Category Archives: Candy

Vanilla Latte Cookie Balls

I didn’t think these were going to make the blog.  These are the kind of thing my husband looks at and says, “Those don’t look like food to me.”

I hear that a lot unfortunately.  My husband just isn’t a sweets person.

Anyway, I made him try one of these ridiculously easy little soft spongy balls of vanilla coffee goodness and he told me to put them in the freezer right away.  He was afraid he would eat them all.  Success!

These are silly easy.  Have you ever made Oreo Truffles?  They’re just Oreos crumbled up with cream cheese and dipped in chocolate?  And they’re, like, the most awesome things ever?  My boss at the optometrist’s office made them for a work Christmas party years ago.  I was in college then so when she called them Oreo Truffles I thought that was like, the way all the best truffles were made.  You know, using smashed up cookies as the base.

Yeah.  Anyway.

So despite these little treasures’ humble beginnings they are sooo good!

To start, you need a box of vanilla flavored cookies.  I used these gluten free ones.  I picked them specifically because they were the cheapest per pound of all the ones at the grocery store.  (Yes, at my grocery store we have at least 6 brands of gluten-free vanilla-flavored cookies to choose from.  We ❤ Wegmans.)  If you are doing this with regular cookies, Nilla Wafers would be perfect.  You’ll also need a block of cream cheese, some white dipping chocolate, some dark dipping chocolate, and some fresh brewed coffee.  I would have put my coffee pot in this shot but really, no one needs to see that mess.

Take your whole box of cookies (or if you’re using Nilla Wafers it’s about 60 cookies) and grind them up in the food processor.

Add in your block of cream cheese…

…and a Tablespoon of brewed coffee and process until totally combined and smooth….

…like this.  Or, if you don’t have a food processor, you can put the cookies in a ziplock bag and rolling pin them into submission and then mix them with the cream cheese and coffee in a bowl.  Yet another reason I am soooooo glad I bought a food processor last year.

Next, line a baking sheet with waxed paper and roll about 2 teaspoonfuls at a time into little balls and place on paper.  You want them to be about 1″ balls.  Place them in the freezer for a few minutes while you melt your white dipping chocolate.

(This next part I got to and was not too optimistic about the recipe so there is no shot of me dipping the balls.  Live and learn.  Picture it, okay?  Thanks.)  Melt about a cereal bowl’s worth of white dipping chocolate and add 2 Tbsp brewed coffee.  Dip.  Melt dark dipping chocolate to drizzle for garnish if desired.  (I added a little cream to my dark chocolate to thin it out and make it easier to drizzle.)  You can, of course, use better chocolate than I did for dipping.  You just have to be more careful when melting it.  A microwave can ruin chocolate real fast if you’re not careful.

And there you have it!  These are vanilla-y and coffee-y and chocolatey.  And so pretty sitting with a bunch of other cookies on a tray.  I think the best part is the texture though.  So soft and pillowy.  Such a fun little thing for Christmas!

Enjoy!

 

 

Vanilla Latte Cookie Balls      (adapted from kraftfoods.com)

1 Box Gluten Free Vanilla Flavored Cookies (or 60 Nilla Wafers)

1 8oz block of cream cheese

3 Tbsp brewed coffee, divided

White dipping chocolate (about a cereal bowl’s worth)

Dark dipping chocolate (just enough for drizzling), optional

 

 

Instructions:

In a food processor, pulverize entire box of cookies.  You want to end up with about 2 cups of crumbs.  Add cream cheese and 1 Tbsp coffee and run the machine until you have a smooth ball of dough.

Scoop 2 teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into balls.  Set on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.  Put in freezer for 20 minutes or so.

Melt white dipping chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp coffee.

Using two forks, dip cookie balls in white chocolate (it will be tan in color with the addition of the coffee).  Set on waxed paper to harden.

Drizzle with dark chocolate if desired.  (If dark chocolate is too thick to drizzle, splash in a little cream, half and half, or milk until it is thin enough to drizzle in a thin string.)

Makes about 30 balls.

 

 

 

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Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

So, I’m not actually a huge coconut fan.  I mean, I like coconut as much as the next person, it’s just not my flavor of choice when it comes to desserts.   Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel, coffee, lemon, raspberry… probably a host of others come before it.

