Easy Chocolate Truffles

This is embarrassing. My blog has needed some love since my last post in May and I am just getting around to it. Awesome.  I guess its a sign of a great summer if I never seem to have enough time to sit down and finish a blog post! I have a bunch of friends who are babysitting over the summer(and alas this post is late as summer is rapidly drawing to a close) and I thought I would blog about my favorite babysitting activity and maybe give them a new thing to do with the kids they watch.

I was babysitting a six-year-old and a two and a half-year old for six hours.  I had a brilliant idea to do special things for their parents while they were out, but was completely at a loss on what I could do, without it being super involved and too hard for them.  Luckily, my wonderful mother is super crafty and creative, and she suggested making truffles!

She pulled out her handy-dandy, cooking with little ones cookbook, and flipped right to the recipe.  It was perfect. It only called for three ingredients and did not require dipping the truffles in chocolate to make a shell.  I went to the store, picked up some fun sprinkles to decorate with, changed my clothes into something that could get messy, and drove on over.

Once I got there, they already had mugs to paint for their grandmas and aunts, so we painted those first and they turned out really super cute.  I am always amazed at the creativity of little ones, that have no boundaries and confinements of their imagination.  They create so freely, and here I am just more than ten years older, struggling to make something I think is beautiful, because I am constantly comparing my masterpiece to those of people far more gifted than I.

Creativity at its finest!
Creativity at its finest!

There is a painting of mine hanging in our guest bathroom.  Accompanying it is a picture that my younger sister painted.  She laughs when she sees mine; it truly is a comical sight.  We painted them in kindergarten; mine has a yellow sun, green grass, a blue flower with a  dark purple stem, and a random red streak on the left side of the stem of the flower, because no one had told me that red lines don’t go in pictures, just cause you wanted to use the color and had no where else to put it, or that flowers don’t have dark purple stems and blue petals. My sister’s painting is more normal. It has green grass, a red tulip with a green stem, a blue sky and a yellow sun.  I always took pride in that picture because I thought, “I taught my sister how to paint.”  Reflecting on this though, I realize that there is no right or wrong way to create art.  That’s why its called art; it doesn’t have to please everyone and not everyone has to understand it, as long as you, the creator, is happy and proud of your work.

Anyway, that was a long tangent. After painting we ate some awesome dinner, and then got out the ingredients for truffles.  The two-year old helped me pour the different sprinkles into little bowls, and the six-year-old helped mix the cocoa powder, cream cheese, and sugar together. We set out big sheets of wax paper, in case it got messy and to set the finished truffles on, and then we got started!  I rolled the truffles and put them in the sprinkles they chose, and then they picked up the bowl and rolled the ball around in the sprinkles to cover it.  On the first ones, they used their hands to roll it around, instead of just holding the bowl and rolling the ball in the bowl, and their hands ended up covered in chocolate.  So we switched methods, so that my hands were the only ones thoroughly covered in truffle mix.  They had so much fun and the truffles turned out amazing! They were interested and involved the entire time and loved every minute of our baking adventure! I got a lovely text from the girl’s mother after I had left, saying how she was so surprised and how thankful she was.  Don’t worry, I had talked to their father beforehand to see if it was okay.

They turned out so super cute!!
They turned out so super cute!!

I ended up doubling the recipe because a single batch only makes eight or so truffles and I wanted each girl to be able to make more than four.  They ended up making ten each, so maybe I was rolling them smaller than the recipe suggested.  Anyway, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Truffles

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup cream cheese

sprinkles

¼ cup chopped nuts(optional)

 

1. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder(and nuts if desired) in a mixing bowl.  Stir until well mixed.

2. Roll the mixture into marble sized balls in the palms of your hands.

3. Pour sprinkles into a bowl and then roll truffles around in them to coat.

4. Serve in paper candy cups or on a cute decorated plate!


Note: Subsequently, I tried to make sugar cookies with them, and they were interested for the first couple cookies, but lost interest very quickly and then i was scrambling to finish the cookies on my own.  So I guess the interest levels vary from day-to-day (duh).

