White Chocolate Bon-bons

Feel free to eat the cream, if you want.

Honestly, I wanted to make the red velvet cupcakes again. But I got some. . . Kindly dismissive answers from my dad.

He groaned aloud. “Oh please don’t.”

He was acting like I was making them for him. They’d actually be for my girls’ bible study group, but for whatever reason, he pleaded with me to spare those poor girls the privilege of seeing the Lord face-to-face before their time.

Fine. So I made my famous white chocolate bon-bons. . I got myself into a good little system too.

There are 36 cookies in a package of Oreos. As you know if you’ve read Bravery, Optimism, and Chocolate, I use a package of Oreos for this recipe. That’s the original recipe. With the white chocolate variation of the recipe I’ve made (ha, I love saying that, makes me feel so smart), I use vanilla cookies. The cheap ones. Hehe.

Funny thing about cheap cookies, you get a lot of them. So I counted out 36 to scrape the cream out of. Oh, also, as usual, take your package of cream cheese out before hand so it thaws on the counter. Ha, oh yeah, I guess I should give you the ingredients, huh?

1 Package of Oreos
1 Package of cream cheese
Meltable chocolate.

I know. Oh so hard.

Once you’ve scraped them of the cream, put them in a blender and crush them up real fine. You might have to do this periodically with little batches of cookies, dumping each batch of crumbs in your bowl at a time.

Something I’ve noticed about cheapo cookies (or maybe it’s just the vanilla ones, I don’t know) is that they’re not as moist as Oreos. Keep that in mind when you start mixing the crumbs with the cream cheese. I left out about seven-ish cookies from the 36 count. You don’t want your bon-bons to be crumbly or they won’t hold together. But at the same time, you want the inside of the bon-bons to taste like the cookie and not like cream cheese.

When it comes to combining the cream cheese and crumbs, patience is key. But if it looks like there’s chunks of crumb-coated cheese just dancing around your bowl, laughing at you, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Take off your rings, and squish everything into one big mass, then go over it with your mixer again. You can do this a few times, or even smash the big chunks with a spoon. The final goal is for it all to be the same color and consistency.

Once you’ve gotten to that stage, taste it. If it tastes like cream cheese or needs to be sweeter, add more crumbs and kneed it in with your hands until it’s incorporated. Then taste it again. Not really rocket science. X-) Just be careful, you’ll start eating more than you’re actually making into bon-bons.

Start melting your white chocolate, stirring as much as you can. When it’s ready, or while you’re waiting between stirring  (be careful that the chocolate doesn’t burn), start making little balls. I make mine to be about the diameter of a quarter. But whatever floats your boat. Just don’t be crazy. You want people to come back for more, not get one stuck in their throat or something. Make it about two bites big enough.

Picture I took of them on the way to the bible study.

This is a great recipe for kids, by the way. If they want to help you in the kitchen, scrapping cookies or making little balls.

You finish by dipping the balls in the chocolate and placing them on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. If I’m making bon-bons for events, I like to freeze them before hand. They taste better cold. But if anything, freezing them will simply keep them from melting before the event.

You can also sprinkle them with colored sugar crystals for a little bitty crunch. Or decorate them however you like, even with left over crumbs.

See? Easy as. . well, not pie. .

Merry Christmas! And, by the way, I hate molasses

Heather flipping her hair. Don’t worry,
she’s away from the food.

I’ve been sitting around the house, wondering what to do with myself since I’ve been a busy body these past few days. So I figure. I might as well blog and tell all you wonderful people (um. . *squints into the darkness* marco? Marco . . Is anyone out there?) about things.

So I had that Christmas party Saturday! Before I tell you how that went though, I’ll tell you about the Friday before. (Because I know you absolutely can not wait to hear about the Friday before. You’re practically begging me to please, for the love of everything good and holy, tell you what I did the Friday before. Well beg no more, dear heart. I’m here for you. I’m here for you.)

As usual, I stayed up late finishing the desserts. .Yeah. .

“But how can you say that,” you may be asking, “when you started so early?”

Well, well. I’m glad you asked. See, things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. Which was typical. So, looking back, I should just plan THAT. And that way, things will go the way I planned. Heh, I’ll try it next time.

So, turns out I DIDN’T have the whole day to bake, which is how I planned it. I thought I’d wake up and just bake pleasantly all day, with this sweet and easy going smile on my face like any good homemaker, the wind breezing gently across my face, just happy and joyful and everything’s going so well. . .WELL. Hah-hah. You see. .

