If you do not live near a Trader Joe’s, my heart goes out to you.
Each year around Christmas, Trader Joes’ everywhere get the most amazingly delicious cookies you will ever taste. It’s a holiday twist on their regular joe-joe cookies (which are basically like oreos), except there are crushed candy cane pieces in the cream filling. Stop reading, get to your local Trader Joe’s, and buy these. Right now. You will not regret it.
Hopefully they are not sold out yet. Let me tell you something — people go crazy over these cookies. Ric works at TJ’s and he tells me stories of people coming in and buying boxes and boxes and boxes. They hoard them. And then, after the Christmas season is over — get this — they sell them on Ebay. I kid you not.
All of this to say, these cookies are so incredibly delicious. I. love. them.
Last year I had the genius idea of making these babies into truffles. I got the easiest no-bake truffle recipe from a friend awhile ago. That recipe called for regular oreos, and I thought ‘Hmm… this would be 100 times better with candy cane joe-joes and crushed candy cane pieces sprinkled on top.’ And I was right.
If you are in need of a ridiculously easy christmas dessert that people will go crazy over, this is it.
Candy Cane Joe-Joe Truffles (Makes 35-40 truffles)
1 box candy cane joe-joes (or use oreos and add some crushed up candy cane and a bit of peppermint extract to the mix)
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
1 bag of white or dark chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli, but whatever works)
Crushed candy canes for topping (or Williams Sonoma makes pre-crushed candy cane sprinkles)
Add half the box of cookies to a food processor and pulse until completely crushed. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. (If you don’t have a food processor, you could probably crush the cookies using a plastic bag and a hammer/meat tenderizer/anything heavy, but I’ve never tried. You really do want a consistent, well-crushed mix, so a food processor is probably best.)
In the past I’ve just added the cream cheese into the food processor to mix, but I’m pretty sure I broke my food processor doing this last time. (I’m too scared to test it and find out) The mix is so thick and heavy that the motor gets bogged down, and you don’t want that. (*Update: My food processor isn’t broken! Hurrah! But save yourself the heart attack, and just mix by hand)
This time I poured the crushed cookies into a bowl and mixed it up by hand. It worked just fine. I would highly suggest doing this so you don’t break your beloved food processor. 😦
Use your hands to combine until it is all the same consistency. It will be very sticky and a bit greasy.
Once it is thoroughly mixed together, take a bit of the mix and roll it together between your palms to make a little ball. You can make them as big or as small as you want… I make them so that they can be eaten in one or two bites. Put them on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or wax paper.
When you’re all done, pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, before taking them out to coat in chocolate.
Now for melting your chocolate. This part can be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before. Chocolate can be difficult because it burns very easily, so be careful.
To prevent it from burning, I do not put the pan with chocolate directly over the heat. You can use a double boiler and add a couple of inches of water into the bottom pot.
I do not have a double boiler. If you’re in the same boat, get a skillet or a pyrex bowl that can rest on top of/in the pot. Your chocolate will go in there. Bring the water to a light boil and then turn heat down to low.
Set your skillet or bowl on top of the pot with the water. (It should not be touching the water. The steam from the hot water is what will melt the chocolate). Add about half the bag of chocolate to the skillet/bowl. If it’s not enough for all the truffles, you can add more later. I also add a tiny bit of canola oil to thin it out a little bit — maybe 1 tsp.
Stir the chocolate constantly until melted. Keep an eye on it and make sure it’s not bubbling. If it starts to bubble, hold away from the heat for a minute, and turn your heat down.
Keep stirring your chocolate and set the pan of truffles nearby. For the next step, it’s best to have someone to help you.
Add in a couple of truffles at a time and coat with chocolate. Have your helper stick a toothpick in each truffle to get them out, and place them back on the parchment/wax paper. Sprinkle the crushed candy cane on top to hide the hole that the toothpick made.
Repeat with all the truffles and then put them back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, so the chocolate can harden.