Gift of brownie batter truffles

Brownie Batter Truffles

December 8, 2014 by Michelle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Brownie Batter Truffles plated

With the holidays approaching, I’m once again dreading the “What do I give the teachers?” conundrum. For me, it isn’t just about giving to the teachers. Not only do Little Miss and Mister Man each have two teachers because of moving for different subjects, but she receives speech therapy, he has sessions with the social worker, there’s the gym teacher, the art teacher, the music teacher, two band instructors, the two librarians, the office staff, and the list goes on. I finally talked myself into counting it up the other day. Eighteen. Eighteen coaches and teachers gifts I intend to get. I simply can’t afford to get them all $10 or $25 gift cards. Go ahead. Do the math.

Instead, over the years, I have used my talents to create gifts – especially for the staff that is so often forgotten and so incredibly appreciative – that are hugely popular but don’t make my wallet run screaming for the hills. I’ll often still include a gift card for some of those who have had a larger impact on the wee ones, but I don’t feel obligated to include one for every person, and that’s worked beautifully. Over the years, I’ve made chocolate drizzled popcorn, homemade hot fudge sauce, and more. Last year’s chocolate chip cookie dough truffles were by far the best received, so of course I had to one up myself and make brownie batter truffles this year.

Brownie batter truffles on a plate

Making truffles isn’t too difficult, and though it takes a little time, it’s infinitely more rewarding than running to a store to buy them (have you seen where truffles are $2.50 apiece or more now? Ouch!) or simply handing over gift cards. This year, I upped the ante by making them a little more trendy by packaging them in a mason jar wrapped in burlap, and I’m so pleased with how these all turned out.

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Because these are eggless, there’s no concern about eating them, which is the first win. The second is that you don’t have to be perfect when you make them. Though you always want your truffles to be relatively round, because you either dip them in chocolate – which smooths out so many imperfections – or dip and then roll in Baker’s Coconut, don’t feel like you have to be an expert when making these. Lastly, because you make the batter, scoop them and then chill them, you can make them over a period of days rather than being tied to complete your project all in one go, which can be a challenge this time of year.

One word of warning, however. If you’re like me and can’t resist doing a taste test while baking, know that they require time for the flavors to meld. When I tested them immediately after mixing my ingredients together, I was a little concerned that I’d created something not quite up to my standards. I persevered, however, and they were amazing once I’d dipped them in chocolate and served them later. Don’t panic if you don’t quite get the brownie batter flavor at first.

One thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t include any exotic ingredients that you can’t easily find or that you won’t use elsewhere. I picked up the burlap for the outside of my mason jars (and loved that I found a red burlap; I love the color and patterns available now), then walked next door to Walmart to get everything else I needed. I already had flour and sugar and cocoa and butter on hand, but all those are easily found at Walmart. And just as easily, I found the Baker’s Chocolate, Baker’s Coconut, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese I needed to make my brownie batter truffles.

Bakers products at WAlmart

Even better, I found the Philadelphia Cream Cheese in a two pack for even more savings. Of course, I used the second package to make my favorite buffalo chicken dip, but after how well these brownie batter truffles went over, I think I’ll be headed back to pick up ingredients to make more! This recipe makes 4 dozen truffles, but it’s possible a few have been eaten along the way.

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Nine Tips and Tricks to Making Truffles Look and Taste Amazing

You really need to have your Philadelphia Cream Cheese completely softened. I actually heated a portion of it with my butter to get it even softer so that it incorporates well into the dough for the brownie batter truffles. If you have it cold, it will simply make chunks and won’t distribute. Fortunately, because of the way this recipe makes the truffles, if you forget to take your cream cheese out, you can very gently warm it up to soften it and even melt it just a little.

When you’re dipping your brownie batter truffles in the melted Baker’s Chocolate, make sure that it stays warm. I use a cast iron pan, which holds heat beautifully. Even so, I’ll dip about 8 or 10 truffles and then reheat my chocolate just a touch so that it is as thin as possible. This helps to ensure that you don’t get thick globs of extra chocolate on your truffle that don’t leave that smooth surface you’re looking for.

