Last December, in an effort to encourage you to treat your loved ones to affordable and delicious handmade items, YumSugar and I featured 12 of our favorite edible gift recipes. Starting today, the series is back and we've got 12 more delectable ideas to share with you!
Chocolate truffles are a tried and true classic holiday dessert. Instead of picking up a box of chocolates from your favorite chocolate shop, why not make your own? Homemade chocolate truffles are surprisingly easy; they are, quite simply, a flavored and chilled ganache.
While the chocolate can be seasoned with anything from citrus peel to orange liqueur, I made chocolate-champagne truffles, bourbon-pecan truffles, and Irish-coffee truffles. Placed in mini muffin liners and packaged in beautiful boxes, truffles are pretty, decadent, and luxurious. To share these sparkly chocolates with your loved ones, get the recipe:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Champagne
1 tablespoon Cognac
Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling
- Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately pour hot cream over the chocolate in a medium bowl; stir until smooth.
- Stir in the Champagne and Cognac. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is firm enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.
- Using a small melon baller or ice-cream scoop, form 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in coarse sanding sugar, and transfer to rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate truffles at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days before serving.
Makes about 3 dozen.
- Desserts, Chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped)
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup finely chopped pecans
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a boil; remove from heat, and add chocolate and bourbon. Let stand 3 minutes; whisk until smooth. Transfer chocolate mixture to a medium bowl, and refrigerate, uncovered, until thick and firm enough to spoon out in mounds, about 2 hours.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Drop level tablespoons of chocolate mixture onto baking sheet. Refrigerate chocolate mounds until firm, 30 minutes.
- Place pecans in a shallow bowl. Using hands, roll each chocolate mound into a ball; roll balls in pecans, pressing lightly to adhere, and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate truffles until set, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
- Desserts, Chocolate
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 pound plus 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark-brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons coffee extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling
- Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; line with plastic wrap, allowing a 2-inch overhang; set aside. Put chocolate and butter into a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat.
- Bring cream, corn syrup, and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Immediately pour over chocolate mixture; whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in yolks, whiskey, coffee extract, and salt. Pour into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, about 4 hours (up to 1 week).
- Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop or a medium melon baller, scoop chocolate into balls, immersing scoop completely, then rotating it; transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Put cocoa powder into a shallow dish. Remove truffles from refrigerator. Roll each ball in your palms until completely smooth, then roll in cocoa powder to coat (if truffles become too soft to roll, return to refrigerator until firm); transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (up to 3 days).
- Desserts, Chocolate