Truffles & Bark

Healthier Cookie Dough Fondue

My cousin’s shower the day before her wedding had a spa theme. We put on face masks, make our own lip gloss, and enjoyed veggie dip cups and fruit skewers with dip. But of course no event is complete without dessert! Since I was in charge of the edible portion of the event, I naturally had a difficult time narrowing down my options. In the end I decided upon recreating the white chocolate cookie dough fondue I shared recently, continuing the dip theme for the day. But this time I made it with a healthier spin so as to not bust anyone out of their dresses the next day!

Healthier Cookie Dough Fondue 1

For starters, the cookie doughs contain zero butter. Instead I used coconut oil and then added a little butter extract so that no one would miss that buttery taste necessary for cookie dough. Then I cut back on the caloric intake of sugar by substituting the regular sugar for the only zero-calorie sugar sweetener I have ever liked (Swerve). However, I did keep the regular brown sugar and peanut butter – couldn’t bring myself to modify those. Then I used white whole wheat flour and finally almond milk instead of regular milk.

Healthier Cookie Dough Fondue 2

Then there is the fondue. Last time I made it with store-bought sweetened condensed milk. This time I made my own out of almond milk and honey. I also used dark chocolate for half the chocolate and again substituted the butter for coconut oil, as in the cookie dough. Wait, I forgot to tell you the best part. I didn’t use just any honey, but CHOCOLATE honey. I bet you have never heard of that before, have you? It just so happens my family runs their very own honey company called Winter Park Honey and they sell it! My aunt and uncle gave me some to use since they know how much I love to bake and thought this fondue was a great way to use it, especially since I was going to be able to share my creation with them in person!

Healthier Cookie Dough Fondue 3

One year ago: Goat Cheese Ricotta Gnocchi with Walnut Thyme Butter Sauce
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Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

Life without dessert is blasphemy. However, in an effort to get ready for all these weddings in which I am a bridesmaid I have recently been making slightly healthier options for dessert and then distributing the not-so-healthy treats you see on this blog to labmates and friends. Today I am sharing a healthier dessert option! It is actually one of the ways I suppress cookie cravings. Not that I don’t still eat cookies on a regular basis, but this is one way I resist having multiple cookies (or other baked buttery goodness) every single day – raw cookie dough balls made from ground nuts.

I have shared a couple other versions of these before such as chocolate chip cookie dough and s’mores cookie dough, and now I present peanut butter complete with traditional fork hash marks! The first time I made these bites they were a bit greasy so the second batch I reduced the raisins by 1 tablespoon and then added 2 tablepoons oats to absorb the oil from the ground up raisins and peanuts. If you are gluten-intolerant you can easily make these using gluten-free oats which can be found in the health food section of most groceries. I think dates would work in place of the raisins as well if you prefer. Allergic to peanuts? Try almonds and almond butter.

Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

One year ago: Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

Two years ago: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies

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Cookie Dough White Chocolate Fondue

After all my phone complaining the other day, I found out that I’ve actually had a renewal available since the beginning of May. Why Verizon never alerted me to this I have no idea but now I have a dilemma – do I take the plunge and get my first smart phone or save the upgrade and get a replacement non-smart phone off ebay until I can truly afford a smart phone? I have a feeling the latter is going to win out, mostly because of money but also because I really enjoy not being dependent on my phone. Yes I am anti-smart phone and not ashamed of it, but unfortunately I will have to succumb eventually as owning one is becomes expected and likely necessary. But you know what is necessary today and doesn’t require making decisions? Egg-free, pop nonstop without the salmonella guilt, cookie dough.

Cookie Dough Fondue 2

And not just one, but three different kinds of cookie dough all paired up with a white chocolate fondue!  You see, I pulled out Lindsay’s The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook to make just one kind of cookie dough (traditional chocolate chip) to pair with a regular chocolate fondue. Sounds delicious right? But totally expected, so I decided to change it up a bit and made a reverse chocolate chip cookie and then reversed the fondue too with white chocolate instead. Oh but I didn’t stop there. As you can see I ended up making three total cookie doughs: reverse chocolate chip, peanut butter and sugar cookie. The sugar cookie dough balls even got a little fancy outfit complete with sprinkles. Arn’t they pretty?

Cookie Dough Fondue 3

This cookie dough fondue platter was perfect for my friend Dan’s going away party – he is leaving Memphis and is off to medical school. Talk about a big decision! That definitely called for some cookie dough indulgence. With the ease of which these can be eaten it’s no surprise how fast they vanished. I asked people which dough was their favorite and it seemed everyone had their own and none were favored more than the others. Guess it’s a good thing I made all three because it provided something for everyone!

Cookie Dough Fondue 4

Speaking of decisions, Kita and Tracey know first hand how pathetic I am at making decisions, even when it comes to silly things like picking a dress to wear for the various wedding events I have coming up (commence stuffed animal throwing from Kita). Never fear, the decision remains although with treats like this I may not even need a dress, just put me in a moo moo. But anywho, what I’m trying to say is that when you are faced with tough decisions, eat a bunch of cookie dough dipped in chocolate instead. Go ahead, take a dip.

Cookie Dough Fondue 1

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Twinkie Truffles

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?

Twinkie Truffles

One year ago: Thai Chicken Pizza

Two years ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
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Raw S’mores Cookie Dough Bites

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.

Raw S'mores Cookie Dough Bites

One year ago: Corned Beef with Blackberry Mustard Glaze
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White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts

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.

White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts 1

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.

White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts 2

One year ago: Pasta with Vodka Sauce
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Gingerbread Oreo Snowman Truffles

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
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White Chocolate Peppermint Covered Pretzels

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.

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.

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Peanut Butter Marshmallows

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
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Pumpkin Oreo Truffles

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!

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