chocolate cake pops.

I haven't made a cake from a boxed mix in at least a decade. I thought it would feel like I cheated (like that time in ninth grade I memorized the answers to a quiz on Watership Down from a friend in the class before, but hey - a book about talking rabbits? I just couldn't get into it). It was surprisingly liberating, to have the entire thing in the oven in five minutes so I have more time to clean bathrooms, yay!

I didn't splurge on a from-scratch cake in case this recipe flopped, and it was a ploy to get my baby sister to help out in the kitchen since I came home to her announcing she made herself a grilled cheese today! If you don't keep it simple, bright, and colorful, she gets all ADD and starts complaining and licking sprinkles off the counter.

Plus, she's been on this kick lately where she thinks that "she won't get a man because she doesn't know how to cook." While this frightening statement is completely untrue, I couldn't deny that a man definitely enjoys a woman who can cook so the chores don't end up completely one sided, and I can't express the satisfaction I feel when I make something Justin loves, but come on baby sister! She's smart, and funny, and athletic, and she makes a fine grilled cheese sandwich.

We'll start the bidding at ten dollars.

So I talked her into making cake pops, it seemed easy enough, and despite the fact that I constantly heard the rain showers of nonpareil's spilling all over the floor, I think she liked it. I snagged the recipe for these from Bakerellla who makes crazy cute kinds of cake-pops, but I just don't have the time to make a bazillion intricate details on Big Bird's nose or little corn-cob pipes. So we dipped them into regular candy melts and straight into sprinkles, which worked okay at first, but as the cake balls come back to room temperature they fall off the sticks, the coating gets a little gloppy, and the whole process threatens to go from whimsical to wipe-out in less than an hour.

We made do with the few that would stand up and the others we pushed onto a flattened out mini-cupcake liner. And if you've never had them, the cookies and cream sprinkles are out of this world. You can use any flavor cake and frosting you like, boxed or homemade, and whatever color candy melts work for you. Or whatever you have left after your little sister eats the toppings right out of the bowl.

Chocolate Cake Pops
Adapted from Bakerella

1 box any flavor cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can  frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark or candy melts
Wax paper (for cake balls)
Piece of Styrofoam and lollipop sticks (for cake pops)

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package. If making into pops, insert the lollipop sticks into the center of each cake ball.

Roll balls in chocolate, coat with sprinkles, and lay on wax paper until firm. (For pops, press the stick into the Styrofoam block to allow them to cool without messing up the decoration.)

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