Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Making decisions and Chocolate Covered Cookie Balls

Are you good at making decisions?  If you are, can I pay you to tell me your secret?
I am certifiably terrible at making decisions.  Especially when it comes to purchasing expensive items, or making life decisions.  When it comes to buying anything over $100 I panic.  I freak out and spend months weighing out my options.  I literally feel like it is such a waste of money.  When I go to things that cost a lot of money, say the Rodeo, I feel like it is such a waste of money!  $20 for a crappy meal in a super crowded thanks!  I would rather take that money and invite a few people over for dinner and board games...really I would.

Then when it comes to making big life decisions like moving, going to school, jobs...yeah I pretty much make those decisions very quickly and without much thought.  Either it works for me or it doesn't.  Of course I still panic, but I am much quicker at those decisions....usually because I am up against some kind of time crunch.  If I ever get married it will probably be someone I have know for a brief amount of time, and it will be a very quick engagement...just saying, when you know you know. : )  Of course I don't know, so I don't know how I can say that : )

I also recently made another good decision and started watching the John Grisham series on NBC, The Firm.  Highly recommend it!  It is an interesting plot, good acting, and based upon a strong family working together to pursue justice....and no, they do not wear capes. : )  I recently heard they might cancel it because of poor ratings, but I think they just had really bad marketing for it.  I had never even heard about it until 12 episodes had already aired.  So here I am campaigning for it to stay on the air!  Go watch the Firm!
(update ...they cancelled the show...NOOO!)

When it comes to baking that is an easy and painless decision.  It is always a good idea.

Every child that enters and leaves out home knows what a cookie ball is.  My 8 year old niece makes it her mission to promptly shows little guests where we keep the stash of cookie balls in the freezer.  "If you are good  Aunt Dagny might let you have one."  Our freezer is full of random cookie dough or two peanut butter, chocolate chip, gluten free, experiment cookies, and lots of unidentified ones...never sure what flavor they are until we bake them off. : )  Keeping a nice little stock pile of cookie dough balls in the freezer always makes it easy to have dessert for unexpected guests or occasions...or lets face it, midnight sugar cravings.

Now the cookie ball I am writing about is actually not of the frozen unbaked kind.  These are baked cookies that are smashed, mixed with a little bit of milk, and then covered in chocolate...yes, you heard me right...covered in chocolate : )  Basically the same concept as a cake ball, but made with cookies.  I saw this idea as I was perusing the many food blogs that I follow, and was instantly compelled to try it out.

Was I disappointed?  No.  Was I inspired?  Yes.  Do I recommend you try this technique out in the near future?  Heck yes.

I used Alice Medrich's gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.  I baked the cookies, let them cool, then put them in a the mixer and mixed them with 1-3 TBS of milk until they clumped together.  Then I scooped them with a mini ice cream scoop onto parchment paper.  Put them in the freezer for about an hour.  Then covered them in chocolate.  The first 1/2 I covered in white chocolate, but the second 1/2 I covered in dark chocolate...way better...soooo delicious!  Once you cover them in chocolate allow them to cool and for the chocolate to harden.

For those of you who have never melted chocolate for coating, be sure to melt the chocolate at 50% power in the microwave, in 30 second increments, stirring well after each time.  Heat the chocolate just until melted, if you over heat the chocolate it will not set properly.  Having the cookie dough balls be partially frozen helps the chocolate harden correctly.  You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler...again, do not overheat the chocolate.  If you do, add more chocolate to help bring the temperature down.

You can use this technique for many of your favorite basic cookie recipes.  When your cooked dough is staying in a ball form you have added enough milk.  Try this technique out, you won't be disappointed!

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