Bravery, Optimism, and Chocolate

         I have a very brave friend. Very brave. And optimistic. And this brave and optimistic friend asked me (of all people) to make a dessert for her sixteenth birthday. It took about a minute of laughing hysterically before I realized it wasn’t a joke. Well, okay then. I said I’d do it.
         We brainstormed for days. Strawberry shortcake wouldn’t work because the drive was too long and the strawberries would shrivel up. For a handful of random reasons, other desserts wouldn’t survive either. We came up with and scratched off several ideas. All the while, though, I have to say that I knew chocolate was the winner. But my brave (and sadly no longer optimistic) friend worried that the guests would be overwhelmed by the chocolate, “there’s going to be a chocolate fountain. And the table cloths are even chocolate colored.” Personally, I thought that sounded cool. But okay, gotta keep the hostess happy.
         The last request of desperation I got was something about fudge. I’m sorry, dear friend, but no. Fudge simply wouldn’t do the trick. It must be delicious, dainty (it was a fancy party), and absolutely perfect. Not just some crummy old fudge. Fudge works for any other occasion, but not this one. I had to take matters into my own hands. Must save my wonderful, brave, and optimistic friend!
         I hit the grocery store with absolute concentration and determination. Nothing could get in my way — except for the woman hogging the Oreo isle with a shopping cart and a loose three year old who was running wild. I swiftly grabbed the Oreo cookies, cleverly stashed two more boxes of vanilla cookies, and heroically snagged a couple packages of cream cheese.  Everything else I needed was at home so I whooshed to a line to purchase my spoil. It was pretty epic.
         I would make two variations of the same dessert: chocolate bon-bons, one made with regular milk chocolate (my friend was in denial, I had to save the brave soul) and another with white chocolate (I didn’t want to lose the friendship of the brave soul either).
         The dessert is really easy. It just takes forever. You have to scrape the filling from all the cookies, then turn the cookies into dust. It takes even longer than forever when the darn blender won’t break up the cookies like it should. I used a mallet to do that at one point, once upon a time. Talk about taking forever. Anyway, I got myself into a rhythm and it went semi-smoothly.
         Scrape Oreo cookies, crumble (is that how you say it? Well, you catch my drift), pour on cream cheese, mix in until completely combined, no cream cheese chunks, roll into balls, dip in chocolate, drizzle with two stripes of white chocolate, place closely on wax paper without touching. Scrape vanilla cookies, crumble, pour on cream cheese, mix in, roll into ball, dip in white chocolate, drizzle with two stripes of milk chocolate, place closely together on wax paper. Now, spending more than two hours in a kitchen, doing the same thing repeatedly can do something to a person, and it isn’t pretty. So, if you plan on taking longer than two hours on any little thing, don’t schedule any dates or good-impression-dinners because you won’t want to see anyone. No one. Zip. Everyone you look at will appear nauseatingly like work. Not to mention, every minor thing will irritate you. So no hot dates (unless, of course, you want to scare him away. Then by all means. . .)

         I left the bon-bons in the refrigerator over night and in the morning, put them in the freezer so they could turn into chocolate ice cubes then thaw out on the drive to the party. Perfect plan. While my little angels where freezing, I ran some errands, came home, changed into fancy clothes, and stuck some bobby pins in my head. That’s when I realized I was running late. I started running around the house in my long skirt and heels, grabbing a birthday card here, looking for tissue paper there. An elegant mess. I had to hold the hem of my skirt like the women back in the “Little House on the Prairie” days. Scrambling into the garage where the freezer was, I opened the door and grabbed the cookie tray, brimming with my beauties. Two seconds later, I realized my fingers were burning. Burning, sticking, scorching. The metal was so cold, it bit me. With that to say, be careful with frozen metal. It hurts. A lot.
      Well, in the end, I found that the stripes I drizzled had frozen together across the bon-bons, and a couple were choco-glue combined because they were place too close together. But I used a knife to separate them, and eventually everything came apart. I ended by placing them in a spiral of white and brown on a round plate. It turned out beautifully, praise God. My friend’s mom even told me that she thought they were store bought. I also didn’t hear anyone complain nor were there any 911 calls, so YES! Chalk one up for success!
(PS. sorry I don’t have a picture. I was in such a hurry, taking a snapshot never crossed my mind. Can’t win ’em all.) 

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