Thursday, March 31, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Truffles

Girl Scout cookies are quite fantabulous, so I was hesitant to use them to create something new instead of enjoying them on their own. Luckily, I had two boxes of both the Samoas and the Thin Mints. So I used a box of each to make these decadent delights, saving a box of each to eat straight up. Now, however, I'm not so sure I'm going to stick to that plan because these truffles were aaaaaaaaaaaawesoooooooooooome.

There are a handful of recipes on the web for Thin Mint and Samoa truffles, each with their own ratios of cookie crumb to cream cheese and other add-ins. This wasn't cutting the mustard for me, so I took a different approach. I know that Oreos truffles have the "right" crumb to cream ratio, so I used that recipe as a guide.

A traditional Oreo truffle recipe calls for 3 cups of Oreo crumbs and 8oz (one block) of cream cheese. After pulverizing both cookies, I wound up with a little less than 2 cups from one box of Thin Mints and a little more than 1 cup from a box of Samoas. After a bit of math, I realized that I needed 5oz of cream cheese for the Thin Mints and 3oz of the cream cheese for the Samoas. Hold the phone? I need 8oz and one block of cream cheese is how much? Perrrrrrrrrrrfection! Isn't it glorious when things work out like that?

Thin Mint Truffles

  • 1 box Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, crushed
  • 5oz. cream cheese, softened
  • chocolate baking bark
Samoa Truffles

  • 1 box Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, crushed
  • 1/2c toasted coconut
  • 3oz cream cheese, softened
  • white chocolate baking bark
  1. Mix respective cookie crumbs with respective ratios of cream cheese. (Add the toasted coconut in the mix during this step for the Samoas).
  2. Scoop in to balls with your handy-dandy 2t cookie scoop.
  3. Shape and let chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate and coat respective truffles with respective bark (Thin Mint with chocolate and Samoa with white chocolate).
  5. Throw them in the fridge for like 5 minutes and then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
I think people were split over which was better. But that's probably because they were both so great! The Thin Mints ones were especially tasty when they were cold (like Thin Mints from the freezer, only better). Yea, I'm totally torn about what to actually do with the cookies I have left over.

Cheesecake Bites

A buddy of mine requested that I make a treat for a fundraiser that she participated in a few weeks ago. I so enjoy being asked to help out for such things. 

It was a wine tasting, so I wanted to bake something that wasn't too intense in the flavor category and would pair well with the wine. Cheese and wine go well together; chocolate and wine do, too. So cheesecake bites seemed like a winner. I'm hesitant to call them Cheesecake Balls because I merely scooped them and did not roll them into balls, so one side is flat.

I snagged the recipe for a basic cheesecake from Kraft and then searched around the Internets for a few ideas on how to best scoop/finish the balls. The results were pretty much what I had expected to find.

I made the cheesecake the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I heard somewhere that it lets the "flavors mingle" or something like that. Also, I just didn't have the time the next day to let it cool completely.

Cheesecake Bites

  • 4 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1c graham cracker crumbs 
  • chocolate baking bark 
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time and beat on low until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour cheesecake mixture into a 9x13 pan (greasing is unnecessary as you are just going to be scooping the balls directly from the pan). And bake until the center is almost set.
  3. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  4. Using your ridiculously convenient 2t cookie scoop, scoop out cheesecake balls. (Like I said, I didn't shape them other than smashing them in the cookie scoop; they were just too sticky). You should yield around 90 bites. (I so didn't make them all).
  5. Roll the cheesecake in the graham cracker crumbs and let chill in fridge for and hour.
  6. Melt baking bark and coat each bite in chocolate.
I heard that they were well received. And I heard some people grabbed snagged a few left over cheesecake bites to take home with them.  These treats are low key and easily adaptable: they could easily be made gluten free if you don't roll them in graham crackers, and you can choose to add a number of things to the cheesecake (flavorings, fruit, candy, etc.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate Oreo Cookies

Hurray for meta-cookies! I've made cookies similar to these before with a chocolate chip cookie dough base. These use a chocolate cookie base. Good stuff. Again, I snagged this recipe from How Sweet It Is. I modified it slightly, using white chocolate chips instead of regular because that's how I bounce.