When dipping your brownie batter truffles into the chocolate, use a fork if you don’t own a dipping tool (which I don’t). This allows you to securely hold your truffle when you pick it up after dipping it. Additionally, the tines allow all the excess chocolate to fall off the truffle and back into your chocolate bowl when you shake it, again helping to ensure you have a smooth truffle the looks as good as it tastes.

Use a second fork to push your truffle off your first fork. Turn the fork “upside down” so that you can use as little of the fork tines as possible to carefully push the truffle off the first fork. This keeps as much of the chocolate on your truffle as possible while keeping the process running smoothly. I used to try to almost shake the truffle off the fork onto a sil pat to harden, but too often it would roll or would take awhile before releasing from the fork. This is a much faster and easier method.

Be sure you’ve fully separated your Baker’s Coconut before you start dipping. Coconut tends to clump together, and this doesn’t work well when rolling your brownie batter truffles in the coconut. Instead, pour it on a plate, then use your fingers to ensure that the coconut is all separated. This helps create an even layer of coconut around your brownie batter truffles – and makes them look almost like little snowballs. So cute!

Use a high quality chocolate to dip your brownie batter truffles in. Not only will the truffles taste better because you use good chocolate, but chocolates like Baker’s Chocolate are meant to be melted. They don’t get thick or clumpy, which helps make your dipping that much easier.

To help your chocolate melt evenly and more smoothly while reducing the risk of scorching it, chop your chocolate before heating it. The smaller pieces and greater surface area allow it to melt more quickly.

Pro tip? If you run into any issues with your chocolate seizing (because water got in from your double boiler) or overheating, you can potentially save it. If it’s overheated, try stirring in some unmelted chocolate to help regain its texture. If that doesn’t work or if it has seized, add just a teaspoon of vegetable oil and stir it in. This will help regain the texture you’re looking for, but be careful with how you melt your chocolate to avoid these issues at all.

If you have extra chocolate once you have finished your brownie batter truffles, chill your truffles, then reheat your chocolate. Using your fork, dip the fork into the chocolate and wave it over your truffles to create pretty lines of chocolate over them. This extra layer of thin lines for decoration makes them look that much more professional. Be sure to chill again to harden the chocolate before removing from your tray and serving.

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Brownie Batter Truffles Recipe

Ingredients:
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla bean paste
1 T espresso
12 oz Baker’s Chocolate
1 c Baker’s Coconut

Directions:
Melt the butter. If your cream cheese isn’t completely softened, add it to the melted butter to help soften and melt it a little.

In a mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

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On low speed or using a spatula, mix until thoroughly combined. Because cocoa powder is so fine, it is easy to have it fly out of your bowl. Add the melted butter, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, vanilla bean paste, and espresso. Starting on low speed, mix until the ingredients are mostly combined. Turn up the speed gradually to ensure everything is evenly incorporated. The dough will be thick and slightly shiny.

Using a small scoop, scoop out truffles onto a tray with parchment paper or a sil pat. They don’t need to be perfect circles, and they can be close to each other. Using a small scoop, you should end up with 48 brownie batter truffles.

Scooping truffles

Using clean hands, gently pick up and roll each truffle into a smooth sphere. If there are small cracks or lines, this is fine, as the chocolate will cover these. Replace each rolled truffle onto your cookie sheet. When you have finished them, place the tray in your fridge to chill for an hour.

When you are ready to finish your truffles, prepare a plate with the Baker’s Coconut, ensuring your separate any clumps with your fingers. Chop your Baker’s Chocolate, then carefully melt it in a double boiler or in a heavy pan over low heat, stirring regularly. When the chocolate is almost melted but still has a few chunks, remove it from the heat and continue stirring until it is fully melted from the residual heat.

Using a fork, carefully dip each truffle into the chocolate. Once it is coated, lift the truffle with your fork and shake the fork using small but quick motions low over your melted chocolate to ensure all the excess chocolate falls off. Scrape the bottom of the fork against the edge of your bowl or pan to remove the last extra chocolate, then use a second fork turned over (rounded side up instead of down) and carefully use the edge of the tines to push the truffle off the first fork and back onto your tray.

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If dipping in the Baker’s Coconut, push your truffle into the plate with the coconut and use your fingers to carefully roll it in the coconut. Bounce it in your hand a couple times to let the excess coconut fall off and then return to the tray or to a cooling rack while you finish your other brownie batter truffles.

