If you’re like me, you’re looking at the calendar and going, what happened? It’s December 9th already? Wha???? Anyway, my Christmas prep is abbreviated this year. Just the string of lights on the eves outside, plus the little wooden Christmas sign in the flowerpot near the sidewalk. Inside, we have the tree up, an angel on top, and pretty much nothing else. Very minimalist. I did make my traditional truffles. I think I’m going to make a batch of cookies. I send these to my brother, my daughter and her ex. I have mailed out my Christmas cards, but again, it’s an abbreviated list.
As a Christmas gift, I’ll give you the recipe for the truffles. I got this recipe from the Martha Stewart Living magazine years ago and I’ve loved it from the beginning. Use the best chocolate you can for the best treats. I use a teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop the interior as I don’t have a miniature scoop. A cookie dough scoop is too big, you only want about half of that. I always double this recipe as I like to give them to friends, family, and even the mail person, garbage truck driver, and my newspaper delivery person. Enjoy.
From Martha Stewart Living
Makes about 4 dozen.
Martha’s note: Using a 2 ¼ inch ice-cream scoop is the easiest way to form truffles, but two spoons will also work.
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 pound finely chopped semisweet chocolate, plus 12 ounces for dipping
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted.
- In small saucepan, bring cream, butter, and corn syrup to a full boil over medium heat. Turn off heat. Add 1 pound chocolate; gently swirl pan to cover chocolate with cream, but do not stir. Let stand, undisturbed, 5 minutes.
- Slowly whisk until combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; refrigerate, stiffing every 15 minutes. (This really is an important step!)
- After 45 minutes, mixture will thicken quickly, so stir every 3 to 5 minutes until thick enough to scoop, 10 to 20 minutes more. (This step could take longer but is also important. The whisking and stirring make the truffle centers delightfully smooth and melt in your mouth.) Using two spoons or a small ice-cream scoop, form into 1-inch balls; transfer to a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. (I do scoop, but then roll the ball of ganache in my hands to make a smoother ball. It’s up to you but warning, my method is extremely messy.)
- 4. Chill until firm, but not hard, about 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator; roll in palms to form a ball, (skip if you’ve already rolled them) and press gently with fingers to create irregular shapes. Chill until ready to dip, up to 1 week. Place remaining 12 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; still occasionally until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.
- Place cocoa in a small bowl. Remove centers from refrigerator. Using one hand, dip one center into melted chocolate, then roll around in your hand to coat evenly, letting excess drip back into the pan. Place truffle in cocoa. With your clean hand, cover truffle with cocoa. Let sit in bowl 20 seconds. (Note: I drop the cold centers in the melted chocolate one at a time then pick them out with a fork. I use a second fork to tap excess chocolate from the covered center, then place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. I skip the cocoa powder step all together. No one has ever complained. The cocoa is supposed to make the candy truffle look like a real truffle, but again, no one in my circle cares about that.)
- Lift out, set on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat, one at a time, with remaining truffles. If your kitchen is warm, refrigerate 5 minutes to set. You can store truffles in an airtight container up to 1 week at cool room temperature. (I store mine in the refrigerator. They can last longer that way, if no one is sneaking into the container and taking the truffles. To serve, bring back up to room temp for the best chocolate flavor.)
If you have leftover melted chocolate, dump some dried fruit (cranberry, raisin, apricot,) and nuts, (walnut, sliced almond) or even crushed peppermint candy canes, whatever you have, into the melted chocolate, stir to coat, and pour out onto wax paper. When cooled and hardened, you now have a wonderful, home-made chocolate bark.
The Christmas giveaway is now open! For my giveaway I’m featuring an ebook copy of Slave Elf and a $10 Amazon gift card. There are 21 other great prizes available and a $72 Grand Prize in PayPal cash. I hope you can stop in and try for a prize here.
Where will I Be?:
Saturday I’m at the Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.
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My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.
Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.
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