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Holiday goodies galore!

29 Dec

Instead of buying gifts this year, I decided to bake for co-workers and friends! Besides, home-made is better than store-bought :) After reading through baking blogs and googling ideas.. I chose to make three goodies:

  1. Peppermint Bark
  2. Oreo Truffles
  3. Oatmeal Lace Cookies
The peppermint bark and oatmeal cookies turned out great. I didn’t like the oreo truffles too much – maybe because they were too soft. They are good when eaten chilled. I had a hard time keeping them cold so I opted not to make them anymore after the first batch.

peppermint bark & oreo truffles

They were surprisingly simple..  I think finding the packaging took me longer (finally found them at the Dollar Store near work and at Michael’s). Here are the recipes!

Peppermint Bark 

Ingredients:
5 squares of Baker’s white chocolate
5 squares of  Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
2 drops of peppermint extract
5 candy canes, crushed

Steps

  1. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place the candy canes in a ziplock bag and crush to tiny pieces. Sieve the crushed pieces to separate the big candy cane chunks and the finer candy cane “powder” into two separate bowls. Set aside.
  3. Melt semi-sweet chocolate squares in a double-broiler (substitute: use a metal bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water).
    ** The key to melting chocolate is to make sure there is no moisture or water that touches the chocolate).
  4. Once smooth and completely melted, add two drops of peppermint extract to the chocolate then pour onto the cold cookie sheet. Spread thinly using a spatula.
  5. Repeat steps 3 with the white chocolate squares.
  6. Once the white chocolate is melted, pour the candy cane powder and mix it with the chocolate.
  7. Pour the melted white chocolate and candy cane mixture onto the already-frozen/cold semi-sweet chocolate. Spread.
  8. Sprinkle the larger crushed candy cane pieces on top of the white chocolate.
  9. Put back in freezer for at least 30 mins (or in the refrigerator for at least an hour). Once chocolate has hardened, break the chocolate into pieces.

Oreo Truffles (from Easy Oreo Truffles on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
1/2 package of 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 package of oreo cookies, crushed
4 squares of Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate

Steps

  1. Crush 4 oreo cookies using a food processor and set aside.
  2. Crush the rest of the cookies and mix with cream cheese. Use a hand mixer to thoroughly blend the two.
  3. Using two teaspoons, shape the mixture into round balls.
  4. Use a double broiler (substitute: metal bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water) to melt the semi-sweet chocolate.
  5. Once melted, place the oreo balls on top of a fork and use a spoon to scoop melted chocolate on top of it. Keep doing this until the oreo ball is completely coated.
  6. Place chocolate-covered oreo truffle on parchment paper.
  7. When you’ve dipped all oreo truffles in chocolate, put in freezer to cool.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies (from Lacy Oatmeal Cookies on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, and baking powder (this is your dry ingredients bowl).
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg and add vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture (this is your wet ingredients bowl).
  5. Add all dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Place parchment paper on top of cookie sheet and drop teaspoon-sized dough on it. The cookies will spread quite a bit so make sure you don’t put them too close to each other.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden yellow or brown.
  8. Leave on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Voila.. the finished product :)

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Cake Pops Fail.

1 May

IMG_1880

Soo all week I’ve been waiting for the weekend so that I can make Bakerella’s cake lollipops.. which I saw last week and looked oh-so-good. Even went to Michaels and bought candy melts.. lollipop sticks. I was even going to give some of them to my boss & co-worker as a good-bye present.

I started by baking the plain yellow cake. I did it from scratch cus I didn’t wanna spend any money on cake mix.. plus I had all the ingredients at home anyway. The cake tasted yummy on its own but I had to turn it into cake crumbs so I did (after eating some). Added some canned cream cheese frosting to the crumbs. Rolled them into balls and then put them in the freezer (no patience to put them in the fridge). Shaped them into balls, tulips, butterflies, and flowers. Stuck the lollipop sticks inside and chilled them some more. I started melting the candy coating.. white, pink, and brown/chocolate. Took the cake pops out and started dipping them into the melted candy.. the first few were okay.. then the cake pieces started falling off of the stick! I didn’t put the lollipop stick far enough inside the cake so they started falling into the icing :( but anyway.. I figured it out and finished dipping everything. Waited for the coating to dry.. then it was time for a taste test!

… ew. I don’t know if I put too much icing or what but the inside tasted so weird. It was like.. gooey. or mushy. or something. The texture just wasn’t very appetizing. The chocolate candy coating was yummy though.. but the inside ruined it. Grrr. And I was expecting to taste so good! Sooo disappointed. Just goes to show you that looks can be very deceiving :(

I really wanted them to taste good so I kept eating them.. I ate 2 lollipops before I finally gave up and accepted the fact that they tasted like crap. Sad to say that all these ended up in the trash soon after :(

Yummy rating:

(I liked the chocolate candy coating…)