The holidays are busy for everyone, so while the idea of spending hours baking Christmas cookies and pies is perhaps a fond one from childhood, the reality of it is that time simply is not on everyone’s side. The following two ideas are ones that can be made ahead of time, partially prepped or made in full for a big event. While sophisticated in appearance, the work behind it all is rather simple.
Simple Chocolate Truffles
- 20 oz semi-sweet chocolate – 8 oz for center and the other 12 oz for coating
- 8 oz cream cheese
- chopped nuts and sprinkles for decorating
- melt 8 oz of the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring consistently until smooth
- beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth
- add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese and blend well until you have a smooth texture
- refrigerate mix for about 30 minutes or until firm
- remove mixture from refrigerator, shape into teaspoon size balls and place on a waxed paper covered baking sheet and place in the freezer to set
- melt the remaining chocolate
- remove truffle balls from the freezer and dip in the melted chocolate, decorating with nuts and sprinkles
- place in freezer again to fully set
- 1 hour prior to serving, remove from the freezer to thaw
Mini-Cupcake Petit Fours
- 1 cake mix (can be made ahead of time, from package or scratch)
- 1 can of frosting, type depends on the cake made (red velvet cake pairs well with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake pairs well with mocha, vanilla cake pairs well with pretty much anything.
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate for melting
- 8 oz white chocolate for melting
- sprinkles for decorating
- crumble cake mix in a bowl into fine pieces, leaving no chunks
- combine with can of frosting to make a fudge-like consistency
- roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed-paper lined baking sheet and place in freezer
- melt semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler, stirring until smooth
- remove cake balls from freezer and spoon the chocolate into paper lined miniature cupcake tins. Place cake balls into the center, pressing down a bit to make the chocolate spread up the sides of the paper.
- place back into freezer to fully set
- melt white chocolate
- remove cake from freezer again and remove from paper cups. Dip the to, exposed portion of the cake into the white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.
- place back into freezer to fully set. Remove from freezer one hour before ready to serve.
Each of the above recipes holds up well in the freezer and can be fully or partially prepped ahead of time. For the petit fours, a vanilla cake or vanilla frosting can be dyed with food coloring to match any theme or occasion. Use sprinkles to match any season. or festivity.