Rather than the normal Christmas post, I thought I’d regale you all with tales of my Christmas goodie making…
All my best recipes come from my Mother and Grandmother. It’s a well-known fact and running joke that Mom is the Substitution Queen when it comes to meal making. No tomato sauce? Eh, just substitute tomato paste…etc, etc. I’ve often told friends that my mom makes great meals, but they just always taste different than the time she made it before. I suppose it was a way to keep us on our toes (and her out of the grocery store).
With this in mind, I called my Mom up before the “baked goods” season commenced. I called her to email me some vital recipes. “Do you want the truffle recipe, too?” she asked. “Lindsay made them for her office and now they think she is a gourmet cook.” Hey, if my sister could do it, bring on the puffy white hat and glitzy title!
True to her word, I received all the recipes in my inbox a few days later. I was pleased to find that the truffle recipe required no baking, only three ingredients and (apparently) lasting fame with whomever came in contact with them. I should have known at this point that the whole scenario was too good to be true. BUT, determined to maximize my afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store after church to pick up all of the ingredients.
With Oreos, cream cheese and Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate in tow, I checked out confident that my standing in the cooking world was about to be raised in a massive way.
Ready to tackle anything (or so I thought), I crushed the oreos into oblivion. Mixing them with the cream cheese went well and I proceeded to make them into little balls, humming Christmas carols all the while.
Now, this is where our story takes a drastic turn. After chilling the little guys for the allotted time, I pulled them out to complete the next step. “Cover them with semi-sweet chocolate”. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.
Naively optimistic, I grabbed the first truffle-in-the-making and gamely microwaved my first square of chocolate. I grabbed two forks, ready to wedge the little guy in between and give him a good dunking in the chocolate-y goodness. Turns out one square was not enough in the bottom of the bowl for my pre-conceived dunking.
Undaunted, I plopped it into the bowl, but the thing obstinately refused my every attempt to roll it. I tried with the fork, I tried with a spoon, and I tried with my finger (clean, of course).
It was at this point in the process that I realized I was in over my head. Donning the Christmas apron hopeful for a little holiday magic, I resolutely finished the first truffle as well as I could and dropped it on the cookie sheet. Chocolate pooled everywhere underneath, unfortunately distant from the actual truffle it was supposed to cover.
I decided to give myself a little mental pep talk. “Okay, Amy, you are a problem solver! You do tougher things like this every day. Do NOT let chocolate get the best of you. You are BETTER than this.” My little mantra seemed to encourage me and after surveying the situation, I decided to try to get a bigger pool of chocolate for the baptism of all my truffle guys.
Yanking out another bigger bowl and running cold water over the fingers that (unfortunately) grabbed the small bowl with the original melted chocolate a wee bit too soon, I managed to unwrap another Baker’s chocolate square and get it into the microwave for it’s meltdown. (ha!)
At the end of this round, I had two squares melted and was about to transfer the second liquidated square into the bigger bowl with the first when my pot holders failed me. The small bowl slipped out of my grasp and into (you guessed it!) the bigger bowl. Aw, sheesh! Can’t a girl get a break?? Shaking my head in disgust, I rescued my small bowl, salvaging as much chocolate as possible and tried pouring the chocolate over a few of the truffles. Turns out, the chocolate was too thick, globbing on top but not really with the coverage I was looking for.
In a fit of panic, I decided to try something outside the box. Something that only McGuiver would have thought of were he in my position. I pulled a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag out of a drawer, spooned a few doses of chocolate and plopped the truffle in. Just like Shake ‘n Bake, right? Um, not so much. The truffle taunted me in side his plastic prison and refused to move one iota of an inch.
With rows and rows of truffles ahead of me and no end or feasible plan in sight, I somehow managed to use a spatula (Pampered Chef to the rescue!) my finger and a few spoons to finish the job.
With the last truffle fully-if somewhat unevenly- coated in chocolate, I wiped my forehead with the back of my hand and leaned against the counter to survey the damage. Chocolate was now spread into every possible crevice on the microwave, stove, counter, floor, and sink. I looked down and realized that I had seen better days and bent down to wipe a sizable glob of chocolate off of my ankle with my chocolate blackened tea towel.
Thankful that my roommate was out for the afternoon, I went about cleaning up the remnants of my truffle making adventure. I think I’m done with truffles for a while…
p.s. Every time I tell this story, there are a thousand other options that people think up. Hey, people? You weren’t there. The truffles were not attacking YOU. I’m just thinking that had you been in my shoes, you would have been chocolate covered and defeated as well.
p.p.s. I am now at home in West Virginia where my Mother has a whole BAG of truffles evenly covered with chocolate and even better tasting than mine. How do you like THAT?