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The Trouble with Truffles

Over the course of the last year, I discovered that I am not only cursed in eggs, but in cooking in general. Things just seem to happen to me at the worst times and for the stupidest reasons. Some are so frustratingly minute by themselves that at times I’ve found myself on the verge of taking a particular kitchen appliance outside and teaching it a lesson… with a hammer. Sometimes I’ll pour out the last of my mirin and be just a little bit short with nothing left in the pantry. Or I’ll use flour from my refrigerator and cause my dough to chunk up because it’s too cold. Or I’ll make a dessert for the family party and end up wanting to slit my wrists.

Things started innocently enough.

Golden Oreos

A package of Golden Oreos and a box of Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s (which are now my favorite Trader Joe’s item!!) sat on the counter, ready to be made into yummy things I recently discovered on Foodgawker called Oreo truffles. The recipes were pretty simple, so I thought I’d be ambitious and make white ones and brown ones.

Stupid, stupid me.

I really should have known things weren’t going to go well, given my numerous failed attempts at melting chocolate. I don’t know if I’ve ever blogged about it before. I may have been in such a terrible chocolate rage that I simply blocked it out. For the life of me I can’t remember what I tried to melt chocolate for the last time.

BRB!

Okay, a search of my own site (thank goodness I have one!) has told me that it was spiderweb cupcakes for Halloween. It might not have been the best idea to search because now I’m looking at the pictures and getting pissed off all over again. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself, because it wasn’t even the chocolate that got me all mad at first.

Processing Oreos

Here we have the golden cookies in my food processor with a block of cream cheese (and cookies in the background, meaning I’m already overextending myself). I stuffed a few in before giving it a whirl and it didn’t really go too well. The cream cheese stayed at the bottom and didn’t smush the cookies. I added the rest in little by little and after sticking my fingers in to smash some hidden uncrushed cookies, I tasted it. The food processor had been trying for so long that the filling was hot. It wasn’t just hot though; it was freaking GODLY.

I am totally not kidding. Golden Oreos ground up with cream cheese is heaven in your mouth.

Unfortunately, I have no photo because my fingers were too sticky. That stuff is like extremely sticky putty. The only consolation you have for dealing with such horrendously sticky stuff is eating the stuff you just can’t pry off your fingers. Make sure you have lots of soap nearby.

I put the bowl of golden heaven into the fridge to cool off because I didn’t read the directions right, which stated that you should form them into balls THEN chill them. This kind of kitchen idiocy is apparently just how I roll. Next, I started on the Joe Joe’s. I don’t know why there’s an apostrophe in there.

Joe Joe's

After the problem with the golden ones, I thought I’d just crush them and throw them all in and see if that helped.

It did not.

I just could not get the cookies at the top to grind up. I pushed it down, didn’t help. I tried to stir it, didn’t help. I thought maybe I should move it to the blender instead and see how that went, but I hadn’t used it in so long that I couldn’t figure out what pieces went where and the blade would spin without blending anything. Eventually I looked around and saw that the space I’d cleaned was now a horrible, black cookie mess.

Kitchen Mess

My processor and blender was a goopy mess and there were crumbs everywhere. I was raging mad and anyone that talked to me or entered the kitchen got a bark and a bite.

It got worse. The chocolate chips (THAT I SWEAR LOTS OF INTERNET SITES SAY ARE FINE TO USE FOR MELTING) wouldn’t melt to a nice dipping texture. I read that I should add shortening, so I grabbed my thing of shortening and added a tablespoon. That worked, so I started dipping all the luscious balls of golden yummy into the chocolate and had them drying when I licked my fingers at the end. Shit.

They tasted like OIL. It turns out, my shortening was really old and everything in it had settled down or something, leaving me with just oily shortening at the top. I’d added it to a batch of melted white chips too, so they both tasted horrible. But worst of all was that my delicious golden truffles were completely ruined by the chocolate covering them. I tried eating one and it tasted like lard. I dumped them all. In another life, when I’m not getting fat, I plan to grind up golden Oreos with cream cheese and just eat the paste.

I used a couple of drops of oil for the white and that wasn’t going well, so I just went ahead and used my hands to coat the Joe Joe balls in it and plopped them all goopy and pokey looking on top the cookie sheet. To hell with how they looked, I’d had it already.

