Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adventures in Cooking: Cake pop bars

I'm not a big fan of cake, so the first time I tried cake pops (last summer), I was rather surprised to find I liked them! I liked them so much that I contemplated making some of my own. I even looked up some recipes, which is how I learned that their secret ingredient – the thing that makes them taste so good and not at all like normal cake – is cream cheese. But really, who was I kidding? How could I, in good eco-conscience, willingly create a treat that required the use of a disposable lollipop stick, just for the aesthetics!? And all that effort, baking and rolling and freezing and decorating, only to make something I was just going to eat? Not going to happen!

At least, it wasn't going to happen...until I started thinking about that block of cream cheese, sitting in my refrigerator, bored and lonely...and how there was a precedent for making a treat that is traditionally rolled into balls and dipped, in a much less labor-intensive bar form instead.

And so I made it my personal mission to find a way to make cake pop bars! Here is the recipe, in classic Adventures in Cooking style.


1 package of Oreos
2/3 package of cream cheese
candy melts (melting chocolate)

  1. Remove Oreos from package. This is an actual step in my recipe because it gives me the opportunity to bring up the fact that you probably don't have Oreos. You don't have Oreos because who wants to pay 4$ for a 14.5-oz pack of cookies when they can buy the Target brand sandwich cookies for $2.09 and get an extra ounce in the bargain? So open up your pack of Market Pantry sandwich cookies and begin to contemplate how many cookies are in that extra ounce and whether you should modify the recipe to account for that.
  2. Use a food processor to crumble cookies. If you don’t have a food processor you can put the cookies in a large plastic bag and use a hard object to crush the cookies as finely as possible. You don't have a food processor, and you don't have a clean plastic bag, either (because buying bags just to use them once would be wasteful), so improvise by emptying the industrial-sized bag of M&Ms in your fridge and using that. Eat a couple M&Ms.
  3. Because the bag has been previously chewed by the dog, allow cookie crumbs to spill out of the holes and onto the counter. Be unsuccessful in completely crushing the cookies (despite the use of a heavy cooking pot in lieu of a rolling pin, because who has one of those lying around!?) and so move them into the blender.
  4. Blend cookies several times. Spray more cookie crumbs on counter.
  5. Get cream cheese out of refrigerator.
  6. Realize you probably should have let the cream cheese soften before attempting to mix it into the powdered cookies, so take a break. Start writing a blog post about this recipe or something.
  7. When you come back 2.5 hours later from selling stuff on eBay, in a bowl, combine Oreo cookie crumbles and cream cheese. First try to do this with a wooden spoon, but find that the cream cheese is too attached to itself to want to mingle with the crumbs. Then try using an electric hand mixer. Spray more crumbs on counter. Go back to the wooden spoon, spill more crumbs, then finally decide to wash your hands and knead that stuff!
  8. Form dough into one large ball and chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes.
  9. Three hours later, come back and read the next step, which says "Now, roll dough into 1.5 inch balls." Realize that since you wanted to spread the dough into a pan rather than roll it into balls, it was probably counterproductive to refrigerate it. Oh well. Forward momentum!
  10. Ignore the following step: Use the second half of my Cake Pop Recipe to complete your pops. I like to serve mine chilled. Recipe will yield approximately 25 cake pops.
  11. Instead, press the cake pop batter into an 8x8-inch pan.
  12. Get out a bag of white chocolate. Overestimate how much you need, then melt it in the microwave per the instructions.
  13. Spread melted white chocolate over pan of batter with a rubber spatula. Realize you have either not melted your white chocolate enough, or it is just too thick by nature, because it is dragging crumbs of cake pop batter wherever you spread it. Eventually succeed in spreading the now-blackened white chocolate over the entire pan.
  14. Cut the bars while the white chocolate is still hot, because it is far too thick and certainly won't be cuttable while it's cool.
  15. Take some photos, go wild with the filters, and try to make it look delicious!
  16. (Optional) You now have 1/3 of a package of cream cheese and some unknown quantity of white chocolate left over. Imagine what kinds of Adventures in Cooking you can have with that!

This recipe was lovingly modified from one I found online.