Ridiculously Easy Peppermint Oreo Truffles
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I really wanted to start by saying, “These peppermint Oreo truffles are stupid-good.” But instead let’s go with this: They’re stupid. And they’re pretty good.
To temper or not to temper: That is the question. See below to learn about your choices for chocolate coatings.
Genius and the jerk
Whoever invented this recipe is the kind of genius I don’t even aspire to be. One package of Oreos, reduced to dust in a food processor in seconds.* One package of cream cheese. Dip in chocolate. Get paid by Kraft. God bless.
*You’ll be amazed how fast this happens, and how evenly. You’ll wonder whether intact Oreos were ever really meant to be.
I hate this kind of recipe. Do Oreos really qualify as an ingredient?
The thing is — the PROBLEM is — these “truffles” (which I’m just gonna talk about without quotes from now on for the sake of brevity and of looking like a tad less of a jerk than I am) are really pretty good.
The problem with truffles
This is not the kind of recipe I would have tried basically ever. But I got it into my head that I wanted to make truffles for our annual teachers’ holiday cookie exchanges at the girls’ schools. And the problem with classic truffles, if there is one, is that they’re not great at sitting out at room temperature.
Cake balls? Come on. Cake is definitely not a guy.
So I started down a bit of a scary path on Pinterest and Google that led to some things that frightened me. Things called surprising cream cheese truffles and things called cake balls. (I mean, come on, cake is definitely not a guy, right?)
“Truffles” (whoops, there are those quotes again) made with a box of cake mix blended together with a tub of frosting and dipped in something called Almond Bark, which is neither almond nor bark. (Discuss.) Those things are fine at room temperature but not really fine in any other way.
Coming to terms with Oreo truffles
Pinterest is full of Oreo truffles. And like I said, I would’ve ignored them all. Even though I won’t turn down an Oreo from time to time. But then I read The Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Guide, where the author did all the science on all the truffles and ended up liking the Oreo ones best of all. She called them “almost grainy, but in a pleasant way,” and for some reason that sold me.
Well, I wouldn’t say these are better than regular truffles. But they’re good enough that I might need to reevaluate my worldview a little bit.
Also, I added peppermint, because (1) Christmas and (2) it’s simply the right thing to do.
To temper or not to temper
There is one medium-sophisticated decision to make when putting these truffles together, and it’s what kind of chocolate to use for the coating. Real-life actual candy making is both an art and a precise science, because if you want melted chocolate to be shiny and snappy and unlikely to leave schmutz all over your fingers when it sets, you have to temper it.
Tempering means making sure the crystalline structure of your melted chocolate is such that it will harden properly, and magically, you can do this by “seeding” hot melted chocolate with solid chocolate, and the melted part will take on the proper crystal structure of solid chocolate. Whaaaat? Science, am I right?
Tempering is something you have to do correctly. (Real talk: I’ve tempered chocolate a bunch of times, but I’m only ever like 85% sure I’ve done it right, so.)
Chocolate choice 1: Wafers
You’ve got three choices.
The most foolproof choice would be to use something like these wafers, which have added stabilizers so you don’t have to worry about tempering. Totally legit choice, and one I’ll use from time to time, especially where white chocolate is concerned. (White chocolate is finicky to work with and is full of crap anyway.) But I usually prefer the taste and relative purity of darker chocolate without that extra stuff in it.
Chocolate choice 2: Chill out already
The second choice would be to use regular chocolate, melt it however you want, and just not really worry about whether it dries all shiny and leaves zero trace on people’s fingers. Licking a little chocolate off your fingers after eating a truffle is not the worst thing I’ve ever heard of.
Chocolate choice 3: Woman up and temper
The third choice — the one I recommend in the recipe below — is to woman up and temper your chocolate. You can do this in the microwave, and it doesn’t take all that long. And even if, like me, you’re only ever 85% sure you’ve done it right, then at least you’ve tried, and that’s something.
Whichever method you choose, know this:
Ho ho holy crap, you’re fabulous.
- 36 regular oreos (one 14.3 ounce package)
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese at room temperature (one standard brick)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate baking bars*
- Crushed candy canes**
- In a standard food processor fitted with the blade, pulse the Oreos until reduced to dust. Meanwhile, whip the cream cheese and peppermint extract. (I use the regular paddle attachment of my KitchenAid. You can also use a hand-held electric mixer or a spatula and a lot of elbow grease.)
- Mix the cookie crumbs into the cream cheese until well combined. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Roll mixture into 30 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill thoroughly. (I pop them in the freezer for an hour.)
- To temper the chocolate, roughly chop HALF of it and place in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in bursts (starting with one minute and following with 30 seconds), stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and reaches 115°F. Then place the entire remaining half (not chopped) into the bowl and stir until it is melted and the temperature of the melted chocolate is 90°. This can take a while, but it's key. When the chocolate reaches 90°, use two forks to dip each truffle in the chocolate and roll to coat completely. Replace on parchment-lined baking sheet. I do about 5 at a time, stop to sprinkle quickly with crushed candy cane before they dry, and then continue. If you work quickly you shouldn't have to reheat the chocolate.