Truffles & Bark
Step aside Twinkies, these truffles have you beat! You won’t need to hunt down the remaining Hostess cakes left in the world once you bite into one of these beauties. After yesterday, I decided to not even try to share something healthy today. It would just look like a joke seeing those two recipes side by side on my homepage. So I present to you, Twinkie truffles!
The truffle base is similar to a cake ball, but instead of frosting I mixed the cake crumbs with marshmallow creme. Then to take them over the top and get into Twinkie-character, a marshmallow creme filling is piped into the middle before being dipped in yellow chocolate coating. Do you see the resemblance?
One year ago: Thai Chicken Pizza
Two years ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Makes approximately 3 dozen truffles
1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients on box)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
7 oz. marshmallow creme
2 tsp very hot water
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz. marshmallow creme
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. yellow candy melts
2 oz. white candy melts
- Bake cake mix according to package directions adding the extra vanilla into the mix along with the other liquid ingredients. When completely cool, crumble into a large bowl and mix with marshmallow cream until well blended (and hand mixer gets the job done).
- Using a cookie scoop form the cake balls and hollow out the center with your finger. Keep about the amount of six cake balls of dough aside. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the cream filling. Dissolve salt in very hot water and set aside to cool. Whip marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy. When cool, add salt water and whip to combine. Place cream in a zip top bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Snip the corner of the bag so you can pipe into the hollow balls. Remove balls from freezer and fill each with cream. Take small amounts of the leftover dough that didn’t get frozen and smooth over top to enclose cream completely inside ball. Place back into the freezer from an additional 20 minutes.
- When you are ready to dip. Place candy melts in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Dip each ball and when completely covered, allow excess to drip off and place back on parchment paper. Allow to harden and enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Crumbs and Chaos.
After seeing Christina’s S’mores Cookie Dough Bites, I decided to make my own using the recipe for Raw Cookie Dough Bites. Visually they might not look as pretty or resemble traditional cookie dough, but they certainly taste like cookie dough and they are packed with good-for-you nuts. Just overlook the marshmallow bits, chocolate, and graham crackers haha.
Speaking of nuts, I’m going to tell you a little tale about innocent highschool-me. As part of my senior AP English class, we wrote different styled/themed poems and one particular assignment involved writing a customer complaint in the form of a poem (I cannot remember which style). These poems were then read in front of the class by either the writer or the teacher (I always let her read mine, I preferred the anonymity although one time I wrote one about my mom and everyone knew it was me but I digress). One student wrote a poem to a candy bar company complaining about the use of nuts in nearly all of their products. The poem went on and on about how much it ruined the ability to enjoy said candy bars and my uncensored reaction was “::GASP:: I love nuts!”, to which everyone turned to stare at me at laugh. Yea, I said that out loud and not in a low voice. And no, I did not realize what it sounded like until it was too late.
But you know what, I do love nuts dang it and I’m not ashamed to say it no matter what it sounds like! These cookie dough balls are proof of my profession, because they actually curb my real cookie cravings. In other words they are magic.
One year ago: Corned Beef with Blackberry Mustard Glaze
RAW S’MORES COOKIE DOUGH BITES
Makes about 2 dozen
2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup raw rolled oats
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp mallow bits (or cut up miniature marshmallows)
2 Tbsp crushed graham crackers
- In a food processor, process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
- Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process to combine.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls (about 1 Tbsp each) and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper.
- Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Store balls in a tightly covered container in the freezer.
After 4 hours of surgery yesterday, my mom is doing well. Right after the surgery everything was well and she was feeling understandably tired. So far the doctor has been positive about the results of the surgery and the future. Hopefully I will hear more as the day goes on.
These cake batter hearts would be a really cute Valentine’s Day present to hand out. It’s like a jumbo sized white chocolate candy cup stuffed with cake batter, except it’s formed in a cookie cutter. After the candy has been devoured the cutters can be used to make festive cookies! It’s a two-for-one gift. These could also be made in silicone molds, such as petite or regular hearts. Just pop them out after they set and wrap in plastic or place in a cute bag.
