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The sweetest solution for last-minute Valentine’s Day treats

You had me at ‘No Bake Dessert Kit, Just Add Cream Cheese’

<p>To make mine visually appealing, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate from the second box and incorporated different styles in the form of drizzling and coating.</p>

To make mine visually appealing, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate from the second box and incorporated different styles in the form of drizzling and coating.

One would think that the 14th day of the month couldn’t approach this quickly. Nevertheless, as a full-time college student, this date seems to emerge out of nowhere amidst the busyness of exams and projects. For me, cravings for sweets go hand-in-hand with this frantic season of assignments. Thus, my journey to satisfy my sweet tooth in a thematic fashion began.

I made my way to Harris Teeter on the Northline bus in hopes of coming back with a couple boxes of cake mix to transform into cake pops to curb my typical first-year dessert craving. As I entered the baking aisle, a pair of bright yellow tags caught my eye. Strategically hidden above eye level, there was a box of Baker’s White Chocolate Cookie Balls, a dessert kit that included chocolate cookie crumbs, a white chocolate bar and rainbow sprinkles yet was only priced at $3.49. Right next to it was a similar kit, though this box had semi-sweet chocolate and tiny golden sprinkles instead. Instead of deciding between the two, I did what any sane grocery shopper would do — I bought both.

Satisfied with my purchases and the fact that each box would yield 12 individual servings, I headed back to central Grounds and recruited a friend to act as my sous chef for this culinary endeavor. After fetching a to-go cup filled with cream cheese from O’Hill — the only truffle ingredient not included in the kits — we were finally ready to bake.

Assembling these desserts was so effortless, I had to check the instructions multiple times to make sure I wasn’t missing any extra steps. After using a fork to combine the crushed cookie crumbs and four ounces of cream cheese in a mixing bowl, I simply rolled the mixture into bite-sized balls and froze them on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. To make my truffles more visually appealing, I melted chocolate from both boxes, making unique designs by drizzling and coating the chocolate. I topped them all off with a flair of sprinkles for a colorful finishing touch.

Despite the easy process, the end results were quite decadent, and I doubt anyone could tell that they took less than 30 minutes to make.

These truffles tasted almost identical to what homemade cake pops would have tasted like, only without all the excess ingredients and all the hassle. Besides, you really can’t go wrong with chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. I opted to only use the ingredients given in the dessert kit, but these chocolate cookie balls can be customized to fit the needs of all your loved ones.

To put a more creative twist on these, different types of ingredients could be incorporated in the form of toppings or add-ins. Simply swapping the regular cream cheese with strawberry or blueberry cream cheese would result in a completely different yet fruity flavor. Additional toppings such as chopped nuts, crushed pretzels or even coconut flakes could also make these desserts unique. These could be mixed in with the cookie crumbs and cream cheese directly or sprinkled on top after rolling.

To make these dessert bites go along with the Valentine’s Day theme, strawberry pieces could be added into the cookie mixture itself and or set on top of the white chocolate coating. For those who want to go above and beyond, cupcake crumbs from one of our dining hall’s fine dessert stands could also be mixed in with these treats. 

Regardless of what you add though, these dessert bites are best after chilling in the refrigerator since that gives them time to set them. Afterwards, they can either be taken out and kept at room temperature or eaten straight from the freezer. Add a plastic gift bag and some ribbon and these cookie bites could also be transformed into an aesthetically pleasing gift as well. 

Whether these are made carefully before a Galentine’s dinner or hastily thrown together as a last-minute gift for a significant other, this dessert kit will be sure to sweeten your Valentine’s Day.

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