The ultimate candy-store confection – truffles – are pretty pricey from the sweet shop. They can cost several dollars apiece! But you can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost. And they’re so easy, you won’t believe it.
Most recipes require just a few ingredients and no temperature-sensitive cooking. Make a batch, roll them indifferent coatings, box them up and you have an exquisite gift for pennies on the dollar. Now that’s a sweet deal.
Here are a couple of recipes for homemade truffles:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate and cream. Cook, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in flavoring. Pour into a small dish and refrigerate until set, but not hard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use to fill candies or form balls and roll in toppings.
Makes about 3 cozen.
Cream Cheese Truffles
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate or about 1 hour. Shape into 1-inch balls.
To flavor truffles with liqueurs or other flavorings, omit vanilla. Divide truffle mixture into thirds. Add 1 tablespoon liqueur (almond, coffee, orange) to each mixture; mix well. Roll truffles in ground walnuts (or any ground nuts), cocoa, coconut, confectioners’ sugar, candy sprinkles, etc. Makes about 5 dozen.
Want chocolate-dipped truffles? Try this:
Take 1-1/2 pounds dark chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. In a microwave, melt candy coating according to package directions; stir until smooth. Dip balls in coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, remelt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator. Coats about 5 dozen truffles.
For more ideas and recipes, just search online for truffle recipes – there’s everything from lavender-scented ones to cookie-dough ones. Or just use your imagination.