Nourishing Sweets & Treats: Truffles & Shortbread!

This week, Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a Nourishing Sweets & Treats Carnival! What a great way to find some delicious new recipes!  

My favorite Christmas-time treat to make is homemade truffles!  I start out with a Basic Truffle recipe, and then make a plate of assorted truffles.  I like to separate the batch (into halves or thirds), to make a selection of flavors; often rolling the truffles in chopped nuts, coconut, or cocoa.  
I have also made them with semi-sweet chocolate, in place of bittersweet chocolate, on occasion.  I recommend purchasing a good-quality, fair-trade chocolate for this recipe!  The original recipe is found here, but I have added my notes into this recipe: 
Chocolate Nut Truffles

12 ounces Bittersweet or Semi-Sweet Organic Chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Natural Vanilla or Almond Extract 

1/2 cup of chopped Nuts (for rolling); Almonds or Hazelnuts work well

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate and cream. Cook, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in flavoring. Pour into a small dish and refrigerate until set, but not hard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and roll each spoonful into a round truffle.  Then roll the truffle in the chopped nuts.  (Place the chopped nuts in a small bowl, first, for ease of use.)  If the chocolate starts to get too soft while you are preparing the truffles, return it the the refrigerator again before continuing.  

Another pleasant winter treat is a piece of shortbread, with a cup of tea.  I experimented to come up with a gluten-free version, and ended up with a slightly crumbly version reminiscent of a Scottish Oat Shortbread!  (If you don’t want to make these gluten-free, or prefer a different flour; feel free to substitute a flour of your choice!) 
Cranberry Almond Shortbread

1/2 cup Butter, softened to room temp
1 1/4 cups Almond Meal 
3 Tbl. Honey
1 cup Bob’s All-Purpose Blend Flour (a mix of bean, sorghum, & tapioca flours)
1/4 cup Teff Flour
1 tsp Natural Vanilla
1/4 tsp Natural Almond Extract
1/4 tsp Natural Lemon Extract
1/4 cup dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 300*F.  In a mixer, blend the butter, honey, and almond meal together until well creamed.  Mix in the remaining flours and extracts until a stiff dough is formed.  Stir in the dried cranberries.  Spread the dough into a shortbread or shallow pie plate.  Deeply score wedges into the dough, and deeply prick each wedge a few times with a fork.  Bake for 30-35 min.  Cool on a rack in the pan (remember, it is crumbly when warm!).  Serve with a hot beverage.  
Visit Tammy’s Recipes for more Kitchen Tip Tuesday ideas!
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