Sunday, October 31, 2004

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Yummy chocolate truffles rolled in peanuts. Very easy and tasty recipe. Messy one though. Even with frequent refrigeration, the chocolate melts in your hands rather quickly. Rubbing a little butter or a dab of olive oil might help. The bittersweet chocolate is more healthy than milk or semisweet (or so I've read) and this particular recipe is meant to be a somewhat healthier version of the usual truffle recipe.

Depending on your tastes, you can use your favorite chocolate. Make a couple batches with different chocolate for variety, and alternate peanuts with any other kind of nut (finely chopped), cocoa, and/or powdered sugar. I like truffle recipes because they (well, some of them) are easy, they look great on cookie trays, and they're always a hit with the chocoholics like me.

You will need:

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, ground

Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling around the edges, about 3 min. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the cream over it. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir (or whisk) until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter.

The next step can be done two different ways:

Spread the chocolate cream in a 9-in pan or pie plate. Refrigerate until hard, at least one hour to overnight. (this way is more difficult to roll for me)

(my alternate method)

Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate an hour or 2 (until hard), or overnight. They might turn into little flat blobs, that's all right. They're easier to roll when they're already smaller when hardened. Using a mini muffin cup pan or clean ice trays would work too. (lined with wax paper if you're patient enough for that)

Just before you're ready to roll, place ground peanuts on a plate or in a pie dish. Line two baking sheets (or your clean table or counter) with wax paper.

If you poured the chocolate into a pan to harden: Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out 30 heaping spoonfuls of the truffle mixture. Place them in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. When all the scoops have been made, lightly roll them between the palms of your hands to give them a nice round shape.

If you refrigerated them using the alternate method, roll each chocolate piece into a ball, and refrigerate again until semi-hard, about a half hour.

If at any point the chocolate gets too warm (either method), making the truffles too difficult to roll, refrigerate the chocolate for 30 min or until it firms up.

Roll the truffles a few at a time, in the ground peanuts. You may need to gently press the peanuts into the truffles to get them to stick. Place a single layer on the 2nd baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving, let the truffles sit at room temperature to soften them slightly. (30 min)

Another goodie that looks great in those little paper baking cups (and given as gifts along with other tasty treats). Easy, and fun, like when you're a kid and were allowed to play with your food. Well, sort of.

For variety, use different kind of chocolate (if you make more than one batch), and alternate peanuts with any other kind of nut (finely chopped), cocoa, and/or powdered sugar.


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