Candy-Cane Toffee combines the cherished flavors of chocolate, peppermint and candy-cane; while the flavorful Ginger Truffles are perfect for Christmas with their characteristic ginger flavor, but we also throw in some lovely variations for Orange, Hazelnut and Mocha Truffles for those who are not so wooed by Ginger!
[Recipes courtesy of Woman’s Day; photo by Dasha Wright]
Candy Cane Toffee Recipe
Yield: 2 lbs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candy canes
Line a 13 x 9-in. baking pan with foil, letting foil extend about 2 in. above ends of pan. Lightly coat foil with nonstick spray.
In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, butter, water and corn syrup to a boil. Boil without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 300°F to 310°F. (Or drop a small amount into ice water. When mixture forms a brittle mass that snaps easily when pressed between fingers, it’s ready.) Off heat, stir in vanilla (be careful, it splatters).
Pour into prepared pan. Wait 2 minutes, then sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. When chips become shiny, about 2 minutes, spread over toffee. Sprinkle with chopped candy cane.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours until cold. Lift foil by ends onto a cutting board; break toffee in bite-size pieces.
Storage: Refrigerator or airtight container at cool room temperature for about 1 month
Ginger Truffles Recipe
Yield: 36 truffles
2 bars (4 oz each) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp heavy (whipping) cream
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 Tbsp cognac or other very good brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Garnish: plain or tinted confectioners’ sugar (see Note 1), unsweetened cocoa powder or chocolate coating (see Note 2)
Line an 8-in. square baking pan with nonstick foil, letting foil extend above pan on 2 sides.
Stir chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a microwave on high, stirring at 10-second intervals, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Stir in ginger, cognac and vanilla until blended. Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until set.
Lift foil from pan. Remove from foil to a cutting board. Cut with a sharp knife in 6 rows lengthwise and 6 crosswise. Sift cocoa or confectioners’ sugar over tops, or dip in chocolate coating.
Orange-Hazelnut Truffles: Prepare through Step 2. In Step 3, omit ginger, cognac and vanilla; stir in 2 Tbsp orange liqueur and 1 Tbsp grated orange zest. Proceed as directed. Coat truffles with melted chocolate; sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Mocha Truffles: Stir 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules into the heavy cream. Prepare through Step 2. In Step 3, omit ginger, cognac and vanilla; stir in 2 Tbsp coffee liqueur. Proceed as directed. Sift cocoa powder over top.
Note 1: To tint confectioners’ sugar: Place 1/3 cup in a small ziptop bag. Add 10 drops food color. Knead until sugar is colored.
Note 2: To cover with chocolate coating: Place a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chop 2 bars (4 oz each) bittersweet chocolate. Melt in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a microwave on high, stirring at 10-second intervals, until smooth. Cool to just above room temperature. Rest a truffle on a fork; lower into chocolate to coat. Lift from chocolate; let excess drip off. Place on wire rack. Refrigerate until set.
Tip: Truffles can be refrigerated airtight with wax paper between layers up to 1 month, or frozen up to 3 months.