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Good Monday Morning/afternoon, cooking kittens!

I know I’ve been a slacker in getting new material/info out to you all, and I appreciate you sticking with me anyway!

I wanted to fill you in on some of the things I did during the holidays, that I had previously said I was GOING to do.  Well, now I’ve DONE them, and of course want you to see what these things look like in real life.

To start off our week, I will show you my version of Barefoot Contessa’s white chocolate truffles.

If you recall, I posted the recipe for these delectable treats here.

So here’s what I did:

That’s all my Baker’s White Chocolate that I chopped up or shaved to melt over my double boiler. Now you can cut corners by using chips instead, which I almost did, but then I heard Ina and Paula yelling at me because they say there’s a stablizer in there that’s no good for truffles and stuff, so I skipped it.

Next, you see (above) that I’ve got my cream in the top of my double boiler (in this case, a mixing bowl on top of a simmer pot of water. They say to use a clear glass bowl, but guess what, I don’t have one at the condo, so I just used what I had!)

And below, you’ll see the white chocolate beginning to melt after I poured it on top of the cream (of course I whisked the cream a bit as the recipe says). I whisked till it all melted, pulling it off the heat a bit from time to time to prevent over heating it…since I’d never done this before):

After it all melts, I went ahead and added the remaining ingredients (vanilla and liqour right?)

Now, let’s just stop right here for a minute. Right at this point I noticed how VERY LITTLE “batter” there was. I mean, you see it right? There’s basically about a cup of stuff there. That’s NOTHING. And I had anticipated this from the get go, so I bought twice as much as I needed so I could make a double batch (which really is more like what I’d expected one batch to make). So error on the side of more batter than less, and do a double batch. You can thank me later. These go like Hot Cakes, so you’re really doing yourself a favor.

Next, you’ll see I got my hazelnuts:

And chopped them up (I have a chopper – no, not a slap chop – and that made quick work, but if you don’t have that, just use a knife, and watch your edges because these will tend to “fly” or “spit” out from under the knife when you first start chopping. I recommend going slowly, or do it on a rimmed baking sheet, or make a tin foil “boat” you can chop inside of, or just throw caution to the wind!)

Above you’re seeing them freshly toasted from my oven.  The whole house smelled wonderful. Now, I usually say “don’t have that nut? Use what you’ve got!” but in this case, the flavor of the hazelnuts goes just perfect with the Bailey’s so I’d stick with that if you can.  Of course, you could use almonds if you have those on hand, and are in a bind.

Below you’re seeing the beginning of the chocolate ganache for the other half of the batch (remember, half get rolled in the hazelnuts, half drizzled with the ganache).

And here’s a close up of it all finished:

Mmmmmmm, shineyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Okay, so now we take the batter out of the fridge, roll it into balls as QUICK as possible and then stick those on parchment and put them in the freezer, like this:

And because I’m parinoid of ruining them (seriously, I can’t believe I got this far without messing them up), I left them in the freezer for I think 2 hours.

When you’ve got your ganache and toasted hazelnuts ready to go, bring them out and begin doing this:

and this:

And then put them back in the fridge till you leave for the party, where you will put them in a tray of ice if you’re crazy like me, since you fear the worst: melting. And make it look like some science experiment, like this:

And as I did above, stick them next to a tray of Gramma Ginny’s peppermint cookies so they’re not alone, and have an old friend to talk to during the party.

I have to say, people kept asking me “where’d you get these?! They’re so good!” (I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!) and then I’m all “oh, I made them.” (which is funny, because they look like hell sitting on parchment paper, in a casserole dish, in an ICE BATH (seriously, WTF was I thinking?)

But it’s all about the flavor, and these hit the spot. Even Paul ate one, which literally made my jaw drop, because there was enough Bailey’s in there to give a little kick, and he was like “mm, this is good.” So I asked, “Uh, honey, what about the alcohol flavor?” and he said, “Yeah, I don’t like that part. But I don’t care, it was still good.” (or something like that)

So, go forth and try! They were pretty easy to make, if not time consuming.

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