Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sweet, Simple and Affordable Teacher Gifts

We have a lot of teachers to gift and while we sometimes have a good idea for someone, it's nice to come up with something generic we can give to lots of people. This fits the bill: Hot Chocolate Truffles.  You drop a truffle in a cup of hot milk, stir it up and viola! You have the richest, most lovely cup of hot chocolate.
I found a recipe and then adjusted it to my taste. I saw a recipe for regular truffles that tasted like Mexican Hot Chocolate and borrowed the spices from that recipe to make a batch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles too!  Here is our final recipe:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz good dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped fine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder, crushed candy canes, instant espresso powder powdered sugar, mini marshmallows, sprinkles etc. for rolling
Using a double boiler, combine all ingredients except vanilla. Heat, stirring, until smooth. Right when it looks really terrible and hopeless, it is just about to come together.  If you don't have a double boiler, do what I do and use a bowl instead.  When smooth and shiny, stir in the vanilla and put the bowl in the fridge for at least 1.5 hours to firm up.

When firm, use a 2 tablespoon scoop to place it on wax paper on a sheet pan. Freeze for 1 hour or more.

Remove the balls from the sheet; roll in your hands to smooth, and roll in toppings.  We mix our espresso powder and our cocoa with powdered sugar because these are not overly sweet.  We shape our espresso ones like coffee beans.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Version:
Follow all the directions above but add to the hot mixture:  
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne
We roll these in red sprinkles so you can tell them from the others. (And as you can see, I write on the freezer tray so I remember these are different!)

PS -- When I had them all done, I found this cute presentation with a stir stick included.  May do that the next time!  

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