Peppermint seems to be one of the ultimate Christmas flavors, and with red and white spiraled candy canes used as decorations for the yard to the tree, the humble candy cane shines as a sweet tradition of the season. While I adore looking at the canes, peeling the wrapper off and eating one is not my thing. Too sweet and a sticky mess, I find them better left on the tree than in my hand. That being said, a candy cane or peppermint candy crushed and used in a recipe has become one of my favorite holiday ingredients.
Two years ago, Wendy of the Weekend Gourmet, and I discovered a recipe for Peppermint Truffles floating around the web. I've since forgotten where I saw the original post, however the inspiration comes from a recipe on the Kraft website called Easy Oreo Truffles.
Wendy and I have both adapted our versions to suit our tastes, with my favorite featuring Trader Joe's holiday ingredients. Though the recipe is simple enough, the dipping part can take a bit of time. With an elf to help you, though (mine is named Liv), and a few time saving tips, we'll have you looking a hero in no time.
Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's provide the base the these fabulous treats, and we use a block of low fat cream cheese as a binder. My favorite part is the addition of the crushed candy cane or hard peppermint candy. Bringing an ever so slight crunch to the creamy truffle, the peppermint candies leave the truffles simply bursting with holiday flavor.
Now a tradition in our holiday season, I'd say you can't go wrong with these Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles. Perfect on your holiday cookie tray, a welcomed personal hostess gift or simply as a nibble before breakfast, I can't get enough of these holiday confections.
Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles - Trader Joe's version
I heart Trader Joe's!!! And I'm extraordinarily blessed to have no less than 3 stores in a 5 mile radius from my house providing me all the ingredients necessary for these addictive holiday treats. If you are not so lucky, see below for a non-TJ's version.
1 pkg Trader Joe's low fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (about) crushed Trader Joe's Hard Peppermint Candies (more for sprinkling)
1 pound Trader Joe's dark chocolate
Process Joe Joe's in a food processor until crumbly. Add chunked cream cheese and crushed candy cane and process until combined, being careful not to over-process. Shape into 1 inch balls and place into the freezer (balls are much easier to dip when frozen, or at least very cold - they stay together better and the chocolate sets up faster).
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dipping and keeping the truffle pretty can be a bit of a challenge, but finding a trick that works for you is key. We have found two methods that work well for us: 1. Place ball into the chocolate and roll around in the chocolate with a spoon or fork. With a fork, remove the truffle while allowing the excess chocolate to drip, then carefully place onto a sheet of waxed paper. 2. Drop the truffle into the melted chocolate and roll around with a spoon. Using a wooden skewer, skewer the truffle and allow the excess chocolate to drip, then place on the waxed paper. With a small spoon, drop a bit of extra chocolate onto the skewer hole.
As soon as you drop the chocolate onto the wax paper sprinkle immediately with the crushed candy cake (A good job for your elf if you have one). Allow to set.
Truffles will last a few days kept in a covered container in the refrigerator and are fabulous right from the fridge. Brought to room temperature they are just as good.
Peppermint Truffles, Non-Trader Joe's Version
|Sorry... I got mine at TJ's!|
1 package oreos
about 1/3 cup crushed candy canes
1 eight oz. package cream cheese (may use low fat)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
1 lb dark chocolate
Follow above recipe adding the peppermint extract when you add the cream cheese.