Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and one of the most special gifts you can give is homemade! These brownie truffles are extremely easy and super fun to decorate. Create a beautiful variety, uniquely decorated with just a handful of supplies.
The easy part is using a box of brownie mix baked following the instructions on the box. The brownies filled a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Once removed from the oven, slightly cool, then crumble into a bowl to cool completely. Create uniform 1 inch balls (easiest using a cookie scoop) and place in an air-tight container until ready to decorate.
Dip each brownie ball into melting chocolates:
There are a few different ways to melt chocolate, but I prefer the double boiler method. Boil 1 inch of water in a large sauce pan, placing a larger heat proof bowl on top of the saucepan. This technique prevents the chocolate from scorching. Once the water is simmering, place the chocolates in the bowl on top and stir until melted. Note to add 1 teaspoon of Crisco to create a smooth finish. Roll each brownie ball in the chocolate removing with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or foil. A few truffles were decorated with sprinkles or sanding sugars immediately.
I started with a 1/2 cup of white chocolate melting wafers to decorate a quarter of brownie balls. Then added milk chocolate wafers to the same bowl and mixed with the remaining white chocolate.
Any leftover chocolate? Don’t toss it…pipe mini chocolate hearts onto wax paper and let them cool completely. They will easily peel off to use as decorations.
The undecorated chocolate covered balls were enhanced with glaze. Starting with plain white glaze – 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon of corn syrup and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Mix until a thick, smooth consistency. Pipe a few, drizzle a few, add a drop of red food coloring to create pink…have fun!
Once the decorations have set, the truffles should be place in an air-tight container. Each truffle could be placed in mini cupcake liner to separate. Give a beautiful gift showing off your little works of art using a pretty container! This red tin with a clear see-thru lid is perfect!
Sweet StackersTM is a versatile system used to store and transport layers of baked goods in any container! The product was designed to maximize food storage space preventing cookies and desserts from sticking together and protecting the topping, decorations or icing. Visit sweetstackers.com for more information about our product. Sweet Stackers can be found on our Etsy shop.
The spring fairies must be visiting my garden! The flowers are blooming and my daughter has been busy building fairy houses in our yard. She just turned 7 and to celebrate, I wanted to make a fairy house cake for her party.
A few years ago, I bought a beautiful story book called Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane. It was about a little girl who went into the forest on an east coast island to build fairy houses made only out of natural things. My daughter enjoys the idea so, that we still go on walks to collect sticks, bark, rocks and even seashells on vacation. You may not collect anything living. She then builds these cute little homes for the fairies, tucked into hidden places in our gardens. I thought it would be very fitting if she had a fairy house cake for her birthday!
The idea was to make the cake look like a tree stump fairy house. It had 4 layers of chocolate cake, two 9″ layers of dark chocolate boxed cake mix and two 9″ layers of german chocolate cake mix. The layers were alternated light and dark to add interest when you cut into it.
The chocolate ganache frosting was very simple to make. I was inspired by a recipe from Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman).
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 24 ounces bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Heat the heavy cream until very hot (not boiling) and add the chocolate chips. Stir over heat until completely melted. The mixture will turn smooth deep chocolate color. Remove from heat and pour into an electric mixer bowl. Refrigerate until completely cooled, but do not let harden. After 2 hours, the bottom of the bowl was just slightly warm to the touch. I added the vanilla and started to beat the chocolate using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
The chocolate ganache frosting filled between each 9″ chocolate cake layer and the sides of the cake. I covered the sides of the cake and then stroked from the bottom up to create the look of bark. The door and windows were a graham cracker, cut with a knife to shape. They were trimmed with a tube of orange decorative cake icing. The vines were piped using a tube of green decorative cake icing. The edible sugar flowers were packaged by Wilton.
To vary the color of the top of the cake, I made a box of butterscotch pudding and spread this over the top of the cake to look like the inner part of a tree. The fairy figurine that adorned the top of the cake was purchased at a local craft store. A piece of wax paper was placed down underneath to separate her from the cake. The fairy figure will make a neat keepsake on my daughter’s bedroom shelf after her party. The springy butterfly party plates napkins matched perfectly!
Happy Birthday! Stop growing so fast!!