Chocolate Oreo Cookies
  • 1c butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1t vanilla
  • 2c flour
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1c white chocolate chips
  • 1c crushed Oreo cookies
  1. Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. 
  2. In separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until fully incorporated.
    Fold in chips and crushed Oreos. 
  4. Refrigerate dough for 2-4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let that parchment paper flutter down on to the baking sheet like a beautiful butterfly.
  6. Roll into balls or scoop with an your 2t cookie scoop and drop on baking sheet.
    Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.
I really enjoyed these cookies, as did everyone I shared them with. They were chewy, yet crunchy. I would suggest only chilling the dough for the minimal time to keep the Oreos as crunchy as possible. I had to chill mine overnight, and I think they might have lost a little crispiness, but not much. I really liked the white chocolate chips in there. Ooooh, I just had an idea... mint Oreos with Andes mints or mint chips up in the cookie. It will be done.

Chocolate Covered Funyuns

Here's a quick and dirty post about another savory treat covered in chocolate: chocolate-covered Funyuns.  "Becky," you might ask, "what, pray tell, is a Funyun?" According to Frito-Lay, a Funyun is an onion flavored ring. Does that help? I didn't think so. 

There's not much to explain about the process: Melt some chocolate baking bark. Dip Funyuns in said bark. Let cool and...enjoy?

These I don't know if I'd go as far as "Ew," but it's close.  Luckily, I played it safe and made them as an ancillary treat for trivia night along with one that I knew would be a hit. 

If you are feeling adventurous, I suggest you give them a try. But if you are looking for something good, no, not good, pile-drive-your-great-aunt fantastic, stick with the chocolate-covered Cheetos. They blows these bizarre things out of the water.

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love cake like a fat kid loves cake. I love cake. Cake with AWESOME frosting to be exact (or is the truth that I just plain love frosting?). Anycake...

Adding cake mix to already awesome stuff to make it more awesome seems to be a baking trend as of late, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. I got this recipe from How Sweet It Is, a baking blog that is just filled with ridiculously awesome recipes. These are easy to make and definitely a great twist on a classic treat.

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

  • 3T butter
  • 10.5 oz mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 1 1.75-ounce container of sprinkles (divided)
  1. Melt butter in big pot on stove.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted
  3. Add in dry cake mix a few T at a time.
  4. Mix in cereal and half of the sprinkles
  5. Smash that crazily-colored mix into a greased 9x13 pan. 
  6. Throw the rest of the sprinkles on top and mash them in good.
  7. Let cool, cut and have a paaaaaaaaaaaaar-tay!
Let's discuss sprinkles. They should be chewy-crunchy, not crispy-crunchy. Avoid Betty Crocker's Parlor Sprinkles; whatever they are, sprinkles they are not. Lame. I really like the generic ones I get in Kroger.

These went over well in general, but my opinion was they were just OK. I think it was because I expected a stronger cake flavor. I think next time I'll stick with my regular ratio of butter (1T) and mallows (4c) and possibly add more cake mix. I also have plans for different cereal/cake mix combos in the near future.

Twizzlers and Reese's Pieces Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

This recipe can be filed in my growing list of PB&J-type desserts...kind of.  The cookie and its title are both a mouthful. And weird, too. WEIRD! If you like Twizzlers, then these cookies are for you. If not (that's me), I strongly suggest that you to switch them out for something else (e.g., craisins or other dried berries).

These cookies were made for a friend's birthday. I found out she liked Reese's Pieces (WHO DOESN'T), chocolate and Twizzlers. So I decided to throw these babies together into a variation of a cake mix cookie recipe via the Cake Mix Doctor.

Twizzlers and Reese's Pieces Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

  • 1 pkg. devil's food cake
  • 1/3c water
  • 4T melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1/2c Reese's Pieces (chop some in half if you have the patience)
  • 1/3c Twizzlers, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and throw some parchment on a baking sheet.
  2. Beat together the first 5 ingredients: low speed for 1 min, then medium for 1 minute. 
  3. Fold in the Twizzlers and Reese's Pieces.
  4. Use that trusty 2t cookie scoop and drop those cookies on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and let sit on cookie sheet for 1 min after removing from oven.
Like I said, weird. The people who were all about some Twizzlers, including the birthday girl, were all about these cookies. The rest of us, not so much. However, I very much enjoy the cookie itself. (I picked around the Twizzlers and ate the rest of the cookie. Good times.)