Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chocolate Truffles!

Chocolate Truffles make for a wonderful gift!
If you want to create something that will send your taste buds into their own private party, you must make Truffles! Not only are they pretty easy as far as directions, but this time of year they make for a wonderful gift. It only appears that you devoted hours to making them! The reality is that it's just a few steps, some wait time, and *voila* you have such a delightfully delicious treat!

This recipe will make 12 large truffles or 24 small ones. The ingredients that I used are as follows:

  • 16 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (one small carton)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
  • 4 Heath Bars ground (or use the bag of toffee bits)

Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the cream to it, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Pour the cream mix over the chocolate and shake the bowl gently to settle the cream. Cover with plastic and let it sit until the chocolate melts (about 5 minutes). Whisk the mix until it is smooth and shiny, whisking in the liquor. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minmum of 30 minutes. The longer it's refrigerated, the better it will be to work with.

Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the refrigerator. I used a small cookie scoop that I kept on ice to scoop out chocolate balls and place them on the parchment paper. I put these back in the refrigerator overnight. 

Using a small glass bowl, empty a few of your crushed toffee bits into the small bowl. Chill your hands (I discovered that the frozen butter worked great for this) and roll each drop into a neat ball. Drop it into the small dish with the coating and toss it gently until it is thoroughly coated. Place the finished truffle into a small baking cup. Repeat this process until all are coated and set in place. I keep them in the refrigerator until I am ready to give as a gift. 

As pointed out to me, there are so many FLAVOR variations of this recipe. Pick flavors that are appealing to you. One batch I made, I used Peppermint Schnapps, and rolled them into crushed peppermint. Use your imagination and have fun!

Happy Eating!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cranberry Cheer Cocktail

This is a beautiful cocktail to serve to your guests for the holidays!

First, you need to make cranberry liquor. I used this recipe from Creative Culinary. The liquor requires a minimum of 3 weeks, so plan in advance! I'm told the longer it soaks, the more potent it is!

We created this beverage doing the following:

1-2 Teaspoons of fermented cranberries 
2 oz. Raspberry Vodka
2 oz. Cranberry juice
finish with 7up (or club soda)
twist of lime or orange

It's light, and refreshing - not to mention such a beautiful color! 

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup can be served Chilled, too!
Chilly outside always spells SOUP inside! Having a couple of extra sweet potatoes that needed to be used, I decided on sweet potato soup.

First, quarter your sweet potatoes and put them in water to boil. When they are soft, drain and let them rest. The peelings come right off!

Meanwhile, dice up some onion, carrot and celery (I added garlic to the mix, also) and saute them in about 2T of butter. When this was absorbed, I added 1T of olive oil, a can of chicken broth, and the peeled sweet potatoes to the mix. Season with some dried oregano, thyme, ground cumin and a pinch of fresh nutmeg. Let this simmer down. The recipe called for it to be pureed in a blender, but I prefer some chunky substance, so I simply took my potato masher and smashed it up. Let this all simmer together for about an hour, and then serve. It's truly simple and really yummy (for lack of a more appropriate adjective).  I sprinkled some truffle salt over the finished soup which added a true *wow* factor!

Happy Eating!


4 pounds large sweet potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste