White chocolate chai truffles are a great last minute gift and they are surprisingly easy to make.
Christmas is one week away. I’ve mailed all my Christmas gifts and will send my cards on Monday. Now’s the crunch time for small gifts for friends and neighbors. The last couple of weeks were so busy I also still need to wrap the presents for my kids.
White chocolate chai truffles are an easy gift to make. They’re just cream and chocolate with some flavoring. You can make them without the chocolate coating. Just roll them in powdered sugar or nuts. And, best of all, everyone LOVES them.
I just took another cooking class at Sur La Table. This one was chocolate candies. I picked up some tips which I hope to share with you in my upcoming recipes. One is that truffles are supposed to be small enough to be eaten in one bite. This makes a truffle recipe go much farther. Another is to add hot cream to the unmelted chocolate and let it sit before stirring. This gives them a chance to emulsify. You also want to use the best possible chocolate for the filling. Chocolate chips have vegetable oils that can separate. Higher quality chocolates use cocoa butter which gives a creamier consistency and doesn’t separate.
If you’re still looking for gifts for your cooking friends (or yourself), these some recently published cookbooks by some of my favorite bloggers. Amazon can still get them there before Christmas.
First, there’s Julianne Bayer’s No-Bake Treats: Incredible Unbaked Cheesecakes, Icebox Cakes, Pies and More. Julianne is the queen of no-bake cheesecakes. These recipes are perfect for summer or anytime you want something without turning your oven on.
Since I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to cake decorating, Lindsay Conchar’s Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes: Extraordinary Recipes and Easy Decorating Techniques is also on my list. She has all sorts of great tips to help you create professional looking cakes.
Don’t have time to make dessert from scratch? Haley Parker has got you covered with her book
Out of the Box Desserts: Simply Spectacular, Semi-Homemade Sweets. You’ll love how Haley transforms ordinary box mixes into spectacular desserts (yes the title is spot on)!
Biscuits are the ultimate comfort food. I love mine with gravy or butter and honey. Jackie Garvin shares her love of biscuits in her cookbook, Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes for the All-American Kitchen.
Of course I can’t always eat dessert so there are a couple of go-to books that include “real food”. First is Melissa’s Southern Cookbook: Tried-and-True Family Recipes Melissa was featured on QVC and let me tell you, after watching that segment, I needed a mop to clean up the drool. Her fried chicken is enough to make you want to slap your mama (as they say in the South). And Southerners love their desserts so Melissa has some fabulous ones. Try her microwave Salted Pralines. So easy I was able to make them in Cambodia.
I don’t know if you are as rushed as I am on weeknights. If you are Mary Younkin has the answer with The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking. Her recipes are quick, nutritious and tasty. Even my picky eaters will eat her Slow cooker Mexican pulled pork or her chicken parmesan meatloaf (that is sheer genius). Of course there’s a dessert section too but I adore her main courses!
If you have any friends who plan to lose weight and/or get healthy in the New Year, Lisa Cain’s book Snack Girl to the Rescue!: A Real-Life Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with 100 Recipes Under 400 Calories is the answer! She’s got lots of tasty recipes that are also good for you.
So, make some white chocolate chai truffles and some tea or coffee and enjoy these wonderful books.