I always have a little postpartum depression after Christmas. You see, I start gearing up for Christmas right around September 1st, which is the date I think it is acceptable to start listening to Christmas music. If it weren't for Halloween getting in the way of decorating, I'd put up my Christmas tree in October (Halloween better be thankful that it's an awesome holiday). I look forward to Thanksgiving, not for the food, but for the fact that I can finally adorn my apartment with garland, stockings, wreaths, and other Festive Christmas Accoutrement (such as Jack's beloved Christmas village) . As of November 26, my radio is constantly tuned to the nonstop Christmas music station (Thanks 106.7). And, best of all, I get to teach my Jewish boyfriend, Jack, the wonders of Christmas, where decorating can provide such battle wounds as pricked fingers (the pine needles are sharp), frozen fingers from helping me string the lights outside of my parent's house (I've been doing it since I was a teenager), and mild electrocution from testing the lights to figure out why half of the strand is not lit. He also asked, "Who is Noel?" when we were listening to the first Noel.
But then December 26 rolls around and punches me in the stomach with its ice cold fist. The Christmas station goes back to playing soft hits that I never listen to, the tree looks out of place, the stockings sag just a little bit lower, and the people in Jack's Christmas village would walk home if they had their legs about them.
People in other countries have it right. In places like Spain, Italy, and Puerto Rico, they have a secondary holiday that is bigger than Christmas, The Epiphany. Places like England and Trinidad have Boxing Day... whatever that is (honestly, what is it?) We just have stinking New Years, which often just sucks anyway.
So to bring in the last week of this beloved season, I present to you my favorite Christmas treat of all. It is not a cookie. It is not a cake. It is not a glass of eggnog with rum (that is my second favorite treat). It is the wonderful cake ball, brought into bloggers lives by the wonderful Bakerella. They are easy to make (the only time I'll ever used box cake mix and pre-made frosting is for this recipe), and even easier to eat. And eat. And eat. As you bite through the hard white chocolate shell, you find joy from the sharp "pop!" sound that it makes when it gives way to the smooth, creamy red-velvet center. These balls are Christmas. And you can eat them year round.
Red Velvet Cake Balls adapted from Bakerella
Makes 45-50 cake balls
1 box red velvet cake mix
3/4 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate - I used white chocolate melts)
After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
Mix thoroughly with 3/4 can cream cheese frosting.
Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. This will be messy, but they will come together.
Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a fork to dip and roll in chocolate - be careful not to pierce the ball - and then tap off extra.)
Note from Bakerella: I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot.