My online search began with “recipes without stove or oven.” I self-filtered results that required knives, measuring cups and large amounts of refrigerator space.
For three years, an antiquated microwave and beat-up toaster have comprised my entire kitchen. Oh, and a communal refrigerator.
Living in a sorority house has its setbacks.
Somewhat underwhelmed by my online options, the simplicity of deceptively rich Oreo balls caught my attention. The dish required three ingredients: cream cheese, Oreos and melting chocolate.
1. Finely crush Oreo cookies.
Some might use a food processor to pulse the sandwich cookies into a fine powder. I settled with a Ziploc bag and elbow grease.
Crushing the cookies with my hands served as a wonderful stress reliever but earned glares from the dining room’s other occupants. I retreated to the enclosed kitchen, where I found an abandoned soup can that I transformed into a rolling pin.
2. Mix cookie crumbs and cream cheese until blended.
Staring at a mess that resembled black, oxygen-rich soil, I knew blending in cream cheese without a spatula might pose a problem.
“Use another Ziploc. It’s so much easier that way,” said a junior who wandered in. “I made Oreo Balls in my dorm all the time freshman year.”
Taking the expert’s advice, I poured the cream cheese and crumbs into a bag and squished and squeezed the ingredients together “until blended.”
3. Shape into 1-inch balls. Freeze for 10 minutes.
I rolled the sticky mixture into lop-sided balls between the palms of my hands, aiming for quantity rather than quality; people would appreciate varying sizes.
In lieu of a freezer, I placed the misshapen balls toward the back of the refrigerator and sat vigil for 20 minutes. Field studies reveal hungry sorority women can sniff out chocolate within a mile radius.
4. Dip balls into melted chocolate and place on wax paper.
Finding a glass container large enough to melt my chocolate proved to be less of a challenge than I thought. My sister’s oversized coffee mug fit four squares of white chocolate comfortably, and the handle expedited the dipping process.
Fighting a line of women armed with un-popped popcorn, I nuked the perfectly shaped squares into a gooey liquid and prepared an Oreo ball assembly line.
By the fourth ball, I developed a rhythm: skewer, dip, shake, drop and sprinkle.
Instead of wax paper, I repurposed the Styrofoam plates our banner chair uses as paint palettes.
5. Refrigerate one hour or until firm.
Ready to finish my dish, I dumped the mostly-firm Oreo balls into a plastic container. Taping a note saying I would murder anyone who ate my creations to the lid, I pushed the container behind a milk jug for good measure.
As I looked at the mess of crumbs, sprinkles and stray white chocolate, I decided that the limitation of a microwave and toaster might be for the best.