Oreos all dolled up for Christmas

A few years ago, we were introduced to a special treat. Oreos balls. You know peanut butter balls? Of course you do, everyone eats peanut butter balls! Well, these are so much better (at least to me). All you need is a package of Oreos, a block of cream cheese, and something to dip them in. Seriously, it’s that easy. Now what to do with that itty bitty list?

Oreos and cream cheese… I used a couple of different dipping chocolates – the little chips you use to make candy as well as some of that block stuff.

Put the Oreos in a chopper of some sort and grind them up.

I grind them up until they are really fine, but I suppose you could make them chunkier as well if that was more to your liking.

Once I ground up the whole pack this is what I had… doesn’t seem like much huh?

Drop that block of cream cheese in there (let it soften at room temp for a while or it will be hard to combine)

Mix this up with a fork until you have all of the cheese combined. It would probably have been easier to use a deeper bowl cause those little Oreo crumbs are sneaky and kept trying to escape.

I didn’t get a pic of the next step (probably because I would have had to lick my fingers to get them clean before grabbing the camera – and we all know that would have been a show stopper on finishing the batch) But you roll little bunches up into balls – you pick the size! They are fairly rich, so I have found that smaller bites work out better. I stick them in fridge to cool while I am melting the chocolate. If they are pretty cold when you dip them, you get less Oreo residue in your chocolate.

Then I started melting the chocolate. I used white chocolate. I have never used anything but white chocolate myself, I was always afraid that it was too much chocolate to use milk chocolate, but I think dark chocolate would be good. I have to admit that I swiped some of the chocolates that Hannah made with my mom to melt down (with her permission of course!) The kids never seem to eat all of the candy they get and I saw no reason to let it go to waste! Oh and you might notice my “double boiler” is a little, um, not a double boiler…but it works. lol

So once the chocolate was all creamy, I removed the pan from the heat and started dipping the Oreo balls. Once dipped place them on some wax paper to cool.

And there they blow… or sit…or umm, await close examination by my taste buds. You call it.

And we had helpers that day… here is one of them “sampling” the peanut butter Oreos that my husband was using to make these.

Pumpkin muffins on a Sunday afternoon

I had a serious hankering for something pumpkin this past weekend. My first plan was to make pumpkin pancakes like in Savory Sweet & Sassy’s blog post that looked super good. But then I realized we had no syrup. Boo!! Those will just have to wait for another weekend I am afraid. So, I put away the pumpkin and moved on. Or so I thought. Later that afternoon I found myself scouring the web to find muffin or cookie recipes. Ok, maybe not the web only, but Pinterest. Who is shocked??? 😉 I found this recipe for easy pumpkin muffins over at smitten kitchen and saw that Deb had even made some boo-boos making them and they turned out, so surely I can make these huh?

Here is the ingredients that I used (most are from Deb’s post, some I adjusted)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I used the whole can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil since we didn’t have any vegetable oil)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice (I made my own, see below.)
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I used 1 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, then just eyed the topping sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I pulled out all of the ingredients

Then I preheated the oven to 350 degrees

I followed the directions pretty closely, except we love brown sugar in this house, so I exchanged the 1/4 cup of white sugar for brown sugar. I just feel that brown sugar adds a little more flavor to food. I mixed up all of the ingredients except the flour, adding that last per the directions. I did take a moment to add all of the dry ingredients(baking soda, powder and spices) together before I added them to the wet ones. I can’t stand to get a bite of baking soda or baking powder. One other change I had was that I had no pumpkin pie seasoning. So I made that as well! I did that by putting together:

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

I also took a moment here to put together a “topping” for the muffins. I eye-balled it, so no measurements on this so just use your best judgement here. I creamed together:

brown sugar

Now back to my batter. I added the flour, all at once.

One of the tips from the smitten kitchen post was to use a whisk to avoid over mixing the batter. So I pulled out my whisk and mixed it up until just combined. I have to say, I will start using my whisk more often for mixing batters, super simple.

Here is the batter all mixed together.

So the next move was to put it in a muffin pan. I discovered that I only had 5 muffin liners, so I just buttered the pan before I put the batter in. I used a tablespoon and a half for each muffin. I sprinkled a little topping on each. I would think that adding walnuts or pecans would be good for this recipe as well. Here they are ready to be cooked:

I cooked these for approx. 25 minutes. Once they were out, I let them cool and then dumped them on a towel before digging in.

The verdict: WONDERFUL!!! I love these muffins!! They were super moist, although a little dense. I would probably doctor the recipe a little and add more cinnamon next time, but truly, this is a full proof recipe. I tried to get a good picture of the inside and how wonderful they looked, but my photography skills and camera just weren’t there. 🙂

Anyone else can’t wait till Thanksgiving day to get their pumpkin fix? Or did you find an awesome recipe that needs sharing?

**Update: I made these again. I added a little more brown sugar vs. white sugar and used 2 heaping tbsp of mix in each muffin:

I also added 1/2 tsp more cinnamon