Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Holiday Truffles

Whether they're a co-worker, your child's favorite teacher, a neighbor across the street or your go-to dry cleaner, everyone deserves a little a holiday cheer and what says cheer better than homemade truffles??

Sunday afternoon I spent the day with my mother making chocolates for Christmas gifts. 

We talked about friends and family and gossiped over the latest Real Housewives, all the while filling candy molds with melting chocolates and whipping up different varieties of fillings.

It's afternoons like this that I'm extremely thankful to be so close to home, especially around the holidays. 

Not only are these truffles extremely easy to make, they're absolutely delicious and make for a perfect gift.

All you need are some flavor boosters including liquors, wine, peanut butter and different flavored chips...

melting chocolates, whole bunch of chocolate chips, heavy cream, a paint brush, some candy melt bottles and candy molds (all bought at your local Michaels).

I wish I would have taken some pictures of the process, but I left my camera on the counter as I rushed out of our house on my way to my moms so all the photos are from my iphone. It's pretty easy though and hopefully this tutorial will do the trick!

First thing you have to do is make your fillings... I started with a basic ganache and then added the flavor boosters. Make sure you add your flavors at the end of the process or your ganache will separate and it will not be pretty or tasty for that matter.

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 TBS butter

Flavor boosters
1/4 cup liquor 
1/2 cup sweet red wine
2 heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter

In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of water till boiling- you'll be using this for a double boiler.
Place chocolate chips in a large, heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat until just simmering. *You don't want your cream to boil so make sure you keep stirring and really watch it.
Pour heavy cream over chocolate chips and mix gently so cream starts to melt the chocolate.
Move bowl on top of boiling water and stir until chips are completely melted and mixture is smooth.
Stir in butter and mix until mixture is smooth and butter is completely melted.
Slowly add in flavor booster- stirring until combined. (If you just wanted chocolate truffles, you don't have to add a flavor booster)
Place bowl in fridge and allow to set for at least 15 minutes before using.

Meanwhile, start to prepare candy molds.
In a small bowl, melt half bag of dark chocolate candy melts in microwave as directed on back of bag.
Using the paintbrush, coat the inside of the mold with layer of melted candy melts. *Make sure there are no holes and that when you look at the filled molds from the bottom you can't see through the chocolate.
Place coated molds in the freezer to set. Repeat with remaining molds.
Candy melts cool very fast so you have to act quickly- if your melts start to re-harden just pop them back in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Transfer cooled ganache to candy melt bottle.
Add remaining candy melts to other bottle and heat in microwave just as you did the first batch.
Knead bottle once completely heated to ensure smoothness.
Remove mold from freezer and squeeze ganache into each mold, leaving enough space at the top to cover with a layer of melted candy melts. Knock on counter a few times to eliminate air bubbles.
Using other bottle, squeeze layer of candy melts over ganache, covering completely- knock on counter a few times to smooth layer.
Once all molds are filled and covered, pop back in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes.
Carefully flip candies out onto a kitchen towel.

Repeat process as many times as necessary.

My mom and I made 4 different kinds of chocolates- Irish Cream, peanut butter-chocolate, red wine and mint (we used Andes flavored chocolate chips in place of the semi-sweet). It took us all afternoon, but it was well worth it!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Mint Truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

What are you making for gifts this year??

Happy Baking!