Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cookie Truffles

As the end of the semester draws to a close, I realize that I have way too many Dining Dollars. It's part of the meal plan here. So, because I want to get my money's worth of food, I needed to spend about $300 in two weeks. I bought lots of cookies and chips. But to be honest, I don't really want to eat most of it. My dorm floor has this table in the hall where people sometimes put treats to share--brownies from home, a bag of candies, whatever. So I thought... why not contribute to this table? Better yet, why not convert boring snacks into exciting treats? Since it's finals week, I have nothing to do except study. Which means I have plenty of time to make food!

After browsing Pinterest for a long time, I tried some of the ideas I saw, to great appreciation from my floor-mates. The next few posts will be about food I've made with a microwave and a fridge. And ingredients from the Quick Zone. These aren't necessarily quick... I'm just trying to use up ingredients :)

First up... truffles! Not the mushrooms, not the traditional chocolate kind (though there's plenty of chocolate in these), but the cookie kind! I've made three variations so far, and I have three more packages of cream cheese ready in the fridge. I'm planning on making lots more once I'm home to spread holiday cheer to friends!

Milk chocolate-covered Nutella truffles
The concept is pretty easy... Grab some cookies, crush 'em into crumbs, combine with cream cheese, form balls, and smother in chocolate. Since I have the pictures for my Nutella truffles, I'll go into detail with them.

Adapted from these Quickie Nutella Truffles

8 oz, cream cheese (1 package)
13 oz. Nutella (1 of the small jars)
14.4 oz. graham crackers (a box of Honey Maid's, 27 crackers, about 4 cups when crushed finely)
About 8 oz. chocolate, any way you can get it* (see Step 6 below for more details)


Graham cracker crumbs
1. Crush graham crackers into crumbs. 

I don't have a food processor, so I put the crackers in a gallon Ziploc bag, squeezed the air out, and used my hands. To go true college-style, use the spine of your least favorite textbook. It was quite a good way to de-stress before finals ;)

Truffle dough
2. Add cream cheese and Nutella; mix until well combined. 

I tried to use a bowl, then realized my cereal bowl wasn't going to cut it size-wise. So I poured everything back into the Ziploc bag and mushed it around. I've never tried using a bowl, so I can't say if using the baggie was easier, but it definitely wasn't hard--pretty simple, actually. 

3. Place dough in refrigerator to harden. 

Or the freezer, if you're impatient :)

Truffle balls
4. Using a spoon, form compact balls of dough. (I ended up with about 45)

If you have some sort of round ice-cream scoop, that's fantastic. For the ones shown here, I used a spoon to compact the dough into the bottom of a tiny plastic cup. In my later truffles, I just used my hands to shape the dough into quasi-spherical shapes with the Ziploc bag, which was much less time-consuming, and the results were just as good.

5. Return to refrigerator (or freezer) to harden while you melt the chocolate.

6. Melt the chocolate! 

Unwrap your chocolates and place them in a bowl, breaking the bars into smaller pieces. Set your microwave on half-power and microwave for short intervals, stirring in between. (I started off with 30, then decreased to 15 and 10-second intervals.) The idea is to go slowly because chocolate can burn easily if you're not careful. Also, make sure to keep water away from your chocolate so it doesn't form lumps. (If this happens, add a little vegetable oil and stir.) 

*Because I didn't have enough of any one kind of chocolate, I separated the different kinds I had (though I didn't wash my bowl in between). I used Hershey's bars (milk and dark), Hershey's Kisses, Reese's peanut butter cups, M&M's, and York peppermint patties. Some reflections... I do not recommend York peppermint patties. Something about the mint (the sugar, maybe?) makes the chocolate gummy when it's melted and tough to chew when it re-hardens. For the M&M's, I crushed the candy shells with my spoon as I stirred the melted chocolate. The resulting coating still has the crunch, which I enjoyed. The Reese's cups coating was softer (even when cooled) than the chocolates because of the peanut butter, but I loved it just the same. The regular milk and dark chocolate turned out the way you'd expect.

7. Remove the truffle balls from the fridge and start dipping!

I dropped them in one at a time (my cereal bowl couldn't take much more anyway). Then, using a spoon and a fork, I rolled it around in the chocolate, then let it sit on the fork to let the excess chocolate drip off. Note: The coating is actually pretty thick. Depending on your preferences, you may want to add a tiny bit of vegetable oil to the chocolate while you melt it for a thinner coat. This makes it easier for the truffle's flavor to come through the chocolate (especially if you use peanut butter cups).

8. Place chocolate-dipped balls on waxed paper (or other nonstick surface), then into the fridge to set.

9. When the chocolate has cooled and hardened, enjoy!

After a bite...mmm!
Dark chocolate coating on the left; Reese's coating on the right
Dark chocolate- and M&M-coated truffles  
There are tons of variations on this--just check out Pinterest! I've also done the following:
11.5 oz. Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies (1 small package) with 4 oz. cream cheese
11.75 oz. Chunky Chips Ahoy! cookies (1 package) with 4 oz. cream cheese
(Warning (or encouragement, if you needed more): These are very chocolatey!)

And am excited to try the following:
8 oz. ginger wafers with 4 oz. cream cheese
1 package Nilla wafers with 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/3 cup of mashed banana

Update 1/12/15: All the above variations are great! Also, try
16 oz. Nutter Butters with 8 oz. cream cheese
11 oz. Lorna Doone cookies in place of Nilla Wafers in the banana version above
Add candy chunks (KitKats, Crunch bars, Reese's) to the "dough" or form balls around candies like Whoppers or M&Ms
For a healthier option, substitute pudding for the cream cheese! I used 2 snack cups, or 7 ounces, but the dough was hard to shape. (However, I was impatient and only left the dough in the freezer for an hour or so.) I ended up spooning the dough directly into the chocolate, which worked. This results in a softer center that is delicious in its own right! I also want to try using Greek yogurt.

What are your guys' favorite combinations?

No comments:

Post a Comment