Happy Purim! From the Strauss Family.

I have fond memories of making homemade chocolate lollipops for my families mishloach manot growing up. I unfortunately also remember being really stressed out by the sight of 50 empty boxes that needed to be filled with snacks and homemade cinnamon buns, then labeling them for all of the family friends that would be receiving them later. Oh man, the trunk of my mom’s car was so crazy while we tried to keep the finished product in order either alphabetically or by order of dropping them off. The whole process was just crazy…I think that’s why I wanted to make my shalach manot a bit less confusing and busy.

I spent weeks trying to decide what I wanted to put in the packages; do I use a theme, should I match them to my kids costumes, should I buy food or go homemade? I even bought everything from plastic packages, candy, etc. but returned it all when I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew what that I wanted to make cake balls. Not much to work with! But while shopping at Jo-Ann Fabrics with my sister, Jessica, this year’s mishloach manot was born! With Jessica’s help, I decided to go with a classic truffle box and just do cake balls and meringue cookies. So simple, so pretty, and so yummy!

So here is my journey to making this years mishloach manot. If you did not receive one, I will just apologize in advance. Either I don’t know you, you don’t live anywhere near me, or I just didn’t make enough. I have some extra cake balls and meringues just lying around so you are welcome to come by if you want. Just call first.

Obviously, I love Duncan Hines! I really don’t think it gets any better than packaged brownies and chocolate cake. So for the cake balls, I had to go with Duncan Hines Butter Golden and Devil’s Food cakes. If you would like the full recipe for my cake “truffle” balls and cake lollipops, click here. Below are the basics.

I baked the cakes and mushed them up when cooled. I then added frosting to each and mixed. To the chocolate cake I added mini chocolate chips and to the yellow cake I added POP mmms, a kosher chocolate chip mini cookie. They added extra flavor to the balls but didn’t stay crunchy. I rolled the cake in to balls and refrigerated them for a while.

Looks good, right?? Well, they are about to get even better!

Once they were in the fridge for a while, I dipped them in melted chocolate using a candy dipping fork that I found at Jo-Ann’s and dipped the chocolate in red sugar and the yellow in cookies and cream sprinkles.

The cake balls were done and ready to go. Before baking the meringues, the other half of this delicious mishloach manot, I wanted to put together the boxes and add the labels so I could fill them with the cake balls and put everything in the fridge. The cake balls don’t have to be refrigerated once finished, but I like the way they taste when they are cold and the chocolate coating is hard.

The boxes were easy to put together. I just put the TV on got to work.

They were put together and labeled in 30 minutes.

Next came the meringues! I have been asked not to post the recipe and I will respect that request. So here are the basic steps that I took to making the minty crunchy treats.

I started by buying candy cane and chocolate mints. I crushed them using a meat mallet so they would be ready for mixing in the fluffy egg whites.

So to keep this section short, I mixed egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and the crushed mints and the meringue batter was born! I spooned the mixture in to a plastic freezer bag and cut off the tip so I could evenly squeeze it on to the parchment paper.

Sorry I can’t give you more details, but I can tell you that they are delicious!

And next came the packaging. With the boxes prepared, all I had to do was place the cake balls and meringue’s in little colorful cups and then inside the prepared boxes. Some pretty Martha Stewart Collection stickers were added to keep them closed.