everyday food made simple

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but the weather here in Minnesota has been nothing but gorgeous the past few weeks. Every day has been sunny with a few puffs of clouds in the sky, and somewhere between 75-85 degrees. After a long, brutal winter, I was more than ready to dust off the boxes where my summer shorts and tank tops have lived for the past 7 months and bring them back into my regular clothing “circulation”. It’s always a monumental day when I deem the weather warm (and stable) enough to pack up my winter boots, and put all my scarves, gloves, hats, and jackets away in the closet…. it signifies the arrival of warmer weather, longer days, shorts and flip flops, grilling, ice cold lemonade, and everything summer is about.

You know what else is a universal icon of summer? S’mores.

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For someone who doesn’t care for camping, I really am a big fan of s’mores – I even have an entire section in my recipe book dedicated to all things s’mores! It’s without a doubt my second favorite flavor combination of all time. It lands in 2nd place because nothing – I mean nothing – can top mint + chocolate in my world. Whoever decided to sandwich a toasted gooey marshmallow with some chocolate in between graham crackers is a genius.

These truffles are super easy to make and requires no baking at all! All you really need is a food processor, which means they’re quick… and you won’t even have to make your house any hotter by turning on the oven. I modified the original recipe by adding several squares of graham crackers into the Oreo/cream cheese base, just to amplify the s’mores flavor, and let me tell you, everyone thought these were deeeelicious!

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It even has a little mini marshmallow surprise inside when you take a bite out of it!

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I have made several different kinds of truffles in the past, but these hands down take the crown – they are without a doubt the best tasting truffles I’ve ever made. It’s a bold statement, but that’s how good they were. They were so good that Brian alone ate 4 of them one day when I was at work, and I ended up having to make another batch of them to share with my coworkers!

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Oreo s'more truffles
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Ingredients
  1. 15 original Oreo cookies
  2. 6 graham cracker squares, divided
  3. 2.5 oz low fat cream cheese
  4. ~11 mini marshmallows
  5. 8 oz chocolate CandiQuik
  6. ~2 tablespoons marshmallow bits (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse 2 squares of graham cracker squares until it turns into fine crumbs. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same food processor, pulse the Oreo cookies and the remaining 4 graham cracker squares until roughly crumbled. Add in the cream cheese and pulse on HIGH until the mixture comes together. The mixture turns into a doughy consistency and should not be crumbly - you should easily to able to form them into balls without it falling apart in your hands.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls (about 1-1.5 tablespoon each) and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Take each ball and make an indentation in the middle with your thumb, and place a mini marshmallow in the center. Reform the truffle mixture back into a ball, making sure the mixture encases the mini marshmallow entirely. Repeat with the rest of the truffles. Place the truffles in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. While your truffles are chilling, make the candy coating: using a double boiler, melt the CandyQuik until smooth. Working one truffle at a time, place a ball in the CandyQuik while spooning the chocolate over the truffle with a spoon. Gently lift the ball up with a fork and gently tap off the excess candy coating.
  5. Place the truffle onto the baking sheet and immediately garnish with graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow bits. Repeat with the rest of the truffles. Return decorated truffles into refrigerator to chill. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days (if they even last that long).
  6. Makes 11 truffles
Adapted from Crazy for Crust
Adapted from Crazy for Crust
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
I personally love to use CandyQuik to coat all my truffles. You can also use the Wilton candy melts or Almond Bark if those are the kind you prefer. I also personally prefer to melt all my chocolates and candy coatings over a double boiler rather than throwing them in a microwave or directly over a heat source – I’ve tried microwaving them in the past, but they just never seemed to work as well for me as using a double boiler. However, if you have better luck than I do with a microwave or over a stove, feel free to do it that way – it’s probably faster anyway :)

Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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If you’re a fan of candy cane or anything involving mint and chocolate, you probably want to keep reading…. just sayin’.

These cute little truffle balls are a peppermint/candy cane lover’s dream dessert – they’re made with candy cane Oreos (my favorite!) coated with vanilla almond bark, topped with crushed candy canes. And let me tell you, THEY.ARE.AMAZING.

