For the most part, I have trimmed back on my holiday baking every December by quite a bit. Back in the olden days when our boys were younger, I baked a large variety of treats. Now that it’s just Jim and me I usually pick just a couple of our favorites and keep it simple.
One recipe that makes the cut every single year is the one I use to make chocolate truffles. They are easy, delicious, and keep in the refrigerator for weeks if they’re in an airtight container. I gift these truffles to friends and have been complimented like crazy on them as if they’re the greatest thing ever. (It’s pretty close!) I put the recipe on my blog six years ago but I’m certain it’s time to repost it so that you too can be showered in compliments and invited to all the parties. It may be too late for you to make these for Christmas or Hanukkah but guess what? They’re GREAT for Valentine’s Day, too.
Easy Chocolate Truffles (Source: Homemade Candy by the food editors of Farm Journal)
1 1/2 lbs. milk chocolate (I use milk chocolate chips to make this easy!)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dairy half-and-half
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Assorted sugars or jimmies for rolling, or chocolate for dipping
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. When melted, beat until smooth. Meanwhile combine heavy cream and half-and half in a small saucepan; heat to scalding. Remove from heat and let stand until temperature is about 130 degrees.
Add warm cream to melted chocolate all at once. Beat until smooth and well-blended. Remove from heat; add vanilla and let cool. When cool, beat with electric mixer until candy is light and rather fluffy. Let stand in refrigerator until firm.
When firm, roll a teaspoonful of candy into a ball in palms of hands. Roll each ball immediately in sugars/jimmies. Makes about 36-40 truffles. Store in the refrigerator.
Notes: I usually double or triple this recipe. (TRIPLE? YES.) Also, I have rolled these truffles in jimmies, colored sugars, ground-up rock candy (which is basically colored sugar but chunkier than what you buy at the grocery store), ground-up peppermints, dried cherry bits, and probably other things I can’t remember. I have used a small cookie scoop to assist in keeping the truffles more uniform, but sometimes I like the look of them when they’re all so obviously…handmade. When gifting truffles, they look great in clear glass containers (even wine or martini glasses!)
Enjoy (the truffles and the popularity)!!