Lessons from a Head on a Stick

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Amelia is catching on to this whole find-a-project, try-it-out thing. While flipping through Disney Family Fun magazine in search of perfume samples (poor dear), she found a recipe for these adorable lollypapas. And we had to make them. Now. That’s my girl, full of patience. I don’t know whether you’d consider this one a recipe or a craft. It’s more assembling than cooking, but the result is edible. Either way, I had to admit they were cute. The magazine featured them as a Father’s Day project, but Amelia wanted to make them for her teachers. This was the first of several improvisations.

The link above takes you to a very elaborate version of a really simple idea: A cookie on a stick, decorated to look like a person. You’ll need a few basic ingredients:

• Round cookies with a flat side. Vanilla Wafers are ideal.

• Something sticky, like melted chocolate. Peanut butter would probably work, melted marshmallows, maybe frosting.

• A stick. Remarkably, we had lollipop sticks leftover from another project, but coffee stirrers from Starbucks would have worked just as well. Maybe even better, because they are flat.

• An assortment of small foods with interesting shapes and colors. Sprinkles, small candies, chocolate chips, Cheerios. You don’t need much.


The magazine also suggests making little paper shirts to cover the sticks. There are downloadable designs if you want to get fancy, but we didn’t bother with this. I cut out a quick shirt Amelia used as a template, and while she traced and cut out enough shirts for all of her teachers (five!), I prepared the other ingredients.

I used melted chocolate chips hold two cookies together back to back, with a stick sandwiched in between. This was the trickiest part because the chocolate was messy and the lollipop sticks were thick and round. I think a flat stick may have worked better. Once assembled, we put the pops into the freezer for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden. This was all pretty quick, and the pops were set enough to use just as Amelia finished cutting out her shirts.

A quick search of the pantry turned up dark and white chocolate chips, and Cheerios. In the spirit of “use what you have to make what you need,” this – and the leftover melted chocolate applied with a paintbrush to stick the pieces on – was more than enough, and Amelia got to work making faces.


When the faces were finished and dry, it was time to dress the pops. She had assigned each shirt color to a specific teacher, and matching shirts to faces was serious business. We taped the shirts to the sticks, and the pops were done. That’s it – quick, fun, cheap and simple.

Wrapped in plastic sandwich bags tied with ribbon, they even made it safely to school. And the pride on Amelia’s face as she presented cookie pops to her teachers? Priceless.

IMG_5869_2.jpgLollipapas were a success on a lot of levels. The end product wasn’t especially tasty, and I’m pretty sure that with all the chocolate-finger-licking, we won’t be passing any food service hygiene tests (sorry, teachers!) But here is why I loved it anyway:

• Amelia initiated this project herself, after recognizing that she could make what she saw in a photo.

• The ingredients are easy to improvise.

• She kept the magazine open while she made these, but never tried to replicate the pops in the photo. (not that she could have, using only chips and Cheerios…)

• While the product was undeniably cute, I loved that Amelia took ownership of the process too.

We’ll likely try a variation on this project again, but more importantly we’ll try others that Amelia initiates. This is one that wouldn’t have caught my eye, and following Amelia’s lead reminded me that my eye really isn’t the one that matters most.

Want more mess? Check out Melanie’s blog!