Mr. Pikko felt sorry for me and volunteered to go buy me shortening. When he brought it back, I opened it and right away knew what was wrong with my other jar. Shortening is white, not translucent. Duh! *sigh* I tried making red chocolate to flick on top the white truffles, but adding red food coloring made it clump up. I think I knew this in the back of my head, but didn’t listen to myself. I ended up settling for regular chocolate and the shortening did its work without making it taste like crap.

My agony wasn’t over though. My truffles started pooping. Confused? See below:

Pooping Truffles

Isn’t that just fan-freaking-tastic? Apparently the middle started to expand once in the chocolate shell and they started to crack. If they didn’t crack, they simply found a little hole and started crapping all over my already befuddled baking ego. Here’s a blurry side view:

Pooping Truffles

At this point I was ready to start laughing like a crazed maniac.

Final Truffle

In the end, they turned out okay and everyone liked them and my kitchen troubles were put behind me until Mr. Pikko betrayed me and told everyone that I’d worked on them for a LONG time. The minty taste inside made up for some of the anguish. Joe Joe’s really are awesome.

I really was ready to kill my food processor. I hope it sits in my cabinet dreaming of me coming at it while chanting REDRUM! Yesterday I bought a double boiler and I intend to use that sucker to stop this chocolate horror. That and I’m never using chocolate chips again. I AM DONE WITH THEM!

Bentos will return tomorrow and with it, the long overdue results of my Christmas bento clean-out contest! Be sure to follow me on Twitter!

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  • Aimee S.

    LOL….this would happen to me too. But they look great!

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  • Yvo

    THEY STARTED POOPING OMFG HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAH

    I’m sorry but that is f*cking hysterical.

  • Yeah, but I just wish I knew what a golden one tastes like. *sigh*

  • LOL! I have to wonder if that’s ever happened to anyone else or if it really is just my shitty luck.

  • 2popoki

    OMG!!! I can’t stop laughing!! My boss is gonna come out and check on me soon because i’m crying and dying of laughter. Thanks so much for starting my year out with a great chuckle.
    joe joe’s are the BEST. candy cane oreos suck!! bought them as a substitute. ate one and threw the rest away.

  • Rain

    lmao! i read this to my husband and the two of us were cracking up. it isnt just you though. i have bad kitchen karma too. i must have actually taken the hammer to too many appliances in a previous life. maybe some hail marys or community service can clean it up some of the bad karma.

  • Thank you for sharing your adventure! I still can’t stop laughing, I was trying to explain my bf why I was laughing but I couldn’t quote more than 1 word without crying from laugh.
    I have had really bad experiences with food too, particularly with cakes!

    Once I didn’t leave it in the oven enough after it baked and it shrank to half and got really hard. After that, i replaced the icing for cream thinking it would last (how smart of me >.<) so it looked like milk on a very hard cookie! If that wasn't enough, the "We love you" written on the cake didn't have sugar, ending up as a really bitter chocolate "thing". I think I have a picture somewhere.

    A second time, it was a present for my boyfriend's arrival and I put smaller eggs than it was supposed too, and too much baking powder: the result? ROCK-HARD cake! I could throw it from the 3rd floor and it would still be intact.

    Those were the ones I can remember more clearly, but I'm sure if I think a little I'll find many more too ^^

    Thank you for making my day!

  • I’ve made that recipe a few times now, and there are some things I’ve done to make it easier.

    1) Use something to mash up the Oreos before crumbling them to a fine dust in the processor, and only do about 1/4 of the package at a time. Once they’re all dust, use a mixer to combine them with cream cheese.

    2) Let them firm up in the fridge (or freezer) before dipping them in the chocolate.

    3) dip them in either almond bark or baking chocolate once they’re firm, and store them in the fridge until ready to serve.

  • OK… NEVER use chocolate chips for any dipping or coating… they stay creamy after melting, if you do you’ll need to add parafin, yeah like the wax and not shortening. Get you some DIPPING Chocolate, Gheridelle’s (however you spell it) is fantastic. Melt it in the microwave, short intervals at a time stirring in between times in the microwave. It’s too easy to burn or break the chocolate over boiling water, even in the double boiler. Check out my posts from December http://www.jomammatexs.blogspot.com. I made Cake Balls…. got the recipe from allrecipes.com. My sister makes these oreo balls. Just wanted to save you family members from another chocolate dipping anger management day…. I’ve been there too many times myself.

