Easy Oreo Truffles

You know the part in Alice in Wonderland where she meets up with two Oreos and frees them from drowning in a glass of milk? That’s where the idea for incorporating Oreos in the party originated.

Convinced? Don’t be. Actually, this recipe came from one of my aunts. When I invited them to the party I asked them if they had food they wanted me to make. Aunt Mary gave me this recipe.

I’ve made Oreo truffles before, but Mary wanted them frozen. They’re really good that way! The rich chocolate and frosting isn’t as overpowering. In other words, you can eat more frozen than you could at room temperature. See how that fits into your diet. 🙂

I love this recipe for it’s simplicity and because it takes only three ingredients. Here it is!

Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

1-8 oz. bar cream cheese, at room temperature

1 package Oreos (I chose original because I wanted more chocolate and less frosting)

1 bag chocolate chips (or other chocolate for dipping)

Directions

Crush Oreos in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix cream cheese and crushed Oreos. I mixed it with a mixer because the cream cheese and Oreos didn’t fit into the food processor.

Form into balls. I used a small cookie scoop and then rolled them into balls. Chill for an hour.

Melt chocolate chips. Add a few drops of oil to make the chocolate thinner. A little bit of oil will make the chocolate cover better; be careful about using too much because oil keeps the chocolate from hardening.

Drizzle with white chocolate. If you want more variety, dip some in white chocolate and drizzle with dark chocolate. You can also keep back some of the crushed Oreos and sprinkle that on the top.

Serve frozen or not. Your choice. 🙂

P.S. A small announcement–I’m going to be posting (hopefully) a collection of stuff I’ve accumulated over the last six to nine months that never made it onto this blog. Most of these posts will be almost entirely pictures. At least one is a recipe, so I will share that. I think if I post in pictures I’ll have time to post. Doesn’t that sound good? 🙂 Of course, I welcome comments, so please ask if you have questions or want to know something about the pictures.

One more post about the tea, and then on to picnics and hummus and wildflower arrangements–all in a quick rush before summer is over.

 

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Living on Treacle

After a lengthy discussion with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, Alice is asked to tell a story. She gets out of telling a story when they ask the sleeping dormouse instead. He tells the story of a family that lived in a treacle well. That would be like living in a molasses well… No wonder Alice doesn’t believe him and rudely interrupts.

Here’s part of the chapter about the Mad Tea Party.

“I’m afraid I don’t know one,” said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.

“Then the Dormouse shall!” they both cried. “Wake up, Dormouse!” And they pinched it on both sides at once.

The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. “I wasn’t asleep,” he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: “I heard every word you fellows were saying.”

“Tell us a story!” said the March Hare.

“Yes, please do!” pleaded Alice.

“And be quick about it,” added the Hatter, “or you’ll be asleep again before it’s done.”

“Once upon a time there were three little sisters,” the Dormouse began in a great hurry; “and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well—”

“What did they live on?” said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.

“They lived on treacle,” said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.

“They couldn’t have done that, you know,” Alice gently remarked; “they’d have been ill.”

“So they were,” said the Dormouse; “VERY ill.”

Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: “But why did they live at the bottom of a well?”

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”

“You mean you can’t take LESS,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take MORE than nothing.”

“Nobody asked YOUR opinion,” said Alice.

“Who’s making personal remarks now?” the Hatter asked triumphantly.

Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. “Why did they live at the bottom of a well?”

The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, “It was a treacle-well.”

“There’s no such thing!” Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went “Sh! sh!” and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, “If you can’t be civil, you’d better finish the story for yourself.”

“No, please go on!” Alice said very humbly; “I won’t interrupt again. I dare say there may be ONE.”

“One, indeed!” said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on. “And so these three little sisters—they were learning to draw, you know—”

“What did they draw?” said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.

“Treacle,” said the Dormouse, without considering at all this time.

“I want a clean cup,” interrupted the Hatter: “let’s all move one place on.”

He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse’s place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change: and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.

Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so she began very cautiously: “But I don’t understand. Where did they draw the treacle from?”

“You can draw water out of a water-well,” said the Hatter; “so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle-well—eh, stupid?”

“But they were IN the well,” Alice said to the Dormouse, not choosing to notice this last remark.

“Of course they were”, said the Dormouse; “—well in.”

This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it.

“They were learning to draw,” the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; “and they drew all manner of things—everything that begins with an M—”

“Why with an M?” said Alice.

“Why not?” said the March Hare.

Alice was silent.

