When I started thinking about the cake idsplay for the Star Wars/Space party, I immediately thought of planet cake pops. I typically only like to make cake pops when there's a reason for the thing to be on a stick in the air. Flying snitches? Awesome. Planets orbiting my cake stand? Yes!
Two problems with that idea, though. 1) No cake scraps in the freezer. I'm not admitting who ate them all, and I wasn't about to bake an entire cake just so I could smush it up. 2) I'm really, really bad at making cake pops.
The first problem was easily solved. I wouldn't actually make cake balls. Instead, I'd make peanut butter planet pops. Chocolate and peanut butter is never a bad idea! So I whipped up a batch of a favorite childhood treat.
Healthy Peanut Butter Balls Recipe
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups dried, fat free milk powder
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1) Mix in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Roll into balls. That's it. I love one step recipes! I purposefully made my balls all different sizes--I didn't want my solar system having just one size of planet, after all.
How to Make Peanut Butter Planet Pops
chocolate melts, various colors
peanut butter balls (or cake balls, if you'd prefer)
1) Use the lollipop stick to poke a hole in your ball. Melt a bit of one of your chocolate melts, and dip the end of your stick in it, then immediately insert into the hole you made in the peanut butter ball. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm.
2) Melt your other chocolate colors. Dip your peanut butter ball in a base color, then drizzle a second (and third, and fourth, if desired) color on the still-melted chocolate coating. Twirl the planet pop until the chocolate firms up slightly (I often stick my hand in the freezer to help this along), and the planet pop can be inserted inStyrofoamto cool down without dripping the coating all over.
3) Make some chocolate rings by piping circles of chocolate on waxed paper. I didn't measure; I just piped random circles. Once the chocolate rings are completely hardened, you can peel them off the waxed paper and try them on cake pops until you find one that fits. Use a little melted chocolate to attach the ring to its new planet.
And there you have it: peanut butter planet pops. I displayed them on the bottom tier of my sweet stand by covering a foam ring (from the craft store) with silver glitter and sticking them in at odd angles. I also trimmed the length of some of the planet pops so that they would orbit at different elevations.
So how did I overcome problem #2 (that I suck at cake pops and the like)? Rationalization. The bumps and lumps and misshapen chocolate on my peanut butter planet pops were not mistakes, I decided, but ratherdepictionsof the roiling gaseous clouds of the planets' atmospheres. Works for me.