Minty Truffles For Santa

treatsforsantaIf I had my way, every treat I make would be laced with some type of liquor to make the inevitable drama that comes with families and holidays tolerable.¬† Unfortunately others frown on only having treats out that aren’t kid friendly so I have to make some rated G. ūüė¶

These satisfy the request for no booze (BOO) yet still have a grown up feel.¬† No one says I can’t leave a little nip of something to warm Santa up beside the plate ūüėČ

Peppermint Crunch Truffles

  • 8 oz Evaporated Milk
  • 1 – 11 oz bag Dark Chocolate Chips (60% Cacao)
  • 1 10 oz bag Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Pieces

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the evaporated milk just to a boil then remove from heat.

Separate out 1 cup of the peppermint crunch, chop finely and set aside.

In a large microwave safe glass measuring cup, cook the chocolate chips and peppermint pieces on high for 1 minute.  Remove and stir then slowly stir in the hot evaporated milk until well combined.

Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Remove and allow to stand at room temperature about 5 minutes.

Using a melon baller or small spoon scoop mounds of the mixture, roll between hands to form a ball and roll to coat truffles in either:

  • The reserved chopped peppermint pieces
  • A 1 to 1 mixture of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar & unsweetened cocoa powder or
  • Sweetened coconut flakes

andestrufflesStore in refrigerator in tightly sealed container between layers of waxed paper until ready to serve.  Makes about 45 truffles.

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An “Adults Only” Treat

boozeballsDespite what advertisers and children want us all to believe, Christmas isn’t just about making the kids happy… I¬†believe that those who do¬†all of the shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, cleaning,¬†and prepping deserve to enjoy the holidays too, so I prepare a little something just for adult indulgence ūüėČ

My co-workers, hairdresser, friends and family all wait for me to bring out the “special” plate of treats they know is intended just for them.¬† Their fancy name is Dark Chocolate Whisky Truffles but, to all who have¬†tasted, they are simply referred to as Booze Balls!

Lisa’s Booze Balls

Combine ¬Ĺ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and ¬Ĺ Cup Powdered Sugar in a large Ziplock bag and set aside.

Melt 1 stick of Butter together with 1 bag (10 oz) Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Cacao) over low heat. When smooth remove from heat.

Crush enough Gingersnaps to make 1 Cup of crumbs and add to the melted chocolate and then add 3-4 Tablespoons of whatever Whisky you like ‚Äď I have used Jack Daniels, Oban, Makers Mark, and Maker‚Äôs 46 (my personal favorite) and all were good.

Move the mixture to a bowl (preferably stainless steel), cover with foil and put in the refrigerator to cool for 45 minutes. If you are in a huge hurry ‚Äď put in the freezer for about 25 minutes.

Line the biggest pan that will fit on a freezer shelf with waxed paper (I use a tart pan or 8 x 8 Pyrex)

Scoop out rounded spoonsful of the mixture and roughly ball then put in the lined pan

Freeze for an hour or so then roll the balls in your hands and drop the balls into the Ziplock bag of cocoa powder and powdered sugar mixture.

Shake off the excess and put the coated balls in a covered container and keep in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for the best flavor. Will keep for weeks in the refrigerator if your guests don‚Äôt lick the plate clean ūüėČ

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to:  recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Holiday Baking Hell

christmas-cookies2I coach youth basketball and love to bake for my boys, but unlike years past, everyone seems to have an allergy to one thing or another.  So, out went the email to the parents: please advise who is gluten intolerant, diabetic, lactose intolerant, allergic to eggs, nuts, chocolate or any other ingredient that might be in the treats I am preparing for our last practice before Christmas.

Amazingly not one boy on this team has an allergy so I am free to make some of my favorite treats to share this year!  Hallelujah!

First up:  Chewy Chocolate Toffee Almond Bars

  • 2 Sticks (1 Cup) Butter softened
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Flour (All Purpose Regular or Gluten Free)
  • 1 – 8 oz pkg Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits ‘O Brickle Bits
  • 3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 – of an 11.5 oz¬†bag Milk or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Slice Almonds (divided)
  • 3/4 Cups Sweetened Flaked Coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease sides and bottom of 13x9x2 Pyrex baking dish with butter.
  3. Beat butter & sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually add in flour, beat until well blended.  Press evenly into bottom of greased baking dish.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  5. Combine toffee bits and corn syrup in heavy pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 10-12 minutes or until toffee melts.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup of the almonds and 1/2 cup of the coconut.
  7. Spread toffee mixture to within 1/4 inch of the edges of the crust.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then the remaining almonds and coconut.  Tip: Mix the remaining 1/2 Cup Coconut & Almonds together and Sprinkle on Top
  9. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.
  10. Move pan to wire rack & cut into about 36 bars when completely cool.

finishedtoffeebars

 

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Leftovers Last Stand

As much as I love Thanksgiving and all of the comfort foods and carbs that bring on the need for a long nap and the fat pants, after about 3 days I get tired of the leftovers.

So far we’ve re-worked our Thanksgiving Leftovers into:

  • Day After Turkey Sandwiches filled with stuffing, cranberries, potatoes and gravy on decadent white bread
  • Turkey and Creamed Spinach Omelettes
  • Turkey Soup with leftover crudit√© vegetables, some¬†chopped potato¬†and whatever stock and store bought broth remains
  • White Bean Turkey Chili

greenmeatloafThe last of the Bacon Creamed Spinach, Creamed Corn, Green Bean Casserole and Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes¬†will be serving as very colorful side dishes for tonight’s creation:

Green Meatloaf

In my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, with the dough hook attached, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.

Guy-Fieri-Salsa-Verdeorganicgrbeefhuntspanko

 

I don’t make a packed loaf, instead scooping and mounding the combined ingredients into a large loaf pan, smoothing the top into a loaf shape¬†and then taking a rubber spatula and creating a little trough of space around the edges for the minimal amount of fat that will collect from the very lean beef.¬† I squirt about another 1/4 Cup of the Hunt’s Ketchup on top of the loaf and then slide it, uncovered,¬†into a preheated 350 degree oven.

Cook for about an hour and twenty minutes.  I put a meat thermometer into the center of the loaf to make sure that I have passed the medium point and am nearing medium well.  The loaf continues to cook a bit when it comes out.

Let the loaf set for about 5 minutes to retain the juices inside when slicing.  The meatloaf is juicy, surprisingly light (not dense), flavorful and goes well with just about any side dishes you may have left.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to:  recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. If so, visit my This Girl Loves To Eat community at:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood