Friday, December 19, 2008

Not just Schweaty* this Christmas.

The promised holiday pajama post is not going to happen this season. I need access to my scanner (in our office, a room that doubles at Little Bit's bedroom) and to my parents' photo albums (er, um, boxes of unsorted pictures) to do it justice. I also need about five extra hours added to each day. This short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas has almost done me in.

But now, it's Friday evening. There are wrapped presents under our tree, a miracle in itself considering I was unable to make a single trip to the mall this holiday season. There are guests in our basement and clean sheets on their beds/futons. There's an egg casserole prepped and waiting to be baked for tomorrow's breakfast. There is the promise of festive family fun starting tomorrow. (NTB on all counts.)

And, of course, there are snow-covered turds** chilling in the fridge. Yes, that's right. I've started a new holiday tradition of gathering my sons around the kitchen island to make a fresh batch of snow-covered turds.

On Monday night, I had dinner with my dear friend The Principal. We ate at Flat Top Grill (two bowls each, with the special bread each time, NTB). On the table was an advertisement for Flat Top gift certificates and on the reverse side was a recipe. I don't know why the recipe was there, I only know that it called out to me. Here it is, exactly as written on the back of the gift certificate ad:

Allison's Oreo Ball Recipe
- 1 (1 lb, 2 oz) package Oreo cookies
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
- 1 package white almond bark or white chocolate

Line baking or cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, crush all Oreo cookies into fine crumbs. Add cream cheese and process until thoroughly mixed. Using your hands, roll into walnut-sized balls. Place on lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes to harden.

To melt chocolate, use a double boiler or microwave.

Remove chilled Oreo Balls from refrigerator. Dip each ball into chocolate using toothpick. Place on wax paper when complete.

Get creative and use a fork to drizzle a chocolate design over the Oreo Balls once chocolate hardens.

Even though I don't know who this Allison is and whether I can trust her and despite the fact there was nothing about her recipe that screamed "holiday" or "child-friendly project," I decided that the boys and I were going to make these Oreo Balls and it was going to be fun and Christmas-y. Damn it.

So, was it fun? I will say that it was not "not fun." Little Bit was established in his high chair where he could watch the proceedings and chew on the strap of the high chair. I had Bub standing on a chair and gave him the important job of breaking the Oreos in half. He broke two cookies and ate one before losing interest. I soldiered on feeding Oreos into my food processor, which, NTB, I finally know how to use. It was a bit tricky to add the cream cheese, but I worked out a divided batch system and got everything blended.

It was time to form the balls. The Bub and I washed our hands again and got to it. When I read Allison's recipe, I imagined the consistency of the Oreo Ball matter would be similar to that of chocolate chip cookie dough. Not so. Imagine instead trying to roll a thick-ish brownie batter into balls. It ain't easy and it ain't pretty. Bub was tossing the Oreo matter onto the cookie sheet and claiming, "It's raining." Once he began licking his fingers, I fired him as sous chef and sent him to wash his hands one more time. I did the best I could forming balls, but they were looking like such crap, literally, and Little Bit was sick of sitting there so I half-assed it (another pun, NTB?) and shoved them in the fridge without a lot of hope. As the photo below shows, my balls looked like turds and "schweaty" ones at that.

Despite the pathetic look of these balls, I decided to see the project through. During the forty minutes when both boys were both asleep, I spent five precious minutes melting my almond bark and dipping the balls. Because my balls were so large and awkward (that's what she said!?), the dipping was not easy and the toothpicks kept breaking. Again, in the spirit of Christmas, I soldiered on. The end result: snow-covered turds.

The snow for the turds could have been better distributed, but due to my increasing doubts about my product, I only melted half the package of almond bark.

But guess what? The snow-covered turds are delicious, absolutely delicious. Of course, how can you go wrong with Oreo cookies and cream cheese covered in almond bark? Speaking of almond bark, I had never heard of it before, but I have to say, it melts like a dream in the microwave.

