March 10, 2012 5:29:30 PM PST
This recipe provided courtesy of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

no-bake; makes 18 expressions

1 frozen pound cake (16 ounces; Sara Lee Family Size), thawed
18 plastic forks
¼ cup canned dark chocolate frosting
Black, neon pink, red, yellow, and green food coloring (McCormick)
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
1 black licorice lace

Place the pound cake on a work surface. Trim 1 /8 inch from each short end to straighten. Cut the cake into nine 1-inch-thick slices. Place a slice, cut side down, on the work surface and cut two 1¾-inch circles with a round cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass. Repeat with the remaining slices to make 18 cake circles (reserve the scraps for a layered dessert).

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Carefully insert the tines of a plastic fork into one side of each cake circle to secure and place them on the cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Tint the dark chocolate frosting black with the black food coloring and spoon into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal. Divide the vanilla frosting among 4 microwavable bowls. Tint each bowl of frosting a different bright color of pink, orange (using red and yellow), yellow, and green with the food coloring. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

Working with one bowl of frosting at a time, microwave the frosting, stopping to stir frequently, until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, about 10 seconds. Remove the cake pops from the freezer. Dip the cake into the melted frosting to cover, allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the bowl. Press the bottom of the cake circle against the rim of the bowl to remove any excess frosting and return to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining cake pops and frosting (two colors will have 4 pops each and two colors will have 5 pops each). Refrigerate until the frosting is set, about 20 minutes.

Cut the licorice lace into 1 /8-inch, ¼-inch, and ½-inch pieces. Snip a very small (1 /16-inch) corner from the bag with the black frosting. For the eyes, use tweezers and a toothpick to press 2 of the smaller pieces of licorice, cut side down, into the frosting of each cake pop. Use more pieces of licorice, along with black frosting piped from the ziplock bag for round shapes, to create the emoticon symbols, using the photo as a guide. Transfer to a serving plate.