Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Gift Idea – Artisan Holiday Chocolate Truffles

Oh my! This week I decided to go decadent. I have not one, but two versions of yummy chocolate truffles for you.

It never takes arm-twisting to convince me to make something chocolate, and these are here just in time to make them for a hostess gift for a holiday party, or to serve on Christmas Eve, or alongside dessert on Christmas Day. And did you know that Santa really appreciates chocolate truffles after all those cookies? He (or ahem – she) might even prefer them!

Chocolate Truffles, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, easy to make and perfect to share!

The basic ingredients for these truffles is the same:

¼ cup coconut cream (I use So Delicious creamer – the one in the small carton that’s intended to be added to coffee)
1 ½ tbsp Earth Balance Natural Shortening (or shortening of choice)
1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips is my choice)
½ tsp vanilla extract

What makes them special is what you add:

For Holiday Sprinkle Truffles you will need some festive sprinkles. Be sure to check the label for possible allergens.

For Peppermint Truffles you will need some crushed peppermint candy (either buy it crushed or crush a candy cane) and some unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Again, check the labels.

Here’s a trick – if you’re making more than one batch, make them together and separate the chocolate when you’re ready to add the special ingredients.

Half of the fun in making truffles is getting your hands dirty, and it’s a great activity to do with the kids (just make sure they wear something easily washable).

Step 1
: Melt the shortening and creamer together over medium heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir frequently, just bringing it to a boil. Add in the chocolate chips and vanilla and whisk to a smooth glossy consistency.

Step 2: Refrigerate for an hour to an hour and a half, until the mixture is hardened, but pliable. Soften it for 30 seconds in a blender, if needed.

I’m always afraid that this isn’t going to work, that the mixture won’t harden, and I am amazed when it works every time!

Step 3
: If you need to add in ingredients, add them now. For the Peppermint Truffles, this is where you add in the peppermint bits (1/4 cup for the full recipe). For the Holiday Sprinkle Truffles, there is nothing to add here.

Step 4
: Roll the truffles with your hands. Use cool dry hands. You can make the truffles as big or as small as you want. Scoop them out first, then roll. Use just your palms with very light pressure. Place the balls on a sheet of parchment.

Step 5
: Decorate!

For the Holiday Sprinkle Truffles: Place the spinkles in a shallow dish. Roll the truffles in the sprinkles to coat the exterior. You may need to gently press the sprinkles into the truffles to get them to stick.

For the Peppermint Truffles: The peppermint bits are already inside. Place ¼ cup of cocoa in a shallow dish, and roll the truffles in the cocoa to coat.

Making Chocolate Truffles, the perfect artisan gift for the holidays!

While the Sprinkle Truffles look pretty, I have a definite preference for the peppermint truffles:

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