Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bake for Creativity

There are two things that can lure me and my roommates out of our rooms in a matter of seconds: Seacrest’s voice on the beginning of American Idol, and the sweet smell of something baking. One of my roommates makes amazing cake balls, also known as brownie pops but without the sticks, and they are becoming a cute trend for wedding favors and bridal shower snacks.

I was first introduced to these tasty treats last Valentine’s Day when she made a huge, beautiful batch for her boyfriend. She printed out the extremely simple recipe for me, and the next day I made some of my own. I brought a plate of them to my boyfriend’s apartment, and he and his roommates finished them off in a matter of ten minutes. What I learned—these treats are definitely better suited for a shower than a bachelor party!

Basically, all you need is wax paper, cake mix, one can of icing, and almond bark (for the outer coating). If you want to glam them up, you should also get food coloring, sprinkles, and icing for drawing and writing on them. These delicious snacks do take some time to make—a little over three hours including baking and freezing time—but, they are so cute and yummy that it is definitely worth it. Plus, smelling the cake baking in your apartment or house is a treat in itself!

My favorite part about making cake balls is that with a little creativity, they can be made to match a theme, spell out words, or even look fancy and elegant. For Valentine’s Day, my friend bought white almond bark and red food coloring to make the outside of the cake balls pink, and drew a red heart on each one with icing. One idea for a spring wedding or shower is dying the almond bark various pastel colors and drawing flowers on them with icing. For a nighttime or winter wedding, dark red, chocolate brown, or dark purple dyed almond bark with stars, a moon, or romantic hearts would be perfect. You can also spell out the names of the bride and groom by putting one letter on each cake ball and arranging them, or write their initials on each ball.

If you love the idea of cake balls, but not so much the idea of creating them yourself, the personalized monogrammed brownie pops are an adorable version that you can buy. Also, if you aren’t the best artist, having a professionally decorated batch of brownie pops may be the way to go. They are beautiful and have tiny details that make them both a decoration and a treat!

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