Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's Christmas without a box of chocolates?!

I don't know about you, but Christmas isn't Christmas without a few chocolates sitting around waiting to be pounced on!  But don't buy that box!  Here is the simplest of recipes that will make your family and friends marvel at your MAD skills... even if you don't think you have them!  Merry Christmas EVE EVE!
16 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate or a combination, finely chopped
12/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until it begins to simmer; pour over chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes. Uncover and whisk chocolate mixture until smooth. Mix in vanilla and salt. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and let cool 15 minutes. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until completely set, about 3 hours. (HINT, NEVER use metal bowls or tools when working with candy. It will ruin the consistency.)

With a melon baller, a 1-inch scoop, or a teaspoon, scoop out chocolate mixture and place on parchment paper. Coat hands with cocoa and roll truffles into balls; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. (To store, cover with plastic and refrigerate, up to 2 weeks.) Roll in finely chopped nuts or more cocoa powder, or brush with luster dust just before serving or packing.

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