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02 May, 2011

Baking with Betty: Monkey Cookies & Cake Pops

Monkey Cookies

Two as promised tutorials for the desserts I made I my brother & sister in law's baby shower

Betty Crocker Cookie Mix, Sugar, 17.5-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12)

Just how did I make the monkey cookies (or as Connor calls them, Monkey Doo-keys)?  I started with the Betty Crocker sugar cookies in a bag.  Regular sugar cookie dough usually has to set for a few hours before making the cutout cookies.  Given all that I had to get ready for the party, I used as many short cuts as possible.

Jungle Pals Cookie Cutter SetI found a pack of Wilton animal cookie cutters on sale at Michaels.  This provided the template for how to decorate the face too.  So helpful.  I also love using Decorated Cookies recipe for frosting and tutorial for decorating cookies using the "flooding" method. (She also has a great sugar cookie recipe that I used for these).  Here's my step by step....

Outline cookies with stiff frosting and a #4 or #5 piping tip. 

"Flood" with runnier frosting and a spatula. Let harden, about 1 hour +  

Pipe & flood mouth area following steps above 

After everything is completely hardened, add details.  I used candy melts for the face and ears. 

Next day: Package! 

Cake Pops

Just like the monkey cookies, I used boxed cake and canned frosting for the cake pops.  It was buy one get one free cake mixes at Publix, and if you bought two boxes you got $1 off a can of frosting.  Heck yes!

I found the tutorials for these on Bakerella.  She is the QUEEN of fabulous cake pops.  I do believe Starbucks was inspired by her.  It took a while of digging through her blog to find her original recipe but, here it is.  Also, she makes the dipping and covering in chocolate / candy melts seem SO easy.  I got very frustrated with this process.  My tips?  Use a spoon to aid in the covering/dipping!  Keep your candy really warm (melty).  Make the cake balls smaller rather than bigger.

Baking my cakes.  I also used scraps from leveling the cakes for the decorated cake I made.

Not pictured:  Crumbling the cake.  Adding the frosting.  Rolling the balls. 
My hands were way too sticky and gross to even think about my camera! 

Blurry cake balls with candy coated sticks inserted 

Assorted colors 

Assorted sprinkles

Packaged and tagged ready to go!

Cake pops in a cubed flower vase!

I made these over a week ago and the cake pops are still tasty.  Next time I will know this is a project I can work on a few days before a party, or make them in stages over a few nights.  In one of Bakerella's posts she mentions you can even freeze them (but I forget which stage).

As with all baking and cooking, I think these will get faster and easier next time I make them.  The first time is always tricky.  They were both a huge hit at the party and I can't wait to make them again for another celebration!

Tastefully yours,

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