at the Water's Edge


Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Christmas Goodies

Every year for the past, well, as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed making sweets and treats around Christmastime that I can share with family, friends and neighbors.  Of course, I always enjoy it more when I do it with my mom, which, sadly, I was unable to do this year.  In the past, it’s worked out to be a great deal for us, because she will buy some of the ingredients and will do ALL the cleaning!  I’ll make the goodies and make a tray for her and a tray for me to take elsewhere.  I cook, she cleans – each doing the part we prefer :)  Plus, it’s fun just to spend time with her and goof off a little bit! 

This year, Tom and I are headed across the state to visit family tomorrow, which means that I’m at home on Christmas Eve Eve, the designated goodie-making day.  So, I’m cooking by myself this year while Tom works on our winter house project.  I say “cooking” because I really don’t do any baking for Christmas.  Seems a little strange, doesn’t it?  I don’t know why, but somehow all of the treats I like to make are non-cookies and non-baking treats.  Here’s what I’m making this year, including recipes for those who are interested:

Oreo Truffles

I made these for the first time this year after being introduced to them by a friend a while back.  They are easy to make and are absolutely delicious!  They got rave reviews at my family Christmas gathering – even from people who don’t normally comment on such things!  Here’s what you do:



Ingredients:
-          8oz cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese for a lower fat option), softened
-          1 package Oreo® Cookies (if you REALLY think it makes a difference, you can choose reduced-fat Oreos, too)
-          12oz chocolate chips

Directions:
  1. Place 6 Oreos in a food processor and process until all you have is fine crumbs.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can place them in a sealable plastic bag and smash with a meat tenderizer or anything else that you have handy.  Set these Oreo crumbs aside in a small bowl.
  2. Process or otherwise crumble remaining Oreos in the same manner and combine with cream cheese in a large bowl.  *Note: it may look like it’s never going to mix together, but trust me, it will!  If you’re not afraid to do so, use your hands – it works a lot better!  Oh, come on…you know you like the feeling of goop between your fingers!
  3. Roll Oreo mixture into about 40 balls, each about an inch in diameter.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  5. Dip or roll each ball into melted chocolate until covered.  Use two forks to pick up each ball and place on a cookie tray covered with wax paper.
  6. Sprinkle remaining Oreo crumbs over top of the truffles.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Peppermint Bark

I believe peppermint bark to truly be the easiest treat to make.  Try it out for yourself and see what you think.

Ingredients:
-      - 8 peppermint flavored candy canes, crushed
-      - 12oz chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark chocolate, or white chocolate)



Directions:
  1. Melt chocolate chips over low heat in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Stir in most of the candy can pieces, reserving a small handful.
  3. Use a spatula to spread mixture into a thin layer on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle remaining candy cane pieces over top.
  5. Refrigerate until cool and hard; break apart into pieces.


Cream Cheese Patties

The original recipe for these is essentially for “Elegant Cream Cheese Mints”, and comes from a book called Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen.  I’ve adapted them slightly and have tried a variation of raspberry flavored patties, which are also tasty!  While fairly simple to make, these do tend to take a while.  However, they are unique and a fun addition to a Christmas platter. 



*A word of caution: I frequently make a double or triple batch of these – because most cream cheese packages are 8oz.  If you do that, it makes a TON, and you will be rolling out balls and pressing out patties all day long ;-)

Ingredients:

-          3oz cream cheese, softened
-          3 Tbsp. butter, softened
-          ½ tsp. vanilla extract
-          ½ tsp. food coloring (I use green for mint patties and red for raspberry patties)
-          ¼ tsp. peppermint or raspberry extract
-          1 lb. powdered sugar (3 ½ to 4 cups)
-          1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, food coloring and flavored extract in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar on low speed until well combined.  Towards the end, you may need to use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine the remaining powdered sugar.
  3. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  4. Roll two teaspoons of cream cheese mixture into a ball, and then roll ball in granulated sugar.
  5. Flatten ball into a patty with a fork, making vertical and horizontal lines.
  6. Repeat until all cream cheese mixture is used.
  7. Refrigerate patties until ready to serve.

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ABOUTME

Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!

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