Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweets, Sweets, and More Sweets

Because many residents of Lafayette are unfamiliar with our Chinatown neighborhood, I thought it would be a great idea to take residents on a tour of the area, pointing out some of the best local restaurants and grocery stores.  Along with my fellow RA, Joanna, we sampled Italian pastries from Ferrera Bakery this past Saturday.  Since 1892, they've been wowing New Yorkers with their cannolis and pignoli cookies.  All I can say is Carlo's Bakery better watch out; Ferrera's desserts are just as yummy, and the commute is a whole lot shorter.  Next, our group stopped at Tasty Dumplings.  For only $1.25, we were able to get each resident a dinner of five dumplings.  Our last stop was Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  Notorious for their bizarre flavors, I sampled blueberry, red bean, and pumpkin pie before finally deciding on red velvet cake ice cream.  Just as quick as I finished, I started craving more.  Just writing this post, I'm pretty sure I'll have to walk back over there tonight for more. 

Sugar Plum Fairy Pops 
Sweet treats have certainly been on the brain.  So for this weeks floor program, I made cake pops.  I found the recipe in my Ballerina Cookbook.  This easy  recipe make 36 pops, but be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. 

  • 1 prepared cheesecake
  • 36 popsicle sticks
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of shortening
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  • Chopped nuts (optional)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to scoop out 1-inch balls of cheesecake.  With clean hands, shape the portion into a ball.  Roll with you hands until the ball is smooth, and place it on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat to make about 36 balls. 

Place your popsicle sticks in the top of each cheesecake ball.  Make sure the stick goes almost through the other side, but not quite.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until they're hard.  It'll take about three hours. 

When you're ready to dip the pops, break the chocolate into pieces and put it in a microwave-safe bowl with the shortening.  Microwave the chocolate on high for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Repeat this step until your chocolate is melted, smooth, and creamy. 

Remove your pops from the freezer.  Dip each pop in the chocolate, tilting the bowl as needed to cover the cheesecake bowl.  Remember to hold the pop upright so the chocolate drips down to cover the entire pop.  Return each pop to the parchment-lined pan and sprinkle with your toppings (Besides sprinkles and nuts, I also chopped up peppermint sticks and drizzled melted peppermint patties on the top of  some for variety.)  Repeat this step for your remaining pops. 

Store in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. 

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