Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oreo Truffles

So I keep running into this recipe for Oreo cake pops, or Oreo truffles all over the web, and so of course I had to give it a whirl.  With the holidays right around the corner, making a gift plate was the perfect way to try this recipe (so they wouldn't be around the house and therefore ending up around my hips).  Just plate the truffles and wrap in cellophane wrapping, tie with a bow and voila!  I got the opalescent cellophane from Michaels.

Here's a closeup of all the truffles that didn't come out the most pretty as you can see.  The ones that were coated and dusted to perfection I put on the gift plate.  (Of course that doesn't include the three that I ate. )  

Oreo Truffles


1 box Oreos (15.5 oz)
1 8 oz box Philadelphia cream cheese
1 24 oz package white Almond Bark* (or your choice of melting chocolate)
Blue crystal sugar (or your decoration of choice)


1.  Crumbify (coined!) all Oreos in a food processor.   If you don't have a food processor, using a ziploc bag and a rolling pin to crush is just as good.

2.  Cut up cream cheese block into 8 squares and add to food processor.  Blend together to form dough.

3.  Put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a bit so that you can roll balls easily.  (I just put the container from the food processor in the fridge.  No need to dirty another dish.)

4.  Put wax paper or parchment paper or Silpat onto a cookie sheet and roll out approximately 40 1 inch balls.  To avoid the messy hands issue, you can use rubber gloves, because this dough is rather sticky.

5.  Cover cookie sheet with cling wrap and put in the fridge a couple of hours or overnight to firm up.  Alternatively, you can pop the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes if you are under time constraints. I was moving at a leisurely pace.

6.  Melt almond bark* in the microwave according to the package directions.  Unfortunately, mine didn't have package directions, so I melted about half of the 24 oz package of rectangles in a ceramic bowl in the microwave on full power for 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between intervals, until fully melted.  I ended up needing another quarter of the package in order to coat all of the balls, so I just added more rectangles when I was running low and popped the bowl back into the microwave and repeated the melting process until all melted.

7.  Push a toothpick about halfway through dough balls, and dip firmed up dough balls into melted candy coating.  Tap your hand (not the toothpick) gently against the side of the bowl to shake excess coating from the ball.  If you don't do this, then when you place the ball on the parchment paper to harden, the excess will pool around the Oreo ball and and it will look messy.  If you find the dough balls are becoming too soft, pop back in the fridge for another 15-30 minutes to firm up again, and continue dipping once they are firm enough.  If your fridge isn't doing the trick, you can use the freezer. Just note that if the balls are in the freezer for too long, and you coat them when frozen, they crack the candy coating as they defrost and expand.

8.  Place the coated Oreo ball on the cookie sheet to harden.  Sprinkle with the blue sugar crystals.  Make sure to do this before the coating hardens.  I usually wait about 30 seconds to a minute so that it is still very wet but not *just* dipped.

9.  After the coating has hardened so you can touch it without the coating mushing, gently twist and pull, very gently, the toothpick from the Oreo ball.  Touch up any visible hole with some melted chocolate coating using a clean toothpick, and sprinkle some blue sugar crystals on the area to cover up.

*Note: Here is a picture of the almond bark candy coating that I used.  It is found usually seasonally in the supermarkets.  Here in NJ, I found it at Aldi, but they do run out fast.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Mat- The Ultimate Fondant Application System

I am super excited to have found this product by SweetWise called "The Mat"- the ultimate fondant application system.  I haven't yet bought it but I was so excited that I had to share with all my favorite readers out there!

Here's a wonderful video that shows not only how The Mat works, but also gives GREAT tips on how to correctly roll out and apply fondant to a cake:

I will be purchasing this mat soon, and will update you all on how the product performs in a normal kitchen.  The reviews I have come across have all been positive.  The only problem would be its 30 inch size, which is very large to work with, and you can't get a fold in it or the dent transfers into the fondant and is impossible to get out once imprinted.  

I'll keep you all posted!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes of 2011

It's that time of the year again, holiday cookie baking time!  It seems so time-consuming to surf through food blogs and cook books looking for new and inventive cookie recipes each year, so I thought I'd do some of the hard work for y'all.  

Presenting my Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes of 2011!

recipe by The Country Cook

These cookies were the talk of the office when I brought them in one Friday.  I actually think I offended some of the people who were too late to the cookie plate.  The recipe is SUPER easy and the results will leave you wanting more.  Definitely a favorite of 2011!  Thank you The Country Cook for sharing such a fun and amazing recipe!

recipe by SP Cookie Queen

Chocolate crinkles are like brownie bites from Cloud 9.  They are light and fluffy, yet full of fudgey goodness, with a festive snowy powdered sugar coating.  The recipe called for 4 eggs and I only had 2 in the house, so I cut the recipe in half and as you can see in the picture above, they came out just perfect. Half a recipe gave me 34 cookies.  Thanks SP Cookie Queen for sharing this awesome recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies 
recipe from the cookbook "Cookiepedia" by Stacy Adimando

Why another chocolate chip cookie recipe, you ask?  Because these have the perfect amount of crispness on the outside and chewiness in the middle, with a touch of saltiness to make the sweetness sing.  I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips in the picture above.   I only had dark brown sugar in the pantry so I used that instead of the light brown sugar she lists in her recipe.  I also used vanilla infused sugar that I had made some time ago in place of the granulated sugar.  Here is the recipe for the vanilla sugar if you are interested:

Don't buy vanilla pods that are dry and hard -- buy them fat, sticky and squashy. What we want to do is infuse the natural vanilla flavor of the vanilla pods into the sugar. It is perfectly fine, and obviously quicker, just to pop the pods in an airtight container with the sugar; you will achieve a more subtle flavor. I really like this recipe, though, because you get the maximum flavor from the pods. 
2 pound superfine sugar
4 vanilla beans 
You need a food processor for this one. Put your vanilla pods in the mixer, blitz, scrape the sides and blitz again. Add all the sugar and blitz for about 2 minutes. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, return any lumps to the food processor and blitz again. (You may want to repeat this process if you want it really fine). The result will be a slightly ashy-colored mixture -- now that's real vanilla sugar! 
Store it in an airtight container. It should last you for ages.

recipe by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Now these cookies look amazing, but I have not yet had the time to make my very own batch.  However, they look so amazing that I didn't want to leave them off my favorites list this year.   As That Skinny Chick Can Bake said, "Chocolate, caramel and pecans...who can resist that combo?"  Make your own batch and comment below on how they turned out!  I bet they will be the talk of your office too. :)

Happy Holidays to all of you!

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