Chocolate Almond Truffles

photo (58)

So I’m definitely really into the chocolate and almond combo this year (as if you couldn’t tell already) and keep trying to find new ways to combine them. I always thought of truffles as such a decadent luxurious treat, and couldn’t believe how simple they were to make when I read this Food Network Magazine article on them last year. The article made truffles seem so feasible and simple I had to give it a try. I used a slightly different method to melt the chocolate than they suggested, but the truffles came out so great you’d think they were from a fancy chocolatier! Also, it’s such an easy recipe to switch up with different flavors, Food Network gives some great suggestions. I decided I had to share this with all of you and encourage you to try your own truffles! They make very impressive holiday gifts – if you can keep from eating them all yourself!

Chocolate Almond Truffles adapted from Food Network Magazine
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped almonds

1. Add the heavy cream, salt and butter to a saucepan on low heat.

2. Begin to slowly add your chocolate, about 2 ounces at a time, stirring constantly. This part takes a bit of patience but the end result is totally worth it!
photo (56)

3. When all the chocolate has melted stir in your almond extract.

4. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and refrigerate for a few hours until firm.

photo (57)

5. Once the mixture is firm, scoop out small spoonfuls (I found an ice-cream scoop worked really well for this) and roll into balls. If the mixture gets too soft while you’re doing this you might need to pop it in the fridge again for 20-30 minutes and then finish.

6. Roll each ball in the chopped almonds, enjoy!

photo (59)

Chocolate Almond Cookies

photo(7)
I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about more about baking and sweets. ¬†For a long time all I could do in a kitchen was bake cookies and cupcakes, I had no idea how to actually cook any “real” food. So due to my lack of sweet posts I’ve decided it’s time to get some holiday treats on here! Holiday baking is truly one of my favorite things. I have so many great memories of baking sugar cookies and watching my mom come up with lists of new recipes to try each holiday season, constantly increasing her list of family favorites that she needed to make every year.

I recently discovered a new ingredient that is definitely going to be making an appearance in a large amount of my holiday baking this year. A few weeks ago my husband and I took a cooking class at Sur la Table where we made a cake with this almond paste . It adds a slightly different flavor than almond extract. Of course you could always substitute almond extract if that’s what you have in the pantry.

Chocolate Almond Cookies
2 cups flourphoto(5)
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon almond paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed almonds

1. Combine flour, sugar, butter, almond paste and salt in a large bowl and mix until everything is smoothly combined.

2. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.

3. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.

4. When the cookies have cooled, melt your chocolate in a double boiler. When the chocolate has melted carefully dip each cookie half of the way in. Then dip the cookie into the crushed almonds, enjoy!