This is embarrassing. My blog has needed some love since my last post in May and I am just getting around to it. Awesome. I guess its a sign of a great summer if I never seem to have enough time to sit down and finish a blog post! I have a bunch of friends who are babysitting over the summer(and alas this post is late as summer is rapidly drawing to a close) and I thought I would blog about my favorite babysitting activity and maybe give them a new thing to do with the kids they watch.
I was babysitting a six-year-old and a two and a half-year old for six hours. I had a brilliant idea to do special things for their parents while they were out, but was completely at a loss on what I could do, without it being super involved and too hard for them. Luckily, my wonderful mother is super crafty and creative, and she suggested making truffles!
She pulled out her handy-dandy, cooking with little ones cookbook, and flipped right to the recipe. It was perfect. It only called for three ingredients and did not require dipping the truffles in chocolate to make a shell. I went to the store, picked up some fun sprinkles to decorate with, changed my clothes into something that could get messy, and drove on over.
Once I got there, they already had mugs to paint for their grandmas and aunts, so we painted those first and they turned out really super cute. I am always amazed at the creativity of little ones, that have no boundaries and confinements of their imagination. They create so freely, and here I am just more than ten years older, struggling to make something I think is beautiful, because I am constantly comparing my masterpiece to those of people far more gifted than I.
There is a painting of mine hanging in our guest bathroom. Accompanying it is a picture that my younger sister painted. She laughs when she sees mine; it truly is a comical sight. We painted them in kindergarten; mine has a yellow sun, green grass, a blue flower with a dark purple stem, and a random red streak on the left side of the stem of the flower, because no one had told me that red lines don’t go in pictures, just cause you wanted to use the color and had no where else to put it, or that flowers don’t have dark purple stems and blue petals. My sister’s painting is more normal. It has green grass, a red tulip with a green stem, a blue sky and a yellow sun. I always took pride in that picture because I thought, “I taught my sister how to paint.” Reflecting on this though, I realize that there is no right or wrong way to create art. That’s why its called art; it doesn’t have to please everyone and not everyone has to understand it, as long as you, the creator, is happy and proud of your work.
Anyway, that was a long tangent. After painting we ate some awesome dinner, and then got out the ingredients for truffles. The two-year old helped me pour the different sprinkles into little bowls, and the six-year-old helped mix the cocoa powder, cream cheese, and sugar together. We set out big sheets of wax paper, in case it got messy and to set the finished truffles on, and then we got started! I rolled the truffles and put them in the sprinkles they chose, and then they picked up the bowl and rolled the ball around in the sprinkles to cover it. On the first ones, they used their hands to roll it around, instead of just holding the bowl and rolling the ball in the bowl, and their hands ended up covered in chocolate. So we switched methods, so that my hands were the only ones thoroughly covered in truffle mix. They had so much fun and the truffles turned out amazing! They were interested and involved the entire time and loved every minute of our baking adventure! I got a lovely text from the girl’s mother after I had left, saying how she was so surprised and how thankful she was. Don’t worry, I had talked to their father beforehand to see if it was okay.
I ended up doubling the recipe because a single batch only makes eight or so truffles and I wanted each girl to be able to make more than four. They ended up making ten each, so maybe I was rolling them smaller than the recipe suggested. Anyway, here is the recipe:
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cream cheese
¼ cup chopped nuts(optional)
1. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder(and nuts if desired) in a mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed.
2. Roll the mixture into marble sized balls in the palms of your hands.
3. Pour sprinkles into a bowl and then roll truffles around in them to coat.
4. Serve in paper candy cups or on a cute decorated plate!
Note: Subsequently, I tried to make sugar cookies with them, and they were interested for the first couple cookies, but lost interest very quickly and then i was scrambling to finish the cookies on my own. So I guess the interest levels vary from day-to-day (duh).