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: “—that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness— you know you say things are “much of a muchness”—did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?”

“Really, now you ask me,” said Alice, very much confused, “I don’t think—”

“Then you shouldn’t talk,” said the Hatter.

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

And if you’re still with me, here’s the recipe. It’s a wonderfully rich, moist and not-too-sweet gingerbread. Aunt Mary cut off thick slices of the stuff and we slathered butter on it. You really should try it!

Treacle Gingerbread Loaf
makes one large loaf

butter for greasing
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup, plus 2 TBS self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 TBS ground ginger
3 tsp ground mixed spice (see recipe below)
scant 3/4 cup soft light brown sugar
3/4 cup black treacle  (In North America, use molasses)
3/4 cup, plus 2 tsp milk
5 1/2 TBS olive oil
2 large free range eggs

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Butter a 4 cup loaf tin with butter and line with baking parchment, ensuring that the paper extends 1 1/2 inch above the tin.

Sift the flours, soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combines. Whisk together the treacle, milk, olive oil and eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store tightly wrapped and it will stay lovely and moist for days and days.

Mixed Spice 

Combine 1 TBS ground cinnamon, 1 tsp each of ground coriander and nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/4 tsp each of ground cloves and all spice. Mix well and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Mulberry Tarts & Vanilla Tea Cakes

Mulberries were dropping from trees in northern Indiana, covering the ground in dark red berries, and painting purple splotches on the feet of anyone who walked over them. One night my little brother and I biked a mile down the road and picked berries. I hadn’t prepared well–I only had only brought one bucket for the two of us to pick into. But Jonathan grabbed his water bottle and filled that a few times.

My parents tell me that most people lay a sheet on the ground and then shake the tree. Our picking method wasn’t as efficient but was a lot more fun. We climbed the tree and clambered over and under branches in search of berries. An hour later we had picked enough for tarts, so we headed home with purple feet, fingers, and clothing.

Mom’s Mulberry Tart
 
4 cups mulberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp milk
1 pie crust
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix berries with sugar, flour, cinnamon and water. Place mixture into bottom tart crusts and then cover with lattice. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake tarts in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until crust is brown. Remove tarts from oven and let sit on wire rack until cool.
And of course we couldn’t have an Alice in Wonderland Tea without ‘eat me’ cakes. 🙂
Vanilla Tea Cakes

Yield: 2.5 dozen

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup  unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Line standard cupcake pans with your favorite paper cupcake liners.

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients and mix on low speed until blended. Add cubes of butter, one at a time, and mix again until all butter is coated with flour.

Add eggs, one at a time, to mixer and blend until incorporated.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together milk and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula after each addition. Beat until just incorporated (try not to over beat).

Using a 1.5 oz cookie scoop (or your cake batter tool of choice), divide batter among liners (should be 2/3 full). Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately transfer the cupcakes onto  a cooling rack by inverting the tray. Carefully turn the cupcakes right-side-up and let cool completely before frosting.

*Recipe source: Billy’s Bakery Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes via Martha Stewart

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons meringue powder

1 lb confectioners’ sugar

Few drops food color gel (optional)

Directions:

Place meringue powder, cream of tartar, and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on low speed until frothy.

Add the icing sugar, and mix on low speed for 10 minutes. The icing will be fairly thick, but glossy and not as thick as regular royal icing at this point.

If too thick, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each addition, until the icing just runs off a spoon and is glossy and spreadable (but not too watered down).

Cover with a damp cloth until you are ready to use, and in between use. Keep it covered as it will dry out and get crusty very quickly if it’s exposed to the air for too long.

Assembly

Set some of the royal icing aside and add confectioners’ sugar it’s thick enough to pipe flowers. Then if you can’t make it work, just ask your mom to do it. 🙂 (At least that worked for me because she’s much more experienced at decorating cakes than I am.) Let the flowers dry for a few hours until they are dry to the touch.

Holding the cupcake in one hand, add a spoonful of icing onto the cupcake and tilt the cupcake so the icing spreads itself and clings to the sides of the paper liners. You can also use the bottom of the spoon to spread it, but be careful to not get crumbs in the icing. If you find your icing is too thick, add a bit more water to the bowl of icing.

Set each one aside as you finish icing them Try to avoid picking them up again until they have completely set (a few hours), or the surface won’t be as smooth as it should be, and will likely crack. Pipe leaves on the cupcakes and gently press the roses onto the cakes before the leaves dry.

Recipe from Sweetapolita.