Okay. I did know that someone had to go pick up my older brother from the airport. Really I did. I just didn’t know I was required to. . participate in the going to pick him up.

That’s like two hours going and coming and not counting waiting for him there and lunch. So half my day went POOF. It’s crazy how it does that sometimes.

To retaliate I woke up early and prepped as many desserts I could before we needed to leave.

I started with the sugar cookie dough. I squished it into a ball (which I think is what they mean when it says “form into a ball” instead of “roll,” am I right?). And, I thought the ball looked like the butter was still in big chunks and I didn’t mix it in all the way. But I didn’t think too much about it because I needed to move on.

The peppermint puff dough went pretty good, I think. I don’t remember anything really horrible.

But then, came the spice crackle cookies. (Honestly, they’re just ginger snaps. Haha. But oolala, doesn’t spice crackle cookie sound so much more interesting?) I used two new ingredients in my spice crackle cookies: crystallized ginger and molasses. .

Have you ever seen crystallized ginger? I sure as heck hadn’t even heard of it until I read the recipe. I can take a picture of it if you want or if I have time. But it really just looks like weird chunks of yellow gummy candy, coated with sugar. My first issue with this was ew, that’s going in my cookies? And then, the recipe says “chopped.” What the heck does that mean? How big should they be? Well, I chopped it up until it looked  like you couldn’t be able to feel it in the cookie. (Maybe they dissolve in heat, but I didn’t want them to be like ginger raisins *shudder*) And then, the more I chopped it up, the stickier it became, which was interesting. But yeah. So there was that.

Then *foreboding tone* there was the molasses. Oh. My. Gosh. Have you ever smelled molasses?? It’s frikin’ disgusting. I got a headache smelling it. When I got to rolling out the dough balls and dipping them in sugar, my arms were stretched out so I could get as far away from the bowl as possible. It was really nasty stuff. And my main fear was that I thought molasses takes forever to pour out in the winter. HA! That part was easy.

I had some friends stay the night Friday to Saturday. They came over at seven, and by then I still hadn’t decorated the snowflakes, dipped the peppermint puffs, or even made the chocolate bon-bons I thought I could make, since I didn’t have time to do the mocha meringues anymore. But since they had shown up and I was already pretty worn from baking and everything, I thought I’d toss the bon-bon idea too.

Well, I immediately put them to work to try and help me finish as soon as possible. Each of us took a turn decorating the snowflakes with the runny icing I made. We even had a contest. Mine was the first, and the best one. Amy’s was so-so. But then Heather started getting into it, and we all quickly realized she was the best, so we folded from the game and bowed to her almighty icing powers.

Amy trying her hand at icing.

Amy and I got to work on finishing the peppermint puffs as Heather did that. I don’t know about you people out there but white chocolate is very stubborn to melt in my opinion. It’s very. . high maintenance. You can’t just leave it alone like milk chocolate, let it melt, come back, mix it, and you’re good to go. If you leave it, it gets cakey and disgusting. I always have to put oil to thin it up and mix it constantly. Sometimes even mashing it with a fork because it won’t melt all the way. So after a while of me trying to get it right, Amy started on dipping the peppermint puffs, while I grounded up some candy canes in the blender. (Question: I have a vitamix thing, will the candy canes ruin the blades? Heather and I got in an argument about this, until I settled it by going “oops” and hitting the blend switch.) But the good news is, it wasn’t white powder this time! There was red in it, so it looked nice. =-)

Quick heart shout-out to Heather. She washed most of the dishes. I was mixing stuff. And Amy admitted she was doing the fun chocolate dipping jobs. But Heather just randomly parked herself at the sink without anyone asking and started washing. She was SUCH a big help. And we were making a mess. So thank you Heather. ❤

Fuzzy picture of Heather and me talking
in the kitchen. Don’t I look like a mother in that apron?

Since Amy was in a chocolate dipping mood. We went ahead and made the bon-bons pretty quickly, with her dipping and Heather and I rolling out the balls. Then I wiped the counters while Heather resumed the messy chocolate pot (hey you can see it in the picture!) washing.

Baking stuff with friends is fun, people. It’s not something only little old ladies do. Especially stuff that’s as tedious as chocolate dipping, or cookie decorating, things that are really repetitive, it’s really fun. You should try it! You can have everything baked beforehand – which is what happened to me, not like I planned it – or bake it from the beginning with friends. Try it. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. What’s the worse that could happen?