  • I second the grind them BEFORE mixing with the cream cheese. It mixes so much smoother. Then scoop them into balls and chill them. Then dip into dipping chocolate. I have used semi-sweet chocolate chips before, no shortening. And that works but if the truffles get too warm they start to melt everywhere. Your better off with dipping chocolate or almond bark.

    But thank you for the wonderful, terrible, kitchen horror story!

  • Leslie

    What an amazing, challenging adventure for you! Your determination certainly paid off in the end, though. They look delicious! Hooray!

  • OK – Let’s just nominate this as Best Kitchen Disaster of 2010, and agree that we all just apply the Golden Oreo/Cream Cheese mixture to our thighs and be over it!

    In case you are wondering, liquid food coloring has a small amount of water in it. Water causes chocolate to seize and ruin your day. There are other types available in candy/baking shops if you are bent on coloring things, and they work much better.

    If no one ever made mistakes, some of the best inventions would never have been made. Keep at it!

  • Yvonne

    LOL… I wanted to laugh so hard at the pooping pictures, but I’m at work and can’t! For future reference, to melt chips, take a pot, add some water, boil, add another roundish metal bowl on top to make a double boiler, add chips and drizzle with a little corn oil. Slowly fold until melted, and hopefully you won’t have a pooping problem. LOL I love your posts!

  • Tricia

    Oh, I’ve had that happen when trying to add color to chocolate, too! It’s so annoying when it turns to whatever that is it turns into! The same as when I microwave it too long and it cooks instead of melts. Why do we persist and try to make it work when it just keeps getting worse? Stubbornness, I guess! Anyway, not only was your post funny, but I have learned how to do it right from your wonderful reader’s helpful comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tricia

    “readers’ comments”–sorry! I know you have more than one reader. LOL

  • madura

    sounds frustrating. they still look cute.

  • These still look great! And I would kill to have one of those Golden Oreos- can only imagine how much more freaking delicious they would be made into truffles. Mmm!

  • madura

    oh, i just remembered something. you can try the hard chocolate sauce used for drizzling over ice cream if you don’t want to melt it.

    image: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/slinks/diy-magic-shell-ice-cream-sauce–047939
    there’s also a recipe for it.

    just place balls on a wire rack and drizzle, flip, drizzle; or stick on a toothpick and twirl while you pour, place on tray.

  • Kainase

    Wow… that pooping truffle picture really made my day hahaha. I hope that’s somewhat of a consolation. They look good!

  • Your experience gave me a laugh! Well, good for you that even with all the kitchen disasters you still managed to produce something that everyone loved!

  • Anna

    I’ve made these before, I’ve never had a batch that didn’t “poop” a little. I’m not sure what to do about it though.

  • daidai

    Pikko, where do you get your TJ items? Some of their items I like to buy, but I always have to wait to go to the mainland to get them! =[

  • I wanted to try these, but now you’ve got me worried LOL, still, they do look yummy!
    I think if you made them next time, but put the in the fridge a couple hours before you started to coat them, you might have better luck.

  • LOL, glad I made you laugh but hope you didn’t get busted! I had no idea Candy Cane Oreos existed, but I’ll skip them thanks to you. D:

  • Kat

    I second Tina’s tips. When I saw the ones by Bakerella I wanted to give it a try. A few notes on my first and only attempt so far (I wanted heart shapes but my mix was too goopy so they were all spheres – see below)

    1) Crush the cookies in the processor BEFORE adding the cream cheese. A little patience does it – I didn’t need to precrush them but it will speed this part up.
    2) Warm the cream cheese to room temperature or use a microwave to speed up the process. Warning if using the microwave: go low and slow and definitely watch it as you need it ‘soft’ not a puddle of lardy goop. I didn’t need to use the processor for mixing the cheese and ‘cookie crush’
    3) Despite the measurements, I should of gone easy with adding the cheese to the crushed Oreos. If I used slightly less than the exact amount I could of controlled the consistency better and use a vegetable cutter to shape them. They all ended up too soft and definitely needed the freezer time to harden and keep their shape for dipping
    4) I used good quality cooking chocolate, Green and Blacks methinks, so I had no separation issues. I kept the chocolate warm during the messy business of dipping the truffles (keep an eye on the warm chocolate; once it is melted, it can go on less heat).

    For someone that doesn’t really do desserts/sweets I’d say the recipe were easy, but time consuming. And wonderfully messy! Definitely a repeatable – fingers crossed I can get them heart shaped next time!

