Sunday, December 12, 2010

Knitting on the Road FO: Legwarmers, and a Holiday Recipe


Yesterday we drove about 2 hours north to Akron to tour Stan Hywet Hall.  Contrary to popular belief, this mansion was not built by a guy named Stan.

'Stan Hywet' is Old English for stone quarry, and this grand home was built by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company founder F.A. Seiberling, beginning in 1912.

No photos may be taken indoors, but you get an idea from the outside what an interesting place this is to visit.

The house, outbuildings, conservatory/ butterfly house and grounds are spectacular and the snowy setting was picturesque. The Christmas decorations are looking a little worn around the edges, but the home itself is worth seeing.

As I pondered a knitting project for the above-mentioned road trip I suddenly had a mad desire to knit something cabley.

I started and finished a little pair of legwarmers during the drive up and back, thinking they'd be a great extra cozy layer on a cold winter day.

Little did I know how handy they would be today as we went out to shoot photos for my upcoming Lingonberry Loop pattern. 

I've had cables on the brain lately as I ponder knitting several cable projects, some for publication next year. I think all this snow may have had something to do with my sudden desire for some cable knitting too!

And what fun the snow has (mostly) been. My little fur girl loves to play in the snow.

Well, she just loves to play, period.  But watching her enjoy snow is such fun.

Pomeranians were bred down from sled dogs, and a love of winter weather obviously runs in her blood.

The rest of today was a good one to stay indoors with a cup of hot tea, knitting and cooking.  My friend Cheryl is a big fan of Oreos, so I whipped up some of the easiest 'truffles' ever, using - don't laugh! - Oreo cookies.

These cookie bonbons are creamy with that distinctive Oreo flavor American readers might remember from childhood.

Food processor-crushed cookies are blended with cream cheese to form a dough for rolling into balls and dipping in melted chocolate.  So simple, so nostalgic, so tasty.  

Oreo Truffles Recipe

Recipe Notes
  • Don't be tempted to use store-brand cookies unless you've compared them to Oreos.  The only store-brand cookies I've found that taste remotely as good in this recipe as the real thing is Trader Joe's brand. 
  • Be sure to use at least 20 oz. of cookies or your dough will be too soft.
  • If garnishing with crushed peppermint, crush the candies very finely to avoid cracking a tooth!

Makes approximately 3 dozen truffles, depending on size.

20 oz. package Oreo cookies (not "Double Stuff")
For peppermint variation: 20 oz. peppermint-filled Oreos (if you cannot find peppermint cookies, use regular cookies and add 1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract)
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
16 oz. dark chocolate, chopped, or use chips
Optional garnishes as desired, such as pure cocoa powder, crushed peppermint candies, shaved chocolate, colored sanding sugar or melted white chocolate drizzle.

In the bowl of a food processor, crush cookies to fine crumbs.  Add cream cheese and process until completely blended with no white showing.  The dough should be slightly sticky but firm.  If it's very wet, the truffles will be too soft so add pure cocoa powder in tablespoons until it is firm enough to hold shape when rolled into walnut-sized balls in the palm of your hand.

Roll small chunks of dough into balls and place on a pan that will fit in your refrigerator.  Refrigerate at least one hour or until firm.

Spread parchment or waxed paper on counter surface.

Heat chocolate in a completely dry glass bowl in microwave, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted.  Even a small amount of moisture from your hands, a spoon, etc. can ruin your chocolate.  Do not overheat.

Remove truffle balls from refrigerator.  Using two forks or small tongs, dip balls into melted chocolate until completely covered, allow to drip over container for a moment, then place on paper. Every 10 balls or so, sprinkle with garnishes.

When the coating is completely solid, layer the candies with parchment or waxed paper in a storage container.  Store different flavors separately or they will all end up tasting like peppermint.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve, best if used within one week. 


1 comment:

  1. those truffles sound yummy!

    Clover looks cute in the snow. Our dog Rigel has never seen snow....