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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bites (not the scary kind)


So I was making these little Oreo bites this weekend and I remembered a few steps in that I should be taking pictures to blog it. So please forgive the fact that I don't have pictures for the first part.

First of all, this happened because I had two bags of orange Candy Melts that I needed to use up (I don't remember why I had them in the first place, I blame one of those trips to Joann's when I wasn't supervised), and I was hoping to get rid of them with a Halloween-themed idea of some sort. (Sorry Emily!.... Though, you never elaborated on why you hate Halloween, so I really think you need to do that in your next post since Sheila and I are going crazy with it over here.)

So anyway, I had been thinking about cake pops because they are perfect little bite-sized things, but I didn't have the pop sticks, nor did I have the patience. In case you didn't know (I didn't, but I did look it up), cake pops typically mean you bake a cake, then crumble it all up and mix it with icing, then shape little balls out of it and then coat them with candy melts or melted chocolate, etc. I didn't feel like baking a whole cake, so instead I made some no-bake Oreo cookie bites, which had the advantage of using up a bunch of Oreos that I didn't need to eat anyway. Also, this recipe has only 3 ingredients (two if you don't coat them with anything) and I always have cream cheese on hand because ... well, I am having an extended illicit love affair with cream cheese that needs to come to an end. This way, I get a bunch of things out of my house and into other people's stomachs, under the guise of being a nice, neighborly baker. (.....does it count as being a baker if you use a no-bake recipe?... I'm going to say "yes.")


Ingredients:
  • 1 standard package Oreo cookies
  • 1 8-oz container of cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • Candy melts or some type of dip-and-harden chocolate, candy bark, etc

This is a very simple recipe if you have a food processor. You just grind up the Oreas (middles and all) until they are fine crumbs. (If you do not have a food processor, put 'em in a plastic bag and bash the heck out of them until they're all crumb-y. Think graham-cracker crust.)

Then, add cream cheese and mix together. (I recommend just rolling your sleeves up and doing it with your hands, because it's nearly impossible to mix entirely with a spoon or spatula. I know. I tried.)
 
Once you have a nice dough, then shape it into little balls and  place them on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. (I used my cookie scoop thingy to measure the amounts so they'd be close to the same size. Otherwise, if you're like me, the little balls end up getting larger and larger throughout the process. ... Um, I got stuck on an inappropriate joke here, so I'll move on.)


Then, since these are going to be pumpkins, press your finger onto the top of each one, squashing it slightly and making it more pumpkin-shaped. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes minimum to let them set.


While they are setting, melt the Candy Melts or whatever coating per its directions in the microwave. (This step involves a lot of 30-seconds-and-stir, which makes me a little crazy but you gotta wait for the dough  to set in the fridge so you might as well hover next to the microwave for awhile.) If the coating seems thick even after microwaving, you can usually add some vegetable shortening to thin it out.


Now comes the logistical step. You must take each Oreo bite and coat it. If you were making cake pops, you could hold them by the pop stick and all would be well. Since I was skipping that, I ended up sticking a toothpick into each one, then swirling it in the bowl of melts and then plopping it onto another cookie sheet of waxed paper. This method was somewhat hit-or-miss, since sometimes the cake bite fell off the toothpick as I was twirling it, and sometimes it wouldn't let go over the wax paper no matter what I did. However, it got easier as I went along so it's just a matter of practice, I think. (You can see the first ones I did on the far right in the picture below. I got better.)


I had some that did not leak into little puddles under them and some that did. It's hard to tell how much candy coating they have on there when you are trying to move quickly. Again, practice.

Anyway, after they are all coated, set the tray aside and let them dry.

Now I had a bunch of orange blobs, but I wanted Jack-o-Lanterns. I first tried drawing on there with my edible ink pens, but the ink would not stick to the candy melt coating. I still had some royal icing from piping cookies last weekend (I made footballs last weekend that I forgot to document and then we ate them... sorry), so I used the dark brown to pipe little faces on each pumpkin.


Then I piped little green bits on their tops (I piped one blob, let it dry, then added a second blob) for the stems.

Voila! Seasonal Oreo bites!


They are very yummy, though rich as anything, which is why it works best to be in little bites. Aren't they so cute? I sent a bunch with Alex for the clerks, and then brought the rest to work with me. They went pretty fast, since they are tiny servings.

Sheila, what do you guys usually serve at your Halloween party? Are you all themed for that? I want to see more pictures of decorations, I know you are going all-out over there!

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