  • This sounds like me too. I hope I didn’t kill a KitchenAid in my former life. ๐Ÿ™

  • The worst thing I’ve had happen with cakes is to have my tiers come out of the oven looking like size D cup boobs, but my boss has since told me how to prevent this: once filled, tap the pans on the counter three times. She says it works!

  • Thanks Tina!! Now I just have to figure out where to get almond bark. Is there a substitute? My daughter isn’t allowed to eat any nuts.

  • Thanks Jomama! Dipping anger management day, hahahahaha!!

  • See that’s the problem with some food blogs. They assume you can cook without cussing.

  • I ate the last one today. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • As soon as I dropped it in, I told myself, this is going to clump. Sure enough, it did. Sadly, Price Busters doesn’t sell the candy melts anymore, so I’m not sure where to buy them now except at this ripoff crafting store.

  • I have a real double boiler now! I also read that I’m not supposed to let the water boil. I’ll be blogging about using it tomorrow!

  • Yeah, I’ve gotten some great tips on making these again later!

  • Look cute, taste awesome!

  • I’m actually not all that into them as cookies. I don’t even really like regular Oreos. I used to eat the cookies and give my brother the creme. But Joe Joe’s. OMG!

  • Wow, just chocolate and coconut oil? Mr. Pikko will LOVE this!

  • Making so many people laugh has been great, especially since it’s helping me get over the 48 hour depression I suffered after watching Dexter S4.

  • I got these from my sister-in-law who came to visit from Portland.

  • All things considered, they tasted so good I’d make them again, especially now that I have a slew of tips to help me along. Only I’m joining WW again soon, so that’s not gonna fly. Dang it!

  • Oh I’ve never seen her do Oreo truffles! That must have been before I found her site. I’ve done her cake pops and I had a hard time melting chocolate back then too.

    http://www.aibento.net/2009/05/19/cupcake-pops-and-frazzled-nerves/

  • I found White Chocolate Melting pieces (not Almond Bark) at Hobby Lobby, but that was in Texas.

  • A sign of a true cook, you hung in there no matter what. They look great and I bet they tasted great, too.

    PS-TJ’s candy cane Joe-Joe’s are the best thing they sell!

  • Kate

    Oh man. When you said “they started pooping” i lost it. Like silent laughing because I was laughing so hard.

    I love your blog. I lurk. Hi!

  • Angel Murakami

    The final product looks ono! But I completely understand your cooking woes. I am the same way. It really frustrates me because I get a good idea to make something to take to a party, and it’s a mess. I have to scramble for something else. I ask myself how did I mess it up? How?!!!!

  • I’ve made these with far less hassle than you had, but I totally feel for you! Next time you attempt this, just put the cookies in the processor sans cream cheese and mix the cream cheese with the cookie crumbs by hand. Turns out MUCH better! (I recommend getting food gloves if you don’t like the whole putty on hands feeling – I had wished I had some when I made these)

    Also, the chocolate melts work WAY better than chocolate chips. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (we found them at Michael’s, since our grocery store didn’t have any)

    Folks were so impressed with these when I made them that the effort spent was WELL worth it. My boyfriend’s been asking me to make these again, too. Oh, the agony. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Alicia

    I made these all holiday season for every potluck, dinner, lunch buffet thing I went to and by far the best thing to dip in is Wilton’s Candy Melts. I tried choc chips and almond bark and not only did I not like how they turned out but the taste on the two different brands of almond bark I tried just was not up to par. The Wilton’s have a wonderful texture and a good flavor to boot. I have to purchase them at a craft/arts store, so If you are in a secluded area you might not be able to find them but they are worth it.

  • Lianne

    I just made these for a holiday party! They seemed so harmless, cheap, and easy, but 15 minutes into “blending” the Chocolate Mint Oreos I wanted to take a hostage. I’ve told my boyfriend that if I ever say I’m going to make them again, to please kick me in the shins… but they were so. darn. delicious.

  • Alesea

    I make these all the time. I break the cookies into halfs or quarters and then grind them up doing only about 7-10 cookies at a time. Then I mix the cookie crumbs and cream cheese by hand instead of in the processor, that makes it a little easier

  • Jo

    I just made these last week for the first time for new years- and I think for ONCE being a pirate baker turned to be an advantage. I don’t have a food processor so I used a ziplock bag and an empty bottle of rum (Yup, seriously) to pulverize 1/3 of the oreos at a time into fine powder. It took forever, but I took the cream cheese out to warm up to room temp in the meanwhile so it all mixed up beautifully when done. Popped them in the fridge and forgot about them for at least 3 hours. I made a double broiler out of a wok and a large soup pot for the chocolate. Used disks and chips, both resulted the same: chocolate melted fine and they all coated thick and evenly. Popped all back in the fridge right away. Sooo good, and I never experienced pooping! (although you did give me a good laugh!)

