cream cheese

Oreo Balls

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For a holiday party tonight, I needed a quick, festive finger food to bring. I recalled seeing these Oreo “truffles” somewhere, did a quick online search, and found the recipe.

They require just three ingredients and come together in about 15 minutes of hands-on time with a food processor. They made a great addition to a communal snack table.

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Oreo Balls
From Kraft

Makes 2 dozen

18 Oreo cookies
4 oz. cream cheese
4-6 oz. semisweet chocolate

In a food processor, process Oreos into crumbs. Add cream cheese and process until smooth. Form into one-inch balls (I used a slightly smaller cookie scoop) and freeze for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Working quickly,  roll the balls in chocolate and place on a cookie sheet lined wIth waxed paper. (If decorating with sprinkles, sugars or cookie crumbs, add quickly before the chocolate sets.) Refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to serve. 

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Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

You didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you?

:)

Pumpkin Trifecta #3: Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I first started making these pumpkin cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen a couple years ago. I love that they aren’t overloaded by oil or butter, which keeps them feeling light while allowing the pumpkin and spice to shine through. This is what a fall dessert should taste like.

These are a great treat all through fall, but they are especially fun for a Halloween party. For an easy but impressive decoration, pipe a few circles of black decorator frosting or gel and pull a toothpick from the center.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 18 cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

For frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt into a medium bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners, about 3/4 full. Tap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar. Frost cupcakes.