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Brian came home one day from Target last month and surprised me with these. Instead of tearing them open and shoving them in my face right away, the food blogger in me racked my brain to think of something easy and delicious to make them with. And these little truffles were the first thing that came to mind.

You know you’re a food blogger when: the first thing that comes to mind when you see a food item is “what can I make with these?” And the second thing that comes to mind is “how can I style the food when I photograph it? What dishes and what props will I use?”

I don’t ever remember thinking this way about food a year ago….

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candy cane oreo truffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package candy cane Oreos
  2. 6 oz low fat cream cheese
  3. 8 oz vanilla almond bark
  4. Crushed candy canes for topping, optional
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Roughly break apart the Oreo cookies and place them in the food processor. Pulse until they turn into fine crumbs.
  3. Place Oreo crumbs into an electric mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment and on medium speed, add in the cream cheese and mix until everything is well mixed.
  4. Roll the Oreo/cream cheese mixture into balls about 1" in diameter, place on baking sheet. Repeat until you have no "dough" left.
  5. Place the truffle balls into the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, or until hardened.
  6. Using a double boiler, melt the candy melts. Using two forks, dip each truffle ball into the melted candy melts, making sure it's thoroughly covered. Remove truffle ball and place on the baking sheet for candy melt to harden. Sprinkle top with crushed candy canes, if desired. Keep truffles in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Makes about 25 truffle balls.
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Just like all my other truffle recipes, freezing the cookie balls is extremely important. Leave them in the freezer for at least an hour, but I do highly recommend freezing for at least 2 hours. This is because if they’re not hard and frozen, the cookie balls will start to crumble and fall apart when you place them in the warm candy melt mixture… and no one wants little brown specks of Oreo crumbs in the candy coating. I actually left my cookie balls in the freezer until the very last minute when my candy melts were completely smooth and melted.

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If you’re like me and are a lover of anything and everything that has mint chocolate in it, then stay tuned this winter season because I already have a ton of recipes lined up for you guys!

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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I think I have a problem, guys. Now that I’ve caved in and made my first pumpkin dessert of the year, I can’t seem to stop. I have a bunch of pumpkin recipes lined up on my “make before the end of October” list already!  I made these a few days ago, and today I’ve already made my 3rd pumpkin dessert in 2 weeks. Don’t worry, that recipe will also be on Simple Everyday Food here soon too.

I present to you today: pumpkin n’ spice cream cheese truffles

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Yep, you heard that right. Pumpkin + gingersnap cookie crumbs + pumpkin spices + cream cheese + almond bark. These little balls of deliciousness are bursting with plenty of pumpkin flavor! Smooth, velvety pumpkin n’ spice mixture encased in a thin, crunchy white chocolate-y almond bark.

‘Tis the season, right?

The whole process of making these can take a good 3-4 hours, but the result is totally worth it! You first mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl. I chose to use an electric mixer to make sure everything was thoroughly incorporated. Then you freeze the filling for at least an hour. Then you take the filling out, roll them into balls, freeze them for at least two more hours. If they don’t seem hard enough, freeze them longer. Then you melt your almond bark and coat the truffle balls in them and throw them in the fridge until ready to serve. Waiting for everything to set will be the hardest part! It’s truly a test of patience, but I promise it’ll totally be worth it :)