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Chill again before serving to ensure the chocolate shell has thoroughly hardened.

To make mine pretty as a gift, I decided to place my truffles into a mason jar because they are so in this year. I used a small piece of burlap to cover the un-pretty top of my mason jar and then tied a silver ribbon around that. I love the various colors of burlap now available, and you can easily find one that will match your mood and season. I chose a silver ribbon rather than green or something Christmas-y to avoid my gift shouting Christmas, but I think it still has a strong holiday flair. I can’t wait to start handing them out!

Truffles in a mason jar wrapped in burlap

The biggest trick for me in the past has been cutting my burlap and having it not unravel. I’m not the best at cutting in straight lines without a lot of help, and my burlap used to constantly start to unravel when I would use it, making it look less professional. I may not be spending a ton of money on my gifts, but I still want them to look like I did! Check out my quick tutorial on how to easily cut burlap in a straight line and ensure it doesn’t unravel.

Think this strategy might be right up your alley? I adore my brownie batter truffles, but if you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to take a look!

Brownie Batter Truffles

Brownie Batter Truffles

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 t vanilla bean paste
  • 1 T espresso
  • 12 oz Baker's Chocolate
  • 1 c Baker's Coconut

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter. If your cream cheese isn't completely softened, add it to the melted butter to help soften and melt it a little.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. On low speed or using a spatula, mix until thoroughly combined. Because cocoa powder is so fine, it is easy to have it fly out of your bowl. Add the melted butter, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, vanilla bean paste, and espresso. Starting on low speed, mix until the ingredients are mostly combined. Turn up the speed gradually to ensure everything is evenly incorporated. The dough will be thick and slightly shiny.
  3. Using a small scoop, scoop out truffles onto a tray with parchment paper or a sil pat. They don't need to be perfect circles, and they can be close to each other. Using a small scoop, you should end up with 48 brownie batter truffles.
  4. Using clean hands, gently pick up and roll each truffle into a smooth sphere. If there are small cracks or lines, this is fine, as the chocolate will cover these. Replace each rolled truffle onto your cookie sheet. When you have finished them, place the tray in your fridge to chill for an hour.
  5. When you are ready to finish your truffles, prepare a plate with the Baker's Coconut, ensuring your separate any clumps with your fingers. Chop your Baker's Chocolate, then carefully melt it in a double boiler or in a heavy pan over low heat, stirring regularly. When the chocolate is almost melted but still has a few chunks, remove it from the heat and continue stirring until it is fully melted from the residual heat.
  6. Using a fork, carefully dip each truffle into the chocolate. Once it is coated, lift the truffle with your fork and shake the fork using small but quick motions low over your melted chocolate to ensure all the excess chocolate falls off. Scrape the bottom of the fork against the edge of your bowl or pan to remove the last extra chocolate, then use a second fork turned over (rounded side up instead of down) and carefully use the edge of the tines to push the truffle off the first fork and back onto your tray.
  7. If dipping in the Baker's Coconut, push your truffle into the plate with the coconut and use your fingers to carefully roll it in the coconut. Bounce it in your hand a couple times to let the excess coconut fall off and then return to the tray or to a cooling rack while you finish your other brownie batter truffles.
  8. Chill again before serving to ensure the chocolate shell has thoroughly hardened.
http://www.honestandtruly.com/brownie-batter-truffles-recipe/

So what are your best homemade holiday gifts?

    Comments

  • Stephanie


    These look fabulous! I love that added touch of a thin drizzle over the truffles – perfect for gift giving. Thanks for sharing your tip on how to cut burlap, too! I would have never thought about pulling that strand out before cutting – so smart! #client

    • Michelle


      Trust me, the pulling out for burlap was something it took me a long time to figure out. I could NEVER cut it straight, and it always unraveled as I was working with it.

  • becca


    Oh My not only do these look and sound delicious but what a great gift. So yummy. this would be something i would enjoy getting.

    • Michelle


      I’m glad to hear that. They were so much fun to make, and I love finding things people will enjoy rather than just more “stuff.”

  • Paula @ Frosted Fingers


    These look amazing. YUM!

    • Michelle


      Thanks, Paula! I loved them, and I’m looking forward to making more!

  • Barb @ A Life in Balance


    Thank you for posting to Motivation Monday!

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