Chocolate Truffles

picture752

Pure decadence. At risk of sounding cliché, “pure decadence” is really the only way to describe homemade chocolate truffles. This recipe is one of my holiday favorites for several reasons. First, it falls into the category of “super easy but looks complicated” – bringing a plate of these to your next party will make you look like a kitchen rock star with minimal effort. Second, these truffles can be made in advance, a nice bonus during this busy time of year. Third, this recipe can be divided to create an impressive assortment flavors without extra effort. Fourth, chocolate truffles make great gifts… ‘tis the season! What are you waiting for?

picture748Ingredients (makes 60 truffles)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened (not melted)
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 cups chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (or semisweet chocolate chips)
Two flavor additives: I’m using 1 tablespoon of Irish Cream Liquor for half of my truffles, and 1 teaspoon coconut extract for the other half of my truffles.
Two coatings: I’m using cocoa powder for my Irish Cream truffles, and dried coconut shavings for my coconut truffles.
Other ideas: 1 tablespoon of Orange Liquor + cocoa powder coating, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract + hot chocolate powder coating, 1 tablespoon Coffee Liquor + ground hazelnut coating, etc.

Directions
Step 1) Beat cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.
Step 2) Microwave dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate for a few seconds at a time, stirring frequently, until chocolate is just melted. Watch carefully, so chocolate doesn’t burn! Let cool slightly.
picture749Step 3) Add chocolate (melted but not hot) to cream cheese mixture and stir until well combined. Divide mixture in half.
Step 4) Stir Irish Cream liquor into one half of the mixture. Stir coconut extract into the other half of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Step 5) Remove truffle mixtures from refrigerator and roll into bite size balls. Mixture should be a little bit sticky, but if it’s too messy to work with, simply refrigerate (or freeze) for another 30 minutes.
Step 6) Roll Irish Cream truffles in cocoa powder. Roll coconut truffles in coconut shavings. You may need to “press” coconut shavings into the truffles a bit, to help them stick.
That’s all – so easy! Store covered in refrigerator until serving or giving as gifts.

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