Try Truffles!

Want to serve an elegant, yet easy, dessert? Try truffles. The chocolate kind, that is. Not the fungi. These rich and creamy bite-sized indulgences are really quite simple to make. The secret is to buy the best chocolate you can afford.

For 25-30 basic chocolate truffles you will need:

4 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces

4 oz. good quality semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped in small pieces

6 T. unsalted butter, cubed

2 tsp. instant coffee crystals dissolved in 3 Tbsp. warm water

1 Tbsp. of your favorite liqueur (optional)

COATINGS (Any or all of the following):

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Toasted, finely chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts

Finely chopped sweetened coconut

Very fine graham cracker crumbs

Powdered sugar

Melt both chocolates, butter, and instant coffee liquid in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Stir in the liqueur. Pour chocolate mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm (at least 1 hour).

Use a melon ball scoop or a couple of teaspoons to mold the cold chocolate mixture into truffles.

Put each of the coating items in a separate shallow plastic container that has a lid. Place each truffle into any one of the coatings and roll it around until covered (Hint: When you have 5 or 6 truffles in any one of the coating mixtures, put the lid on the container and gently shake it until the truffles are completely coated).

Store the truffles in an airtight container (in a single layer) lined with parchment paper. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer and owner of the Three Angels Gourmet Co. which produces a line of "heavenly gourmet mixes."

For food tips and other fun food information, visit the Three Angels Gourmet Co. blog.

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