BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

POP into Summer!

32 Comments

Instant frozen treats, ready mere minutes after the first craving hits. Sounds like science fiction, but if a “better tomorrow” starts with dessert, then we are well on our way. Standard ice creams and popsicles take hours at minimum, simply freezing to a solid enough consistency to eat, but the Zoku Quick Pop Maker has taken all the waiting out of the process. Using an insulated mold, all warmth is wicked away from liquids poured inside, be it an ice cream base, melted sorbet, or merely juice, turning into an icy treat on a stick right before your eyes.

In the name of “research” for my ice cream book, I found it entirely necessary to test out this crazy contraption, requesting a review model early on. This was, of course, over a year ago now. After snapping that initial photo of the device, admiring the appealing rounded edges and pop-art designs on each plastic stick, and carefully stowing it in the freezer… It remained there, untouched, month after month. Despite the fact that freezer space was at a premium, that thing did not budge from the top shelf, on the offhand chance that I would have time to play with pops. While the assessment may be a bit belated, I can tell you this much: It will be getting a whole lot of use from here on in.

Initially spurred into action by a job for Allergic Living Magazine that called for striped fruit-and-creme pops, dreamed up by my good friend Alisa, this was the perfect kick in the butt to get this thing out of the freezer at last. The unique freezing system allows the pop maker complete creative freedom, freezing stripes of any size or shape, should you tilt the housing in the middle of the process. A three-layer affair was a snap, straight-forward enough that even the least ambitious dessert dabblers would be able to manage such an effect with ease.

Another fun feature is the ability to stick fruits and other “mix-ins” directly to the walls of the machine, so that they’re perfectly visible once the pops are removed. In fact, they now make tiny cookie cutters that allow you to create faces on your pops, really giving them some personality. Going a more simple route, I merely used sliced strawberries to feature in my Strawberry Cereal Milk Pops. Easily veganizing Christina Tosi’s legendary recipe with almond milk, all I had to do was pour in the cornflake-infused milk after adhering the berries, and just like that, a delightfully frosty breakfast-turned-dessert was born.

The real beauty of this toy is how it can cater to every whim and craving. On impulse, it seemed fun to whip up a frozen chia fresca one hot afternoon, and so without delay, that’s just what I did. Though the seeds still floated to the top, it made for a fantastically refreshing solution to a sweltering summer day. Experimenting like this is effortless and painless, so even the flops won’t set you back. Just thaw and wash out the mold, thoroughly dry, refreeze for a day, and you’ll be ready to go all over again.

I still haven’t even scratched the surface in trying out all that this baby is capable of. With the help of a handy siphon, pops with different flavored cores are a breeze as well. A classic but homemade creamsicle or strawberry shortcake could be mere minutes away! In case you ever find yourself at a loss for ideas, the mad geniuses at Zoku have you covered there, too. In addition to their blog filled with recipes, they’ve even created a whole pop cookbook to keep you inspired. Easy and inviting enough for kids of all ages to enjoy, I can’t think of a single person I wouldn’t recommend this fun gadget to. Even couples and singles have options now, with double and single pop capacity molds, in case a freezer full of tempting treats is not an ideal situation. Personally, my only complain would be the opposite: I could never make enough pops to keep the freezer stocked for very long!

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

32 thoughts on “POP into Summer!

  1. wow, what beautiful pops! those colors are so vibrant and beautiful! i love a good frozen treat on a hot day….this contraption sounds pretty cool! thanks for sharing!!

  2. What a cool machine! And those pops look lovely!

  3. I have one and I so haven’t been impressed with the results! I need a colder freezer I guess. Yours look amazing and I totally have to try the cornflake milk. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I saw these at Bed Bath & Beyond recently and had to tear myself away. Now I want one even more!

  5. What a fun contraption! It’s got the speed of an ice cream maker, but for popcicles!

  6. I need this, lol!! I’ve been on a pop-making binge lately and with summer just starting I don’t see it ending any time soon. :) Your pops look delicious, I especially love the idea of the cereal/milk pops — that photo is gorgeous!

  7. My son received this wonderful apparatus for xmas from his grandparents a few years ago (my chef in training!) and my entire family LOVES it. Talk about instant gratification!

  8. I am having visions of my stepkids playing with this in the kitchen this summer- this is so great! And your photos are, as usual, a total delight! I love the Chia Fresca photo!

  9. I’ve been eyeballing this thing for some time now but seeing someone who has actually used it – and used it well – well I guess it’s time to get it.

  10. This looks amazing. I would like one, but I don’t want to spend the money on something just to make popsicles.

  11. What a totally gorgeous kitchen gadget my friend – one of the best ways to beat the heat no doubt :D
    Your creations look fantastic!

    Cheers
    CCU

  12. this looks like one super cool addition hannah.. love those strawberry nut milk pops.. so cute and perfect to bet the (non-existent) heat :)
    love that fun effect with the chia. looks like so intricately done, but its just them chia floating away.

  13. YUM! I always see this at the kitchen stores but haven’t yet indulged! Possibly this is a great alternative to ice cream for me this summer

  14. Wow, what a neat machine! I have a regular old-fashioned popsicle maker, which works fine, but this machine really turns out some beautiful popsicles. Impressive!

  15. You have made some really interesting pops. I would like to try one of each please. Especially the chia seed one looks very interesting. I am so ready for a Popsicle maker upgrade as my boys have lost some of the colored sticks to the old fashion one I have now.

  16. I majorly wanted one of those molds before I saw this. But you’ve sealed the deal!

  17. I love you many different ways you can make em :) Healthy too!

  18. Thanks for doing this review, I keep seeing these at Williams Sonoma and wondering if they worked or were worth getting sometime!

  19. wow..you just convince me to get this new toy! love the striped fruit and cream popsicle that it can create.

  20. I love my Tupperwear Pop Molds (almost 30 years old from my mom) so not sure if I am going to invest in one of these (I already have one of those Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Makers taking up space) BUT I do love some awesome Ice Pops, love these recipes :-)

  21. I’m so glad you shared this! I need one asap!

  22. Wow, what a great idea… may need to add one of these to my collection :)

  23. I did the exact same thing with my ice cream maker tub! It sat there for a year without being used! And I have a tiny freezer! This looks like wicked fun and I like that it only makes 3 to enjoy right away :)

  24. I have one and I love it. Especially with the kids. We are going to spend the summer experimenting with flavors.

  25. What?!!?!? Who are you?!?! Those pops look awesome! Wow! I thought I made a mean pop but those put mine to shame! /jealous.

    http://haymarket8.blogspot.com

  26. I saw this at Williams-Sonoma and featured it on my blog last week as an “I want” item…in the end, a $4.99 set won out from Bed Bath & Beyond :) The Zoku sounds amazing!

  27. I almost bought this the other day! It looks so great. I already have a few sets of popsicle molds so it seems a little redundant, but yet sooo convenient!

  28. I would like you to make me a pop that has the shape of a baby raccoon on its side. In flavours of chestnut and salted caramel. Now….. go. I have faith in you. ;)

    • You are too cute, my dear. ;) I can’t make any promises about the raccoon bit, but the chestnut/caramel combination has a whole lot of potential… I’ll have to revisit the idea in the fall!

  29. What a cool popsicle maker. This would also make a great gift for a family.

  30. Wowww…. They looks lovely… That machine is very helpfull. Especially nowadays…

  31. This makes summer so much fun. I’ve never seen Popsicle as lovely as what you’ve created. The popsicle maker is very ideal for small family activities and I think I can get my kids to eat fruit using your recipe.

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