Martha’s Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Sparkling Sugar

I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe for chocolate-champagne truffles in sparkling sugar as I was looking about for new Oscar Party ideas and I thought they would be a perfect addition to the party – who doesn’t like truffles especially when they have champagne?!  Sounded like it would be a hit for the dessert table.

When I took a glance at the reviews, I saw that there was trouble in paradise.  Many folks complained that the truffles were soft and didn’t set properly.  The recipe does call for a substantial amount of liquid.  But I decided to dive right in anyway and give it a whirl.

Now, I did make modifications.  I didn’t really believe that yield of three dozen so I doubled the chocolate and the cream.  Taking into account the problems that other folks had with the softness of the truffles, I stuck to the recipe on the champagne and cognac.  That’s twice as much chocolate power to fight off all that extra liquid.

But it still wasn’t enough. Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Gold Sanding Sugar

These truffles were soft and I needed to freeze them just to get them to set properly.  They were in the fridge until the last minute on party night.  I had covered them in gold sanding sugar, thank goodness because otherwise they would have been too sticky and soft to work with!

But the most telling sign is at the end of the night, I had plenty of these truffles left over and none of the other truffles I made from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  So my advice is to stick to Ree’s recipe!

–Martta

Lily’s Danish Almond Cookies

It is well known family lore that my Mother’s recipes can be somewhat difficult to follow.  There’s the classic at the bottom of the recipe, “oh and add ____” an ingredient which does not appear in the ingredient listing an is not mentioned until the very last step of the recipe, but it is KEY to a successful turnout.  There’s also the measurement standards she uses such a “one package of nuts” and one “cube of butter” and “add some extra flour”.   No mention of what size package of nuts or the fact that a cube of butter = 1 stick of butter or that “some” flour can be over half a cup….

But I gotta tell you, it makes for really fun recipe reading.  Where else do you get instructions like “Stir over heat until a full rolling boil.  You pretty much have to have a book to read since it needs constant stirring.  I also bring a chair over to rest one leg on it like in a saloon.”  Now, I’ve never made fudge in a saloon, but if I did, I would read a book while waiting for the sugar mixture to boil.

So this week when Heather wrote to try to decipher one of my Mom’s classics, I actually had to look up the recipe.  I figure I should put it on the blog so it will be easier for us to find in the future.  We had these Danish Almond Cookies every year when I was growing up and they are still a staple in my house at Christmas.
Lily's Danish Almond Cookies small

Ingredients:

  • 1 C Butter
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 C Ground Almonds
  • 1/2 t Almond Extract

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Mix in remaining ingredients.  Separate into two sections and roll each into a log shape.  Wrap with waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 20 minutes.

Slice and sprinkle with colored sprinkles.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  These cookies don’t expand when you cook them so you can really cram a lot on one cookie sheet.  This recipe doubles well.  In fact, I almost always double it because they are so small and delicious, it’s easy to mainline about 10 before you realize what’s happened.

One year I had little helpers for the sprinkles and while distracted with some dinner prep, I turned around to find….

Sprinkle Cookies with Colored Sugar That there had been some very generous sprinkling.Whoops.  Too many sprinkles.

Generous sprinkling or the regular amount, they are delicious.

–Martta

Oreo Owl Cupcakes

I Pinned it, and made it! Yes, I love Pinterest, and have thousands of Pins, but how many have I actually made? Maybe 20-ish. The teeniest drop in the bucket, when compared to how many Pins I’ve saved! I don’t think I’m alone in this either. So no judging, just do it!

My Mom actually emailed me this Pin, but of course I had seen it all over Pinterest… cutest cupcakes!! And because I am not so talented in the confectionary creation department, I go for the easy decorations. Frosted cupcakes, Oreos, and Reese’s Pieces? Easy.

Here is the Pin I saw…

Here is the original post from One Charming Party…

http://onecharmingparty.com/2010/10/21/halloween-school-party-food-station/

And here is my version… boxed cake mix, with homemade frosting… Yum!

Of course my kids had free license when it came to decorating, but I did strongly encourage they have normal owl eyes this first round. My son added yellow cheeks and a brown piece of hair, and my daughter went with two tufts of blonde hair for her sweet owl. Mine, of course is the boring one on top. :)

I used this recipe for the frosting, but made a couple of small changes. A whole stick of butter instead of the 6 Tbsp, and heavy cream instead of sweetened condensed milk. I recommend doubling the recipe if you want to cover a whole batch of cupcakes.

Here are a couple more pics, just for fun…

Make these with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or just neighbors and friends! They are so easy, and just plain fun!

Happy Fall Y’All, as they say here in the South. :)

-Heather