Sally’s Baking Addiction: February, 2019 Challenge: Homemade Chocolate Truffles 🍫🍬 πŸ˜‹

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February, Valentine’s Day, the month to celebrate chocolate 🍫❀️!

Sally’s baking challenge this month was to make chocolate truffles. This was incredibly easy! Only two ingredients, good quality chocolate and heavy cream. πŸ˜‹Β She did give us the option to add a tablespoon of butter for a better consistency and vanilla for flavor, both of which I did add πŸ˜‰, but you could do this with only the chocolate and cream.

The first step is to finely chop up the chocolate, using a serrated knife works really well. The finer you chop the chocolate the faster the hot cream will melt it.

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I chose semi sweet chocolate to make sure that the truffles would not be too sweet, but you could use dark or milk chocolate. Sally provides some additional instructions for different cocoa content.

I added the tablespoon of butter and, carefully, heated the heavy cream in the microwave. When the cream was warm (but not boiling!), it was poured over the mixture and let to sit for 5 min.

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I then stirred the mixture until it was smooth and shiny.

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The chocolate has to be completely cooled before you can scoop it out and roll it into balls. This was faster when I poured it into a 9 X 9 pan and placed it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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After it was solid, I scored it into 36 squares, which made smaller truffles than what Sally’s recipe stated.

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I went with 6 toppings: chopped walnuts, unsweetened cocoa power, chocolate sprinkles, Β  colored sprinkles and gold and white sanding sugar.

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One bit of advice that Sally gave was to scoop the chocolate and allow it to dry out for 20 minutes before rolling them into balls. This helped make a sticky job a little easier.

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They were small, but so tasty πŸ˜‹

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The inside was soft, and the toppings provided a nice crunchy element. They were fine at room temperature as well, of course, we still have snow on the ground around hereπŸ˜‚Β so “room temp” may be a tad low!

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This was one of Sally’s fastest recipes! Next time I think I might add a liqueur flavor instead of vanilla. They would be perfect for the holidays 🌟

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Something Delicious and Different for your Easter Table πŸ°

I made these Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs last year. My blog was pretty new at the time, so I am guessing most of you haven’t seen that post. I talked about my grandmother as the Β inspiration for making these decorated eggs. She was rather unique, so if you are interested, take a look at those first couple of paragraphsπŸ’•

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This is barely a recipe, they are that easy! You can find numerous recipes for homemade Reese’s all over the internet. I followed The Recipe Critics formula. Simply combine smooth peanut butter, powdered sugar, Β melted butter and a small amount of milk. Mix on low speed with a paddle attachment, the dough will be crumbly and that is ok!

Pull the dough together on a floured board and roll out to, roughly, 1/2 inch thickness. Use an egg shaped cutter to stamp out the shapes. I didn’t have one, so I made templates out of parchment paper. I traced around the circumference of a large egg and cut out the patterns.

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I then used the templates, and a sharp knife, to make the peanut butter eggs.

The eggs need to be refrigerated for, at least an hour. This will help with the chocolate dipping process. Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of shortening. The shortening will give the eggs a nice shine.

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I used a fork to submerge the eggs into the chocolate. I did have to use a second bag of chips to have enough chocolate coating for 21 eggs.

Honestly, you could stop right here and devour these after the chocolate sets. There is no shame in that πŸ˜‹Β Your family and friends would be thrilled with them, just as they are!

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This is a giant Reese’s Cup!Β 

If you want to go the extra step, this is how I decorated my eggs. I used a royal icing recipe that makes a firm consistency. Some royal icing formulas are soft and have a marshmallow type texture. Delicious, to be sure, but those won’t hold the definition of the piping tips particularly well. You will have softer lines, like the leaves in this picture.

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They are leaves, but without veins. My icing was too warm at this point 😞

I like Antonia74’s recipe for this project. It is still tasty, but with a stronger consistency.

I made a batch, divided it up and started coloring! The icing was bagged up, with a variety of flower tips, and I was ready to go.

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I like to use disposable bags with coupler attachments. I can then change my flower tips to make different colored flowers, lines and flower petals.

It may take a few tries for you to get the look you want. I tend to practice a few times on my cutting board or parchment paper to see how the flowers will look before moving to the eggs. If you do make a mistake, not big deal! Wait for the icing to dry and pop it off the surface of the chocolate!

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This is a better example of leaves with the details I wanted. See the veins in the leaves?

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As I said before, if you don’t have the time for all the decorating, just eat them plain! I want to wish you all a Happy Easter🐰πŸ₯πŸ’•!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Easter eggs

  • Servings: About 20 large eggs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Beautiful, festive and with all the taste of a Reese's peanut butter cup! These Eggs will be the highlight of your Easter Buffet

Credit: The Recipe Critic and invisible-no-more.com

Ingredients

-3 cups Powdered sugar

-1 and 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

-1/4 cup butter, melted

-2 Tablespoons milk

-1 to 2 bags milk chocolate chips

-1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

Β 

Directions

  1. Beat together powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter together. At this point the dough will be crumbly. Add two tablespoons of milk and continue to beat together until the dough softens. If the dough still seems crumbly that is ok.
  2. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to desired thickness. About Β½ thickness. You can use egg cookie cutters or with a knife, shape the dough to look like eggs.
  3. Place eggs on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for an hour.
  4. When you are ready to dip them, add the chocolate and 1 Tbsp shortening in a microwave and melt 30 seconds at a time. Stirring it after every 30 seconds and being careful not to cook the chocolate to burn. Of, melt chocolate and shortening over a double boiler
  5. Dip each egg in chocolate. I used a fork to help cover in the chocolate. Place them on parchment paper to set.
  6. If more chocolate is needed, melt the second bag with the shortening. Enjoy!