Actually, nothing went horribly wrong. And the spice crackle cookies were a big hit, so I guess my torture was worth it. And no one asked about ginger raisins, so I guess they dissolved? *shrug* There was only one chocolate bon-bon left over and one sugar cookie. But there were a few of the peppermint puffs, not that they weren’t good. I had one and they were perfectly refreshing. And my friend Kyle even made fudge to bring, and yeah! A fun success. =-)

Hey they don’t look that different compared
to the magazine picture!

"I would like chocolate cookies"

That dog likes heights

        I was doing my schoolwork today and saw my little brother, who obviously didn’t have anything better to do, sitting around. (Sorry the picture to the right isn’t the best.) So I came to his rescue by telling him I would like chocolate cookies with maybe some sort of filling.

         “I don’t know how to make cookies.” Was his excuse.
         “Well learn.” Aren’t I helpful?
         I have a way of selling people on “delicious, mouth watering chocolate cookies with rich and creamy vanilla icing.” Eventually, he caught up to me as I was coming out of my room.
         “I’m ready to make the cookies,” he said.
         “Good, I’d like chocolate ones. Oh! And if we have chocolate chips, that’d be good too.”
         “Um. I thought you were going to teach me.”
          I told him to find a recipe. But when he asked me where he could find a cookbook (there’s a huge bookshelf in our front room, you can’t miss it), I realized we’d need more help than I thought. But, genius that I am, I thought up a brilliant idea.
          “Go find a box of chocolate cake mix,” I said, then left him in the kitchen with a confused look on his face. A minute later, I returned with a proud grin, a cookbook in hand, and a crooked chefs hat on my head.

          On the box of Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix is a recipe for Funfetti cookies, so I really didn’t need my cookbook after all. I simply had him follow the recipe on the Funfetti box, but we used devil’s food cake mix instead. I wanted chocolate cookies after all. (Hehe)
          I started off by telling him that this whole thing was an experiment. (I’m used to things flopping, and I’m pretty good humored about it. But considering this was his first time, I didn’t want him to think he was as bad as me right off the bat.) Then we got started. Well, mostly him. I “supervised” by correcting his techniques, giving tips, cracking the whip . . You know, that kind of stuff. Oh, and answering the most intriguing questions like:

        “I should probably wash my hands, huh?”
        I didn’t even answer this question. He got the hint, left to the bathroom, then came back.
         “Where’s the oil?”
         “In the pantry.”

         “Are the eggs supposed to have those white things in them?”
        He was lifting a nostril and looked genuinely disgusted, so I took a peak in the bowl. He wasn’t talking about the egg white but the little globs that I believe baby chicks are made out of. Signs that the egg could’ve been fertilized. Personally, I try not to think about these kinds of things while I’m baking.
         But he wasn’t letting this question go. He started poking one. “What are those things?”
         “Oh, how should I know? The eggs are from the store. They should be fine. Just keep going.”

        “Is the oven working?”
        “Press START.”
         But none of these questions beat: “what kind of spoon?”
         This one caught me off guard. “What do you mean?”
         “The box says, ‘mix with spoon.’ What kind?”
         “It doesn’t matter.”
         “Where can I find one?”
         “You live here, LB.” [LB stands for “little brother”. I’m trying to protect identities and whatnot.]
         “Yeah. But what kind of spoon?”
         “It doesn’t matter!”
         He began digging through a drawer. “This one?”
         “It doesn’t matter!!”
         “A wooden one?”
         “It stinkin’ doesn’t matter!”

         He reached for a wooden spoon, eyeing me cautiously. “I think I’ll use this one,” he said timidly. I gave him a bored look. Then he finally started to stir.
         After I told him how to make the dough balls and showed him my technique of how to flatten them with the bottom of a glass, he was off and running. I think the only other thing he was confused about was when he noticed all the dough in the bowl wasn’t going to fit on the one cookie sheet. But I explained how he had to make cookies in batches, and he went “ohhhhhh.” So I figure, he got it.
          I didn’t help him at all on the second batch. And he proudly announced to everyone that they were done. (There are two types of announcements that happen in my household. Actually, three. No, four. 1) we’re going to watch a movie. 2) food of some sort is ready. 3) we’re in trouble. Or 4) family discussion. If you were curious, this one falls under #2.)
          The cookies were pretty good! A little dense, but very chocolatey. We had the option of spreading vanilla icing or whip cream on them if we wanted, too. So I’d say it was a success. Congratulations, LB!