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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Is there anything better than chocolate and mint?

Well, maybe chocolate and strawberries. And chocolate and peanut butter. Or even chocolate and chocolate.

But chocolate and mint is right up there close to the top on my list!

Which is why I love these. Then again, I just plain love truffle recipes in general.

They’re delicious. They’re easy. There’s no baking. People always want to know how you did that. You can use almost any kind of cookie, which means endless combinations and flavors. And did I mention, they’re delicious.

Peppermint

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. . . .

My grandmother snuck a few of the Oreos pre-truffle making. So, I halved the recipe below.

Which is why in the pictures, there’s not that many truffles. And why they’re joined by some obviously vanilla looking ones.

Lesson learned: Don’t leave your Oreos on the kitchen counter.

Start off, as you do with any cookie-based truffle, by blending together the cookies until they turn into crumbs.

Mix with softened cream cheese.IMG_6211

Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.

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Place in the freezer for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Melt the two chocolates together. I used equal amounts of two different bags of chocolate (dark chocolate morsels and dark chocolate and mint morsels) so that the mint flavor wasn’t overwhelming.

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Dip the truffles ball in the melted chocolate and sprinkle each one with crushed peppermint or chopped peppermint crunch baking chips. Since I already had it, I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips, which are white chocolate chocolate chips with little bits of peppermint candy mixed in. 

Let the chocolate coating harden and enjoy!

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 pkg of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate and mint morsels (I used Toll House Winter morsels)
  • Optional Topping:
  • Crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels (I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips)

Instructions

  1. Blend the Oreo cookies until they're finely ground.
  2. Mix in the cream cheese until completely combined.
  3. Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, and then in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate morsels together according to the directions on the package. Once thoroughly melted, stir together until there is not green showing.
  5. Dip the truffle balls in the melted chocolate until completely coated.
  6. Optional:
  7. Top each truffle with crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels.
  8. Let the chocolate harden and enjoy!
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DIY Dollar Tree Color Changing Cone Tree.

I might have a left a couple of trees out of the Christmas Tree Tour. But only because they’re not all decked out with glitz and glitter. And ribbons and bows.

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I also left out the cute little cone trees.

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An illuminated cone from Dollar Tree.

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Gold beads, also from Dollar Tree.

A little hot glue and a couple of burnt fingertips later, and voila!

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Hint: I quickly learned to overlap the beads as much as possible – placing the next row of beads in the gaps between the previous row. 

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Now, to show what they look like lit up. 

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Sophie had to get in on the action, of course.

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Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies.

The best cookie I’ve ever had in my entire life was a Cranberry White Chocolate Orange cookie. 

Now, I’m not sure whether the cookie was actually that delicious, or if was just because of circumstances. Let me set the scene for you and explain those circumstances:

A surprisingly sunny October afternoon in London. Trafalgar Square to be exact. 

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After a morning that started off with the hotel’s version of a complimentary full breakfast (i.e. toast and nothing else) and included, among other things, a visit to Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, gotten lost in Hyde Park, been propositioned in Hyde Park (yep, that happened), and then made our way to Trafalagar Square, we were starving. The kind of starving where (as my mother would say) your stomach says “Thank you” every time your swallow.  

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until completely combined.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest and mix together.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add to the sugar mixture, and mix until just barely combined (being careful not to over mix).
  6. Fold in the white chocolate morsels and cranberries.
  7. Drop by the spoonful on to the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before moving each cookie to a wire rack to finish cooling.
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Visiting St. Nick.

It’s that time of year! To tell the jolly old St. Nick your Christmas wishlist. Something the two farm poodles are all about. 

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Or usually, that is. 

Sophie was more than ready to share her daydreams of treats, chewies, and squeaky toys with the jolly fellow, but Bryony was having nothing to do with it. 

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The friendly dog that runs up to complete strangers for a little petting, wanted to have nothing to do with the whole experience. My only guess is that Bryony’s most recent car rides have ended at the vet, and she was wondering if this one would, too. More about that another day. 

 

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Ham & Potatoes Au Gratin

Let me start this post off by stating one thing: I have made these bad boys twice in the last two weeks. 

Twice, I tell you! And before this post is actually published, it’ll probably be thrice. Do you know how long I’ve been wanting to work thrice into a blog post? 😀

They are that good. I kid you not. The second time I made it, I even threw in about a half cup of chopped celery, and all I can say is, it was even better. 

But then what do you expect when you mix the goodness of ham, potatoes, and two kinds of cheese? 

Ham & Potato Au Gratin

Ham & Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of ham, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup smoked Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, boil the sliced potatoes for about five minutes. If you'd rather not, you can totally skip this step. Just make sure to slice the potatoes really thin.
  3. Allow the potatoes to drain in a colander while you complete the two steps.
  4. In a buttered and heated skillet, cook the onions until they just begin to turn translucent. Add the ham and rosemary and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes until heated and fragrant.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, flour, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Layer a third of the potatoes in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish. Then, a third of the onion, ham, and rosemary mixture. Then, a third of the cheese. And lastly, pour a third of the cream/milk mixture on top. Repeat two more times.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes.
  8. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes until browned and the potatoes are tender.
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