March rolled around and it was time for another birthday party, and what would you know…the theme again is…ANGRY BIRDS. This craze is completely out of control but luckily there are a lot of people out there going crazy and they have plenty of ideas of how to make cool Angry Bird things. Since we were throwing a full birthday party complete with screaming kids all hyped up on sugar and pizza, I left the cake up to my sister (where there will be pictures of) so I decided to take up the task of the party favors. Trying to brain storm, my sister gave me a printout for some Toy Story cake on a stick type treats and I figured I could use those for my favors.
I asked my son, what did he want the pops to be in shape of, the birds or the pigs? His reply…the PIGS…why…so him and his guests can EAT THE PIGS! I thought it was cute and it was helpful since the printout was for the pig character in Toy Story. (pictures & recipe/instructions after the link)
After contemplating the process of making the cake balls, I found myself the Cake Pop pan for $20 and figured it would be easier making a lot of pigs with this. I tested a few recipes to see what best thickness that would handle the decorating best, and I found BROWNIES work the best and was easier to handle. So this is my decorating recipe for my brownie pops. If you don’t have a cake pop pan, you can still try this decorating idea, here is the original post from the Disney Family website for the Hamm Cake Pops.
Thieving Pigs on a Stick (decorating recipe)
Makes 18 pops
1 Box brownie mix (including ingredients mentioned on box; oil, water & eggs)
18-20 mini marshmallows
9-10 regular marshmallows
1-2 bars melting chocolates
1 lb powdered sugar
3-5 T Sugar-free Vanilla coffee flavoring (liquid)
2-3 T water
1/8 tsp Vanilla extract
Green Food coloring
1 small tube Black Gel Icing
1/2 Stick of butter
Standing Mixer or Powered Hand Mixer
Cake Pop pan
18 pop sticks
Foam board to hold pops to dry
Large zip top bag
Mix your brownie mix according to directions.
Using a plastic spoon, take a small portion of the stick of butter and grease all compartments of the cake pop pan, top and bottom. Make sure everything is well coated with a thin layer of butter.
Pre heat your oven to 350°F (I ignored the box instructions since they don’t have a “cake pop pan” setting, but your oven may be slightly different).
Fill the bottom part of the pan with your brownie mix from the center holes outward (like the instructions say). Cover the bottom pan with the top cover and use the silicon fasteners to secure the 2 pans together.
Scrape the rest of your brownie mix into the zip top bag and make sure all the air is out. Cut the bottom corner off (just a little to form a small hole) and slowly pipe the rest of the mix into the cake pop pans through the hole at the time. You’re going to have to estimate, I find it easier to just do a little in each and keep repeating until I use up the rest of the mix and try to keep it even.
Place your cake pop pan in the oven for 25 minutes. There WILL be spillage, they leak out from the top holes. I haven’t seen them leak off the pan, but if you’d like to place a baking sheet on the rack below then you can. Keep an eye on the pan and check it half way through the cooking process, you may need to rotate the pan if your oven cooks unevenly. If you see some of the holes over flowing, just use a plastic or wooden knife or spoon and just brush them off to revel the whole. (You can leave them on the pan; they’ll cook through and become crispy once cooled, treat for the chef!)
Once your 25 minutes are done, check if they are done by putting a toothpick into one of the holes and seeing if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-5 minutes before removing the top cover. Carefully remove the silicon locks and the top cover, use a knife to carefully pry open the top pan. Carefully rotate the brownie balls and let cool for another 5 minutes. Then remove to a plate or cooling rack (you can line it with a paper towel to prevent marks on the ball) and let sit for at least 20-30 minutes.
To make the Frosting– Add Meringue Powder and brown sugar in a large bowl and combine well, set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup add your sugar-free vanilla flavoring, water, vanilla extract and add a few drops of green food coloring, depending on how dark you want to color to be. Add liquid mixture to the sugar mixture and slowing beat on low speed for 5-7 minutes or until icing loses its sheen. If the icing is too liquidy, let it sit out without a covering for 20 minutes to dry out a little and stir before using. If the icing is too hard, add a few tsp of water and continue to beat on low speed until blended. To prevent drying while decorating, cover bowl with a damp cloth. Store any leftover icing in an air tight container.