One year ago: Pasta with Vodka Sauce
WHITE CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER HEARTS
Makes about a dozen (depends on cookie cutter size)
Festive cookies cutters
16 oz. vanilla candy coating wafers or almond bark
1 cup dry white cake mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sprinkles (I used festive colors)
- Line cookie cutters on parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with a little oil.
- In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk and melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Fold in sprinkles. Cover with a damp paper towel to prevent mixture from drying.
- Melt candy coating or almond bark according to package directions. Place a couple spoonfuls into each cookie cutter and help spread evenly into the curves of the cookie cutter. Take a tablespoon of the cake batter candy and press into the candy mold. Spoon more melted candy on top and top with sprinkles. Place in the fridge to harden.
- Pop out and enjoy, or give as gifts!
Even since I got my hands on a package of Gingerbread Oreos I have been trying to come up with something mind-blowing to make with them. But in the end, I resorted to plain old Oreo truffles. I cannot help myself, they are just so yummy! And with a new flavor and shape, can you really blame me? Besides, I’ve been working 12 hour days in the lab for far too long. I’m allowed to make excuses. Oh and a quick side note: I sent in my dissertation outline to my committee yesterday – eeep! Here’s to hoping they don’t rake it over the coals, at least not just yet.
I brought these into work for the Pharmacy school potluck. Many people said these were too cute to eat and actually had to convince one labmate not to save it as decoration for her desk. I said things like “moldy green” and “smelly rotten milk products” to sway her. Besides, I thought they were too delicious NOT to eat! Although I’m not sure those prior descriptors are helping make your mouth water at the moment.
I was a little surprised to find out the Oreo cookies themselves weren’t gingerbread-y, just the filling. Despite this, the flavor was fantastic and exceptionally good mixed with the cream cheese. I originally thought of adding some spice to it but there was no need. Of course you can also make these with any flavor of Oreos you prefer.
One year ago: Jalapeno Cornbread
Two years ago: Bretzel Rolls
GINGERBREAD OREO SNOWMAN TRUFFLES
Makes about 2 dozen
1 pkg. Gingerbread Flavor Creme Oreos, finely crushed (I used my food processor)
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb. vanilla almond bark, or white candy melting disks
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
Candy coated mini chocolate chips (pick out the orange ones)
Black food writing marker (or dip a toothpick in melted regular chocolate)
- Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well combined (I blended in my food processor).
- Form mixture into round truffles. Make equal parts 1/2-inch (head) and 1-inch (body) truffle balls.
- Place the truffles on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Put in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- When truffles are chilled melt the almond bark with 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening according to the package directions.
- To assemble the snowmen use a toothpick to hold the snowman together (gently pressing the truffles together tightly).
- Dip the snowmen carefully in the melted white chocolate and with a fork remove and tap off the excess before transferring back to the wax paper.
- Carefully remove the toothpick before the chocolate sets by gently twisting while pulling it out. If some of the chocolate comes off the top when removing the toothpick, just dot some on to cover the toothpick hole.
- Add an orange sprinkle for a nose before the coating sets.
- Let the coating dry and then using a food writer you can dot on eyes, a mouth and some buttons.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Source: Snowman truffle construction from Cookies & Cups.
Welcome to day #2 of Christmas Week, co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Peppermint Surprise”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.
- Peppermint Marshmallows from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies from Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Candy Cane Blossoms from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Candy Cane Cocoa in a Jar from Anuradha of Baker Street
- Peppermint Brownie Trifle from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Candy Cane Mocha from Isabelle of Crumb
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- White Chocolate Peppermint Covered Pretzels from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
I actually am not a big fan of minty food items. Mint belongs in gum, toothpaste, and mouth wash – that’s about it. No candy canes for me. Occasionally I will enjoy a small Andes mint chocolate after a meal, but it is a rare event. Therefore, today’s theme was a bit of a challenge for me. I decided to go with a simple favorite of mine, chocolate covered pretzels. Whenever I make something that involves melting chocolate, the remnants of chocolate are almost always used up by dipping pretzels into it as a nice treat for later. Chocolate covered pretzels are also really easy to decorate for the holidays by adding sprinkles, or in this case crunched peppermint.
WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COVERED PRETZELS
8 oz. white chocolate candy melts
1 bag mini pretzels
Peppermint crunch (or finely smashed candy canes)
- Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
- In a double boiler melt the chocolate (or microwave), stirring frequently until no lumps remain. Remove from heat.
- Holding one corner of a pretzel, dip into chocolate and lightly shake off excess chocolate. Place on wax paper and sprinkle with peppermint pieces. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, allowing the chocolate to harden.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original (I say that lightly because dipping pretzels into chocolate is not a novel idea)
I have put off making homemade marshmallows for a long time because I was convinced it would be messy and time consuming. Since I am not one to eat marshmallows on their own very often, I also thought all that imagined effort wouldn’t be worth it. But when I found this recipe for peanut butter marshmallows, I caved. And turns out they are actually super easy and not messy to make! The only annoying part was waiting 6 hours for them to set.
Once you’ve tested your patience, they can be cut into shapes with your favorite mini cookie cutter or just use a knife to cut them into squares. Then you can enjoy the glory that is super fresh and soft homemade marshmallows. And in this case peanut butter flavored marshmallows! These would be a great addition to peanut butter hot cocoa.
Two years ago: Buckeye Candies
PEANUT BUTTER MARSHMALLOWS
4-1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
Classic coating (Sift together 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup cornstarch)
- Lightly coat a 7 X 11-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe and coat the surface of the pan evenly.
- Add gelatin to a bowl of cold water. Whisk together and let soften for about 10 minutes.
- In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan, stir together the sugar, 1/4 of the corn syrup, water and salt over high heat.
- Boil, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (Make sure the tip does not touch the bottom of the pot)
- While boiling, pour remaining 1/4 cup of corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave gelatin on high for about 30 seconds. Stir again and pour into the mixer bowl. Set the speed to low and keep it running.
- When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl.
- Increase speed to medium and beat 5 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium high and beat 5 more minutes.
- Increase speed to highest setting and beat 1-2 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Place peanut butter into a small bowl and add a quarter of the batter. Quickly stir until well blended. Scrape the peanut butter mallow back in the mixer bowl with the vanilla batter. Use a large spatula to gently fold the two batters together until mostly blended.
- Pour into prepared pan, using an offset spatula to quickly smooth it out.
- Sift classic coating evenly and generously over the top. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place.
- Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert on a coating-dusted baking sheet. Dust with more classic coating.
- Cut into squares or use a cookie cutter. Dip sticky/cut edges of marshmallows into the coating and dust off any excess. Or drop several coated mallows in a sieve and shake off any excess.
- Store in an cool dry place in a pan with the lid slightly ajar to allow air flow. If the mallows resist drying, you can simply dust with more coating for any edges that are damp.
After a great win over Penn State this past Saturday, you wouldn’t think I could have asked for more from the weekend (other than not pulling a tendon in my foot). But Hurricane Sandy had other plans for me, in the name of an extended weekend in State College! I was scheduled to leave on a flight Sunday evening, but my first flight was delayed so much that I would’ve missed my connection in Atlanta. Thankfully Delta let me reschedule my flight for the next day. Upon waking up however, my Monday flight had already been cancelled. Now the plan is to leave this afternoon, with a connection in Detroit. Not that I mind the extended mini vacation, I am just worried about my cat, Brady. So hopefully while you read this I am on a flight back to Memphis.
