Friday, May 6, 2011

Yay for baking!

I’m not much of a cook. I usually stick to coffee and oatmeal or fruit for breakfast, make a sandwich or grab a smoothie for lunch, and heat up a frozen Lean Cuisine or the like for dinner. My issue with cooking is that (depending on what you’re making), you have to spend a decent amount of time preparing your meal (~ 30-40 mins depending) and I’m just too impatient for that. I’ve got things to do, places to go, people to see, which is why I’m all about quick, no-prep-time, ready-to-eat food.

But I do enjoy baking. That I will devote some time and energy into doing. I don’t bake very often, but lately I’ve been really into it. A week or two ago, I was perusing Flickr for some recipes when I came across Bakerella and found the best dessert/baking creation EVER,  cake balls. (Note: If you have lollipop sticks, you put the cake balls on them and they’ll be magically transformed into cake pops!) They’re super easy and fun to make, adorable because of their miniature ball-shaped size, and their texture is spot on, with a hard, crunchy outside and soft, melt-in-your-mouth inside. My roommate and I took to making them this past weekend. We opted for the red velvet cake variety.

Here’s what the finished product looks like:



And here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

·     1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
·     1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
·     1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
·     wax paper


Directions
1.       After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2.      Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3.       Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)
4.       Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5.       Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6.       Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)
We also made buckeyes, which are candies with a peanut butter and confectioner's sugar center and a hard chocolate coating.

Here’s what the finished product looks like:



And here’s the recipe:

Ingredients


·         1 1/2 cups peanut butter
·         1 cup butter, softened
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
·         4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Directions

1.       In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
2.      Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
3.      Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
4.      Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.
(Recipe adapted slightly from allrecipes.com)

 

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