- Melt ¼ – ½ of your chocolate bar in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring between each until well melted. Take your lollipop sticks and dip about 1” into the chocolate and insert it into the bottom of one of the cake pops. Turn upside down so the stick is on the top and set aside to cool. Repeat this with the remaining cake pops until all are done. Let the chocolate cool for a few hours so you are able to hold the pop nicely without it falling or spinning around.
- On a workplace or cutting board, scoop out a pile of potato starch into a corner. Take your mini marshmallows and using a sharp knife, cut them in half. Dust the cut area in the potato start and reform the marshmallow to be a circle and set both pieces aside. Repeat these with the rest of the marshmallows until you have 18 pairs. Take your black gel icing and a toothpick and slowly add a small black dot to each marshmallow, set aside in an air tight container to let harden a little. These will be the eyes. (You can also make this a day or two in advance, as long as you keep it in a sealed container.)
- Do the same to the larger marshmallows, cutting them in half and dusting them with potato starch to keep them from sticking, just don’t put any gel icing on these. Set aside in an air tight container until ready to use. These will be the pigs’ snout. It will be covered by icing so you don’t have to decorate it at this moment.
- Take your stacker marshmallows, starting from the shorter side (longer side facing you) cut them into 4 equal strips. Dust the sides you cut with potato starch. Then take each strip and cut in half length wise and dust the cut edge. Smash it down a little to make it slightly round. Set aside on a flat surface to let it harden a little and cover until ready to use. These will be the pigs’ ears.
- Melt the rest of your chocolate in the same way as before. Take your ears and snout and dip a small section into the chocolate and place it on the cooled pops. Set aside (upward/standing up) and let the chocolate cool all the way to seal the marshmallow pieces onto the brownie. Repeat for the rest of the brownies.
- Once the chocolate is set, take your green icing and gently cover the entire pop trying to make it as smooth as possible, including the ears and snout. Once fully iced, carefully place your eyes above the snout and press in a little to make it stick. Set aside in a foam block to let harden fully, it will take about 3-5 hours to fully set. (Tip: If you have a small working block, you’ll need to let the pops set for 5-10 minutes and move to another stand to continue to work with the other pops. I used egg cartons with small holes cut at the bottom to hold the pops while they dry overnight.) Within this time, do not cover and let the icing be exposed to air.
- After the icing hardens, take the rest of your black icing and a toothpick and carefully create 2 lines snout holes on the snout of the pig. If you want to be more creative, you can use a small brush and brush on circles. Let dry once again until the icing sets and then you’re done!
I always try to make a little extra marshmallow parts just in case something goes wrong, sometimes the ears don’t want to stay or the eyes fall down too much. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. I lost a few ears while icing and it came in handy to have some extra ones lying around. My icing skills aren’t the best, so you can probably do a better job then me. A slightly liquidy icing makes for nice smooth coverage, but you’ll need to watch out for the dripping. If you don’t mind it not being smooth, then you can leave it with a thicker style of frosting. I needed to make 2 batches of frosting for the party and they both came out different. The 2nd batch had more liquid added so the look of the pigs are different.
(UPDATE: After everything was made and dried, I was told that the eyes were more to the side for the Pigs from Angry Birds. So, if you want to make it more AUTHENTIC, you’ll need to position the snout higher, more in the middle of the pop, and the eyes more to the side of the snouts. If you do that, it’ll look more like the pigs from the game. My bad.)
The cake, like I said earlier, was made by my sister. My son initially designed it to be a giant pig like I did last year with my youngest son. But then we decided to make a scene instead on a flat cake, using cookie bars covered in fondant as the planks to build the structure, fondant pigs (Saint Patrick Day themed-as instructed by my son), and Angry Bird rings. The cake itself was an ice cream cake; chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream and a whipped cream frosting.
(I edited the name on the cake, so that’s why it looks funny)
Along with the favors I created a cute little invitation for my son in a 4×6 size so we could print it out at Costco. Almost everything is made on Photoshop, aside from the little bonus items because they were too small to even try to draw out. My kids loved it and I decided to add a slightly altered version of the PSD to this post so you guys can download and edit for your own kids party. The font I used is included in the download. You just need to replace the text and insert your own child’s picture. Here is what the invitation looked like (hope you don’t mind me blocking some things out, you understand my point of privacy).