It never fails. In the post Halloween madness, I rifle through the candy dish only to find that the Almond Joys are gone. We have this problem every year, an Almond Joy shortage, because everyone in our family happens to love Almond Joys.
So, as I was walking through the grocery store, I saw something that made me do a serious double-take.
International Delight has come out with Almond Joy coffee creamer! I was hesitant to put it in my cart, because, come on, how often do things actually taste like the candy they’re supposed to? I’m a skeptic. But, I thought, if nothing else, this will taste pretty good in coffee.
Then, I remembered something. Miss CandiQuik wrote an awesome post about using Coffee Creamer in cake pops! Um, hello? Wouldn’t that just be perfect?
When I got home, I tasted a little bit of the coffee creamer, and I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. It literally tasted like liquid Almond Joy, and I was in heaven.
To make the cake pops, I started by baking a chocolate cake. You can totally use your favorite boxed chocolate cake mix here if you’d like, but I realized after my shopping trip that I was fresh out of chocolate cake mix (how does that even happen?!) and decided to whip up my favorite from-scratch recipe. If you’re making the cake from a box, add in 1 teaspoon of almond extract when it’s in the batter phase. If you’re making a from-scratch cake, substitute any vanilla called for with the almond extract.
To make the cake from scratch, start with 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, making sure to sift t, then add in 1 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 of a teaspoon salt. You can actually stop here, bag up the mix in an airtight baggie or container, and keep it on the shelf for up to three months, but I decided to add my liquids and bake right away. Before using the mix, I try to sift it again, which produces a lighter cake.
Once you’ve sifted your dry ingredients, stir in 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup of water, 3 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of almond extract (for a typical cake, use vanilla, but for these cake pops, almond adds that extra boost for Almond Joy flavor). Bake the cake in a 9×13 pan in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until cake is done in center and toothpick comes out clean.
Now let it cool completely, which is really, really difficult to do when you smell the cake and want to dive straight in, fork optional.
Once it’s cooled… shred the cake to bits!
This is where your Almond Joy coffee creamer comes in. Pour in as little as 1/4 cup but as much as 1/2 cup, kneading the mixture together as you go, making sure it’s moist enough to form a ball. In this step, I also added in 1 tablespoon of CocoReal to boost the coconut flavor, but that is totally optional and doesn’t affect the taste too much. Then, knead in 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
It will look a little something like this:
See all of that delightful moist cake-y coconut mixture?
Take that and roll it into balls. This is where you can take one of two paths… I rolled mine into ping-pong sized balls, which is about the size of a typical fun size Almond Joy once it’s shaped. This size is a good size, but it can actually be a little rich, so you might want to roll them about half of that size. On the plus side, you’ll get more of them, which is perfect if you’re taking the treats to neighbors and friends, or bringing them to a cookie exchange. If you’re like me, you’ll want the big pieces. It’s up to you how big you’d like to roll them.
After making sure my balls were all uniform (I live with a 12 year old… I can’t type that without snickering anymore), I rolled each of the balls into a log-like shape that resembled an Almond Joy more closely, then I pressed an almond into each one.
Pop those into the freezer for at least half an hour, but preferably a little longer than that.
Melt some milk chocolate, remove your pops from the freezer, and then dip your stick into chocolate and then stick it into the pop. If you find the chocolate is too thick for proper dipping, you can always thin it out with a little bit of coconut oil.
If any of your almonds decided to jump ship, at this point, you can drizzle a little bit of melted chocolate into the indentation and press the almond back onto the pop. That should secure it on easily.
Refrigerate or freeze those for a little longer to solidify the chocolate and make sure the sticks are secure.
Now, do the final dipping… dip each cake pop in chocolate, shake off the excess, and then let them dry completely, sticking them in the refrigerator to help speed up the process. Melt some white chocolate and tint it green (or use Nestle’s fun red and green baking bits!) and drizzle that over the top of your cake pops, if desired, to add a festive touch.
Don’t have any lollipop or cookie sticks on hand? Don’t worry… you can absolutely make these cake pops into cake bites by leaving the stick out and dipping the bits into chocolate themselves.
Serve that with a large cup of coffee using the leftover Almond Joy creamer, and you have the makings for a perfect snack.
Don’t forget to play with other flavors of International Delight liquid coffee creamer and let me know which ones you like best in your cake pops!