Monday, February 14, 2011

Thrifty Valentines Day Treats

I have to check my blog archives. I may have posted this before... I took an old heart shaped box and deconstructed it, covered it with a world map tissue paper and filled it with candy for my husband. I saved the box from a couple of years ago and just reused it again. He didn't care that it was reused and regifted. The contents were new...

And here is something my daughter and I made after seeing this on a blog somewhere. We bought Jolly Rancher flavored candy canes after christmas for like 10 cents a box, layed them in a heart shape and filled them with melted chocolate chips.  We put the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag, cut off the corner and squeezed it into the heart.  She held the heart together while I squeezed.  Then we added a lolipop stick and some colorful sprinkles and made valentines giveaways for all her friends. The kids loved them, being in Jr. High, food and candy are more appreciated than cards. It was easy and so cheap. A great way to repurpose leftover holiday candy. Another thing I do is buy after christmas candy like hersheys kisses and peanut butter cups. I sort out the colors, red, green gold and silver and use the gold and silver for New Years, the red for Valentines Day and the green for St. Patricks day. If you think ahead, you can really plan it so your party favors and little giftie treats cost almost nothing...

The handmade truffles recipe follows here:

Liquor Truffles

8 oz chocolate (I use the large dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's)
1 cube of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup liquor (I used Macadamia Nut, but you can use Amaretto, Frangelico or Kaluah)
1 pound of chocolate for coating

Melt 8 oz of chocolate in double boiler.  If you don't have one, a metal bowl floated in a pot of boiling water will work just as well.  Remove from heat.  Be careful not to let ANY water come in contact with the chocolate or it will sieze up and glob together.

Vigorously beat butter in to melted chocolate until light and fluffy (mine never got light and fluffy, but well mixed and it was still ok)

Continue beating slowly and add liquor slowly to chocolate mixture.

Chill for 1-3 hours.  I did one hour in the freezer.

Dig a melon baller into the frozen mixture, creating balls and place in a bowl or on a wax paper lined baking sheet and re-freeze.  Melt rest of chocolate, and coat frozen truffle balls with melted chocolate.  I use 2 bamboo skewers.  I stab one into the top of the truffle, dip it, tap off the excess chocolate, and then set on the wax paper lined baking sheet, using the other skewer to hold it in place while I twist the other one out of the truffle..  You must work quickly and leave most of them in the freezer until ready to dip.  If you don't tap off the excess, you will have a large "foot" underneath your truffle where the excess chocolate will pool.  When ready to decorate, dip top into more melted chocolate (I used white) and then dip immediately into sprinkles.  Or cover skewer hole in top with a candy conversation heart or other festive decoration.  Place in paper candy cups, available in the treat aisle or at Michaels in the baking section.  These truffles are3 really yummy, but for adult consumption only.  I will post a non-alcoholic recipe later this week that is great for easter treats.

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