A homemade gift beats any expensive store bought one any day. Here are recipes for plain truffles, cherry truffles and bourbon balls to make for the special person in your life.
1 bag good-quality dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large jar maraschino cherries OR 2 tbsp coarse sea salt OR 2-3 tbsp of your favorite liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, Chambord, or Frangelico)
Powdered sugar or cocoa powder for coating
1. Melt the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk together in a double boiler, stirring regularly. When smooth, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, unless you are using liqueur –- in that case, omit the vanilla, and stir in the liqueur. Stir in salt, if using.
2. Place the truffle mixture in the refrigerator until firm, approximately two to three hours.
3. Take the mixture out of the fridge, and roll into small balls.
4. If making cherry truffles, flatten some of the truffle mixture in your palm, place a cherry in the center, and wrap the truffle mixture around it to form the ball.
5. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Put back in the fridge until ready to serve.
From "Little Old Lady Recipes: Comfort Food and Kitchen Table Wisdom" by Meg Favreau
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup bourbon
The world is full of excuses; bourbon balls are an excuse to imbibe alcohol while eating sweets. This is a good kind of excuse.
Combine first four ingredients in a bowl and then add honey and bourbon; stir. Form into balls with your hands and roll in powdered sugar. Refrigerate before serving.