Merry Christmas to all you gentiles out there! This isn't my holiday, but it's hard not to get sucked into the Christmas spirit. My boyfriend is in town this weekend and we're lounging around the house until dinner time, when we'll head over to a friend's house to eat with her and her husband.
I feel inhospitable showing up at a small dinner without dish to offer, but I also don't want to interfere with or duplicate something the hostess is probably making. I came up with two things that I think did the trick. Here's the first one---sort of like an appetizer to the dessert course (thanks to my friend Kathryn for posting about these on Facebook!):
Red Velvet Cake Balls
(From Paula Deen)
(Paula also has a lot of suggestions for other flavor combinations)
One box red velvet cake mix
One canister cream cheese frosting
Two bags semi-sweet chocolate chips (note: my biggest regret is not using better quality chocolate. Don't skimp on this)
1. Bake the cake according to the package directions. Let the cake cool for half an hour. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Crumble the cake into a bowl. This, incidentally, is the hardest part...crumbling up a perfectly good cake. Ack!
3. Once the cake is crumbled, add the canister of frosting and stir until blended. It will have the thick consistency of cookie dough.
(This is NOT blended)
4. Using a melon baller (or just your hands, if you lack a melon baller), form the cake mixture into small balls (about an inch and a half in diameter...smaller or larger depending on your preference). Roll them until smooth and place them on the wax paper. Once you've used all the dough, stick the tray in the freezer and freeze for about three hours.
5. After the balls have frozen, take them out of the freezer. Microwave a bag of chocolate chips in a bowl (I did it for about 1:15 on power level 8). Stir the chocolate chips so you have a bowl of smooth chocolate. Using two toothpicks, spear the cake balls one at a time and coat them with chocolate. Put them back on the wax paper to cool.
6. Once all the cake balls are coated with chocolate, you can add a second layer of chocolate or butterscotch. I melted white chocolate and added red and green food coloring for something more Christmas-y. You can also add coconut shavings, nuts, or anything else your little heart desires. For more inspiration, check out this website.
7. Refrigerate until close to eating time. These taste best at room temperature - when cold, the chocolate coating is a bit too hard.