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pumpkin n' spice cream cheese truffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  2. 1 and 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs, finely pulsed, plus an extra 1-2 tablespoons for garnish
  3. 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  8. 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  9. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  10. 12 oz vanilla almond bark
  11. 1 tablespoon shortening
Instructions
  1. Using an electric mixture, combine the pumpkin puree, cookie crumbs, powdered sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cream cheese together.
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips using a double boiler. Add the white chocolate in with the rest of the filling, combine until smooth.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a small bowl and freeze for an hour or until filling is fairly hardened.
  4. Using your hands, roll the filling into 1" balls, and set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until hardened, about 2 hours.
  5. Once the balls are frozen, melt the almond bark and shortening using a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Using a spoon and a fork, dunk a filling ball into the almond bark until it's completely covered. Remove the ball from the almond bark using the fork, and remove the ball from the fork using the spoon onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all filling balls. Top each ball with a pinch of gingersnap crumbs before the coating hardens.
  6. Place the coated balls in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Store in airtight container for up to a week.
  8. Makes about 20 truffles
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
The magic ingredient in these truffles are the gingersnap cookie crumbs. They share a lot of similar spices as those found in the traditional “pumpkin spice”, so not only does the cookie crumbs give the extra “umph” to the pumpkin spice, it also serve as a binding agent to bind all the wetter ingredients together.

Because the filling balls are made up of ingredients that don’t hold their shape up well under heat, you’ll have to work quickly when you’re ready to coat them with almond bark. Since I melt my almond bark over a double boiler, I found out that my filling balls tend to start to slowly fall apart if I leave them in the coating mixture too long.

They’re not as cake-y as the traditional truffles I’m used to making due to the amount of wet ingredients required (i.e. pumpkin puree), but the soft velvety texture sort of reminds me of pumpkin pie. Everyone that was lucky enough to try them raved about how good they were!

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Poor Bentley wanted to be my taste tester… it was pure torture.

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Bring on the fall baking season!

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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At my job, my coworkers love finding a reason to do potlucks:

Birthdays.

Going away parties.

Holidays.

Big events (i.e. SuperBowl)

And oh why not, let’s just do a potluck just because.

Who doesn’t like potlucks? It’s the perfect opportunity for people to make their signature dish (or try making new ones) and bring recipes to share with others.

This week, I decided to try out a new truffle recipe – people at my job are suckers for sweets. Our nurses love to bake – cookies, cupcakes, cake, brownies, bread… you name it, someone in our ER can make it. Usually when we do a potluck, we have about 2-3 savory dishes and 5-6 different desserts.

Yeah, we’re probably not the healthiest bunch of healthcare workers lol.

I’m generally known to make something “different” when it comes to dessert – other people like making traditional, classic desserts like brownies or chocolate chip cookies. I like to make peppermint chocolate cupcakes, sugar cookie cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting, and gingerbread whoopie pies.

Last time I made some mint chocolate truffles and received rave reviews from my coworkers, so this time I decided to stick with truffles but change it up a bit. I saw this recipe a while back and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them – well, I’m glad I didn’t disappoint my coworkers, because this was a big hit this past weekend too.

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frosted animal cracker truffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1-13 oz package of frosted animal crackers
  2. 6 oz light cream cheese, softened
  3. 8 oz almond bark
  4. white chocolate chips or sprinkles for decorations
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, pulse the crackers until they turn into fine crumbs.
  2. Add in the cream cheese and mix until thoroughly combined - you can use your hands, but I used an electric stand mixer to make the process easier.
  3. Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. While the cookie balls are chilling, make the candy coating: melt the almond bark in a double boiler over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to make sure you don't burn it.
  5. Dip the cookie balls in the melted almond bark, one at a time, until evenly covered. Return back onto parchment paper and return into refrigerator and chill for another 30 minutes.
  6. If desired, melt some white chocolate chips over a double boiler with a few drops of food coloring. Add the melted mixture into a Ziploc bag. Cut the corner of the bag with a pair of scissors and drizzle over truffle balls.
Notes
  1. I dipped half of my cookie/cream cheese balls into the plain melted almond bark, then added a few drops of pink food coloring into the remaining melted almond bark and dipped the rest of the cookie balls in them to get truffles with two different colored coatings.
Adapted from Cookin' Cowgirl
Adapted from Cookin' Cowgirl
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
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Can you tell I was mildly obsessed at how pretty these truffles turned out?

I’m sure we’re going to have another potluck soon – I’m already searching for the next new dessert recipe I can try. Cupcakes? Cookies? Either way, I’m sure my coworkers will all gladly be my guinea pigs :)

Recipe adapted from Cookin’ Cowgirl

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