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Sometimes yummy desserts can come in bite-size morsels. Truffles always are a good choice and are available in so many varieties the possibilities are endless.
Changing the traditional peanutbutter ball, or buckeye, recipe is one option for a truffle.
By replacing peanut butter with Nutella hazelnut spread, you create a chocolate and hazelnut truffle. For a finishing touch, grind some hazelnuts to sprinkle on top of the chocolate.
The buckeye recipe I use only requires butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond bark for the coating. Substituting Nutella creates a very rich taste, but because it’s in such a small form it’s not overpowering.
Nutella is made from roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa and usually is served on bread or pastries. You can find it, and usually a generic grocery store brand, at most stores.
These types of truffles also can be made in any size. Rolling a smaller ball makes a tinnier truffle and yields more from a batch.
Rolling larger truffles gives you fewer from a batch but creates larger treats. Usually, rolling the size of a typical cake ball is a good size.
Another idea is a pretzel and peanut butter truffle. This one is only slightly more complicated. The main problem is the dough is sticky and can be difficult to roll into balls. Adding a more powdered sugar than the recipe calls for might help.
The biggest problem in using a recipe that includes peanut butter occurs when you have dogs in the house. Somehow, no matter where they are, the dogs can hear the peanut butter jar open. It’s like it has a magical allure.
Two curious faces appear in my kitchen anytime a jar of peanut butter is opened. This phenomenon also occurs when the magic refrigerator door is opened. Their stealthy appearance behind the door isn’t always known until you close it to find a dog sitting on the other side, head cocked to the side with his best pitiful face, waiting for a snack from the magic food machine, aka the refrigerator.
To give the peanut butter-pretzel truffle a fancier look, drizzle melted peanut butter chips to make a nice topping. Sprinkling chopped peanuts or pretzel pieces could be an added touch and might be easier than remembering to buy peanut butter chips.
Any kind of truffle makes tasty treats for a shower, reception or family dinner. They also are good to give as a gift, especially as an addition to a basket of goodies.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741.
Chocolate hazelnut truffles
1 ½ cups Nutella (if making the buckeyes uses peanut butter)
1 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box (3 ½ cups) powered sugar
Mix above ingredients together. Roll into 1-inch balls.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Melt almond bark. It's best to melt little bits at a time. Dip balls into chocolate one at a time and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Refrigerate about one hour.
Adapted from Lori Williams’ buckeye recipe.
Peanut butter pretzel truffles
1½ cups whole tiny twist pretzels
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter chips
You can use used almond bark instead of the chocolate chips and shortening.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, set aside.
Place pretzels in a resealable plastic bag and run a rolling pin over the bag crushing the pretzels into small bits; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt until completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Use your fingertips to shape the balls. The mixture is sticky. Place on prepared pan and place in the freezer until firm, at least 15 minutes.
Melt shortening and chocolate chips together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water; stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. If using almond bark, you can melt it in the microwave.
Dip balls in chocolate using a spoon or a dipping fork and place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Keep the un-dipped balls in the freezer until ready to dip. Once you have covered all the balls in chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set.
Once the coating is set, melt the peanut butter chips and drizzle over each truffle. Return to refrigerator until drizzle is set.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.