Chef Shahir has decided to take his love of cookbooks and share them with the world by creating his very own Cookbook Club. He knows we love to bake, so the first installment is Sweet Bake Shop by Tessa Sam, the founder of Vancouver’s boutique bake shop the book is named after. It’s full of beautiful and traditional bakes such as these dreamy desserts, which are absolutely perfect for birthday parties! Shahir loves these cookies and cream confections because they use simple ingredients and are great for baking with kids, and although they’re perfect for just about any occasion, these snacks are particularly party-perfect because they can be made in advance.
Overnight Oreo Party Popcorn and Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Truffle Cups
By Tessa Sam
Overnight Oreo Party Popcorn:
8 cups popped popcorn (from about ½ cup kernels)
20 Oreo cookies
1 cup white chocolate chips
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Truffle Cups:
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
About 6 Oreo cookies
1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup heavy (35%) cream, cold
Pastel sprinkles, for decorating
For Overnight Oreo Party Popcorn:
This easy recipe is perfect for kids and kids-at-heart alike. The best part is that it can be made the day before your party, so all you have to do is pour it into a bowl and serve.
Place the popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. Place the Oreo cookies in a 1-quart resealable plastic bag, seal it and use a rolling pin to roughly crush the cookies. The biggest pieces should be about the size of your thumbnail.
Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval to prevent the chocolate from burning. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool slightly.
Once the chocolate is cool enough to handle, pour it over the popcorn. With your clean hands (or wearing food-safe disposable gloves), toss the popcorn and chocolate together, making sure to coat as much of the popcorn as possible. Sprinkle with the crushed Oreos (keep the bag) and the rainbow sprinkles and continue mixing, being careful not to crush the popcorn. Once the popcorn is well coated, leave it to cool.
Pour the popcorn into the resealable bag you crushed the Oreos in, seal it and allow it to rest at room temperature overnight.
Serve in cute individual cups or in a large party bowl. Best eaten the next day, once all the flavours have melded.
Sweet Tip: You’ll notice while you’re mixing the popcorn that it’s quite sticky—that’s okay. Leaving it to set overnight will take care of that problem, as the popcorn will absorb the moisture and be party-ready.
For Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Truffle Cups:
If pressed to choose between a chocolate or a vanilla dessert, I usually choose vanilla. However, these truffles have been a recent obsession of mine, chocolate and all. The slightly tangy filling balances the sweetness of the chocolate, making this a wonderful treat for those who love something just a little less sweet.
Place eight 3-inch round silicone moulds or paper cupcake liners on a baking sheet.
In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips, stirring often with a rubber spatula to prevent burning. Remove the bowl from the pan. (Set aside the pan—you’ll need it later.)
Spoon a few tablespoons of the chocolate into the moulds and use a small food-only paintbrush to draw the chocolate up the sides, making sure to coat them evenly. Place the moulds in the refrigerator to set, about 15 minutes. Set aside the remaining chocolate.
While the moulds are setting, finely crush the cookies in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin or pulse in a food processor. You should have ½ cup of crumbs.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and cream and whip on medium speed until well blended. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the crushed cookies with the rubber spatula.
Divide the mixture evenly among the chocolate moulds, then return them to the refrigerator until just set, about 1 hour.
Return the pan of water to a simmer, place the bowl of remaining chocolate over it and melt again. Spoon the melted chocolate over the truffles, smoothing the tops with a small offset spatula. Top with sprinkles. Return the truffles to the refrigerator until set, at least 3 hours or overnight. Just before serving, carefully remove the truffles from the moulds. Serve chilled.
Truffle cups will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Excerpted from Sweet Bake Shop. Copyright © 2018 by Tessa Sam. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Servings: Makes 8 cups of popcorn and 8 large truffles
approx. Per Serving