The Art of Giving
Every year, I look forward to opportunities to share time with friends and loved ones, especially over the holidays. And when it comes to gift-giving, I like to focus as much as possible on gifts from the heart that take advantage of my own talents. Stuff like these decadent dark chocolate truffles:
In the middle of the holiday season, not many people want to spend days and days making Christmas cookies and candies. So when I can make several dozen truffles in less than a couple of hours, I consider that a great way to spend my time. And earlier this month when I spent a bit of time asking people about where to find good, non-wool mittens for adults, a dear friend asked if I'd like her to knit a pair for me! Before I knew it, we were plotting to be not-so-secret Santas for one another. I'd get a pair of warm, toasty mittens to help battle our cold winters and I'd send her and her family a chocolate-filled care package for enjoying over the holidays. Yay for homemade gift exchanges!
I've been known to make the base of the truffle filling and split it into smaller batches and give each batch a different flavoring. Mix and match as you'd like and get creative about coating them in ways that will tell people about what flavoring is used inside. A small sliced almond placed on a chocolate-coated amaretto truffle is informative and pretty! I love this recipe and have used it when I've found myself with extra chocolate chips after a big baking spree or want to share a little cheer with those around me. Oh -- and if you pack them in a box to send off to someone, wrap them in plastic so the recipient will be greeted with the aroma of rich chocolate when opening the package. What a great way to make the holidays happy.
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1-2 tablespoons flavoring (consider: vanilla extract, peppermint oil, amaretto, coffee liqueur, etc.)
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until well blended. Stir in the melted chocolate and flavoring of your choice until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before shaping into 1 inch balls. You can opt to roll the truffles in cocoa powder, finely crushed nuts, coconut, colored sprinkles, or chill them for another hour and then dip them in melted chocolate.
- Yields: About 4 dozen truffles
- Preparation Time: About 90 minutes