Introduction: Brownie Pops
Though I have wanted to, I have yet to make a cake pop. Instead of going ahead and doing this, I decided to change it and make something different. I thought, "Brownies are awesome, why aren't they on sticks yet?" Then I thought, "I love caramel, why can't I combine the two together?" This is the result.
Note: The last step is the blooper reel of last weeks failed Brownie Pops and this weeks failures. It's all in the name of progress and learning.
Step 1: Supplies
- Brownie Mix - 1 box will make anywhere from about 20 - 30 Brownie Pops depending on how big you make them.
- Candy Melts - I only used 1 bag, but didn't have enough for all my mix (though there wasn't too much left over) I would say you will need a bag and then some from another. Not 2 bags though, unless you really coat them.
- Jar of Caramel - I used the whole jar for maximum gooiness and awesomeness (the first time the jar was 16 oz, then 12.5 oz the second time because the store didn't have the 16 oz at the time) Also, I noticed I used two different brands of caramel, didn't notice this at the time, so I think Smuckers might just be a bit less gooey than Hershey's. I do know that it was harder to get the Smuckers out of the jar, which appears to be a good thing in this case.
- Cookie Sticks - I meant to get lollipop sticks, but grabbed the wrong ones, but I would strongly suggest the cookie sticks because they are thicker and stronger.
- Utensils to make brownies + brownie pan
- Big bowl - to mix brownie and caramel
- Big Wooden Spoon - to stir brownie/caramel mix
- Many small plates or dishes of some sort that you can put in the freezer
- Microwavable bowl - for candy melts
- Big Spoon - for rolling balls in chocolate
- Multiple of the last two just in case.
To get started, you have to bake the brownies. Follow the directions according to the package, and then let them cool. Then set them aside and forget about them for awhile.
Step 2: Crumble the Brownie
Once your brownies have cooled, break them into pieces into the bowl. The corners and the sides may be difficult. If they are too rough, just don't use them; you will still have plenty of brownie to work with.
When it is all broken up, pour in your caramel and just stir. It's going to get really thick and really, really sticky. From my many failed attempts, I have determined that the best way to proceed from here is to stick your bowl of brownie goodness into the freezer for about 20 minutes. It should get hard, and you want it to. It will soften up very easily and quickly once you take it out and when it is soft, it is very hard to work with.
Step 3: Preparing the Brownie Balls
Once it has sat in the freezer for a while, take it out and get ready to make some brownie balls. Take your plates (you can put something such as wax paper on the plates to try to avoid them sticking to the plates, but they might stick to the paper anyway) and roll about 5 or 6 for each plate. If you need to, which I did, use a fork to get globs out of the mixture. Make them no bigger than about an inch in diameter; the bigger they are the heavier they will get when you are trying to coat them in candy. Put them in the freezer once again.
If your batter gets too sticky to work with, just put it back in the freezer for a while and makes the balls later. Once you have all of your batter made into balls, and put in the freezer, give them some time to sit. If you can, keep track of which plates you put in first, it will make things easier later. They are going to stay in there for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Prepare Your Styrofoam or Cardboard Holder
Prepare your Styrofoam or cardboard holder. I had this handy cardboard packing from my husband's drum set that worked out well for this project. I just made holes in the top layer, then took it off and laid it on the second and marked where the holes would be so it lined up. Then I made the holes in the second layer. I used a pen to make and mark the holes. Use a pen you don't care about and is pretty normal (no fancy pens here) and sturdy, though mine still worked when I was done.
Then I took one of my cookie sticks and used it to make sure they would go all the way through the top hole and at least partially into the second. They will be heavy, brownies are dense already, and you want them to stay standing and not hit each other.
If you are using Styrofoam, use the cookie sticks to start the holes. The sticks are fatter so they probably won't just go in the styrofoam and you don't want to be struggling with it later when you have a heavy, wet brownie pop to deal with.
Step 5: Putting Them on Sticks and Coating
After the appropriate amount of time has passed, you can get your candy melts ready. Have your big spoon at the ready, as well. Take the first plate of balls out of the freezer; don't take them all out at once, they will soften. They will be stuck to the plates a bit, just use a fork or spoon to nudge them off and roll them a bit again if you have too. Don't handle them any more than you have to. It will just encourage them to get all gooey again.
Take a stick and dip it in the melted candy and put it into the brownie ball. I held the ball pretty firmly in my palm and twisted it a bit as I put it in the ball so the ball wouldn't want to just crack open. Lay it on the plate so the candy coating can harden to the stick a bit and do this with all the balls on your plate. Once they all have sticks, go back to your first brownie pop and grab a big spoon. Hold the brownie pop over the bowl and start to pour the candy coating onto it with the spoon. I didn't have much luck dipping it in the coating (which could be because I didn't have a whole lot of coating to stick it in) since the brownie balls are heavy and want to fall off the stick. Make sure you get the coating to cover the whole ball including where the stick meets the ball. Otherwise, later it will try to fall off of the stick.
Once you have coated the brownie ball, fill the spoon with coating and roll the ball on the spoon to try to get an even coating. The spoon is there to add coating, take some away, and create a semi-even surface of candy coating. Do this to each of the pops and stick them into your holder as you go.
Do this for all the plates of brownie balls. Now you just have to let them sit and harden. If you would like, you can add sprinkles while they are hardening or decorate them when they are all done. I had the intention to attempt this, but was so excited about my success that I forgot.
Step 6: Harden and Enjoy
They are the perfect treat for all occasions! I have been enjoying them for no occasion at all! Enjoy the delicious gooiness encased in a tasty chocolate coating.
Stay tuned to the next step for the pictures of the attempts at success (not failures).
Step 7: BLOOPERS
The first five are from last weeks attempt. That is when I didn't freeze the mix and ended up with a mixture way too gooey to work with.
The second set of photos is from yesterday when I tried to use an ice cube tray. My husband did have a bit of success when he filled the ice cube tray hole halfway with candy melt, took a small piece of brownie goo, put it in the candy melt and pushed it down a little so the candy coating went up the sides, and then covered it with more candy melt and put in a stick. It is still a bit difficult to get it out of the tray though. We had to crack them out like you crack ice out of a try which is why they are all falling apart. I tried to use spray in the ice cube tray, but when I put the candy melt on that, it got all runny and didn't seem to work well and was covered in butter spray.
All the failures, despite their appearance, were still delicious, just difficult to eat!