We’re in the middle of the first blizzard of the season, and it’s a doozy. Bitterly cold temperatures, really dry snow, and wind gusts of 50 mph do not make for a pleasant combination. Most of the roads are closed. I was going to take a picture of the lovely weather outside our front door, but there’s a huge snow drift in front of it and I can’t get out.
So we’re holed up inside and I couldn’t be happier. I love this kind of weather on weekends when we don’t have to go anywhere – especially when I have holiday baking that I can do!
Now, the first step in acting the part of the holiday baking whiz is to look the part.
Santa apron, check. Ho ho ho chef’s hat, check. No, the hat isn’t personalized. It’s purely coincidence.
I’m going to focus on making some of my favorite candies today and save the cookies for later this week. The first item on the agenda is Scotcheroo truffles. I found the idea for this recipe in an old community cookbook, and it’s been so long that I forget which one it was. So my apologies to the creator; you’re a genius. These truffles are a huge hit in my family because they taste a lot like Scotcheroos, a peanut butter and Rice Krispie bar covered with chocolate frosting. And we’re big fans of Scotcheroos. (The hubby has declared these “the perfect food.”)
The mixture does set up relatively quickly, so you might want an extra hand rolling the truffles, especially if you make a double batch like I did. (I have to make a double batch. There’s a lot of pouting when we run out, and I can’t handle the guilt.) All my extra hands were still asleep, but I did have Charlie.
He cleans up whatever I drop on the floor. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Probably buy a broom.
Coating truffles in chocolate can be tricky, and odds are, your truffles won’t all look perfect. In that case, drizzle them with peanut butter, white chocolate, dark chocolate, butterscotch, or any other kind of melted chips. This is seriously the greatest diversionary tactic since the Trojan Horse.
Clearly this is the work of a professional.
1 c. sugar
½ c. light corn syrup
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 c. Rice Krispies or other toasted rice cereal
1 lb. semisweet chocolate
½ tsp. canola oil
¼ c.melted chips for drizzling, optional
1. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, and mixture starts to come to a boil. (This will be somewhere around 10 minutes; you want the mixture to start to come to a boil, but not a rolling boil.)
2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Stir in Rice Krispies.
3. Roll mixture into 1” balls. Set on a baking sheet liked with wax paper and let cool. (I prefer to chill mine. You can do so in the fridge. Or, if it’s -7 degrees like it is here, the garage is plenty chilly.)
4. Heat chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. (Don’t actually let the water touch the bottom of the bowl; you only want the steam to heat the chocolate.) Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in oil.
5. If you want your truffles shinier and less streaky, dip the bottom of the bowl of chocolate in a sink or bowl of cold water. Then stir chocolate until it begins to thicken. Immediately remove from cold water and place back over pot of simmering water. Stir just long enough to make the chocolate liquid again. This is what’s referred to as tempering your chocolate. It’s optional; no one may notice the difference but me.
6. Remove bowl from heat.
7. Dip truffles in chocolate. I use two spoons to help get rid of the excess chocolate.
Lay on waxed paper to cool and set up.
8. In a small bowl, melt chips. Put into a small resealable bag and cut the edge of one corner. Use as a piping bag to drizzle melted chips over truffles.
9. Let set and place truffles in a sealed container. Use paper liners, if you're feeling fancy schmancy.
Then, of course you have to try one.