Every December, we have hosted a big holiday open house at our home. The first year, I cooked, baked, and prepared everything in two days. I believe that was the year I wore black on Christmas Day and threatened to boycott the entire season the next year. Not smart.
A year older and wiser, I began baking and freezing in November, and everyone was happier. Especially me. Which, naturally, made everyone else happier.
The next year, an angelic revelation came upon me: “No” is a complete sentence. I learned to drop balls, scale back, and enjoy the season.
One ball I will never drop, however, is The Crack Ball. Also known as Oreo Truffles.
Have mercy. These little bites of heaven will throw you headfirst into the diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” You know what I mean.
After Michael’s 40th Birthday Bash, we decided not to throw our annual open house (ball=dropped). Instead, we hosted Caroline’s Stuck Like Glue party to commemorate the one year anniversary of her divine healing from a spinal fluid leak. (What? You don’t know that story? Go read about it.) No better way to celebrate than with the Balls O’Crack.
In the spirit of simplification and peaceful holiday merriment and blessed spinal glue, I decided to experiment with a shortcut.
The recipe instructs the merry baker to dip the balls in melted chocolate. Dunk said ball into the chocolate and fish it out with two forks, letting the excess chocolate (is there such thing?) drip off into the bowl. Mm-kay. I’ve done that. It’s a huge mess, and it takes For.Ev.Er.
So I came up with this brilllliant idea, illustrated to you in picture form…
Make the balls with a small cookie dough scooper. Line them up on a piece of wax paper that will fit your cookie sheet.
Line your cookie sheet with another piece of wax paper and brush chocolate on with a pastry brush. I have a silicone brush that is most fabulous.
Roll the balls in your hand to make them smooth, then place them on the strip of chocolate.
Repeat. And repeat. And repeat…
Then pour the remaining chocolate over the balls, first lengthwise, then the opposite direction. Use your pastry brush to cover up any remaining nakedness.
While the chocolate is still warm and gooey, you can add sprinkles or Oreo crumbs.
Then, as in life, chill.
After an hour or so, or whenever you’re ready, score the balls into squares. As you can see, I cut all the way around the first Crack Ball and decided that was way too much trouble. So I left the rest on their own little platform of chocolatey goodness.
I made one batch with peppermint extract, and I drizzled them with melted white chocolate.
After sitting on a platter for a few hours, the little chocolate platform did get a little soft. I might experiment next year with putting each one on a graham cracker.
May your holidays be blessed with peace, joy, and crack.