By Stacy Fraser
One record-cold night in San Francisco in 1905, a young boy named Frank Epperson left a cup of powdered soda and water with a stirring stick out on his porch. You can imagine his delight the next morning when he discovered a frozen sweet treat on a stick. For the next 18 years, Epperson made his icy creations, “Epsicles,” for family and friends. And in 1924, the patent for his invention—renamed “Popsicle” because of his children’s request for “Pop’s ’sicle”—was issued.
Fast-forward a century and the pure delight we get from frozen treats on a stick has not waned. While testing these five freezer-pop recipes, I was greeted by, “Mom, Mom, did you bring me another popsicle?” at the end of every day. My son Sawyer was our official under-5 taste-tester and he took his job seriously. Although his hands-down favorite was the Vanilla-Orange Freezer Pop, he gave high marks to all, except the coffee-flavored confection. Just one taste of the chocolaty Mocha Ice Pop and he declared, “This one’s just for moms and dads.” What Sawyer didn’t know is that all these pops are less than 90 calories each, so you can experience guilt-free pleasure when cooling off with one. Go ahead, take a lick.
Tricks for the Treats
Need Popsicle Molds? Find molds by Tovolo ($9.95 for a set of 6 star-shaped molds) and more supplies for making frozen treats at amazon.com.
DIY Molds: If you don’t have your own funky molds, divide the ice pop mixture among small paper or plastic cups instead. Freeze until very thick, but not completely frozen, 1 to 2 hours. Insert frozen-treat sticks and continue freezing until completely firm, 4 to 5 hours more.