Popsicles are one of those summertime foods that make you feel like a kid again, even though when you make homemade pops with fresh fruit juice, yogurt and other quality ingredients your pops are a big cut above those you ate as a kid. My popsicle mold collection includes many pops that have a sort of traditional shape, shapes that you might see at the ice cream truck. There are some pop molds that bring a little more fun to the popsicle making – and eating – experience, and these Tovolo Bug Ice Pop Molds are a great example of that. These popsicle molds are all shaped like bugs you might find out in the garden during the summer – a ladybug, a caterpillar and a beetle – and they’re definitely cute enough to eat. The set comes with six pop molds and a stand to hold them upright in the freezer while they set up. The bright green handles look a bit like the stems of plants, and will nicely set off brightly colored pops – as well as keeping your hands free from sticky drips with their drip guards. The whole set is made of BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
I would call first dibs on the ladybug pop if I were making a batch of these, and I would definitely opt for bright colors and flavors to highlight the look of the bugs. Ladybug would be strawberry or watermelon, while the caterpilar would be lime or even mojito-flavored (lime+mint+rum – grown up pop!) and I would pick dark colored blackberries for the beetle.
Tovolo makes lots of neat popsicle molds and, although I like them all, their Rocket Pop Molds have to be one of their most eye-catching designs. The popsicle molds are all shaped like rockets – just like the classic red, white and blue Rocket Pop (or the similar Bomb Pop) that you might have found at ice cream trucks as a kid. The design is fantastic and the ships have a lot of detail, while still retaining their classic pop shape. Popsicles molded in these come out with a clear rocket design and, after rinsing the exterior of the mold under hot water for a few seconds, they unmold very smoothly.
The pop molds are sold in a set of six and they come with a plastic base that all of the molds snap into. Although the shape of the molds is fun, the base is one of the best parts about this set because it makes the pop making process very easy. Upright molds are easy to fill and you don’t need to worry about them falling over or leaking in your freezer. It also allows you to create multi-layered pops easily, as you can fill them one layer at a time with a brief freeze in between flavors. The sticks are short enough that you can partly freeze the pop before popping them on, but long enough so that the pops stay on the stick the whole time you’re eating them.
You can see what these pops look like unmolded in my post for Lemonade Yogurt Popsicles, but you can make them in any flavor you can think of – even a classic red, white and blue.
The jingle of the ice cream truck would bring me and all of my friends running when we were kids playing in the park after school. They always had something new and exciting that looked good, and some kids would go for that. I liked the new and exciting things, too, but often stuck with a few treats that were my favorites and twin pops were one. Twin pops are frozen treats that look like two popsicles stuck together. You could eat them as one item, holding on to both sticks as you licked the melting fruit juice, or you could try to break them in half to share with a friend. I don’t remember what other flavors the twin pops came in, but I tended to go with “red.” I haven’t been to an ice cream truck in a while, but I recently spotted the Tovolo Twin Pop Molds that allow you to make your own twin pops at home. The set comes with molds to make four double pops. The bases, even though they are plastic, will also separate to give you the option of splitting your pop, just like the ones from the ice cream truck. All of the molds snap into a base to hold them upright in the freezer as they set, too. You’ll have to supply your own ice cream truck jingle, but the pops will be just as satisfying as they were when you were a kid.
I’m staying away from “red” pops this time around and would fill these with Strawberry Margarita Popsicles or Homemade Fudgesicles instead.
Generally, whisks that are large and have many, well spread-out wires are the most effective for mixing batters because they can get through the batter to incorporate all of the ingredients quickly and easily. Tovolo’s Better Batter Whisks break this tradition to some degree. The colorful silicone whisks are not large and have relatively few “wires,” but they have an unusual design that combines a whisk and a spatula that makes their whisks very effective. The idea is very much like the idea behind bowl-scraping silicone paddles for stand mixers: the ends of the whisk have thick, blade-like silicone extensions that add a folding motion along with the usual action of a whisk. This allows the batter to come together faster, with fewer strokes of the tool, and should create a more tender batter (for pancakes, for instance) than your average whisk might. Those blades also scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix your batter, just about eliminating the need to use a separate spatula for the same job.
The whisks can be used for mixing just about anything, not just for baking applications. They can be used to whip up fluffy scrambled eggs and to whisk sauces and puddings on the stove top, as the silicone is heat resistant to 600F and is gentle enough to use in nonstick pans.