Christmas is just nine days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!
Some foods are synonymous with a country and here in Belgium beer and chocolate top that culinary list. Walk through any Belgian town and chances are they have both their own brewery (brasserie) and their own chocolate shop. And I must admit that I am a fan of both of these Belgian delights. So what better way to show some national spirit than combing the two into a single treat.
These truffles are adapted from a Food 52 recipe and just one bite will have you hopping on a plane in search of more. Or you can make them yourself since they are quite easy. They are rich and intense without being sweet–my favorite kind of dessert. Be sure to use the best dark chocolate you can find. As far as the beer goes, experiment to find a combination you like. I’m a huge fan of cherry lambic and chocolate but raspberry is also good. Or choose a dark smokey stout which also pairs nicely with the intensity of the chocolate. Do experiment. And most of all, don’t omit the salt since it really brings out all of the flavors.
Here’s a final tip–rolling the chocolate can be an messy endeavor if your hands are warm. I tend to roll four or five truffles at a time then wash and dry my hands before continuing. It makes the process that much easier.
CHERRY LAMBIC CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cherry lambic beer, or dark beer of your choice
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pinch flaky sea salt
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, for rolling
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the beer to a simmer over medium-high heat and reduce to about 1/4 cup.
- Add the heavy cream to the beer and return to a boil.
- Pour the hot cream and beer mixture over chopped chocolate and allow to sit 1 to 3 minutes.
- Stir until all chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Part way through cooling, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt over mixture and gently stir it in.
- When you are ready to proceed, using a melon baller, scoop 1-inch balls of the ganache, roll it between your palms until smooth, and then roll in the cocoa powder to coat. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yields 28 1 inch truffles