Antonia74's Royal Icing recipe

Ingredients

-3/4 cup warm water

-5 Tablespoons meringue powder

-1 teaspoon cream of tartar

-1 kilogram (2.25 pounds) of powdered sugar

Β 

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. Pour in all the powdered sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  4. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
  5. When the icing is just sitting on the counter, be sure to cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel or paper towel, to prevent crusting and drying.
  6. Tint with food coloring* or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

*I prefer gel colors so they will not change the consistency of the icing, and the colors are more intense.

 

Recipe Review: Texas Sheet Cake Bites

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Some things will never change. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs the other day, my son walked in and announced that I needed to supply desserts for his Junior Recital which was the following night. Information that would have been helpful weeks ago when he knew that a reception was to be held after his performance. You parents out there are probably thinking “typical teenage boy behavior”, and I would agree with you. However, this boy is actually a young man of 21 years of age, a professional musician and highly regarded rock climbing instructor in our local community. So why does he still have that “wait to the last minute and have mom fix everything” attitude?! I know why. Because I did fix it, it did work out for him and he played a beautiful concert. It’s my own fault, but it was wonderful to see him perform and I will know better next year when his Senior recital comes around!

About 40 people were expected to attend so I rushed over to my Pinterest boards and began searching for a recipe that would feed a crowd. I came up with two candidates. The first was a for frosting filled sugar cookie cups that would take about 20 minutes to assemble. That would take care of the Β 20 year old starving artists at a performing arts college demographic. For the rest of us I decided to make Texas Sheet Cake Bites, which are mini cupcakes with a fudge frosting, Yum! I had not made these before but had faith that anything chocolate and fudge covered would be delicious. The recipe began with pulling together the flour, sugar, soda and salt into a large bowl.Β IMG_0927

Then the butter, water and cocoa powder were combined in a saucepan and brought to a boil. One thing I should mention here is that I did deviate from the recipe slightly. It is against my religion to have chocolate without coffee in a recipe so I did add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder at this stage.

 

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The mixture was removed from the heat and added to the dry mix.

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Once the chocolate and flour mixture was combined it was time to fold in the buttermilk and eggs.

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I did not want to deal with mini muffin wrappers so I greased and floured two mini cupcake pans and started baking.

The frosting came together faster than the batter. I brought the buttermilk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan, then whisked in the powdered sugar and vanilla off the heat. So fudgey and good! I like the consistency of this icing but I would recommend thinning with a bit of coffee if you wanted to create more of a glaze consistency.

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They were gone by the end of the reception, but the store bought cookies that someone else provided were barely touched. I think that speaks to the quality of this recipe! If you need to feed a crowd and want something they will remember you can’t do wrong with this one! Enjoy!

 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

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When I saw this recipe for homemade Reese’s Peanut butter eggs, I knew I had to try it. Our family, like most others, love these things, and I am a huge fan of The Recipe Critic. I find her recipes to be easy and great tasting. But I got to thinking about those decorated eggs I would get in my Easter basket as a kid.

Like this one from See’s Candies

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My frugal grandmother would always buy these after Easter when they were half price and gave them to my sister and I a year later as our “special treat”. Unfortunately, my memory of them, after 12 long months in grandma’s closet, was that they were not delicious, pretty, but not yummy. I decided to try to make the decorated exterior with the delicious peanut butter chocolate egg combo that we all love.

The peanut butter mixture comes together fast, it is only 4 ingredients: creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, melted butter and a little milk. Β I rolled it out just like you would a sugar cookie dough. I did not have an egg shaped cutter so I traced around a large egg to make a pattern. I actually made two templates, one larger and one a little smaller. The 24 “eggs” were placed onto a cookie sheet and went into the refrigerator. The directions state to freeze for an hour before coating with chocolate but I was going rock climbing for a few hours so I opted for the fridge.

The chocolate mix was milk chocolate chips and shortening.

 

 

The chocolate coating was perfect, great consistency and easily covered the cold peanut butter eggs. I did have some extra chocolate that I did not want to waste so I stole my son’s Oreo cookies that he keeps hidden in his room -he thinks I don’t know about his junk food stash-and dipped a dozen in the chocolate.

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These were delicious! And so were the eggs, they tasted exactly like the Reese’s version!

The next step was to make Antonia74’s Royal Icing Recipe, which I used before when I made Christmas Cookies. I only prepared a half recipe which was plenty for these two dozen eggs.

I colored a portion each green, pink, yellow, blue and left some the original white. I bagged up each color and used a variety of tips for lines, leaves, grass, and flowers. I had pastel candies for decorations. It has been a while since I used my tips so it was fun to get into the decorating!

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You do not need to go this extra step to enjoy the recipe, these things are delicious without the decor! They are easy to make and store-really, everyone will love these!

 

ENJOY!