The last Monday in May is reserved for Memorial Day, a day to honor the men and women who died while serving our country. I used to get sort of upset that the meaning of the day was lost. It's become just a three-day weekend and a celebration of the unofficial start of summer.
I'd be willing to bet that this Memorial Day, many of you will find yourselves at a picnic or barbecue that maybe feels a bit more celebratory than what Memorial Day was originally intended to be. And in my opinion, that's OK. I'll be there too! I've come to learn that you can do both - honor and celebrate. That's what my friends and I do, although with our own twist. You see, on Memorial Day, we work out.
Yup ... you read that right. We workout.
I belong to a gym here in Alexandria and each Memorial Day we choose a workout that's been created specifically in memory of a fallen hero. It's always one of our toughest and most grueling workouts of the entire year.
We gather in the morning and remember the soldier. We talk about their story and the significance of the workout. We tackle the workout together, all the while thinking about the person we're honoring as well as ALL service men and women. It's pretty incredible because when you feel like giving up, you think to yourself, "Man ... this is nothing compared to what they went through."
When we're done we're exhausted but we feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in our country and in our servicemen and women. Maybe that's not how everyone feels, but it's how I feel. And there's a very cool sense of camaraderie that comes out of it, too.
When we're done, we fire up the grill and bring out the dish we brought to share. We hang out and enjoy each other's company for the afternoon. I've come to LOVE it.
So why did I tell you all of that? Well. the easy cake pop recipe I'm about to share just happens to be what I plan to bring to our gathering this year. Cake pops are typically found at parties and celebrations, and quite frankly, I just didn't want you to think I didn't respect the true meaning of Memorial Day by bringing a "party food"!
I think these cake pops are perfect for any patriotic picnic. If you're looking to bring something sweet and red, white and blue, you're going to love this easy way to make cake pops.
Don't let the name fool you, these are a bit simpler than typical round, ball-shaped cake pops. Check it out! The recipe is below and here are some quick tips to use as you make them.
Start out by making your batter as instructed in the recipe. Add most of the batter to the pan, but reserve 2/3 cup to make colored batter: 1/3 for red and 1/3 for blue! Once you have your colors made, add dollops of each color to the pan like this:
Then use a butter knife to create swirls. Swirl it up a bit more than I have here (this is a progress shot), but not too much. We don't want it to start turning purple!
Then bake it as directed. Once it's cooled, invert the pan on a piece of parchment paper. Use a star cookie cutter to cut star shapes out of the cake. How cute are these already?
Sorry! I don't have photos of the next couple of steps, but I promise, they're simple! Insert a stick into each star and place them flat on a tray. Pop the tray in the freezer for an hour or two and then dip each pop into melted almond bark. Finish it off with some patriotic sprinkles, and you're done!
Aren't they great? These are perfect for any patriotic holiday. Enjoy!