Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Neighbor Gift Idea: Choco-holic Platter

Oreo Truffles
  • 1 package (1 lb.) Oreo cookies
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1-2 teaspoons shortening (just enough to thin chocolate chips for dipping)

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. With a mixer, blend cookie powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese). Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet.

Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In double-boiler, melt milk chocolate and shortening. Dip balls and coat thoroughly. With slotted spoon, lift balls out of chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. In separate double boiler, melt white chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over balls. Let cool. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Balls
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1-2 teaspoons shortening (just enough to thin chocolate chips for dipping)
  • Finely chopped peanuts for garnish, if desired

Stir together powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter until well mixed. Shape peanut butter mixture into 1 inch balls, placing them on a baking sheet covered with waxed or parchment paper. Let balls stand for 20 minutes until dry. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler. Drop balls one at a time in melted chocolate. Using a fork, remove from the chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Place back on the waxed paper. Let dry about 1 minute, then sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Let stand until dry. Store tightly covered in a cool dry place.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
  • 1 ¼ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 32 round thin chocolate-covered mint patties

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into the creamed butter mixture. Drop by the tablespoon about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until puffy and tops are cracked. Invert the cookies onto cooling rack. Immediately place unwrapped mint on the top and flip half of cookie over to create a fold. Press lightly to seal. Cool completely. Makes 32 mint chocolate sandwiches.

Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes or Oreos
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or vanilla baking chips
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 12 candy canes or peppermint sticks or Double Stuft Oreo cookies

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips and shortening until smooth. Tip boiler so that the chocolate goes to one side of the pan. Dip one candy cane/Oreo at a time on one side only. Place on parchment or waxed paper and allow to dry partially about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed candy or sprinkles and allow to dry completely.

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