stick is up.
Place the pop with the cake ball side down onto the second lined pan, making sure to set the pop down so that the stick points as straight up as possible. Repeat with the remaining cake balls. If the coating in the cup gets so low that you cannot easily submerge the whole cake ball, add more coating to the cup. Let all cake pops dry completely at room temperature or in the freezer.
If desired, you can then add colouring to the remaining coating, transfer it to a parchment cone OR piping bag fitted with a small round tip, and pipe decorations onto the surface of each cake pop. After piping, you will need to let the pops dry completely again.