Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Easy Truffles

The holidays are a time to make sweets!!
Who doesn't want homemade sweets made with love?

After sifting through many many truffles recipes, I decided to keep it simple. Didn't really want to buy heavy whipping cream and not use it all. Usually when I buy ingredients, I think of multiple recipes to use them in so that I am not throwing away a quarter of the whipping cream. That's why I finally settled on the recipe with cream cheese instead. One package open, all of it waste!

Easy Truffles
Prep Time: 2 hr
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
3 cups confectioners sugar (a.k.a. powdered sugar)
3 cups chocolate chips (or pastilles or bar)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

In a big bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar a third at a time until well blended.

*************************** MELTING CHOCOLATE ********************************
For melting the chocolate, you can either do this in the microwave or use the double boiler method. If you choose to melt the chocolate in the microwave, do it for one minute. Take it out and stir with a spoon. Then microwave it for another minute. Stir with a spoon. Decrease the increments to 30 seconds so that you don't burn the chocolate. When all of the chocolate is melted, you are ready to use it.

If you wish to do the double boiler method but don't have one, you can easily create it by putting some water at the bottom of a pot. Place a bowl on top -- one that fits snugly. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl as it boils. This is key.
*************************** END MELTING CHOCOLATE ***************************

Stir the melted chocolate into the cream cheese-sugar mixture until well incorporated.

I like to divide the truffle mixture into two bowls. That way you can have two different flavorings.
If you do divide it into two halves, add 1 tsp extract of your choice for flavoring. I used rum. You can do vanilla, orange, almond, etc.

Place the mixtures in the fridge for cooling for about an hour.

Shaping the balls:
You can use a spoon and roll the truffle in your hand...OR to make it easier, use a mini ice cream scoop, 1 inch scoop, to have uniform round truffles. After you have the round truffles, you can roll them in whatever toppings you wish. I just rolled mine in cocoa.

Other ideas: The possibilities are endless!!
powdered sugar
chopped nuts

These make great gifts for your family, friends, or coworkers. Maybe you would rather keep them for yourself! heheh. But it's better to share or else you will have more holiday weight to shake off at the beginning of the year.

Happy Holidays!!!

Note: You don't have to stick to dark chocolate. Feel free to melt white chocolate or milk chocolate if you know people who prefer those instead.

My Favorite Mac N' Cheese (Macaroni or Other Pasta)

Happy Holidays!!!

I haven't had a post in a while. The good news is that I have cooked this Mac N' Cheese many times now. So it's now a staple that I can make without even glancing at the recipe. The original recipe is from Cooking Light found here. But I modified it.

My Fave Mac N Cheese Recipe
Prep Time: 10 min      Cook Time: 25 min
4 oz sausage (of your choice, chopped)
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups cheese
4-5 cups of macaroni (or pasta shape of your choice)
1 tsp garlic salt

In a small bowl using a whisk, mix milk and flour until there are no lumps. Set aside.

In a big pot, boil water for your macaroni. I usually leave about 5 inches of space between the water and the top of the pot. If you don't have macaroni on hand, use whatever pasta shape you have. Make this recipe with rotelle, penne, shells, etc. Cook as the package instructs which is usually 8-9 minutes to al dente. Strain the pasta. Set aside.

Using the same big pot (You took out the pasta already. It is in the strainer.), brown chopped sausage on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. This will also create more aroma for your sauce.

Add the milk+flour mixture to the sausage stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken about the next 4-5 minutes. Add the cheeses. I like to use the Mexican Cheese mixture since it has monterey jack, mild cheddar and queso. You can find it in the grocery aisle. Stir until melted. Sprinkle the garlic salt to the sauce. Add cooked macaroni (or pasta). Mix until the sauce it incorporated with the pasta. DONE!!

If you want an element of veggie, you may add chopped spinach like I did.

For a more macaroni-like look, top it with parmesan cheese,

Be creative. At all the gathering where I have brought it my potluck dish, everyone has gobbled it up. When I make it at home for dinner, I see my husband refilling his bowl for seconds...and maybe


Note: The original recipe calls for some cream cheese but using whole milk already makes it thicker. That's why I omitted it. Also, I don't usually have cream cheese readily available.