Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Baking

Remember these dreamy guys...I make them for Christmas every year. Everyone loves these truffles!! They are really easy to make, and you can store them in your refrigerator for about three weeks. Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before you serve them. Everyone will think you are an angel.

Chocolate Dreams
recipe adapted from Nutcracker Sweet by Sharon O'Connor and Martha Rubin

7 ounces Lindt extra creamy milk chocolate, chopped very finely
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup whipping cream
Dutch processed cocoa (I like Penzey's)

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter with the cream; cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Scoop out teaspoonfuls of chocolate and form into balls; roll in cocoa. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you want to be popular with the kiddos make these marshmallows, you'll be their new hero! For something a little different add peppermint extract instead of vanilla. Then top your hot chocolate with these delicious creamy puffs, you won't even need whip cream.

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style.

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions With a sieve generously sprinkle confectioners' sugar in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Add food coloring if desired. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with a oiled rubber spatula. Sprinkle on confectioners' sugar. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store uncovered at room temperature.
Enjoy your holiday baking!!!

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