I'm in California at the Asilomar Conference Grounds. My Empty Spools session starts in less than an hour so I can't go on and on… Here's a photo I took this morning. It's raining now so I'm glad I took the camera out early.
AKA – Truffles! This is the recipe that I have used for many years. I first saw this on the Smucker's Great American Recipe Contest. I've changed it a bit since then.
- 1 chocolate cake mix
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup Smucker's raspberry preserves (apricot is good too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- chocolate candy coating
Prepare cake a package directs; cool.
NOTE to those who want to make gluten-free cake balls: The gluten-free chocolate cake mix makes a smaller cake. If you make 2 of these, increase the other ingredients by at least half.
In 3-quart saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter; add cocoa and sugar and preserves, stir until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat; crumble cake into mixture in saucepan; mix until well blended and moist. Roll into 1 1/2" balls.
In a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate. Dip the balls, completely coating each one. Let stand until dry. Recoat bottom of each truffle if necessary.
These keep best if kept cool. I keep mine in the garage. I only put them in the refrigerator after a couple of weeks if they have not been eaten.
Cake balls are all the rage – at least that's what I've been hearing. They are easy to make and not too bad for you – if you only eat one or two!
I found lots of recipes online, here and here and here. I recently made three different flavors (red velvet, chocolate raspberry, and peppermint) and took them to a party and they were a definite hit. Here is my very own Peppermint Cake Ball recipe…
To begin, gather your ingredients, then follow the recipe below.
Peppermint Cake Balls
- 1 box white cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
- 1 can white frosting (16 oz.)
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
- Crushed candy canes
- Waxed paper
- Bake cake according to direction on the box. After the cake is cool, crumble into large bowl.
- Mix the white frosting with 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
- Mix the cake thoroughly with most of the peppermint frosting. It will be easier to use fingers to mix together. Add more frosting if you think the mixture is too dry.
- Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on a cookie sheet.
- Chill or freeze for several hours. Balls can be placed in freezer bags and kept for later use.
- Place unwrapped candy canes in a ziplock bag. Close the bag. Place it between two towels and gently crush the candy canes with a hammer. Pour the crushed bits into a small bowl.
- Melt chocolate according to the directions on package.
- Use a candy dipper to dip each ball in chocolate. Tap off excess chocolate and place on wax paper until firm. Spoon a little bit of crushed candy cane bits onto the top of the cake ball before the chocolate hardens.
- Cover the cake balls tightly and store where it is cool.
Today, as I was reading Chuck Green's ideabook.com newsletter, I learned about the FWA (favorite website awards). The 2009 winner is We Choose The Moon. Give it time to load and then enjoy the show. There are clickable links to videos, photos, and more.
And then to SoytuaireLabuat.com, the 2009 People's Choice winner. Give it time to load and then move you mouse to the rhythm of the music – I really enjoyed myself. The FWA site has links to other excellent sites – have fun exploring!
I did a quick check of my favorite blogs as saw these on Design Sponge:
These are seed packets from The Balcony Gardener. This is some of the best packaging I have seen. The patterns are simple, well balanced, and thoughtful. The colors are striking and eye-catching. I would love to have some of these in fabric.
This photo from Weird Friends cracked me up! The quilt (is that a quilt?) is pretty, the clothes (especially the blue skirt and blouse) are priceless, and what's up with that pointy red hat? These women look busy and happy. I want to know them.
This looks like a close-up of a skirt. I love the stitched-on circles and the rickrack. Fun embellishments.
Victoria, my new friend in Boca, took me to dinner at the Old Key Lime House. It was great! We sat outside by the water and ate fish tacos. It was breezy and chilly for Florida but not bad at all after the cold in Texas. There was a big screen TV over the water showing women's hockey – a sport I had not considered women playing. It looked a lot more civilized to me.
On our way out the door we visited the ladies room. This was painted on the wall in my stall.
And this was on the wall by the sinks:
The men in my life don't make me cry, nor do they make me feel that I have to work twice as hard to get ahead, but I do recognize that these two statements are true for many women. They are statements that, if read at the right time by the right woman, could be empowering – and there they were, where I least expected them to be.
I was reading my DIL Celia's blog, Looking Lovely, and she had posted these photos:
Celia and Jeff found the little people tableaux in the snow. So much like the Little People street art scenes by Slinkachu. You just never know where you are going to run across something where you least expect to.