Monday, December 17, 2012

Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cookie Crust

Nobody wants a candy cane in their stocking. On Christmas morning, Reese's Trees, Andes Mints, and green and red M&M's get all the sweet-tooth glory.

So why not combine candy canes with chocolate?

As usual, I bought every seasonal mint treat I could find: Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses, Peppermint Marshmallows, and Candy Cane Oreos. I added all three of them to dark chocolate brownie mix. The brownies came out so incredibly gooey. Like, so gooey they stay that way even after they cool. They're not runny, but you'll probably want a fork to eat one.

It was all an accident.

Those red dots are peppermint marshmallows!
My mom gave me a super-complicated food processor, and I was trying to use it to chop up the Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses. I couldn't figure it out, so I turned the task over to Frank. When I turned around, he's ground them up into dust. Well.

So, the Kisses all but melted into oblivion. What they left behind: an infusion of strong minty flavor and gooey delight! I wasn't disappointed. The Candy Cane Oreo crust provides a firm foundation, so they don't run everywhere.

Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cookie Crust

What you need
1 box dark chocolate brownie mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil 
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 bag Candy Cane Oreos, finely chopped
1/2 stick butter, melted 
1/2 bag Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses
1 cup Peppermint Marshmallows

Put it all together
  1. Grind the Oreos in a food processor until they're a fine crumb. (You can also place them a plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin.)
  2. Combine the Oreo crumbs with melted butter, and firmly press into the bottom of a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Stir the brownie mix, vegetable oil, and water in a medium bowl until well combined. 
  5. Finely chop the Hershey's Kisses, either by hand or in a food processor. Gently stir into the brownie batter, along with the marshmallows. 
  6. Pour the brownie batter over the Oreo crust, and bake for 30-35 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven, and let cool at least half an hour before serving.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gingerbread Cookie Truffles

I LOVE Christmas. But ever since I moved up north, I haven't gone all out with the decorations. I've set up a wimpy little Walmart tree, if that even counts. This year I decided it was time: I'm engaged, and Frank has a house (with a stocking-ready fireplace!) just begging to be decked out. So we bought our first real tree, had stockings embroidered with our names, and set up the Christmas village from my childhood in the window.

I was dying to share my decorations, so I invited a couple friends over for hot chocolate, a fire, and...

Gingerbread cookie truffles! 

Excuse my sloppiness. I hate coating truffles!

I've never been a big fan of gingerbread cookies, unless they're in the shape of a house. (My best creation: a gingerbread version of Graceland.) But, of course, being a huge fan of novelty Oreos, I had to buy Gingerbread Oreos. I was pleasantly surprised: They actually taste authentic (no chemical aftertaste, as you might expect), and the creme filling lends an extra layer of texture normal gingerbread lacks.

For the truffles, I crushed up the Gingerbread Oreos, combined them with cream cheese, and coated them with melted cinnamon chips. The cream cheese didn't undermine the rich, gingerbread flavor, and the cinnamon chips only enhanced the warmth of the cookies. Delicious.

Gingerbread Cookie Truffles

What you need
36 Gingerbread Oreos, finely crushed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
16 oz. Hershey's Cinnamon Chips 

Put it all together
  1. Thoroughly combine the Oreo crumbs and cream cheese. 
  2. Roll into 1- inch balls, then dip in melted cinnamon chips. Lay on a wax paper-covered baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.  
You may also enjoy...
Churro Cake Ball Truffles
Birthday Cake Oreo Bark