Oreo Truffles

I just thought that I would make a quick little post on how to make Oreo Truffles, since I mentioned them in my last post. These are probably about the easiest things to make on the planet and I’m quite confident anyone could do this. All you need is:

1 Package of Double Stuffed Oreo Cookies

1 8 oz Package of Cream Cheese

1 Package of Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Any brand is fine, but I prefer Guittard.)

2-3 Tablespoons of Butter

All you need to do for the filling is throw all of the Oreo Cookies and the whole package of cream cheese into a food processor until it is all blended together. I recommend putting the cookies in first and blending them by themselves for a little bit because once the cream cheese is in there it can be hard on your processor’s engine. Once the mixture is blended, start scooping out about a golf ball size amount at a time and rolling it into balls. When you are done with all of the mixture, put the balls in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.

I think the best way to melt chocolate is by using a double boiler. If you do not have one, it also works to boil water in a sauce pan and put a large heat proof bowl on top with the chocolate in it. Do not leave the chocolate while it is melting because it is easy to burn and impossible to bring back. Stir the chocolate and the butter the entire time until it is all completely melted. Take the bowl off of the sauce pan.

Pull the chilled Oreo balls out of the freezer and dip each one it the chocolate. Make sure to cover each ball entirely with chocolate. Using toothpicks to dip the balls can help keep your fingers clean. But lets be honest, it can be a lot of fun getting chocolate off your fingers.

After you have covered every ball with chocolate, pop them back into the freezer until the chocolate coating has hardened. Then voila! You are ready to enjoy this sinful little treat.

Time Saving Discovery

I recently made a food discovery of monumental proportions, the food processor. I received a food processor for Christmas this year and I have proceeded to use it in all of my subsequent cooking endeavors. And I mean all of them.

Bread? Yep.

Truffles? You bet.

Cookies? No brainer.

Croissants? Don’t be crazy, that would ruin puff pastry!

But in all seriousness, a food processor is a great way to cut down on time and mess. That is a big deal for someone like me, as making messes is like second nature. Usually when I bake, I get so into it that when I finally look up there is flour everywhere! It even somehow finds a way to make my black lab look like he’s going gray! (That is a frightening thought!)

A food processor keeps me from having a kitchen tornado. That is, of course, as long as I remember to put the lid on…

Just the other day, it only took me five minutes to make the filling for some Oreo    Truffles. Which are absolutely delicious by the way, but also absolutely fattening. But what are you going to do? All the best things are.

Anyway, next time you are short on time and want to still make something amazing, try using a food processor to speed up a few steps.

Tip: A food processor is a great way to mix hard butter and flour together when making a pastry.

Mandarin Orange Scones with Marmalade Glaze

I have been searching the Internet for days trying to find the recipe for Panera Bread’s delicious orange scones. I finally gave up yesterday and decided to take a basic recipe for orange scones and tweak it to match the ones from Panera. What I came up with was not exactly the same, but just as good and easy for even the most beginner baker. The recipe is as follows:

Scones:

1 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour

3 Tablespoons of Sugar

2 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder

2 1/2 Teaspoons of Grated Orange Peel

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

1/3 Cup of Chilled Butter

1/3 Cup of Milk

1 Egg

1/2 Cup of Chopped Mandarin Oranges (make sure to drain them)

Glaze:

2 Tablespoons of Orange Marmalade

1 Stick of Softened Butter

1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt. Make sure the orange peel is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Cut the butter into the mixture and use your hands to mix it in until it has a crumbly texture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Then add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Using your hands or a wooden spoon mix the dough until all of the dry ingredients are wet. After that, add the chopped mandarin oranges and mix it all together. The dough should have the consistency of bread dough. If it is too wet, add a little bit of flour at a time until it is only slightly sticky.

Once your dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and move it to a floured surface. Knead the dough about ten times and then shape it into a seven inch circle. Using a floured, butter knife, cut the circle into eight equal sized triangles.    Place each triangle about an inch apart on the greased baking sheet. Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the scones are baking, whip the butter and orange marmalade together in a small bowl until fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar half a cup at a time to the mixture. (I always go slow with powered sugar, otherwise the entire kitchen, including me, ends up covered in it.)

When the scones are done, let them cool for about four minutes and then spread the glaze on top. Don’t worry! It is supposed to melt. Serve warm with a small saucer of the glaze on the side.

I hope you enjoy the scones! They are great for either a dessert or as breakfast. Let me know what you think!

Scalloped Potatoes

I absolutely love Thanksgiving, especially being a college student because sometimes real food can be hard to come by. I know when I come home from college I always expect my mom to have a great meal there waiting for me. My absolute favorite food that my mom makes for Thanksgiving has to be her scalloped potatoes. Recently, I was craving them so bad that I called her and asked her for the recipe and it is surprisingly simple.

