If the Dad in your life likes eating popsicles, tinkering with gadgets and reading illustrated instructions manuals, then you’ve got to check out the Zoku™ Quick Pop™ Maker and the cool stuff Zoku sells to go along with it. The pop maker itself consists of three (2-ounce capacity) non-stick aluminum molds that are permanently built into the unit’s base. As long as the base is frozen 24-hours in advance of using, the non-electrical unit will freeze ready-to-eat popsicles in as few as seven minutes. Equipped with six reusable pop sticks, drip guards and a special implement designed to help remove frozen pops from the molds, the unit can be filled up to two more times to make a total nine pops. After that, the unit will require another 24-hour stay in the freezer before it can be used again. Because the unit doesn’t take up much freezer room, about the same size space as you’d need for a half-gallon carton of ice cream (remember those?), it’s easy to keep the base frozen at all times for spur of the moment pop making. The pop maker makes sizeable pops equipped with long sticks, most likely too large for young children to handle, but any of Zoku’s recipes will work in the plastic ice pop molds you may already have on hand and vice versa. With the summer season just beginning, the $49.95 price for the well-constructed Quick Pop Maker will pay for itself quickly. Zoku’s eight-piece Quick Pop Maker Tools ($19.95) and “Quick Pops” specialty recipe book ($16.95) are nice add-ons and worth considering, if not for Father’s Day, then maybe sometime down the road. For further information, including free recipes and how to order, visit the Zoku website at www.zokuhome.com.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.
Recipe source: "Zuku Quick Pops," by Jackie Zorovich & Kristina Sacci; published by Zoku, LLC, www.zokuhome.com
1 1/3 cup (10 ½ ounces) 2 percent milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/3 cup (2½ ounces) heavy cream
Make the coffee base: In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the milk (do not boil). Whisk in the expresso powder and sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Stir in the heavy cream. Refrigerate until cool, stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming. Assemble the pops: Insert sticks into the pop maker molds and pour the cooled coffee base until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely, then remove pops with the Super Tool and enjoy! Repeat with remaining pops. Yields 6. Kitchen Ade Note: To add coffee beans or chocolate chips to the pop molds, dip them in some of the coffee mixture, then affix them to the sides of the ice pop molds with tweezers.
Make Your Own Popsicles
(If using the Zoku Quick Pop Maker for these recipes follow the manufacturer’s directions for freezing pops. Do not fill molds above fill line and allow extra time for freezing thick mixtures.)
Sugar-Free Creamy Orange Popsicles
1 (0.3-ounce) box sugar-free orange flavored Jell-O
1/3 cup Splenda
1½ cups boiling water
½ cup strained fresh orange juice
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
In a medium-size bowl, combine Jell-O with Splenda. Add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Stir in orange juice, cream and extracts, mixing well. Pour mixture into 8 (½-cup) plastic popsicle molds and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight. To loosen popsicles, run mold under warm water for a few seconds. Makes 8 pops, about 70 calories each.
Recipe source: “Zoku Quick Pops,” by Jackie Zorovich & Kristina Sacci; published by Zoku, LLC, www.zokuhome.com.
1 cup (8 ounces) water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup (2 ounces) fresh lemon juice
¼ cup (2 ounces pure orange juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon slices, cut 1/8-inch thick (optional)*
Make the lemon base: Stir together the water and sugar until sugar has dissolved (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice, orange juice and vanilla. Assemble the pops: Using the Zoku fruit wand, or tweezers, apply the lemon slices to the walls of the pop maker molds. Insert sticks and pour the lemon base until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely, then remove the pops with the Super Tool and enjoy. Repeat with remaining pops. Yields 6.
*Kitchen Ade Note: For the purposes of this recipe, I used orange slices to line the pop maker molds.
Coconut Cream Popsicles
1 can (13½ ounces) lite coconut milk
1 can (13½ ounces) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup fresh or frozen grated unsweetened coconut
¼ teaspoon coconut extract
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon rum flavoring
Dash nutmeg, optional
Place ingredients in the container of an electric blender and pulse several times at high speed. Pour mixture into 8 (½-cup) plastic popsicle molds and freeze until firm (about 6 hours or overnight). To loosen popsicles, run mold under warm water for a few seconds. Yields 8.
Very Fudgy Fudgesicles
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium sized saucepan, over low heat, combine milk, heavy cream, sugar, cocoa and cornstarch and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, butter and vanilla, stirring until chocolate chips and butter have melted and mixture is smooth. Cool mixture to room temperature, then pour into 8 (½-cup) plastic popsicle molds and freeze until firm, about 6 or overnight. To loosen popsicles, run mold under warm water for a few seconds. (This mixture is very thick, so be sure to check one popsicle before loosening the others.) Yields 8.