Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy pumpkin pop treats

I love helping out with my kid's school.  Not only do they go to a great school with amazing teachers, I find it fun to stay involved.  At the preschool, I am the lead parent coordinator, helping to plan events and projects with the teachers and then being the liaison to the parents.  At the school aged-level with Abby I am a member of the PTSA, volunteering my time to plan events and different activities.  One of my sole duties is being the teacher appreciation chair where I plan small monthly things for all the teachers and staff to show them how much we love them!  I usually center this around food, and more specifically, sweets. This month I was feeling halloweeny and felt like making some pops.  I decided to make chocolate-covered marshmallow pops decorated to look like little pumpkins.  It was quite easy to make them, but I had to make 100, so it did take some time.

To make these little cuties, you will need:
lollipop sticks
wilton's candy melts in orange
black icing
green ribbon
wax paper
*if you are packaging them, then you will need clear cello bags and ties

I like the Wilton's candy melts the best for when I am candy coating things like these and also cake pops.  They melt super easy and come in every color.  I usually buy them at Joann's with a coupon :) One bag of candy covered about 32 mallows.
Begin by following the directions on the package to melt the candy.  I use a medium glass bowl and use 50% power on the microwave. I let it go for about one minute and then stir, then stir every 30-45 seconds.  When it is just about all melted and smooth, add the secret ingredient:
A dollop of Crisco.  I KNOW!  Dieters look away! This is one of the only things I use Crisco in, but it really makes a difference and gets the candy to be thinner.  You can only add this to make it thinner, if you added milk or water or something else, the candy would seize up and would be unusable.  I add a spoonful in, stir well, and then micro for another 30-45 seconds till its thin and smooth.  Take out the mallows and the sticks.  Dip each stick in the candy and then stick in the mallow.  You can place them in a tray or plate to dry for a min or two.  This helps to keep the stick inside the mallow when you are dipping them.  You do this with cake pops or oreo pops too.
I did it in batches because I was making so many.  After they set for a few minutes, begin by dipping each pop in the chocolate.
I use a large spoon to help scoop the chocolate around it and by the top.  I usually spin and coat at the same time.
When it's coated, take it out and hold it like so (see my awesome photo above- no, I'm really terrible at taking these kind of pics, but you get the hint).  I tap where my hand and thumb meet while spinning the pop to help get an extra chocolate off of it.  Then, place on a wax paper covered tray to let dry.
Continue on until all the pops are covered then let set for a while.  I didn't feel like clearing my whole fridge out so I just left them on my kitchen table. This works fine, it just takes longer.  After they are all dry, make the faces.
I used this kind.  Its super easy to use and already made.  Wilton's makes some too and its just as easy.  Make a cute face on each pumpkin and then let dry, again!
Boo, boo, boo, boo!
Cute, eh?  I'm not a perfectionist, much to your surprise, I am sure.  I don't care of all the faces aren't the same.  They are still super cute!
Once dry again, tie a little ribbon onto the pop.  I tied it up top and then pushed it down to the top of the pumpkin.
I individually bagged all the pops ready to pass out at school.  I WAS originally going to tag them all with cute little tags but by this point I was so tired, I just decided to make a little poem to hang up by the teacher's boxes so they would know where their delicious present came from.
Here's my awesome poem:
"Dearest teachers and staff-
Here's a little Halloween treat,
that'll be sure yummy to eat.
We appreciate all the hard work you do,
with only old pencils; none new.
So this little pumpkin is here to say,
thank you so much from the PTSA!"
I know, I know, super creative, right??  Ha, well, I don't think I'm becoming a professional poet anytime soon, but cute it certainly was.
Hopefully everyone likes their yummy and easy treat.  This was also very inexpensive to create and would make a great addition to a Halloween party or event. It would be fun to make them for different holidays and occasions as well.
Happy non-baking! :)


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