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. So instead buying a box of chocolates, why not surprise the special people in your life with homemade chocolate truffles?
Truffles or homemade chocolates sound like it would be intimidating or difficult to make. They are actually very easy, quick and only require a handful of ingredients. This recipe used semi-sweet chocolate chips, cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar. They can easily be rolled into balls or shaped using a small cookie cutter. Truffle balls can be rolled in sprinkles, cocoa, chopped nuts or shredded coconut. Using a 1 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, the chocolate truffle mixture could easily be pressed into a heart shape. Decorative sprinkles can be placed on top, pressing down lightly and the chocolate heart can easily be removed from the molded shape.
These chocolate truffles should be stored in the refrigerator to set and later stored in an air-tight container. Instead of fighting with curly parchment paper or trying to squeeze large cookie sheets in your refrigerator, homemade chocolates can be placed on reusable plastic trays made to fit an air-tight container you already own. Sweet Stackers can separate and layer the chocolates in multiple layers in one container. They create a working surface that can be easily lifted and placed in your container. One step, without transferring from parchment lined cookie sheets to a container. Plus this helps prevent them from sticking, melting together or messing the decorations.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
In a small mixing bowl cream softened cream cheese using an electric mixer. Reduce mixer speed and gradually add confectioners sugar. In the meanwhile, melt chocolate chips using a microwave or a double boiler (a heat proof bowl placed over simmering water). Add melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. The mixture will be stiff and easy to work with.
Scoop the chocolate using a melon baller or small ice-cream scoop to ensure uniform size. Shape the chocolate into balls and immediately roll in sprinkles, cocoa, chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
Truffle mixture can also be molded into shapes using a mini cookie cutter, coating in sprinkles.
Chocolate truffles should be refrigerated.
Have to admit that I am a little “cookied out” after Christmas. For New Years, I thought I try a guilt free dessert that would be fun and festive. Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit – chocolate covered blackberry pops, fresh mandarin oranges dipped in chocolate and chocolate berry cups. They will transport easy to a party using Sweet Stackers!
Using a double boiler, add half a bag of chocolate chips and one teaspoon of shortening (to make the chocolate smooth and silky). Stir until melted. Place blackberries on a pop stick and dip into the melted chocolate. Add festive sprinkles immediately and stand to let cool. Dip the mandarin oranges and place on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, then top with sprinkles. For the berry cups, I added a teaspoon of chocolate into mini paper cupcake liners and place three raspberries and blueberries on top. The berries will set into the chocolate.
Refrigerate. Sweet Stackers will divide your chocolate confections without them smudging, sticking or melting together.
Don’t forget, there are two days left to get Free Shipping on Etsy Orders Over $20! Enter coupon code FREESHIP20. Visit my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetStackers
Ready to transport to a New Years Eve Party! Once you arrive to the party, the chocolate covered fruit pops will display pretty in a few champagne flutes.
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Years from my PartyKitchen!
Salty, check! Sweet, check! Salty & Sweet, check, check! Next week, I am hosting a cookie exchange party for some of my friends and neighbors. One batch of cookies is made and ready to go, then I saw this recipe on my favorite new blog called “If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen“. Wouldn’t a batch of turtle candies be perfect as a sweet addition to a cookie swap table?
Turtle candies are easy to make and only require a few ingredients – pecans, chocolate, caramel and a sprinkle of salt!
Dark Chocolate Turtle Candies
3 ounces pecan halves
1 – 11 ounce bag of individually wrapped caramels
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup chocolate chips; milk/dark
1 tablespoon shortening
coarse sea salt
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place 2 pecan halves next to each other, repeat 30 times.
Melt caramel and milk in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. Scoop a teaspoonful of caramel over each set of pecans. Let cool.
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate (add shortening to make a smooth finish). Place a teaspoonful of melted chocolate on the other cookie sheet. Add the caramel covered pecan on top of the chocolate. Repeat for the remaining pecans. Drizzle chocolate over and sprinkle a small amount of coarse salt on top.
Refrigerate to let the chocolate set. I used the little Sweet Stackers risers to stack the two cookies sheets together. This condensed the amount of space in my refrigerator.
Once the chocolate sets, place in an airtight container.
Ready for the cookie exchange!