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Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Belgian Chocolate Truffles

Hello Friends,

I mentioned yesterday in the Charlotte Beer Babes September Beer Class post that I would be giving everyone the lowdown on the Belgian Truffles that I made for the beer event.

As promised, here we go into chocolate land!

So I had been researching and trying to find some good, easy to transport Belgian recipe ideas for the Belgian Beer Class that we were doing for September, and all I could really find were mussels (I love y’all but not that much!), endive (doubt that would’ve been eaten), Waffles (hard to transport), and truffles (winner winner truffle dinner!). I think I chose well. ūüôā

So to make the truffles, I needed a recipe to go off of, and I found a great one from the Belgian Travel site. I did change a little, but these were SUPER easy to make up. Warning: you will become addicted to these, and they do take some handling work to assemble… totally worth it though!

Take 1/4 cup of butter and 8 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli) and melt in a metal baking bowl placed inside a saucepan filled with water (double boiler cheat!) over low heat, stirring occasionally to keep smooth. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula for best results.

Once completely smooth, remove from heat, stir for 15 seconds, and then add in 1 tbspn vanilla extract and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Place the mixture in the freezer for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until starts to harden just a bit. Mixture should still be a little liquidy.

Remove the bowl from freezer and add 1/3 cup powdered sugar to the mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Take a cookie sheet that will fit in your fridge, and line with wax paper. Take 3 small bowls and place 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup chopped pecans (or similar nut) in each “topping bowl”.

Take pinches of your chocolate mixture and roll into 1-inch¬†balls in your hands, then roll the ball in one of the 3 “topping bowls”. Place on cookie sheet in rows, and note that you don’t need to have space between these like you do anything you’re baking. Once sheet is filled completely, place in fridge for 1 hour to allow to set.

Serve and enjoy! (Tip: These go especially well with darker beers like the Pater 6 we tasted in Beer School!)

cocoa belgian truffles chocolate no bake desserts

Cocoa Belgian Truffles!

coconut belgian truffles chocolate no bake desserts

Coconut Belgian Truffles!

pecan belgian truffles chocolate no bake desserts

Pecan Belgian Truffles!

Craft You Later,

Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Oatmeal PB Pie

Hello Baking Fiends,

I have another creation that I think you’ll enjoy! I had another birthday at work (yes, apparently Summer was the time to be born to work in our group!) and was requested to do something with oatmeal or peanut butter for them as a treat.

Of course, I was thinking about doing an array of cookies, and then decided that this was the perfect opportunity to expound out and try something new. So… I found peanut butter pie recipes, and decided to use an oatmeal cookie crust instead of graham cracker for the base!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Pie, Oh My!

My inspiration was this Peanut Butter Silk Pie recipe, however (surprise!) I changed a couple things around quite a bit to make this one happen!

I took a box of basic Oatmeal Cookies and crushed 18 of them to make the crust. The box had 24 cookies, and they were each about the size of an average palm – to give you a reference. Anyways, my Magic Bullet Blender was my friend to crush these to smithereens, and ended up looking like this:

How The Cookie Crumbles!

Next, I added 1/3 cup of sugar to this mix. Now, instead of using the expected butter, I recently came into possession of (aka I purchased) some Butter Flavored Olive Oil. Smells and tastes like butter, and it’s geared towards substituting for real butter even. So of course I had to try it here! I used 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon of Butter Olive Oil in lieu of 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter. YUM!

It’s Crust Magic!

Finally, for the crust, I patted the crust into a sprayed-with-Pam 13×9 baking pan, in this case of the aluminum foil variety for easy travel. Bake this for 8 minutes at 375 to set the crust so it won’t completely crumble on you. Remove from oven and let cool completely – I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Crust Complete!

While your crust is cooling, remove your 17.75 jar of hot fudge sauce from the fridge and let come to room temperature. I used the Smuckers Special Recipe Hot Fudge one, and you will use all but 2 tablespoons of this for the 13×9 pan just as a heads up for you…

Once your crust has cooled completely, and your fudge sauce has gotten pretty soft (you can microwave it for 20 seconds if need be), stir it up good and then spread it all over the crust layer until you cannot see anything but fudge sauce! Stick this back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until chilled (fudge will harden up a bit)!

Warning: The fudge sauce may be tacky and put up a fight with you about laying down on the crust, so just know that you WILL win the battle, and conquer the hot fudge!

MMMM Fudge!

Peanut Butter Filling (two versions):
Okay, so through trial and feedback, I wanted to give you two options for this filling. If you like super-sweet, creamy, and thick fillings, follow the way I did it. If you prefer lighter, airier, and not as heavy – then substitute ONE of the cream cheese packages for ONE Cool Whip “No Sugar Added” container. Trust me on this! ūüėČ

Okay, so back to business. Here is what I did for the filling:
Combine 2 8-oz packages of 1/3-less fat Cream Cheese (softened) with 1 cup Whipped Peanut Butter. Once this is fully mixed, add in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Mix until fully combined. To this next add, one at a time, 1 8-oz Cool Whip Free (thawed) container, and 1 8-oz Cool Whip Extra Creamy (thawed) container! You will mix this until your arms are in pain, but it will be worth it!

Peanut Butter Filling!

Once this is nice and creamy, take your crust-fudge layers out of the fridge and spread this topping evenly over top of it all.

Peanut Butter Topped Dessert!

Once it’s spread evenly, I would make little waves in the topping, just for fun, like this (with a spatula):

Peanut Butter Waves!

Now crumble up 3-4 of the leftover cookies from your box of Oatmeal Cookies from the crust, and sprinkle those evenly over top of the waves of filling.

Oatmeal Crumble Topping!

Finally, take the leftover fudge sauce in the jar, add 1 teaspoon of milk, and microwave for about 40 seconds until nice and thin. Drizzle this over top of the oatmeal crumbles, and you will have a gorgeous dessert! Refrigerate this at least 2 hours, preferably overnight though, before serving to let all the flavors soak in!

Beautiful Fudge Drizzle!

Let me know how you enjoy this, and which version you use!

Craft You Later,

Baking is Science for Hungry People: Girl Scout Cheesecakelets

Hey all you bakers! All you experimenters! All you scientists in the kitchen! All you girl scout cookie lovers! All you cheesecake lovers! All you people who just love to eat desserts!

I have a treat for you, yes I do!

Girl Scout Cheesecakelets!

Last weekend, before Memorial Day itself, a friend of mine was having a community yard sale that would benefit her daughter’s girl scout troup in Harrisburg, NC. She had bought extra boxes of cookies back in January, just for this purpose – to help make some more money for her girls so they could go to their trip next Summer. I am all about helping out girl scouts, especially since one is my honorary niece!

So when my friend told me she needed my help to make some stuff that has girl scout cookies as¬† a base for the recipe, so people will realize they can do more than just eat the cookies ‘raw’ (so-to-speak), I of course told her I would do it!

I asked which cookies she had the most of, and found out it was Dulce de Leche, and Thank You Berry Munch. I personally LOVE both cookies, so I bought a box of each for myself. But I also then grabbed a box of each to bake something. Concoction ideas started pouring into my head, so fast that I had to start shaking my head to dislodge them! Some were prospectively great (cookies crumbled on top of frosting on cake) while some were not so great (cookie chunks in brownies). I finally decided on doing cheesecakelets (yes, I made that up, and no I will not take it back!) in cupcake liners so they’d be easy to sell, handle and transport!

So I ran to the store to get some cream cheese, vanilla Greek yogurt, eggs, milk and unsalted butter. I looked up a few cheesecake recipes to get a general feel for what I wanted to do, and then made sure I had my sugar, flour and brown sugar stocked up in the kitchen!

First off, I made the Thank You Berry Munch crust. For this, I took my Magic Bullet Blender and ground up about 8 cookies until they were purèed to the finest crumb possible. Then I combined the crumbs, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter in a bowl and mixed until evenly distributed, and kind of resembling a paste. 

Crust Ingredients…

The only difference I made for the Dulce de Leche cookie crust is that the cookies kinda had a thicker crumb – almost like peanut butter was mixed in with it. To counter this, I added 1/4 cup flour and 1/8 cup white sugar to the crumbs and brown sugar. I stirred that up good, then added the 1/4 cup melted butter, same as above.

Crust Mixed!

Next, pat the cookie crumbs into the bottom of some cupcake liners. I used about 1/2-2/3 of a teaspoon for each one, and made sure to pat the crumbs evenly to cover the entire bottom of the liner.

Crusts in Liners!

Now it’s time to make the cheesecake filling. In a mixing bowl that fits my stand mixer, I mixed 16 oz softened cream cheese, 6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt, 2 eggs, 1 tspn vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup sugar. Cream this really well until it is nice and smooth.

Cheesecake batter!

Now put about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter onto the crusts in the liners.

Raw Compiled Cheesecakelets!

Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes, until the cheesecake topping starts to split. Let cool for 10 minutes, then top with cookie pieces from the remaining cookies you have leftover. Store in the refrigerator at least an hour to cool them to enhance the flavor.

And voilà, now you have (roughly 40) Girl Scout Cheesecakelets to show off!

Baked Thank You Berry Munch Cheesecakelets!

Baked Dulce de Leche Cheesecakelets!

Craft You Later,

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