Now, if these Oreo Balls were an intended contribution to a holiday party or cookie swap, I would consider them a colossal failure insofar as they looked like crap. But as a holiday treat to be shared with family inside my own home, total success!

When (not if) I attempt them again, I think I will chill the Oreo matter before forming smaller balls. I think the chilled matter would be much easier to work with and frankly I'm peeved with Allison for not suggesting that. I will go ahead and melt all of the almond bark as well so as to get more snow on those turds. I will also take pride in the holiday dimensions of this treat: snow and meconium.

Any holiday treats you would recommend? Please share in the comments. Also, if you love to look at recipes, please see the comments of this post from Jen Lancaster's blog. I only had time to glance at all the recipes, but I thought I glimpsed some Oreo Balls in the mix there as well.

As Sandra Lee might say, "This holiday season, keep it simple. Keep it sensational. Keep it schweaty and always keep it semi-homemade."

*Have also seen it spelled "Schweddy" but could not get an official verdict.
**Is it "turd" or "terd"? I've never been sure.


Anonymous said...

This post is brilliant on so many levels. It actually made me snort!

Merry Christmas, MEP!

CaraBee said...

Schweddy(?) balls is without a doubt one of my all time favorite SNL clips! I have it in between songs on a CD I made and I play it whenever I need a chuckle. That Alec Baldwin is a nutjob, but man, is he funny. When I was making my Peanut Butter Balls, I kept thinking of South Park's Chocolate Salty Balls.

PS - I've always spelled it turd.

SMF said...

I am crying laughing. So, so funny.

Actchy said...

Perfect. Hilarious. Should be published in a magazine. I am still giggling.

(The only holiday baking I engaged in was more pregnancy-induced than anything else. On a quick trip to the grocery store for milk & bananas, a box of Duncan Hines (or Betty Crocker?) gingerbread mix found its way into my basket. I followed the directions for the soft ginger cookies on the back of the box and proceeded to eat all of them except two over the course of two days, NTB. Totally worth it and just typing about it right now has me itching to head to the store for more mix. In case you're wondering, at my next doctor's appointment, I had lost 3lbs, NTB. I think it was the cookies.)

LAP said...

Good stuff. Loved the Michael Scott reference. Amazing how many times you can work "NTB" in a post about Schweaty balls. I can absolutely imagine myself sampling such a product.

E... said...

We made a few holiday treats this year, although I mixed up the doughs just as the stomach flu was hitting everyone in the house except for me, so I get a little wary every time I look at the cookies that they are somehow infected. We tried a new cookie recipe called peanut butter jammies, that were billed as "cook with your kids" but I read the recipe wrong, and chilled the batter. What it really said to do was roll the dough into balls, press thumbprints in them, then chill the pans with cookies on them. Really? Like I have room for that in my fridge, and like my kids can wait three hours to eat them after they are on the pan? They are really yucky looking, but not as fun and festive as your schweaty turd balls.

msh said...

hilarious! and they do sound delicious! i wish i could come over to share in some of the turds!
all i have to say about christmas baking is that it's best done while drinking wine. remember that.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how those oreo balls were going to turn out. I was skeptical, to say the least, and am impressed that you made it to the store for the almond bark. not surprised that they looked like poo.

Steph said...

Yeah, some snorting here, too! :-) The balls sound yummy, tho. Merry Christmas, Dr. MEP!

Anonymous said... are hilarious!! I really enjoyed reading this post! I've had this recipe before, and they are very yummy...and the ones I ate didn't look much better! Congrats on becoming Dr. MEP.

Colleen said...

Oh,my goodness! Hysterical! I'll have to keep this in mind next time I decide to make Christmas balls! ;)

Sarah@afterhood said...

I feasted on these Oreo Balls recently, when I was 'Down the Shore' with some girlfriends. VERY Yummy. In our group they have now officially been renamed "OMG!"

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