Valentine’s Day: Corporate, Cute, AND Crafty?

For the entire month of February, I have thought about Valentine’s day; debating the pros and cons of it, and trying not to be too cynical about it.  I decided that while Valentine’s Day was cute and fun back in kindergarten and elementary school, where everyone bought Valentine’s for the entire class and handed them out, but now its just another day just with the added pressure of doing something extravagant or special for your significant other.  In short, I am one of those people who thinks Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, created to stimulate the economy of cards, chocolates, stuffed animals, and flowers.

I mean, its great and all to tell and show your significant other that you love them, but really, we need a day dedicated to it?  Just in case I forgot on the other 364 days of the year?  I would much rather surprise someone on a random day to confess my unending love for them, then on Valentine’s Day, just because the spontaneity of it makes it that much more memorable and special.

On Friday, while I was brainstorming for this post, I thought, “Sweet, I have $10 bucks in my pocket! I’m going to go by the flower shop on the way home from school and practice to buy my mommy some flowers, cause I love her so much and I know that would make her week.”  Now, before you immediately think “Suck up” or “I wish my kids did that”, I must say I have had some great training.  My dad has been know to send my mom flowers on random days, especially when he is gone fighting fires for weeks at a time, just to say “I love you” or “Have a great day”.  I learned from the best.  Anyway, my mom was so excited and touched she really didn’t know what to say except “Aww, Linds” and “Thank you” and give me a big hug.

Now imagine if I had done the same thing on Valentine’s Day.  Though my mom would still think it was special, it wouldn’t have the same effect.  Lesson learned: spontaneous surprises are awesome. (Guys, take note)

 

That being said, I can’t bear to be completely bah-humbug about Valentine’s Day, because it has some pretty amazing and cute decorations. And it is super cute, so in as much as I think it is a silly day, I like it.  I am hosting a Valentine’s Day outreach event, and have scoured Pinterest, Etsy, YouTube, Google, and many other realms of the internet to find the perfect decorations and centerpieces.  And I found them.  They would work really well as creative flower substitutes(guys, thinking outside the box = great idea) or valentine’s to give to friends and coworkers.  Heck, they could be flowers for Singles Awareness Day as well, basically whatever floats your boat.

 

 

These are super cute and guaranteed to win anyone’s heart over(or make an amazing centerpiece).  But honestly, flowers and chocolate are pretty much the awesomest thing ever to a girl, so what could be better than combine the two? Gentlemen, don’t worry, these are super easy to make and inexpensive.  $12 dollars, a little time, and TLC and you will have yourself a beautiful bouquet of rose kisses.

 

Supplies:

  • Green floral tape- any craft store will have some

  • Tape

  • Hershey’s Kisses

  • Red Cellophane- I found mine in the dollar section of Target in a 6 sheet pack, but it was also next to the tissue paper in the gift wrap section

  • 9 inch wooden skewers-any grocery store will have them

  • Scissors

 

Instructions

Step One:  Pair all kisses together, taping them together at the base of each kiss(flat part to flat part) to form the rose bud shape.

Step Two: Cut out 4.5 inch squares of cellophane to wrap the kisses in.  Cut as many pieces as you want roses.

Step Three: Place the taped kiss pair in the center of one of the cellophane squares, with one of the pointy end of the kisses in the center of the square.  Bring all four corners up to the center, gather the cellophane and twist it to start forming the stem of the rose.

Step Four(the hardest part):  Take a 5 inch (ish) long piece of the floral tape and start wrapping it where you twisted the cellophane to form the beginning of the stem.  Continue to wrap it around until you have secured the cellophane over the kisses.

photo-9
This is the goal of Step 4.

TIP: If you stretch the floral tape out as you are wrapping, it sticks a little better.  I have no idea why, it just does.

Step Five:  Insert the skewer, pointy side in, into the rose bud and partial stem.  Be careful not to stab the chocolate.

Step Six: Take your roll of floral tape and begin to wrap from the flower down the skewer to form the stem.  Once you are at the bottom, cut the tape, smooth the end down, and you’re done!