Today is National Microwave Oven Day. I’m not sure what that means. According to the National Day Calendar, today we are to honor the appliance that changed the way we use our kitchens. Hum, I don’t know about you but mine is on a shelf in the laundry room. Its main purpose is to warm left overs and make popcorn.
What I found so amazing about this day is that microwaves aren’t new. An engineer named Percy Spencer accidentally discovered a revolutionary way to heat foods safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed that a candy bar in his pocket had melted. Intrigued, he next tried popcorn with success. However; a test with an egg resulted in the egg exploding. Although the first microwave oven was sold in 1947 for commercial use, it would be some time before microwaves found their way into the home. That first microwave oven was over 5-feet tall, weighted 750 lbs and cost $5,000.00 at the time. You can see why such a contraption wasn’t embraced by the homemaker.
In 1955 the first patents were issued for home-use ovens, but these were still too large and expensive for general home use. At a cost of over $1,000.00 these ovens were found only in the most prestigious homes. Microwaves didn’t become common until the early 1960s when Japan’s Sharp Corporation began manufacturing smaller ovens in the $500.00 price range. However; it wasn’t until the 1970s that microwaves truly became affordable, as in around $350.00.
Since then, the price has continued to drop while the amenities have greatly improved. Still, in our house it’s a glorified popcorn maker that does a good job of melting chocolates for all those holiday candy applications. Case in point, these delicious Holiday Truffles.
Peppermint Oreo Truffles
8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
16 oz Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2 regular-size candy canes, finely crushed
40 regular Oreo cookies
3/4 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Let cream cheese come to room temperature on the counter, about 30 minutes. While the cream cheese warms, finely chop the chocolate and set aside. With an herb grinder or coffee grinder, crush the candy canes. Set aside until ready to use.
Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the cream cheese and peppermint extract and pulse until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop, scoop the cream cheese mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter.
Place the cookie balls in the freezer until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
When balls are chilled, combine the chopped chocolate and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until just melted and smooth. Do not overheat.
Drop each truffle ball into melted chocolate, coating evenly. Remove with a fork, gently tapping off excess chocolate. Place back on cookie sheet and immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Repeat with the remaining cookie balls.
Refrigerate until set before serving. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.