Our videographer Jaye Hodges had a sweet assignment last week. She got to visit food blogger Rose Buchmiller, of Freeburg (sockbox10.com), who was working on two holiday treats in her kitchen.
Lucky for us, Rose sent Jaye back to the office with a plate of Chocolate Pecan Turtles and Chocolate Truffles (infused with Grand Marnier). the treats eventually landed on the counter by the coffeepot weighing a bit less, after passing through the Lifestyle Department first.
Rose gets a big Santa thumbs-up from us!
Here are the two recipes Jaye brought back to share with readers. You can see her video of Rose at work at bnd.com.
Also, Rose said she got her bulk caramel from Switzer’s in Belleville. (Definitely a good way to save time spent unwrapping individual caramels.)
Contact me at email@example.com, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.
Chocolate Pecan Turtles
1 pound caramel (purchased from Switzer’s in Belleville)
2 pounds milk chocolate, using disc-shaped milk chocolate melts
1 pound pecan halves
Vegetable oil to thin chocolate.
Confectionery candy or cupcake cups
Melt the chocolate while preparing the cups. A Wilton Chocolate Melter was used for this recipe. If you melt the chocolate on the stove, it's best to use a double boiler.
Shape the chunk of caramel into a rectangular shape for slicing.
Cut slices of caramel off the block using a plastic spatula.
Cut the slices into 1-inch square that are 1/8-inch thick. Work the squares in your hands and flatten. (You can even shape into circles if you like.)
Place three pecan halves in the bottom of the cups. If you have larger pecans, only may be necessary.
Place a piece of caramel on top of the pecans.
When the chocolate is melted, add approximately 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil per pound of chocolate. This thins the chocolate and makes for easy pouring. It will not affect the taste or the hardening process You want it thin enough to run over the caramel.
Pour a heaping teaspoon plus of chocolate on top of the caramel and smooth the top. You might need to spread the chocolate to the sides helping it run down into the cups.
If you like, you can sprinkle sea salt on top while the chocolate is still soft.
The chocolate will harden in just under an hour.
Store in an airtight container.
Rose Buchmiller, Sock Box 10
Truffles Infused With Spirits
Adding truffles to a cookie platter makes for a great presentation. The hint of rum or Grand Marnier is perfect with the semi-sweet chocolate and the ground nuts.
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
3⁄4 cup hazelnuts or pecans
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1-ounce size)
1 1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier or rum
Powdered sugar and cocoa
Finely chop nuts or grind.
Combine chocolate and heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan or double broiler.
Heat over low heat just until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, combine nuts, powdered sugar, and egg white and mix with a wooden spoon.
Stir in chocolate and liquor and combine.
Refrigerate mixture until firm. You can chill overnight, but 3-4 hours will work.
Scoop using a teaspoon and roll into balls. The quantity may vary depending on the size of your truffles.
Combine powdered sugar and cocoa and roll the truffles in the mixture to coat. I would start with 1⁄4 cup of each and you can add more cocoa or powdered sugar depending on your preference. You may need to recoat the truffles if the sugar and cocoa mixture is absorbed into the chocolate.
Store in an airtight container or tin.
Rose Buchmiller, Sock Box 10