July 25, 2012 in Book Reviews, Chocolate! (and other less exalted food experiences)

I love to bake, and I especially love baking desserts that are not only delicious, but whimsical. Between birthday parties, school parties, holidays, and cupcake walks, I have plenty of opportunities to play with flour, sugar, eggs, and chocolate.

There are two new dessert crazes out right now that are so darling and so delicious that I had to run out and purchase both cookbooks and start baking immediately.

The first is Cake Pops by Bakerella, also known as Angie Dudley. It only took me five seconds of glancing through her cookbook before three things became apparent:

1)    She is a beautiful photographer.

2)    She is wildly creative.

3)    There is no way my cake pops are ever going to look as good as hers.

The ones I made for Halloween looked like this:


But…they were so good. And the 5th graders I served these to hadn’t seen Bakerella’s beautiful creations, so they had nothing to compare mine to. I was hailed as a genius, and I owe it all to Bakerella.

Her cookbook is filled with cake pops for all occasions: all the major holidays, animals, pirates (the cutest cake pops ever!), weddings, graduations…it’s all in there. And she keeps inventing more! Check out these darling beach balls on her blog.

There’s a great resource page for the candy coatings and colorings she uses, plus tips on displaying, storing, and shipping the cake pops. If that’s not enough, her story is pretty inspiring too. You can read more about it here.

Another craze sweeping my crafts store (Ben Franklins for you locals) is Courtney Dial Whitmore’s Push-up Pops.

Using that oh-so-simple push-up pop container, she has created a myriad of delicious, single serving dessert treats that are too cute to be believed.

For the 4th of July, I tried the Dreamy Chocoholic cake treats. I made the cake in a jelly roll pan, cut out circles of cake using the push-up pop container as a cookie cutter, and layered the cake rounds with chocolate frosting in the container.

The kids loved them, even those that weren’t my own. They found me specifically to tell me how good they were. I was hailed as a genius, and I owe it all to Courtney.

If you’re serving these at a party, my one suggestion is to leave a container/bag for people to dispose of the push-up pop containers in because they are reusable.

Courtney has developed recipes for cake, cookie, brownie, and frozen treats, including a Frozen Lime Margarita Push-up Pop with real tequila and triple sec…wow! I’ll definitely be hiding these from the kids!

I recently tried her Watermelon Surprise frozen treat: layered ice creams in colors that resemble watermelon slices. Softened ice cream is messy, and her push-up pops turned out much prettier than mine (where did she find lime sherbet that color?), but they were delicious.

The Campfire S’mores were pretty darn good too, and easy!

Courtney has loads of entertaining tips at her website Pizzazzerie. I can spend some serious time on her site…and I do! Check out these Pie Favors in a Jar. They are next on my list to try!

Looking for a fun dessert? There’s no need to look anywhere else but inside the pages of these 2 cookbooks!