Recipe: Jack Skellington Gingerbread Cake Pops

Ok, I know what some of your are thinking, "Hey!  Halloween was last month!  Shouldn't you be skipping over Thanksgiving and jumping straight to Christmas like everybody else by now?"  And, in a way, I am.  The debate over whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie rages on, despite director Henry Selick declaring it a Halloween movie just last month.

And for good reason.  I mean, sure, it's hard to look at characters like Jack Skellington and Sally without seeing Halloween, but the story itself doesn't even begin until Halloween is practically over.  The rest is all about Jack's newly discovered love of the jolliest of holidays, with the trappings of both holidays combined, a mish-mash of skeletons and tinsel.

For this reason, I think the best time for The Nightmare Before Christmas is right when the movie takes place - after Halloween, and with Christmas just on the Horizon.  And that's why these cake pops may look like Halloween on the outside, but inside is one of my favorite Christmas flavors, good old fashioned gingerbread.

Jack Skellington Gingerbread Cake Pops

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
vanilla frosting
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/4 bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9" square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.  Set aside.

Beat together sugar and oil, add egg and molasses and mix until thoroughly combined.

Mix dry ingredients into wet until the batter just comes together.  Add hot water and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.  You should have a very wet batter.

Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Now it's time to get messy!  Crumble the cake into a large bowl, so you've got a big bowl full o' cake crumbs.  Add the vanilla frosting a spoonful at a time, and combine with the crumbs until the crumbs are just wet enough that you can roll them into balls.  

Use a cookie scoop and your hands to make 1 1/2" wide balls with the cake crumbs.  Set aside.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each time until the chocolate is just melted.  Using lollipop sticks, dip one end of the stick into the melted chocolate and the stick through the gingerbread ball.  Repeat for each ball.  Once done, refrigerate for 1-2 minutes to set.

Now dip each cake ball into the melted white chocolate, using a spoon if you need to to cover completely.  Tap the stick on the side of the bowl to get rid of excess chocolate, then dry either on wax paper, or standing straight up using a cake pop stand or floral foam brick.  Put in the fridge for 1-2 minutes to set.

Melt the dark chocolate in the same manner as the white.  Transfer to a piping bag or decorating pen and paint on Jack's skeletal face.  Add a dapper ribbon tie and Jack is all set!