But I’m making literally 20 different kinds of cookies and candies right now for Christmas.  In the interest of variety I thought we’d mix it up a bit this week.  (In the last week I’ve made Snickerdoodles, Gingerbread People, Sugar Cookies, Turtles, Buckeyes, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Chocolate Mint Cookies, Almond Toffee, PB + J Thumbprints, and Magic Cookie Bars.  I’m working on some Vanilla Latte Cookie Truffles right now.  Lemon Bars, White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal cookies, Raspberry Linzer cookies and Cinnamon Rolls coming up the next few days.  I see a lot of kale in my future.)

Macaroons are great for anyone who:

A. Likes Coconut

B. Likes desserts that look elegant but are actually really quick and easy and

C. Doesn’t have any more flour in her cupboard because of making so many cookies in the last week

Which is not actually me…today.  But it is me many, many times a year.  And Coconut Macaroons are naturally gluten free which makes things easier for all of us.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Here’s everything you need:  A 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, a 14oz bag of sweetened shredded coconut (obviously yours will have something in it, oops), 1/4 tsp salt, one teaspoon vanilla, and 3 large egg whites.  That’s the yellowish stuff in the tupperware.  I always have some egg whites sitting around which is weird because I swear I have no recollection of using just yolks in anything.  Anyway…

In a medium bowl, fold together the sweetened condensed milk, the coconut, and the vanilla until well combined.

Whip up your egg whites and salt on high, using a whisk beater if you have one, until you have firm peaks.  (It looks like there is something red on the beaters.  There isn’t.  I have Christmas lights strung up by my mixer.)

Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut…

…until well combined and creamy.

I made mine kinda big.  Yours don’t have to be this big.  I just felt like using my new cookie scoop.

Plop the little piles onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Here they are right out of the oven, the tops nice and toasty brown.  Now, you could leave them like this…

…or you could dip them in dark chocolate for an extra flavor dimension. 

Me gusta mucho el chocolate.

Enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 14oz bag sweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla

3 large egg whites

1/4 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate for dipping (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until homogenous.

Combine egg whites and salt and whip on high speed, using the whisk attachment (if you have one) until you achieve firm peaks.

Gently fold egg whites into coconut mixture.

On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drop batter by tablespoonfuls into little mounds 2 inches apart.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool and dip in dark chocolate if desired.

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Turtles

These are so ridiculously simple I wasn’t sure I was even going to post them on here.

But…they’re sooooo yummy I couldn’t NOT share them.

I think technically I maimed my turtles.  Usually these guys are made with five pecans each – four legs and a head.

These only have 3 pecans.  Sorry guys, you only get two legs each.  Recession, you know.  Perhaps we could call them Tadpoles?

This is everything you need right here.  Pecans, caramel bits, and dipping chocolate.  I was soooo happy to find these caramel bits again.  I couldn’t find them when I did caramel apples for my daughter’s Halloween party at school.  You know how long it takes to peel FOUR POUNDS worth of individually wrapped caramels???  I can’t remember how long but I will say my fingers were literally bleeding by the time I was done.

So, simply arrange your pecans on a sheet of wax paper into little clusters.  You can do five pecans if you like.  I’m just cheap.  I think you guys already know that about me.

Next, pour your caramel bits into a bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds or so.  Stir and repeat until they’re all melted.

Now, because we’re not mixing any cream into the caramel it’s going to be a little bit like putty.  This is good, actually.  The caramel will be hot but not so hot you can’t pull off little bits to mush onto the center of all our clusters, using it like clay to stick them all together.

The caramel cools and starts firming up very quickly once it’s removed from the bowl.

Once all of your caramel pecan clusters have been formed, using two forks you can dip them in the chocolate.  The beauty of dipping chocolate is you just pour it into a bowl and nuke it for 30 seconds.  Stir it around, nuke it some more until it’s all melted.  It’s kind of fool proof which is what I like.

And here they are all dipped!  These are a very chewy caramel treat that goes perfect with coffee or the other five Christmas cookies on your party plate.

Enjoy!

Turtles

1/2 bag Kraft Premium Caramel Bits

About 2 cups Milk Chocolate Dipping Chocolate

90 whole pecans

Instructions:

On a sheet of waxed paper, arrange pecans in clusters of three.

Pour caramel bits in a bowl and microwave 20 seconds.  Stir.  Repeat until totally melted.

When just cool enough to handle, pull off teaspoonfuls of caramel and form over the center of each cluster.

In another bowl, add chocolate and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir and repeat until totally melted.

Using two forks, dip caramel pecan clusters in chocolate.  Place on wax paper to cool and harden.

Note:  If I have any extra chocolate or caramel I always just toss in some small nuts , raisins, marshmallows, pretzels (whatever I have on hand) and roll them around to use up the remainder.  We call the unsightly bundles “Chocolate Trail Mix” and my kids LOVE IT.  This little note may actually secretly be the best part of this post.  Shhhh!

Makes 30 clusters.

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Buckeyes

It’s the 12 Days of Cookies!!!  Yay!!!  I can’t tell you how excited I get every year to be making all the holiday cookies and candies.  My wish list this year is staggering.  I could go on and on but I’m going to try and make these pre-Christmas posts brief because I’d like to bring you lots of goodies before the holiday hits.

We start with one of my favorite combos – chocolate and peanut butter.  If you’re not from Ohio you may have never heard of Buckeyes.  I live within 30 miles of the border and I hadn’t heard of them until a friend from Columbus visited and couldn’t believe we didn’t know what they were.  They’re named for the state tree, and they actually do look just like Buckeye tree nuts.

But mine taste way better

I also hear they’re very popular at football parties.  You know…Ohio Buckeyes and all.  Anyway.  Enough history, let’s go make these!

All we need to make these are creamy peanut butter, vanilla extract, half a stick of butter (not the full one shown), powdered sugar, and some dipping chocolate.  Milk chocolate, that is.

First thing we need to do is sift our sugar.  This is important because if you don’t you’ll end up with too much sugar and dry dough.  Sift your sugar until you get two cups.  If you have one of these things all the better.  Or you can just use a fine mesh strainer and tap tap tap until it’s all through.

Here it is all mixed.  And I’ve obviously already started scooping.  Oops.  Just put your softened butter, peanut butter, and vanilla in the mixer on medium until it’s well combined and creamy.  Then turn down the mixer to low and gradually add your sugar.  When it’s done it should be smooth and easy to work with.

Grab about 2 teaspoonfuls at a time (I used my melon baller) and roll into balls with your hands.

Place balls on a wax paper lined baking tray.  When they are all rolled, set the tray in the freezer to firm up for a few minutes.  I probably left mine in for 20 while I paid attention to the small children that had previously been destroying the house.

Meanwhile, microwave your dipping chocolate.  You can do it on high.  Just stir it every 30 seconds or so.  Dipping chocolate is not the highest quality chocolate around but I adore it because it’s EASY.  There’s no tempering.  Nothing to mix it with, no double boilers, and no worry about scorching it.  I didn’t even have to microwave it again after taking this shot.  Just stirring it brought it all together.

Now just grab a toothpick and stick it into to the top of one of the (firm, cold) peanut butter balls, dip in the chocolate…

…and set on the wax paper to harden.  The baking sheet will still be nice and cold so this will happen quickly.  Remove the toothpick and move on to the next one.  Once these are room temperature you can easily cover up the hole by just smoothing it over with your finger.

I'm going to be an adult and not caption this image

 This is what can happen if you leave the ball in the chocolate for too long (like if you’re monkeying around with your camera at the same time).

Buckeyes just in time for Christmas!  Easy, fun, and so ridiculously yummy.  Bring them to your next party and everyone will ask you for the recipe!

Enjoy!

 

 

Buckeyes

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

4 Tbsp butter (1/2 a stick), softened

1/2 tsp Vanilla

About 3 cups dipping chocolate (the Milk Chocolate kind)

 

Instructions:

Sift powdered sugar until you get two cups.  Sift first, measure second.  Reverse this and you’ll end up with too much sugar.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, and vanilla on medium speed.  Turn mixer down to low and add powdered sugar gradually.  Mix until dough is well combined.  It should be soft and easy to work with.

Roll 2 teaspoonfuls into balls and set on a wax paper lined tray.  Set the tray in the freezer for a few minutes.

Place dipping chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds.  Stir and repeat until chocolate is totally melted.

Remove peanut butter balls from freezer and stick a toothpick in the top of one.  Dip in chocolate, leaving the top uncovered.  Place on waxed paper to harden.

Can be kept at room temperature, in refrigerator, or freezer.  They are amazing any way!

Makes about 30 balls.

 

 

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