Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

These truffles are the ultimate chocolate-lover treat, and with so many variations you can make a special batch for everyone!

18 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 and 1/2 standard bags)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Coatings:
colored sugar, colored sprinkles, nonpareils, cocoa, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, etc…

Stove-top Instructions:
In medium saucepan, heat chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over low heat. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.

Microwave Instructions:
In 1-quart glass bowl, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 and 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.

Continued Instructions:
Chill mixture in bowl until firm, about 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let sit until you can work with mixture.
Roll dough into small balls (you can determine which size is best). You can place your colored sugar or other coatings in small bowls. Roll the truffle in coating of your choice and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Once all truffles are done, place tray in freezer about 5 minutes until truffles are set. Transfer to freezer-safe container and store in freezer until ready to serve.

I like to mix confectioner’s sugar with a little unsweetened cocoa as one of my truffle coatings. The possibilities for coatings are endless. Try some of these:
chopped toasted almonds
flaked coconut
finely grated orange rind

You can also replace vanilla extract with different extracts or even liqueurs. Try these instead:
3 tablespoons amaretto or other almond-flavored liquor + 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons orange-flavored liquor
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons bourbon

Cream Cheese Mints

Cream Cheese Mints

These are simple and festive for the holidays!

4 ounces (1/2 standard package) Cream Cheese
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 cups powdered sugar

2-3 drops food coloring (whatever color you want)
powdered sugar (less than 1/4 cup)
icing for decorating

Beat cream cheese, margarine, corn syrup, and extract in large mixing bowl until well-blended. Gradually add sugar. Mix well.
If adding color, divide dough and add food coloring until desired shade. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
Coat your hands with powdered sugar. Roll dough into small balls and place on sheet, leaving about an inch between balls.
Dip fork in powdered sugar. Press down on each ball to make a lined print on the mints. Dip fork in sugar frequently to prevent sticking.
Place tray in freezer for a few minutes, until set. Store in freezer-tight container until ready to serve.

Ohio Buckeye Candies

Ohio Buckeye Candies

This is the one and only treat you will ever need to make for fans of that chocolate-peanut butter combo. They are one of my favorite holiday treats, and the recipe is quite simple…But hide your scale, because these small balls are far from healthy!

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 pound peanut butter (slightly less than one standard jar)
1 pound Confectioner’s Sugar
1 package chocolate chips

Cream together margarine and peanut butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until well mixed. Mixture will be slightly crumbly.
Line baking tray with waxed or parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls (1 inch or less in diameter) and place on prepared tray, leaving at least a couple centimeters of space in between each. Once you have placed all the peanut butter balls on the tray, transfer to freezer. This will help set the balls so they do not fall apart in the melted chocolate.
Meanwhile, Melt chocolate chips. Remove tray from freezer. Pick up peanut butter balls one-by-one and dip into the chocolate, placing back down on the tray. When all are dipped, place tray back into the freezer until set.
Remove from freezer and serve OR place in freezer-safe container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

Chocolate M&M Pretzel Treats

Chocolate M&M Pretzel Treats

Now that the semester is over and my finals are completed it’s time to make Christmas cookies!

These are a very simple treat to make and they’re delicious as well.

2 bags of Hershey’s kisses
An equal amount of pretzels (I use regular unsalted) as Hershey kisses
1 large bag of m&ms

Unwrap all of the Hershey kisses and place in a bowl. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spread about 20 pretzels onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place a Hershey kiss on top of each one. Put sheet in oven.
Pour m&ms in small bowl. After about 3 minutes the kisses should be shiny. Take tray out.
QUICKLY place 3 m&ms on each pretzel treat, smooshing the melted kisses down. Once each pretzel has 3, let cool on cookie sheet. When the sheet is no longer hot, place it in the freezer.
Remove sheet from freezer after treats are set, about 5 minutes. Take them off the tray and put in freezer-safe bag to store until serving.
Repeat until all the candies are made!

*VARIATIONS: use Rolos instead of Hershey’s kisses, or try using Snaps instead of regular-shaped pretzels.