Chocolate Lover’s Platter

Oreo Truffles
1 package (1 lb.) Oreo cookies (**sale** $3.00)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature (**sale** WF Tub 8 oz. $1.39)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag chocolate chips (**sale** Hershey’s $1.47)
1-2 teaspoons shortening (just enough to thin chocolate chips for dipping)

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. With a mixer, blend cookie powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese). Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet.

Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In double-boiler, melt milk chocolate and shortening. Dip balls and coat thoroughly. With slotted spoon, lift balls out of chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. In separate double boiler, melt white chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over balls. Let cool. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator.
Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (**sale** WF $0.88)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (**sale** Skippy 15-16 oz. $2.00)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened (**sale** Gold’N Soft Margarine $0.99)
1 bag chocolate chips (**sale** Hershey’s $1.47)
1-2 teaspoons shortening (just enough to thin chocolate chips for dipping)
Finely chopped peanuts for garnish, if desired

Stir together powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter until well mixed. Shape peanut butter mixture into 1 inch balls, placing them on a baking sheet covered with waxed or parchment paper. Let balls stand for 20 minutes until dry. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler. Drop balls one at a time in melted chocolate. Using a fork, remove from the chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Place back on the waxed paper. Let dry about 1 minute, then sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Let stand until dry. Store tightly covered in a cool dry place.
Chocolate Mint Cookies
1 ¼ cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar (**sale** C&H Sugar 10 lbs. $4.99)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour (**sale** WF 10 lbs. $3.99)
¾ cup baking cocoa (**sale** WF $1.66)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
32 round thin chocolate-covered mint patties (**sale** Haviland Thin Mints $1.25)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into the creamed butter mixture. Drop by the tablespoon about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until puffy and tops are cracked. Invert the cookies onto cooling rack. Immediately place unwrapped mint on the top and flip half of cookie over to create a fold. Press lightly to seal. Cool completely. Makes 32 mint chocolate sandwiches.
Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or vanilla baking chips (**sale** Hershey’s $1.47)
2 teaspoons shortening
12 candy canes or peppermint sticks (**sale** Bob’s 12 count $0.79)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips and shortening until smooth. Tip boiler so that the chocolate goes to one side of the pan. Dip one candy cane at a time on one side only. Place on parchment or waxed paper and allow to dry partially about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed candy or sprinkles and allow to dry completely. Store in a loosely covered container about 2 weeks.

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