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Oreo balls don't last long

February 08, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

ST. JAMES - At first, dipping a mound of ground Oreos and cream cheese into melted chocolate seemed like a good idea, explained St. James art teacher Jeremy McDonald.

McDonald brought some to his students and offered them up during meal times. Now it's all they ask for.

"I'm digging myself in a hole," McDonald said.

He and his wife, Miranda Marsh-McDonald, who live near the school, are fielding constant requests for the cookies.

"Especially the boys down there," Miranda said. "I'll bring over like 75 of them and they're gone."

McDonald and his wife entered the Oreo balls into The Herald-Mail's yearly cookie contest. They weren't winners but they definitely stood out - in a good way.

For one, the Oreo balls they entered were as big as rocks. They had a moist consistency, like a cross between a cake and a cookie. And did we mention the chocolate-on-chocolate combo?

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What's not to like?

Oreo balls are a forgiving, no-bake recipe Miranda said she got at a wedding. Her college roommate and her husband created a pamphlet of recipes as a party favor, with Oreo balls among the recipes.

"She has very specific ideas about what she likes and what she doesn't like," Miranda said about her college friend. "She doesn't like cake. She likes cookies."

In fact, her friend didn't serve cake at the wedding. Cookies were served.

To make the Oreo balls, crush up some Oreos or some other Oreo-like sandwich cookie. Mix it in with the cream cheese until it's doughlike.

Jeremy has a decidedly low-tech process for this step - mashing things up in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.

"Find a good movie to watch and crush," he said.

They've found the dough is easier to form into balls if refrigerated for a second. The cream cheese-Oreo dough is then dipped in chocolate and refrigerated again.

"I don't think we ever made Oreo balls the same way," Jeremy said. "We'd like to try mint Oreos."

Between Jeremy and Miranda's busy schedules, sometimes it's hard to slow down for a home-cooked meal.

Miranda, 30, and Jeremy, 31, met in 1998 in college. They were married in 2003 and moved to the area in 2008. Miranda teaches at Walker Performing Arts in Hagerstown. She's cast in the ensemble in the Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre's production of "Evita."

The couple chatted with The Herald-Mail about cooking and baking. They also offered up the Oreo ball recipe to share with readers.




Q&A with Jeremy McDonald
and Miranda Marsh-McDonald



So, do you guys cook often?

Miranda: We don't cook too much. He gets all his meals at school. I usually do sandwiches for lunch and join him for dinner. It's kind of hard just cooking for one person.
Jeremy: You do the whole actress lifestyle. You don't do breakfast.
Miranda: Yeah, I'm up pretty late.
Jeremy: The only time we bake is for special occasions. It's going to be hard over the summer.
Miranda: We used to make these egg rolls, homemade. They're deep fried but they're better than carryout. I used to make this ranch dip off the ranch packet. It was funny because when I would serve them, people would talk about how good it was. I would be like, you know, the recipe is on the back of the packet.
Miranda: Brussels sprouts, we used to make that three times a week. It was a recipe for people who didn't like brussels sprouts. I didn't like brussels sprouts but I would eat this like three times a week. It had this sauce - Asian sauce and maple syrup. It sounds strange, but it works.
Jeremy: Like sweet and sour sauce.

Your friend served cookies instead of cake at her wedding. Did you guys have cake at your wedding?

Miranda: (Laughing) We did. It was delicious, but ugly. Went to this place in my hometown. It was a nice, gourmet place. We decided we wanted the pattern that was on the bridesmaid dresses on the cake.
Jeremy: I drew it out and gave it to them and everything. It was a nice, ornate pattern.
Miranda: Well, the cake was plain white - with the three layers and a couple of pink squiggles. I got to the point where I just didn't care. I was just glad it was happening.
Jeremy: Nothing at all like the pattern we gave them. It's kind of a sore topic.

Do you have a favorite cookie?

Jeremy: I like the peanut butter cookie with the -
Miranda: The peanut blossoms? They might be my favorite.

Worst cookie ever?

Miranda: Anything with raisins in it.
Jeremy: Especially if it's a dry raisin.




Oreo balls



1 standard-size package Oreo cookies
1 standard-size block of cream cheese, softened
16-ounce package of any kind of candy making chocolate

Crush Oreo cookies into fine crumbs and mix in the cream cheese until no white is showing. The mixture will have a dough-like consistency.

Refrigerate long enough to firm up the dough, at least 30 minutes, so that is it is easier to form into balls. Once firm, roll the dough into bite-size balls.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the batter into the chocolate and allow to cool on waxed paper. Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields between 24 and 36 cookies.

- Courtesy of Miranda Marsh-McDonald and Jeremy McDonald

o Do you know a great cook -- a church member, co-worker, friend or relative? Nominate someone for The Herald-Mail's biweekly In the Kitchen feature. Call Tiffany Arnold at 301-733-5131, ext. 2342, or e-mail her at tiffanya@herald-mail.com.

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