There is nothing more exciting or nail-biting than the Kentucky Derby, also known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” – and that’s no exaggeration! Although I’ve always wanted to attend the Derby, hosting a Saturday afternoon get-together to cheer on my favorite thoroughbred is the next best thing. The Derby also combines my two other favorite things: mint juleps and fancy hats! For my Derby party this year, I couldn’t think of a better treat than Mint Julep Treat Pops, outfitted with their own fancy hats and bowties just for the occasion.
The best part about Treat Pops is that you can create any number of unique flavor combinations! For my Mint Julep Treat Pops, I decided to layer sugar cookies with “homemade” mint julep ice cream.
The first thing to do was to make my ice cream. I didn’t feel like making ice cream from scratch (who has the time?!), so I decided to doctor some ice cream I purchased at the grocery store. It is next to impossible to find plain mint ice cream (without chocolate chips), so I decided the best thing to do would be to doctor some nice vanilla ice cream.
Using a stand mixer (you could do this with a hand mixer), I mixed 1 teaspoon mint extract in 1 pint of vanilla ice cream. And, to make things extra special, I added 1 tablespoon of bourbon to the ice cream, giving it that traditional mint julep flavor! Using a toothpick, I added just a hint of Kelly Green Icing Color to give my ice cream that classic mint color. I then scooped my ice cream back into the container and put it back in the freezer to firm back up.
Next were the cookies! Wilton’s Mini Whoopie Pie Pan was the best way to make perfectly sized cookies for my treat pops. Using Wilton’s sugar cookie recipe, I pressed the dough into my whoopie pie pan, then baked at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.
Once the cookies cooled, I began to assemble my treat pops. Wilton’s innovative treat pop containers include a cap with a square hole in the center, which turns it into a stand for your treat pop container for two-handed decorating!
Starting with a cookie in the bottom, I alternated layers of cookie with my mint julep ice cream. Wilton’s small Stainless Steel Cookie Scoop was perfect for scooping ice cream into the treat pop container. For my Mint Julep Treat Pops, I used 3 small cookies and 3 small scoops of Mint Julep ice cream. Freeze the treat pops until you’re ready to serve.
To finish off my Kentucky Derby scene, I topped my Mint Julep Treat Pops with fancy fondant hats and bowties. Both decorations were incredibly easy to make with Wilton’s Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant and Icing Colors.
It was so fun to make hats in all different colors and decorate them with mums, blossom flowers, and ribbons! But, if you don’t have the time for these extra decorations, topping your treat pop with a few sprigs of mint would be just as gorgeous, and would give that extra minty kick you find in southern mint juleps!
It’s not a proper Run for the Roses without a few roses, so I also made a few treat pops using the same sugar cookies and stabilized whipped cream icing.
I had NO IDEA you could make stable whipped cream that you could pipe just like buttercream, but this whipped cream icing turned out perfectly! I can see myself using this so much more in the future – think of all the possibilities for decorated strawberry shortcakes! To decorate these, I just put my tinted whipped cream icing in a disposable decorating bag with a number 2D drop flower decorating tip.
To pipe the rose, just hold the tip above the center of your cookie at a 90° angle. Gently squeeze your icing in the center of the cookie. Without reducing your pressure, raise your tip slightly and squeeze a swirl of icing toward the outside of your cookie in a clockwise movement. Once you have covered the cookie completely, release your pressure to end your spiral on the outside of the cookie. And, voila! You’ve made a beautiful rose, and no one has to know that all you did to achieve this look was a simple icing swirl!
Wilton’s Treat Pops with Stand set comes with the perfect blank canvas for you to decorate, which I covered with burlap and silk roses in celebration of the Derby. I can’t wait to share my treat pops with my friends at my Kentucky Derby party!
For more treat pop decorating tips, ideas, and products, please visit our Treat Pops page. I can’t wait to hear all about what kind of treat pops you come up with!