Here is what you will need:

2-3 Large Russet Potatoes

1 Half Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream

6 oz Package of Cheddar Cheese

Butter

Salt

Pepper

First, pre-heat your oven to 357 degrees and butter the bottom of a glass 9 in by 9 in dish. Then, you have to peel and slice the potatoes into thin slices  horizontally. Take some of the potato slices and make a layer of potatoes in the glass dish. Then pour some of the heavy whipping cream over the potatoes but only enough to wet the potatoes. After that sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese and then the salt and pepper. Add a couple of dollops of butter to the layer to finish it off. Then, just repeat the same steps of layering until you run out of potatoes.

After the last layer, sprinkle enough cheese on top in order to cover most of the potatoes. Bake the potato dish for 35-40 minutes (it may be longer depending on your oven and how many layers you made). When it is done the cheese should be melted, the cream should be bubbling, and the potatoes should be soft.

Once the dish is done cooking make sure to let it cool for about five minutes because it will be very hot. Enjoy!

Tip: This dish goes great with sauteed green beans with slivered almonds!

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love both chocolate chip cookies and Oreos but when you put them together it gets absolutely ridiculous.  They really aren’t all that hard to make and the result is impressive and a lot of fun. Here is what you will need.

1 Package of Oreo Double Stuff Cookies

3/4 cup of dark brown sugar

3/4 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups of flour

3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

6 ounces of chocolate chips (about half a package)

Preheat the oven to 357 degrees.

Mix the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and oil in a large bowl. Then mix the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Then mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until completely incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Take one Oreo cookie and a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough, completely wrap the Oreo with dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat this step until the cookie dough is gone. Place the cookies at least one inch about on the cookie sheet because the chocolate ship cookie dough will spread.

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes (it may be shorter or longer depending on your oven). When the are done let the cookies cool for about five minutes otherwise they will break when you try to get them off the cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Tip: If you are in a hurry or just can’t wait to try one of these, try using store bought cookie dough. It tastes pretty much the same and you cut your time way down.

Homemade Spaghetti

I love spaghetti, but I have never really been a fan of the canned spaghetti sauce and making your own sauce can get really complicated and take a long time. But I have figured out a recipe that is not only delicious but also simple and quick. This recipe is for two but can be halved for one. Here is what you will need.

Olive Oil

4 Chopped Tomatoes

4 Chopped Green onions

3 Crushed Garlic Cloves

1 Tablespoons of dried Basil

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Salt

1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Salt

Parmigiana (for sprinkling)

Begin boiling water. When the water is boiling put in the spaghetti noodles and about a tablespoon of salt.

Line the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and put your burner on medium high heat. Wait till you can feel the heat coming off the pan with your hand hovering above it. Then put the garlic and the chopped green onion in the pan. Let it saute until the garlic is slightly browned and the onions are getting soft, about three to four minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to mix them with the onions and the garlic. Cook for about four minutes.

Add in all the spices one at a time and then stir. If needed you may increase any of the spices to what you like. Let the sauce cook for about 7 minutes. When the spaghetti is done (it should be just past al dente) drain the water and leave the spaghetti in the pan. Pour the sauce into the pan with the spaghetti and mix it until the sauce is clinging to all of the noodles. Then plate and sprinkle the parmigiana on top and enjoy!

Movie Review: Jane Eyre

Caution Spoilers!

Last night I watched the 2011 version of Jane Eyre with a fellow Bronte sisterfan. I was pretty impressed with most of the movie. I have read the book several times and it is one of my favorites. It is also one of the only books that I chose to bring with me to college to read for pleasure. So me saying that it was a good movie is kind of a big deal for me. Most of the time I find that the movie doesn’t live up to the book.

The movie kept consistent with the book until about the very end, where they left out the fact that his hand was mangled in the fire set by his crazed wife. I was sad that they left this out because it took a lot of the meaning behind the story out. The whole premise is that they love each other because they are connected through their very souls and she was supposed to love him through his gruesome state.

Jane Eyre was well cast in Mia Wasikowska. Jane Eyre is described in the book as being plain but having some mysterious glow about her. I thought that Wasikowska captured her perfectly and made her very witty and smart. Michael Fassbender made an attractive Rochester, he made it easy to sympathize with him and the difficult situation he was in.

If you are a fan of the book I recommend watching it but if you are not familiar with the story line you may have trouble keeping up the with dialogue. As with many period pieces, Jane Eyre is full of fast talking and thick accents. It also starts in medias res which makes for an interested movie but it can be hard to follow.

I hope you watch the movie!