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Will (almond) bark for food: Oreo balls and white trash

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Break out the milk, for you all are in for some sweet treats. With the Christmas season officially in effect, you may find yourself invited to some sort of holiday party. Maybe you would like to host your own holiday party. Either way, you may want to create some festive snacks. Well, I am here to tell you about two fun (and fairly cheap) sweet snacks that my family tends to make around Christmas Time (although they are tasty snacks that could be made at any time). Oreo balls and white trash are connected by a common ingredient: almond bark.

Oreo balls are essentially exactly what they sound like they are—sweet balls of Oreo-y goodness. The only ingredients required are Oreos, cream cheese and almond bark.

While I am sure most people know they should wash their hands before preparing food, I would like to emphasize the need to do so when making Oreo balls, considering most of the work involves using your hands.

To make the Oreo balls, the first thing you need to do is fill a food processor with Oreos you buy for this snack. Blend the Oreos until they are a fine powder. Pour the powder into a mixing bowl and drop in softened cream cheese into the bowl. Typically, one regular sized pack of Oreos would need one block of cream cheese, but I recommend having some extra blocks handy to be safe.

Next, you will use your hands to mix the powder with the cream cheese until all of the powder has been moistened by the cream cheese and made to have one consistency. The Oreo mixture should now be moldable. Use your hands to grab handfuls of the Oreo mixture and roll each handful into a ball. Yes, this action will remind you of playing with Play-Doh. Place each ball on a cookie rack that you previously lined with wax paper. Make sure the balls are distanced in fairly even intervals.

Unwrap the almond bark (you will only need half of the block) and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. There are two types of almond bark, vanilla and chocolate. Vanilla almond bark works well with this simple recipe; I personally believe that the vanilla almond bark better complements the Oreo flavor. Heat the almond bark a little at a time in the microwave and stir it after each pause in the heating process until it has melted.

Then, you will take your balls of Oreo clay and dunk them into the melted almond bark. You can use a fork or some other utensil, but if you need or want to use your hands I will not shame you (and neither will the people who eat your snacks). Replace the balls onto the wax paper. Once the balls are all coated in almond bark, you can scrape and drizzle whatever almond bark is left onto your Oreo balls. The almond bark hardens a little quickly, so if your bowl of bark starts to solidify, simply reheat it.

Place the tray of Oreo balls into the refrigerator to chill. After a few hours, they should be ready for consumption.

White trash is also a fairly easy snack to make. You will need Crispix or Chex cereal, snack pretzels, shelled peanuts or cashews, vanilla almond bark and then we at my house like to add M&Ms as well.

Now, in a mixing bowl, pour the cereal, pretzels and nuts inside and hand mix them until they are evenly blended. Have wax paper out on your kitchen counter and spread the mixture across it. Then, heat up your almond bark (you may need more than one package of it) and drizzle it over the mixture until everything is covered. Sprinkle the M&Ms over the coated mixture before the almond bark hardens.

As a warning, the reason you put the M&Ms on top last is because if you were to put them in the original mixture before coating it in almond bark, the warmth of the bark would would make the colors spread and the result could be ugly.

Let the almond bark harden and then break apart the treat and snack on it as you will.

Either of these snacks can make the holidays more festive. Enjoy!

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