Truffle Shuffle (Oldie but goodie + new stuff too!)
In late 2010 I went on an ambitious mission to concoct the world’s most perfect truffles. I perused the foodie websites, the vegan blogs, the calorie guidelines, and the lady magazines for ideas on how to make the little desserts look and taste as awesome as possible. The bar was set high because I wanted to hand out the truffles as gifts (you know, IN THIS ECONOMY), and there was no way in hell that I would allow my Type-A perfectionist ass to present anyone with a box containing wads of half-melted, lopsided chocolate goop. These bad boys needed to be pristine.
My first attempt involved using a basic caramel filling/chocolate shell formula. I used heavy cream, vanilla extract and white sugar to create the caramel, then set the mixture aside to cool, and then made the chocolate sauce out of melted dark chocolate chips, confectioner’s sugar and some other stuff. Once the caramel goop cooled, I scooped it out and rolled it into balls, dipped the balls in the sauce mixture, and then rolled the balls in crushed nuts, Dutch cocoa powder or sprinkles for a festive topping. Unfortunately my first attempt was less than successful: I had used entirely too much heavy cream for the caramel mixture, and the balls deflated into buttons, then melted into large (but relatively uniform!) blobs.
(so they looked fine at first…)
(the nut and cocoa truffles were the first to deflate)
(and then the sprinkles fell victim to weak covalent bonds)
At the time, I was still really proud of myself for making something truffle-like: my usual dessert fare includes puff pastries, cakes, and pies (more on my cakepie love affair in a later post, I promise!). Up to this point, I had never made anything from the candy realm, so I had to give myself a pat on the back for trying. But I knew I could do better.
I consulted with my cousin-in-law, who could give Martha Stewart a serious run for her money in the Domestic Dame department, about how I could amend my truffle recipe in order to elicit more spheric and uniform results. She suggested her patented Oreo cookie truffle approach. Though similar recipes are apparently quite popular in the blogosphere, hers is way better because it cuts out a ton of extraneous steps and calls for the use of Neufchâtel instead of cream cheese or heavy cream (or a stick of butter, Y’all!, if you’re Paula Deen). While I lack the fine-tuned decorative skills (and equipment) of my very talented friend, I took her advice on the delicious Oreo filling, and then dipped the chocolatey balls into the toppings I had from my first Truffle Shuffle. These balls looked good:
After chilling these for an hour, dipping them in the chocolate sauce and topping them with all the confectionary goodies as I did in my first attempt, the truffles came out looking pretty fabulous. I boxed them up and handed them out as presents, to many accolades and recipe requests.
The recipe is quite simple to follow, and there are many fabulous variations of it!
1. One package of regular Oreos
2. One package of Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
3. One package of Semisweet chocolate chips
4. Sprinkles, crushed nuts, cocoa powder, and other toppings of choice
1. Crush up the package of Oreos, then throw into the food processor to to create a uniform mess.
2. Add in the cheese: it might be easier to do this in a big bowl, but if you have a big and strong food processor or a standup mixer, that will work too.
3. Make balls out of the mix, about an inch in diameter. Place on parchment paper and let sit in the fridge for about an hour.
4. To make the chocolate glaze, melt the chips (take the slow route with a double boiler or the lazy route in the microwave), stirring until the mixture is uniform
5. Dip the balls in the chocolate (I recommend using a big draining spoon), then set on parchment paper and decorate.
Substitute the regular Oreos for mint Oreos and substitute the chocolate chips for mint chips or dip in regular chocolate mixture and drizzle with melted mint sauce on top!
Butterscotch Blondie Variation!
Substitute the regular Oreos for blondie Oreos and make a butterscotch sauce to drizzle on top of the truffle by melting butterscotch chips in the same manner as above.
And for some new finds…
Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you about my ambivalence toward sweets (except Peeps and gummy things). I am really not that big of a dessert fan, but since my reignited love affair with Starbucks (I’m loving their black caramel coffee on ice, and their shaken iced green tea), I am constantly seeing these lucrative “bakery petites.” From the Starbucks across the street from my office to the Starbucks at school, my line of vision is regularly taunted with the little gems in all their joyous flavors:
(“Birthday” Cake Pop, left, and “Tiramisu” Cake Pop, right)
(“Rocky Road” Cake Pop, left, and “Red Velvet” Whoopie Pie, right)
Anyone try these out yet? Are the petites worth the 170+ calories per bite? I’m totally going to try to make a low calorie, possibly vegan version of my own. Will report back! I’ve also been interested in trying out Giada’s recipe for Truffle Pops, though I know from personal experience that the ganache can be a little sketchy to make.
Next on my to-try list: this amazing cookie dough truffle recipe on Willow Bird Baking!