Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweets for Socials

I had to go to a social last Friday night, and I had to make 2 desserts for it. Needless to say, I was eager to try something old and something new. I love the opportunity to try new recipes out, but I didn't want to make something really involved. But I did want to make desserts that would present well.

So...I decided to make Paula Deen's Chocolate Bread Pudding, (which I've made several times before) and bake them in individual foil liners (using a muffin tin). I also made Chocolate Cake Ball Lollipops (for the first time). I actually followed The Pioneer Woman's Recipe for the cake balls, because her posts are always very detailed along with gorgeous pictures of the process.

A couple of notes....I cut the bread into fairly small cubes for the pudding, and used mini-chocolate chips. If you read the reviews on the website for Paula Deen's recipe, everyone believes 2 teaspoons of almond extract is too much, and I totally agree...that amount would overwhelm the chocolate flavor. I only used 1/2 teaspoon, and I think it's just right.

When I made the cake balls, I did add about one teaspoon of shortening to the candy melts to make it a bit thinner and easier to work with. I used one box of devil's food chocolate cake mix and coated 1/2 the balls in white candy melts, and 1/2 in dark chocolate candy melts. When you dip the cake balls, make sure to use a deep bowl or large, deep mug to complete submerge the cake balls. Rotate the balls right after they're dipped, so the coating is nice and smooth. I used a 1 inch sheet of styrofoam to stick the cake ball lollipops in while they dried.

Here's a pic of the chocolate bread pudding...

And here's the cake ball lollipops...

Even though they look fancy, the cake ball lollipops were not hard to make at all. They did take some time. You have to bake the cake, crumble it up, mix it with the frosting, form the mixture into balls, freeze them for one hour, and then dip them in the candy melts. But it was FUN! Seriously...these were fun to make, and I cannot wait to make more for a bake sale, birthday party, baby shower, etc. You can color the white candy melts any color you want. I poured the leftover candy melts into miniature squeeze bottles (available at Walmart) to make the chocolate swirls.

If you have a party to go to, I encourage you to try either one of these recipes. They are super cute and everyone will rave over them. I got several lovely compliments at the social...which was very humbling. I really hadn't been in the mood to cook or bake since Easter (I guess I was a bit burned out), but these desserts were just the thing to help me get creative again.

God bless your table tonight!

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