Despite all my traveling dilemmas, I still have a treat for you today in preparation for Halloween tomorrow! I am sure you are familiar with Oreo truffles. The combination of cream cheese and crushed Oreos is nearly perfection. Nearly, only because I may have discovered an even better way to make these treats – substitute the cream cheese for canned pumpkin puree! The truffles ended up being softer than when made with cream cheese, but it did not bother my taste buds in the slightest. You could always reduce the puree to 3/4 cup if you would like them to be firmer. I also think these would’ve been phenomenal dipped into white chocolate. Yum!
PUMPKIN OREO TRUFFLES
Makes approximately 3 dozen
8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel)
1 pkg OREO cookies
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 lb chocolate bark + 1 Tbsp shortening, melted over double-broiler
- Finely crush cookies in a food processor (or place in a ziplock bag) and mix in cream cheese and pie spice until well blended.
- Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Roll in melted chocolate using two forks and remove, allowing excess to drip off; place back on sheet. Sprinkle with desired toppings.
- Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Source: Adapted from Oreo Truffles.
Today I get to watch the Ohio State vs Penn State game live and in person at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA! I’ve been told that they will attempt to white-out Ohio State by having everyone in the stadium wear white and you better believe I will be wearing my scarlet, loud and proud. Normally I’d wear my away game jersey (white) since we are in fact the visiting team, but not this time! I will not contribute any white to this white-out. I will act as a pimple, ruining a white face. Ok, I am not sure I want to call myself a pimple, but you know what I mean. Did I mention I am tailgating and attending this game with a whole group of friends, who happen to all be PSU alums? I’ve braved the same situation in Ann Arbor, MI so I think I’ll be just fine.
But just in case, I brought along some yummy treats to make sure they see the benefits of keeping me around. These are peanut butter rice krispie treats, rolled up and dipped in chocolate just like buckeye candies. I think they look even more like buckeye nuts than the original due to their more irregular shape. Of course none of my friends will call them that, claiming they are merely peanut butter balls, but we all know the truth. They just don’t want to admit that they could possibly like anything called a buckeye. But anywho… let’s eat, drink and watch some good football.
Regrettably, I will be missing two friends get married due to not being able to foresee these two events falling on the same day. But thought I should at least give them a shout out. Hope you have a wonderfully special day surrounded by family and friends!
One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
BUCKEYE RICE KRISPIES TREATS
Makes about 4 dozen treat balls
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 (10.5 ounce) bag miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Line a large baking sheet with wax paper; set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Off the heat, add the peanut butter and stir until completely melted and smooth. Add the cereal, stirring gently until coated. When cool enough to touch, roll into 1-inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet.
- Microwave the chocolate chips on 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth (or use a double-boiler). Using a tooth pick inserted into each, dip each Rice Krispies ball into the chocolate, leaving an “eye”. Return to wax paper and repeat with remaining treats. Let cool at room temperature until set, about 1 hour. (You can also refrigerate the treats for about 30 minutes to speed up the process.) Store in an airtight container.
Source: Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker.
Memorial weekend is nearly upon us! Do you have any festive activities planned? My weekend has not been dictated as of yet, but I do know that one of my friends is coming from out of town to visit. Granted, I will be going into work on Monday regardless of the holiday, because that’s the life of a graduate student, but that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy a regular length weekend. Added bonus = the pool opens Saturday!
(P.S. Memorial weekend was always the time for pools to open growing up in the North. So I figured when I moved to the South pools would open sooner due to earlier warm weather. But of course this logic does not seem to follow.)
In preparation for the holiday weekend the Holiday Recipe Club got together to create themed recipes using one of three ingredients: watermelon, beer, pork. I really wanted to make a strawberry-watermelon beverage for you because it sounded incredibly refreshing and perfect for the weekend, but there lies the problem – I would’ve had to make it before the weekend because obviously today is the day to post! Maybe I will end up making and sharing later if you’re lucky .
