Cooking with Claire: Sweet treats

Step by step instructions on how to make Oreo truffles, chocolate banana crepes, and mini cheesecakes.  (Virginia (Ginny) Sanderson/Flickr Creative Commons)

My favorite meals follow in this order: breakfast, dessert and then everything else. Chocolate is a wonderful, wonderful thing. So, this week’s column offers three sweet treats to tempt any type of person. All are easy and fairly fun to make.

 

Oreo Truffles

Ingredients:

One (15.5 ounce) package Oreos

Eight ounces cream cheese, softened

12 ounces white chocolate chips, melted

 

Directions:

1. Place Oreo cookies in a large resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the cookies until you have fine cookie crumbs.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine cookie crumbs with cream cheese in a medium bowl, reserving about a one-quarter cup of cookie crumbs. Using a small cookie scoop, form small balls with the mixture. Place the balls on the baking sheet and freeze until slightly hardened, about 30 minutes.

3. Dip the frozen balls in melted white chocolate and roll around until the ball is completely coated. Place the truffles on the baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Place in freezer until chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.

These truffles are so, so easy to make and very delicious. These are one of my good friend Jamie’s go-to dishes to bring to our parties. You can use different types of Oreos and chocolate for a different taste.

 

Chocolate Banana Crepes

Ingredients:

One and one-half cup milk

One cup flour

Two tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch salt

One teaspoon vanilla, divided

Three eggs

One-quarter cup butter, melted

Two bananas, sliced into one-half inch pieces

One-half cup melted chocolate

 

Directions:

1. In a blender combine milk, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and melted butter. Blend until mixture is smooth and foamy. Let batter sit for 15 minutes at room temperature (or up to overnight in the fridge).

2. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with more butter or vegetable oil. Add about one-quarter to one-third cup batter and swirl the batter to completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook until the bottom of the crepe is golden, two to three minutes. Using a rubber spatula (or chopsticks) loosen edge of crepe then quickly flip. Cook for one minute more then slide crepe out of skillet.

3. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter or oil to the pan as necessary.

4. Fold crepes into quarters. Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with banana slices.

Should you eat crepes for dessert? For breakfast? For brunch? The choice is yours.

 

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

12 vanilla wafers

Two (eight ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

Two eggs

Two tablespoons lemon juice

Two-thirds cup white sugar

One (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling, or flavor of choice

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 12 paper baking cups. Place a vanilla wafer in each one.

2. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice and sugar. Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.

3. Fill each baking cup two-thirds full with cream cheese mixture.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on a rack. Top with fruit pie filling. Pipe whipped cream or sweetened cream cheese into a rosette on top of each cheesecake just prior to serving, if desired.

 

I absolutely love cheesecake. Small cupcakes are also great for a party. This recipe is great because it can be customized based on your favorite toppings. Top the mini cakes with any type of fruit, chocolate or strawberry syrup. Simple and delicious.

If you really don’t have any time to make a dessert from scratch, try baking a cake from the box, but adding and subtracting a few ingredients to make it better. For example, use whole milk instead of water, and use melted butter instead of vegetable oil. Use three or four eggs instead of just two for a richer taste. Add a small packet of pudding mix for more moisture. Easy tricks like this can make a big difference.

Recipes adapted from delish.com, allrecipes.com and allthingsmamma.com.


Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.