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Amaretto hazelnut truffles

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Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

While squirrels should be appreciated every day of the year, it’s so great to see that they get a bit of additional recognition today. Squirrels are really the cutest: their bushy tails, their little paws, their fluffy bodies… awwww.

Coincidentally, my low-key co-rec soccer team is called the Squirrels (founder Randy wanted an ironically unthreatening mascot). Here we are after our first (and only) win of last season:

We had an end-of-season party on Saturday (an equally nerdy teammate noted how close to Squirrel Appreciation Day this fell), so I wanted to make a nutty treat to share.

Continuing this month’s truffle theme, I opted for amaretto hazelnut truffles. Truffles are like infused liquor: super easy, yet impress everyone who doesn’t know better (which is most people, I’ve found). These have a little bit of crunch from the filberts and an ever-so-slight alcoholic kick.

If you roll them sorta sloppily, as I did, you’ll notice that they look a little like nuts. Maybe?

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Amaretto hazelnut truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS amaretto liqueur
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a small saucepan; remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in amaretto and vanilla. Stir in hazelnuts.
  2. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate onto a parchment- or waxed paper-covered cookie sheet and chill ≈20 minutes, until chocolate loses its shine. Remove from waxed paper, roll them into balls, and roll in the cocoa powder. I found it easier to place the cocoa powder on a plate and roll the chocolate into balls on the cocoa powder.
  3. Place truffles back on cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Store in the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating them.

Makes 18-24, depending on how big you make them.

Whiskey Truffles

Not long ago, some friends and I formed a whiskey drinking club. We convene monthly to drink whiskey and talk about drinking whiskey. We call it… Whiskey Club.

It started as a Twitter conversation between Dawn and me (because I enjoy whiskey and Dawn does not but wants to) and turned into a flurry of 140-character messages involving 5 or 6 friends. Katy started a Facebook group, and Whiskey Club was born.

Erika hosted the most recent meeting, a swanky Prohibition-themed party complete with costumes and live jazz — Erika has an amazing voice and Katy recruited an orchestra friend with a double bass, so she sang while he plucked. We sipped bourbon and scotch from teacups, speakeasy-style.

Erika prepared a delicious spread, and I brought some of these truffles. The hooch adds a hint of vice without overwhelming.

If you live in Seattle and enjoy brown liquor, won’t you join us next month?

teacup image by Carlos Javier Sanchez

Whiskey Truffles

adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS cheap whiskey
  • cocoa powder (1/4 cup? 1/2 cup? I just dumped a bunch on a plate.)

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a small saucepan; remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in whiskey and vanilla.
  2. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate onto a parchment- or waxed paper-covered cookie sheet and chill 20-25 minutes, until chocolate loses its shine. Remove from waxed paper, roll them into balls, and roll in the cocoa powder. I found it easier to place the cocoa powder on a plate and roll the chocolate into balls on the cocoa powder.
  3. Place truffles back on cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Store in the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating them.

Makes… a dozen? 15? That sounds about right. Original recipe says 24, but I think I made them a little bigger than the book did.

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