Anywho, I went with the fun idea of adding beer to chocolate truffles. I used Sam Adams Alpine Spring for these because it sounded almost as refreshing as that watermelon drink. I bet a chocolate (or regular) stout would be a great choice as well. As for the assembly, these truffles were not as easy to roll as those I’ve made in the past. I found I needed to rinse and dry my hands between rolling every truffle, which was a bit tedious. Hard work pays off though, right?
Be sure to check out all the other recipes linked up at the bottom of this post. And join in on the fun by signing up through the Holiday Recipe Club’s contact page.
One year ago: Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomato-Basil Chicken Burgers
CHOCOLATE BEER TRUFFLES
Makes approximately 2 dozen truffles
9 oz. dark chocolate, 65% cacao
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp beer
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Place chocolate and heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl over (not on) simmering water. Let chocolate and cream heat up for 3 minutes untouched. After 3 minutes whisk mixture until fully incorporated. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Slowly and gently stir in beer. Pour finished mixture into a flat casserole pan. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
- Remove chilled truffle mixture. Using a melon-baller, scoop out chocolate rounds. Finish forming 1-inch truffles by hand and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust truffles with unsweetened cocoa powder to finish*.
*If not serving immediately, keep rolled truffles in the fridge and dust with cocoa powder just prior to serving.
Source: Endless Simmer
Sunday late at night I received a phone call from Katie, a friend taking care of my cat Brady during my travels. The first thing I heard was Brady sounding miserable in the background. He has had two spells of constipation in the past few months, and it appeared it was time for round three. Since the last two times both passed within 24 hours I decided to give him some time and tuna with a little oil to help out. As much as I hate seeing (or hearing this time) him in pain, it didn’t make sense to rush him off to the pet-ER late at night if he was just going to end up pooping in a few hours.
Monday evening he was still wailing, had not eaten a thing in two days and still had clean litter box. So Katie dashed off with him to the vet while I called to give them permission for her to admit my cat since I was boarding my plane home (thank goodness for Katie!). She got there just after 6pm, but still let her in and took their time checking him out even though they would normally be closing for the night. Good thing too, because had he been forced to wait to be seen until morning, he would have been in serious condition. His bladder was so full, it was the size of a softball and hard as a rock. Poor thing couldn’t pee! And his toxicity levels were off the charts. Thankfully they were able to relieve him with a catheter and stayed overnight. I was told her was a very sweet cat despite his miserable state.
Tuesday morning the doctor called to tell me his levels were much lower but still not yet at normal levels. The catheter was taken out later that afternoon to see if he would be able to urinate himself (sorry if this story just became unappetizing). He thinks the blockage may have been caused by crystals and will need to go on a special diet, but first they needed a urine sample to examine. He stayed overnight again yesterday to recover further and I am waiting to hear from the doctor today in hopes that I will be bringing my little cuddle-buddy home sometime today. My apartment seems so empty without him there.
Thanks for sticking it out through that story. I hope you still want to look at food after that little tale of bowl movements. Maybe you can see some sort of transition between that and some granola bites? Yea? Ok just go with it…
Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and oats. Typically these are the ingredients which one can play around with in order to produce a favorite granola bar. But there are times when preheating the oven is already too much effort, and passes too much time (but I want it NOW).
These granola bites are perfect for such a time. I tried them out first with the original recipe ingredients, but immediately knew the possibilities were endless. But first I need to restock on my dried fruits and nuts! What do you think would be your favorite combination?
One year ago: Chicken and Veggie Nuggets
APRICOT WHITE CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BITES
Makes approximately 20 bites
1-1/2 cups oats
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup agave nectar (or pure maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a food processor, grind the oats and nuts together until you get a flour consistency.
- Add in the dried apricots and chocolate chips. Pulse until they are chopped up and well blended with the oat flour.
- Add in the agave and vanilla. Mix well until a clumpy dough forms that you can easily shape into a ball without it falling apart. If it’s not there yet, add more agave nectar, just a bit at a time.
- Shape into 1″ balls and lay on a dish lined with wax paper. Freeze or refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Source: Sunday Baker