October 31, 2008

Pioneer Woman's Cake Balls

Baking is the bane of my existence. I hate it. I suck at it. It is very frustrating for me to bake anything, even something as seemingly easy as Cake Balls. I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman website, and I was seduced by the promise of fun while baking. Also, I sometimes have Martha Stewart baking fantasies. I dream that my baked goods will always turn out delicious and be picture perfect. In reality they usually only pass as edible, and they look like an old Michelin tire. Cake Balls were no exception.

Once again, I had baking delusions of grandeur. I felt that I could just whip these little beauties up in an hour or two, and then take them to my MOMS Club Halloween party. Oh man, did things not go according to plan. First of all, they were not as easy as you would imagine. I was in the kitchen all day. They took a really, really, really, long time. Not so much the cake balls themselves, but the decorating. The decorating was nightmarish. For the dipping, I could not find the fancy colored chocolate. I had to improvise with some white chocolate chips and some regular semi-sweet chocolate chips. I had an issue with the white chocolate melting in the double-boiler, and I almost scraped the whole concoction into the trash. The white chocolate was just gooey and gloppy, and did not coat the cake balls very well. But I pushed forward. I did have better luck melting the regular chocolate. I cut a couple wooden skewers to make lollipop sticks, but the balls just broke and fell apart when I tried to put them on the sticks. Needless to say, my dreams of having cute,little cake ball lollipops deteriorated before my eyes. I wanted to delight all the children at the party with my cake ball pops, but I soon realized that my vision was unrealistic. So, the cake balls stayed in 'ball' format. Sigh.

At this point, I was ready to decorate with icing. I had purchased a ton of cake decorating supplies about two years ago, when I had similar delusions about Christmas sugar cookies. That little episode ended with me in tears and cursing Santa. One of my cookies did look like the proverbial Christmas tire (okay, maybe there is no such thing as a 'proverbial Christmas tire', but it makes me feel better to think my cookies looked like something holiday-related and festive).
Anyway, I took out all my cake decorating supplies and put them on the counter to admire. Once again, I was caught up in the fantasy of cake ball decorating. I started with the orange icing. I was trying to make the white chocolate balls look like little pumpkins. Yeah, that didn't work. I ended up just putting ugly orange stripes on three cake balls, before giving up. I got the black icing out to make cute little pumpkin faces...again, it just looked like globs of black icing on my cake balls. Not pretty. Not decorative. Not Martha Stewart-ish. From that point, I just gave up and used orange and chocolate sprinkles. I didn't even try to put icing on the regular chocolate cake balls. I just coated them with multi-colored party sprinkles. Ugh. Okay, I was not hyperventilating at this point...but close. I started to freak out when I tried to move my cake balls off of the wax paper into containers. They stuck. They tore. They made a mess, and I had ruined at least 6 cake balls.

This was the point where I freaked out and vowed never to bake again.

I was able to salvage most of them, and bring them to the party. They were okay, for the most part...but they did not live up to my expectations at all. Sigh.

If you are interested in years of therapy and a drinking problem, here is the link for the Cake Balls recipe.

Pioneer Woman's Cake Balls

Godspeed, my friends.

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