Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Treats

I have dedicated the last few weekends entirely to baking.  The results have been impressive, not to mention delicious.  Here are my holiday favorites. 

Chocolate Truffles 
Nothing is more decadent than a chocolate truffle, especially when you are using amazing quality dark chocolate (71% cocoa to be exact). The base of a truffle can be used for ganache, but chilling the chocolate allows it to harden and be rolled into truffles.  Once chilled, you can roll them into chocolate powder, coconut or nuts - like peanuts or hazelnuts    
(Rich, decadent Valrhona chocolate)

Peanut Butter Cups
This recipe was easy and the results were just pure deliciousness. I opted to use semi-sweet chocolate chips, because I love anything dark chocolate; however, these treats are incredibly rich, so if you have more zest for milk chocolate, you might prefer to go that route. 

(The perfect gift - peanut butter cups and truffles)

Cream Wafers
Cream wafer have been a staple in my Christmas cookie repertoire since I don't remember when.  This year they were even flakier (I am talking melt-in-your-mouth delicous) than I can ever remember.  To make them even more irresistible, I rolled them up in clear cellophane and tied the ends with beautiful gold ribbon to create a bon-bon look. 

Salted Caramel Pecan Linzer Cookies
Out of all the cookies that I have made so far, this cookie blew me away the most.  The first bite is the soft buttery cookie. The second bite is the salted pecan caramel filling that is out of this world.  I was expecting the caramel to harden after a few days, but this was not the case. The caramel stayed chewy and just well, amazing. 

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