Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cookie Dough Truffles

It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes the simplest of things can be the most impressive to the masses. This was the case when I made a couple of bite-sized desserts for my parents' surprise 60th birthday party.

I ordered a sheet cake, but I also made Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats and Cookie Dough Truffles so there were other options to jazz up the dessert table. Neither recipe even required baking, and I got so many compliments! Perfect!

These cookie dough truffles were something that I picked up from Bakerella, whom you can't help but love. Of course her confections are always adorable, and her photography skills are superb (especially compared to my last-minute photos taken in the dark).

The recipe is so easy, and I thought the presentation was really nice for a crowd. They're super easy to transport and serve, and guests can put them up by the stick, keeping their fingers from getting sticky. It was also the first time that I had ever used candy melts, and they were super easy to work with. The candy coating hardens up so nicely, adding to the ease of transport and consumption — all qualities that one wants in a party food!

If you'd like to eat cookie dough that doesn't carry the worry of poisoning, try these. They are yummy!

Cookie Dough Truffles (makes about 3 dozen)
Adapted from Bakerella

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 bags chocolate candy coating (sold at craft stores, among other places)
Popsicle sticks, trimmed (lollipop sticks might work too)
Sprinkles (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Mix in milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Chill dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until firm enough to scoop into 1-inch balls (I used a 1-inch cookie scoop).

Quickly roll the scoops of dough between your hands to form a smooth ball and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. (Don't leave them in there too long — you won't be able to get the sticks in!)

Melt candy coating following the instructions on the package. Remove a couple of dough balls from the freezer at a time and insert the cut side of the popsicle stick into the ball. Dip into the candy coating, allowing excess chocolate to fall off back into the bowl so it is evenly coated.

Place back onto the baking sheet to set and add sprinkles (optional) before chocolate hardens. If the chocolate pools at the bottom of the truffle, dab it on the wax paper to pull some of the excess coating off and place on a clean spot on the baking sheet.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

Click here for a printable recipe!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Baked Brown Sugar Wings

The Superbowl. It's Sunday! It's the 49ers vs. the Ray Lewises!

Fact: Last year's game was a little more exciting for me. My team was in it (and won...ahem!).
Fact: This year I have no stake in either team and will use the game as an excuse to eat delicious, sporty finger food.
Fact: I've had a cold that has overstayed its welcome by about 4 days. It has striped me of my sense of taste! Sad trombone. It turns out that I eat strictly for pleasure.

If you like wings (and I mean wings where you can actually taste chicken, not just...fried), please make these! You will be astonished that they are so tender and full of flavor. And baked! So you're leaving behind all of the calories that oil adds.

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