Welcome to October! With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share some Oreo Truffles with you because they make great treats for all the parties you’ll inevitably be invited to during the holiday season.
If you’ve never had Oreo Truffles before, you really need to try them. They are simple to make and only include three ingredients: Oreos (or similar cookies), cream cheese, and chocolate. I’m amazed I’ve never made a blog post about them before now, to tell you the truth.
There’s something about the mixture of the cookies and the cream cheese that really makes these special. They are decadent and rich. The added chocolate coating only makes them better.
I saw these Halloween themed Joe Joe’s cookies at Trader Joe’s and thought the box was cool looking so I decided to try them. They were not very good. The chocolate cookies were fine but the filling was bland. It tasted like nothing, and definitely not vanilla. Should I just throw the box of cookies away? Continue eating the cookies and hating life? No! Just make them into Oreo Truffles! Even the blandness of the cookies could be fixed with a little cream cheese and chocolate. Once the cookies are combined with the other ingredients, they didn’t taste that much different than the truffles made with real Oreos. So if you ever end up with a crappy box of Oreo knock-offs, you know what to do!
Package of Oreos or other chocolate sandwich cookies
8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened)
8-14 oz. of semi-sweet baking chocolate or chocolate candy melts
Put the cookies whole in a large food processor* and crush until the cookies are a fine crumb. If you want to use crushed cookies for topping set some aside at this point.
Put the softened cream cheese into a large bowl and pour the cookie crumbs on top.
With your hands, combine the cookies and cream cheese until completely incorporated. It's a messy job, but at least you get to lick your fingers clean when you're done!
Chill the mixture for 15-20 mins. to thicken it up.
Then roll it into 1 inch balls and place on a wax paper covered jelly roll pan. Chill again for 30 mins.
Melt the semi-sweet baking chocolate in the microwave on 30 sec. intervals, decreasing the time to 15 sec. intervals when the chocolate gets close to melted. You don't want to over heat your chocolate or it'll be ruined.
When the balls are chilled, place each ball, one at a time, in the melted chocolate making sure it's covered completely.
With two forks, pick up the truffle out of the chocolate and place back on the wax paper. While the chocolate is still melted sprinkle the top with your toppings of choice.
*If you don't have a food processor, split the cookies apart, scrape the filling into a large bowl with the cream cheese and place the cookies in a large ziplock bag. I remove the filling ahead of crushing, because I find the cookies difficult to crush finely when the filling is included.
Crush the cookies finely in the ziplock bag with a mallet or something similar and then place them into the large bowl with the filling.
In honor of beards around the world, last night I made a batch of bearded shortbread cookies! It was done on a whim, so I didn’t really have the right tools or decorations to do proper bearded cookies, but I think they look cute in a bearded-chicken-nugget kind of way.
Let a bearded man in your life know you appreciate him and his lovely bearded locks today.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July, so I whipped up these easy brownies as a last minute treat for a BBQ I’m attending. I used a delicious brownie mix I only recently started using. Most brownie mixes that I’ve used taste like brownie mixes. They taste good but not quite as decadent as homemade brownies.
A few weeks ago I tried Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix with Dutch Cocoa and Chocolate Chips for the first time and was impressed at how rich and delicious it was. It’s also nice that it already has chocolate chips included in it! To make these brownies you can use whatever mix or recipe you want, but I’d suggest trying the Trader Joe’s mix. It’s a good thing to have around when you need a dessert fast and don’t want to rummage through the kitchen collecting all the ingredients.
Make your brownies and let them cool completely. Cut them into small squares and drizzle melted frosting on the top. If you want them to be festive, sprinkle a few jimmies on each.
That’s it! They are easy to make and don’t require a lot of artistic skill, yet they look pretty and patriotic.
In the spirit of the circus/carnival party I had recently, I decided to include a themed cocktail for the festivities. I was eating some nachos with cheese sauce piled high with pickled jalapeños at my party when it hit me that I didn’t come across jalapeño cocktails all that often. Probably the most common kind is a jalapeño margarita but outside of that, I’d never really heard of one. I’m sure they are out there, but I decided to see what I could some up with.
I started with a standard dirty martini recipe and replaced the olive jar juice and olives with jalapeño juice and slices of jalapeños. It turned out really good! If you like a little spice and the flavor of pickled jalapeños, you’d probably love this drink.
Last year when American Horror Story: Freak Show debuted I got the idea to do a circus party at my house. While having a creepy party in the same vein as AHS: Freak Show is definitely my cup of tea, I decided a kid/family friendly one would be more popular with my friends.
I began by creating an invitation. I scoured the internet for some inspiration and settled on a design. When you’re having a party as big as the one I was creating, it’s hard to get all the pertinent information on the invite without it turning into a book!
I broke the party down into three areas: circus, sideshow, and carnival. The circus was set up in the living room, the bathroom became a sideshow, and the carnival was in the backyard.
I love to decorate and make things, so putting on a party like this was a lot of fun but a ton of work. Here’s how each area of the party turned out.
The Circus: Under the Big Top
I wanted the living room to have the suggestion of a circus tent so I bought a stack of dollar store plastic tablecloths and got to work. I tied a couple whites and a red one together on one end and attached them to the center of the room. Then I opened them out towards the wall and stapled them up. I continued like this around the room until about half of it was covered. I added another tablecloth from the ceiling to the floor to finish the sides of the “tent.”
The marquee was the other “big thing” I made for living room circus decor. It’s made from foam core board, poster board, string lights, and ping pong balls! I have a full tutorial here if you’d like to see how it was made.
The last area of the circus was the treat table I put up in the dining area. I had popcorn, candy, cupcakes, peanuts, etc. laid out everywhere! I also decorated some animal toys to look like circus animals for some extra flair.
The circus/carnival party I had was a great success and I wanted to share the cute cupcakes that I made for it. For more details about the party head over here. Below, learn about how to make carousel horse cupcakes and clown cupcakes.
Carousel Cupcakes – Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
After I found this cool cupcake carousel stand I couldn’t pass up making some cupcakes to go in it. To make the cupcakes look even more like they belonged on a carousel, I wanted to add some carousel horses to them. I found these really cute carousel horse cutouts for paper straws and I cut the straws in half so they could be cupcake toppers.
For the cake on these I used this delicious Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate cake recipe. The batter was incredibly runny and they didn’t rise very much, but they were moist and tasty. I only made a half batch for this party and shared my buttercream with the clown cupcakes below. If you make a full batch, use the frosting recipe below.