Now that "cake pops" have blown up to be such a huge trend in recent years, anything goes with them- from super simple, to ultra fancy and decadent! In this case, I recently had to donate some pastries for a school auction, so I decided to go with some fun seasonal items, and "pumpkin" combined with "bourbon" sounded pretty darn good to me! To add in the decadence, (subtly mind you!), I happened to have some cream cheese frosting left over from some recent cupcakes I made, and used that as an added binder, as well as some richness in flavor and texture.
This recipe can truly be as simple or as complicated as you would like to make it! I made my own pumpkin bread, but you can totally just purchase all of the ingredients at the store to speed the process up! Cake pops in general are super easy to make, and it's really the decoration that can be the most time consuming. If you have some decorating skills, feel free to use your creativity and do what you would like! Otherwise, you can simply just coat these in chocolate and dip, or finish, with any kind of seasonal sprinkles. However you do it, these are seriously scrumptious, and a fabulous item to serve for the upcoming holidays to your ADULT guests!! Wow- these are awesome!
**P.S. I am not a fan of white chocolate for dipping things!! However, I recommend using pre- colored melting wafers, such as "Wilton" products, vs. coloring your own using the standard "white choc. chips". (White choc. chips when melted, are very thick, and more difficult for dipping. You would need to thin out with some oil- which compromises the texture and quality. )
Yield: Roughly 4 dozen
1 loaf of Pumpkin bread (can be store bought, or homemade with your favorite recipe!)
4T+ of Bourbon
1 cup+ of Cream Cheese frosting (Can be store bought- 1 can)
**optional: 1-2 drops of flavored Orange oil
2-3 bags (11-12oz. each) of Dark chocolate chips, Semi-sweet, or colored wafers
2 parchment or silpat lined sheet trays
40-50 cake pop sticks or decorative paper straws (cut in half)
sprinkles, cookie crumbs, candy pieces, chopped nuts, etc.
**food service gloves for rolling
1) This is the fun part: If mixing by hand, I recommend using food service gloves for sanitation purposes!
In a large mixing bowl, simply place the pumpkin loaf, Bourbon, and cream cheese frosting, and mix well with your hands until completely combined! (Kind of like when you are making meatloaf!) Test the mixture, and adjust by adding more Bourbon or frosting if necessary!
****You could also mix with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer as well.
2) Using your hands, take a good teaspoon of dough and roll up into a ball, placing them 20-30 per sheet tray.
***If you only wish to make 12-24, simply freeze the leftover mixture for future use in a freezer bag, or freezer safe container!
3) Once the desired number of cake pops are rolled out, cover tray(s) with plastic wrap, and freeze for a good 30 min. or more. (Can do this the night before as well!)
4) Begin melting your chocolate and temper. Prep your decorations if dipping bases right in sprinkles, nuts, etc. by placing items in shallow dishes. Place a stick in each ball. Immediately begin dipping in chocolate, by holding onto the stick, and making sure the mixture is covered completely. Then, dip the bottom in sprinkles, etc. if doing so.
It's important to dip these when they are very cold, as once they soften, they may fall off the stick! ***As an added precautionary measure- use some of the melted chocolate to pipe at the base of each straw, return to freezer for 5min. before dipping. If you are still having problems with the mixture falling off the stick, simply return the un-dipped ones back in the freezer to firm up again.
5) Finish the cake pops however you would like with sprinkles, candies, cookie crumbs, or by piping on chocolate designs, etc.!
6) Refrigerate or leave in a cool dry place either wrapped, or in a storage container for up to a week, (if they last that long! Lol!)