  • I recently had to crush gluten free store-bought oreos in a blender, a drink blender. That took forever and required I push on the cookies while the blender was working. But this is what I’m going to do next time and this might be a good first step with this Oreos/cream cheese recipe:

    Put them in a ziploc bag and hammer them. This works when I have to grind pistachios. Therapeutic, at least.

  • I didn’t read all the comments here – so this may have been said – I first food process all the cookies into crumbs – and then add the softened cream cheese. Sometimes when time is limited – I process the cookies put them in a ziplock bag until I’m ready to make the truffles.

  • Well, they eventually turned out great. I love your perseverance! I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time. Now, I know what to look out for haha.

    I’ve used chocolate chips for dipping without problems. I guess it also depends on what temperature you melt it. Also, try adding butter instead of shortening to the butter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jennifer

    I can’t melt chocolate either. That’s why I buy melting chocolate from Ben Franklin. LoL. You just stick it in the microwave for like 2 minutes and done.

    I wanted to try these! I saw them on craftster.org and was like “I want!” But the parents won’t let me anywhere near the food processor after that small little incident with the blender. (Not going into it.) I may just have to use a rolling pin and a lot of mixing.
    But yours look awesome!!!

  • I replied to this, but it’s not showing for me for some reason. Almond bark generally doesn’t contain nuts of any sort, and can be found in the backing aisle of most grocery stores.

    Feel free to email me if my other comment doesn’t show and you have more questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 56dustbunny

    OMG ! I really wish I’d read this before applying my makeup, I was literally creasing up in hysterical laughter. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while so after all the amazing tips and amusing stories I feel ready to tackle these pesky nuggets of deliciousness. BTW, I’ve seen those Wilton melts in Walmart in their craft area with the cake decorating supplies which i’ll be using after a recent Xanax popping frenzy while trying to melt white chocolate chips in fudge. Never again !

  • Rebecca

    If it makes you feel any better (probably not), you aren’t alone with melting chocolate difficulties. Everyone I know melts chocolate in the microwave, but we have never been able to get that method to work by ourselves. The first time we tried it (15 seconds in the microwave, stir, 15 seconds, etc.) the bowl we were using almost cracked after 3478934262 15 second microwaves. :/
    Thankfully, we have a Little Dipper that we melt chocolate in, but it does take a while to melt.

  • You’ve gotta try those chocolates that they sell in the Henry Bins!! They’re great for melting and dipping!!

    And you don’t need to buy anything fancy to melt them! Just a microwave!

    15 seconds; take them out and stir the edges and bottom so it doesn’t burn; 15 seconds again; repeat until it’s all melted and you’re good to go for dipping =D

    And they harden in just a few minutes after sticking them in the fridge =D My friends and I go crazy dipping everything in chocolate now =D And I’m a retard in the kitchen.

  • Mia

    Oh my god, this made me laugh so hard- poor, poor Pikko!! I support my bento habit by selling fudge, so I firmly believe that chocolate, while tasty, is pure sticky evil. It doesn’t melt, it doesn’t take color, it won’t harden- or it hardens onto some unsuitable object… there is no end to the horrors! If there were any justice in it, chocolate would taste as bad as it behaves and we wouldn’t eat it at all! (and can we talk about white chocolate?! it’s pure evil without even a good taste to cover it up!!)

  • Priscila

    The secret to stopping the “pooping” is to make sure you have a almost perfect seal of chocolate. It might look that the entire truffle is covered but just re-dunk it in the chocolate to make sure. That has definitely stopped by pooping issues. I tried this with Bakerella’s cake pops.

    Another thing you might want to try is maybe crushing the cookies in the processor and then mixing the cream cheese frosting by had in a bowl

  • Annemarie

    I actually had the same problem the first time I made these! My food processor just couldn’t handle it, so I learned my lesson. If you process the cookies first, then add the cream cheese into the food processor with the cookie crumbs in there it works like magic! Also made the truffles a lot smoother.

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