Holiday goodness

Published 9:38 am Friday, December 23, 2011

Oreo Truffles

Editor’s note: The Tribune newsroom staff every year share holiday recipes for the Christmas Eve (or closest to it) newspaper.

Oreo truffles

1 package Oreo cookies
8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 package white almond bark
1 package dark chocolate chips

Twist Oreos and scrape frosting from cookies into large bowl. Add cream cheese to bowl and cream together with an electric mixer. Put remainder of cookies into sealed plastic bag then use a rolling pin to crush the cookies into crumbs. Mix the finely-crushed cookies into the cream cheese mixture.

Email newsletter signup

Roll into 1-inch thick balls and chill on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Meanwhile, melt the almond bark. When set, dip balls of cookie into the almond bark and then place on wax paper to dry. Drizzle melted dark chocolate over cookie balls. Let set and enjoy. Makes about four dozen.

I’m no baker, so for the second consecutive holiday season I’ve relied on the help of my girlfriend, Rachel Barkel. Wanting to do something new and unique, we went to, a social photo sharing website, and found Oreo truffles. There was no baking needed — just a refrigerator — so the process was easy. They are very rich so make sure you have a glass of milk nearby.

— Andrew Dyrdal


Chocolate cookies with Rolos


Chocolate cookies with Rolos

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
45 Rolo chocolates (unwrapped)
1/2 cup pecans (chopped)

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. In a large bowl beat sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. Then add flour mixture and blend. Chop pecans and mix in small bowl with one teaspoon of sugar.

Shape about a tablespoon of cookie dough into ball and flatten somewhat. Dip into bowl of pecans and then press a Rolo candy into the top of the cookie. Bake the cookies 7 to 10 minutes on ungreased baking sheet until they’re set or slightly cracked. Cool two minutes on baking sheet and transfer to flat surface covered with wax paper to cool completely.

This is a recipe similar to the one my aunt and uncle used recently for our family’s cookie swap event that’s held each year. The cookies were a hit, and are truly delicious for people who like chocolate and caramel. The recipe is fairly simple, and adding the nuts and Rolos could be a fun activity for younger ones. The cookies don’t take long at all to bake, and the recipe makes about 45 cookies.

— Kelli Lageson


Colorful swirl cookies

Colorful swirl cookies

2 cups flour, plus possibly a few more tablespoons (the original recipe called for cake flour, but I just used regular old all-purpose flour since I was all out of Softasilk)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of food coloring of your choice (and/or 1/2 teaspoon of any desired extra extracts)
1 1/2 cups holiday sprinkles

With an electric mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugars on medium until blended well.

Add butter in gradually and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract.

Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back into the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tablespoons of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.

Roll out each portion of your dough, between two sheets of wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small paring knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.

Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it’s ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style.

Gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer.

Slice your dough into 1/4 to 1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden.

While searching for some new Christmas cookie recipes this year, I came across this one on The cookies didn’t look too hard to make and what was most exciting was that they were colorful! Other than waiting for the dough to chill, the recipe was quite easy, actually easier to clean up than regular sugar cookies.

— Sarah Stultz

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dip

1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 mini peanut butter cups
In a medium bowl, mix together cream, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Stir in the peanut butter cups. Serve with your choice of dipper like graham crackers or Teddy Grahams.

I tried a dip similar to this at a MOPS meeting a couple months ago. I liked it so much I wanted to make it but eventually forgot about it. For this assignment I was racking my brain for something to make so I did a search on for a dip like the one I had at the meeting. It isn’t exactly the same but delicious none the less.
— Danielle Boss


Cranberry fluff

Cranberry fluff

2 cups (about 1 bag) of cranberries
3/4-pound of marshmallows
1 cup of sugar
1 pint of whip cream or Cool Whip
1 cup crushed/drained pineapple
3/4 cup of crushed walnuts

Grind the cranberries in a blender or a meat grinder. If you do it in a blender, pick out the bigger pieces and blend them again so they end up small. Combine the ground cranberries and sugar. Let the mixture stand for two hours. Meanwhile, stir together the cream or Cool Whip with the marshmallows, then let that mixture stand for two hours. Combine the two mixtures and add the pineapple and walnuts. Stir, stir, stir, and then pour the cranberry fluff into a bowl or a mold and let it refrigerate overnight.

This recipe is from my mother, who brought it every Thanksgiving to whichever relative’s house we would be at that particular year. However, she says the recipe originates from a Lutheran Ladies Aid cookbook, most likely Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Lake City, Iowa. As a kid, I used to hate it, probably because of the tartness of cranberries, which made the dish memorable. Now I love it.

— Tim Engstrom