After Eat on $30, The Frugal Hostess planned to have a day of decadent eating, topped off by the Sunday Soiree at Running with Tweezers’ pad. Alas, Dear Readers, life got in the way. Football happened. And a garden plot was begun. Incidentally, should The Frugal Hostess be concerned that the palm of her right hand is so sore from digging (that’s right, sore – huh? Yes, from digging. What?) that she can’t make a fist? It’s kind of the height of being out of shape when you can’t use your hands without major post-traumatic digging disorder the next day.
So, while TFH did fix a big batch of the world’s best macaroni and cheese (stay tuned for the patent pending recipe in another post) and gobble up a couple of chicken wings, the candy-making wasn’t finished until today. But it was totally worth the wait. And handy, since the candy can now count for Make It Yourself Monday. Ladies and Gentleman (men? Dad, are you still reading?), The Frugal Hostess gives you…..
(a recipe completely absent ranting and raving about food politics)
Ingredients (basic truffle)
12 oz.bag of semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips (Ghiaradelli, if you’re askin’.)
One can of sweetened condensed milk
Splash of vanilla
1. Melt the chips in a double boiler or bowl set over a pot of boiling water.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk. It’s OK if you accidentally eat some.
4. Stir in the splash of vanilla (like a tablespoon or so).
5. Put the bowl in the refrigerator to cool and harden. This takes about four hours, so TFH usually leaves it over night and does the rest the next day.
6. Once cool and firm, use the small side of your melon baller to scoop out little scoops of chocolate. They will not look cute, so you will have to roll them around in your hands to make beautiful shiny spheres.
7. Oops, you should have already lined a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with wax paper. Do that, then get back to handling your balls. What?
OK, now’s where the candy-making gets fun. There are a ton of variations that will make your truffles extra fancy.
Stir-ins: Before you start to roll the chocolates, mix in a small jar of maraschino cherries, finely chopped. This tastes so good, just like chocolate-covered cherries but without being a huge pain to make. You could also mix in candied citrus peel, nuts, dried fruits, unmelted chocolate pieces, or toffee.
Liquors: Instead of, or in addition to, the vanilla, try a flavored liquor like Chambord or Frangelica. Yum.
Coatings: The easiest version of this truffle is to make the balls and roll them in unsweetened cocoa. This makes a nice contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate and looks pretty. Just sprinkle cocoa on a dinner plate and roll the little suckers around. Powdered sugar would work the same way. You could also do it with crushed nuts.
But, if you want extra credit, do this (which FruHo found on The Pioneer Woman): refrigerate your dark chocolate balls until they are nice and cold. Melt a half a bag of milk chocolate chips. Coat the dark chocolate in milk chocolate, then sprinkle on a touch of sea salt. So good, The Frugal Hostess promises – she had one tonight. Look at the (horrific) picture. A sprinkle of crushed pistachios would look really pretty, too.
The best way to serve or give these is to put them in those little mini-muffin cups inside a box or on a tray. Or, you can just stand at the refrigerator door and pop them into your mouth.
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