Remember the last time I was here, I raved about cake pops? Well, no more. I am DONE with cake pops…at least for a while. After spending the entire day (yes, literally) making these bad boys and realizing that I could’ve done it in a more efficient manner, I decided that I need to take a break from all the sweets that I’ve been indulging in my kitchen lately. My short romance with cake pops is over for now.
Don’t get me wrong. I had lots of fun with them. They put a smile on my face when I see how adorable they look. Just like these guys here (i.e. the bride & groom).
I wanted to make cake pops for my brother-in-law’s wedding as a gift, so everyone can enjoy a little sweet treat. Shamefully, I did not do enough research 😦 Because afterwards, I discovered that these cake pop kits actually exist. See–this only proves how much of an amateur baker I am! Had I known about these kits, I would’ve saved myself about an hour…or half an hour, at least. Everything was going fine up until the dipping part. Those darn candy melts really got on my nerves! For some strange, unknown reason, the white candy melts and I don’t agree with each other. Or maybe it doesn’t agree with my microwave.
Melting the candy melts in the microwave proved to be a messy dilemma. Even worse, I had accidentally put a few random bits and pieces of cake into the same bowl that I was melting the candy melts in! [Never ever do this…because you will get clumps in your melts, therefore ruining any opportunity for a consistent, smooth dipping]. Finally, the purple melts gave me the texture that I wanted; however, it took a while before the pops were hard enough to dip into the melts.
Later on, I realized that the trick is making sure you put in just enough frosting to combine with the cake. I might have added a little bit too much frosting into the cake crumbles, simply because I wanted to have a soft, cakey inside. Problem is- putting half a can of Duncan Hines frosting may not be necessary. Perhaps one third of the can would be sufficient–you only need enough to make sure the frosting combines with the cake to allow you to form a ball. Overall, lesson learned.
If my teeth isn’t rotting away from all the sweets by now, then I would thank my lucky stars. So in order to reduce my sweet craze, I’ve been looking into baking things that are semi-healthy…or at least, with less sugar! I hunted around my ridiculous collection of magazines and came upon Eating Well magazine. [Now, if you’ve never heard of this magazine, you’re insane! They’re focused on healthy eating and education; therefore, they always provide recipes that are good for you. But hey–I’m not their marketing girl. They’d have to pay me first! 😀 hehehe] Within the July/August 2011 edition, there’s a recipe for zucchini bread that is really to die for.
To be honest with you, I know almost nothing about zucchini. Since they happened to be on sale at a local grocery store, we decided to get a few, which inspired me to do something with it. I needed something that was simple & easy to make and taste delicious at the same time. The recipe from the magazine really fit the criteria. The thought of baking with a vegetable was odd to me, however. How can it possibly taste good? I asked myself. After all, I was so used to baking with candy and chocolate.
Da da da dum….*drum roll please* After trying out Eating Well’s version, I became an instant fan. *GASP* These decadent, fluffy loaves had just the right balance of sweet and savory. Sigh. I wish you had been there when I took them out of the oven. It was like I died and went to baking heaven.
A little extra zucchini left over prompted me to test out another zucchini bread recipe several days later. This one comes from Paula Deen. Now, if you ever decided to Google “zucchini bread recipes”, one of the very first results is Paula Deen’s recipe. The race is on–whose version of zucchini bread is better? The lesser-known EatingWell magazine’s version or the highly publicized version? (and I’m sure Food Network somehow had a financial say in how the results appear on Google’s search results).
Da da da dum….*more drumroll please* Eating Well’s version wins! At least, in my world it does. Paula Deen’s version is an extremely sweet version of zucchini bread. It calls for three cups of sugar–three!! *BIGGER GASP* My evil, sweet loving self told me that it was too much sugar as I’m standing there in my kitchen mixing the ingredients. Still, I trooped on and made the bread anyway. It had a few differences from the first one (and was rather sweet- no surprise there), including the nutmeg, extra eggs, lemon juice…basically, a little bit more of everything. [Paul Deen–you seem like a lovely lady, but your Southern accent and high in fat, sugared up recipes may possibly give somebody a heart attack, or a trip to the dentist, so thanks but no thanks]. The magazine’s version, on the other hand, called for a lot less of everything–just a few basic ingredients that took less than 20 minutes to prepare. Simple. Easy. Delicious. Thank you, EatingWell, for showing me what good, healthy bread tastes like.
Now, I love zucchini bread so much I want to marry it. I think my husband is a little bit scared now.