[Fancy] Neapolitan Popsicles for Popsicle Week!
OH EM GEEEEEE, IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR . . . POPSICLE WEEK ! ! Billy's at it again, rounding up tons of awesome bloggers from all over the world to share their favorite frozen treats on sticks. Make sure you head to Wit and Vinegar and check them all out.!Here's the thing about this week, I looked forward to it all year and then somehow it was here and I almost missed it (insert *face screaming in fear* emoji). Yeah. That almost happened. Luckily, for me, I didn't and in honor of my favorite popsicles from #popsicleweek 2014, a.k.a. Erika's awesome Cereal Milk Neapolitan Popsicles, I made some [fancy] Neapolitan pops. I say [fancy] cause they really aren't but I kinda wanna pretend they are anyway :D.
If you're wondering why I was/am/forever will be so pumped about #popsicleweek, I mean besides the fact that it's AWESOME and who wouldn't be, I think it's probably got something to do with ice cream trucks. Or in my case, lack of ice cream trucks. Chances are you grew up hearing the ice cream truck music (lucky) and can remember running out the door so fast you maybe forgot your shoes. Well, I did not have an ice cream truck in my neighborhood but that doesn't mean I didn't dream about all the ice cream things I'd get if I did: push-pops, strawberry shortcake bars, choco tacos, and Neapolitan popsicles (do they have those?). Funny thing is, our neighborhood now has an ice cream truck and I do get embarrassingly excited whenever I hear it rolling around the hood. One day, I even begged Moses for some cash 'cause I HAD to have a push-pop. I'm assuming they do but wouldn't know since I still haven't visited one yet (he didn't have any cash!!).
If you're lucky enough to have had the ice cream truck experience, I'll admit, I'm a little jelly but if you're in the #noicecreamtruck camp like me, I bet you're super pumped about this week too. These [fancy] Neapolitan pops (hi Em, these are also for you) are awesome because they seem kinda fancy but really are a breeze to whip up cause you make the same base for all three layers, divide it into three bowls, add a couple extras, and boom: layered goodness. And this recipe is super customizable. If you're like Moses and only want chocolate, adjust accordingly (add enough chocolate for three parts instead of one part) or if you want straight vanilla, go to town on the vanilla bean!! Best part about these pops: you get to make TEN WHOLE POPS. Eat your heart out, ice cream truck!!
P.s. Don't forget to head to Wit and Vinegar for the rest of the #popsicleweek magic (like Steph's Homemade Fudgesicle Brownie Pops, Erika's Lemongrass Coconut creations, or Adrianna's Funfetti Cake Batter (omg, funfetti cake batter) Popsicles.
- 8 oz. fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup (I used Grade A)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 c. + 3 Tbsp. whole milk, divided
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate (I used Guittard Semisweet Wafers)
- Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
- Food processor or blender
- Popsicle mold and popsicle sticks
- Measuring spoons
- Glass measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Sheet pan
- Medium saucepan
- Ziploc bags
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Evenly arrange strawberries on a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with the coconut oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast until the strawberries are soft and fragrant, around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to the bowl of your food processor or the container of your blender (including juices) and let cool to room-temperature.
- Once cooled, add maple syrup and pulse or blend on low a few times to combine. The mixture should retain small chunks of strawberry. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of milk to make a slurry. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, and heat over medium heat, whisking often. When it begins to steam (it should steam after a few minutes), whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue whisking for a few minutes more until the mixture thickens slightly. (Don't walk away here or your mixture may boil over.)
- Remove saucepan from heat and divide the mixture, evenly, into three bowls.
- Stir in half of the strawberry mixture into the first bowl and reserve the remaining strawberry mixture on the side. Whisk in the vanilla bean seeds into the second mixture. Whisk in cocoa powder and chocolate chips into the third bowl. Let all three bowls cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes then transfer each mixture (including the reserved strawberry mixture) into their own ziploc bags.
- Snip off a corner of the strawberry-milk mixture and fill each mold a little less than a third way full. Snip off a corner of the strawberry mixture bag and top each mold with strawberry. Let set in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove mold from freezer and place popsicle sticks into the center of each mold. Snip off a corner of the vanilla mixture and fill each mold till it's two-thirds full. Let set in freezer for another 30 minutes.
- Remove mold from freezer and snip off a corner of the chocolate mixture and fill each mold till it's nearly full. Let set in freezer for at least 4-5 hours (but ideally 24 hours).
- Quickly run molds under warm water to release popsicles.
- Serve and enjoy!