Cookie Dough Truffles

Background 1Last weekend Adam and I finally had a small house warming party for the apartment we moved into August 1. Better late than never right? We decided to do a board game night, and therefore we made small hand held food that could be easily eaten while playing a game. Most of the stuff we made was either prepped ahead of time or made in a slow cooker. I made these little devils for dessert, even though they were a tad more labor intensive, and let me tell you, they went pretty fast. Our friends had a hard time saying no.

The recipe is another Pinterest find. I had never even thought of these before Pinterest, and now I can’t imagine life without them. I went with the adapted recipe linked below over some of the others I saw because it was a Paleo version.  While I don’t stick to Paleo, Gluten Free, or any other specific diets, if I can get a tasty treat using healthier ingredients I’ll usually go for it. I must say these are really fantastic. They’re a little high in butter, but the recipe makes enough for between 2 and 3 dozen balls, depending on size. Besides, it’s supposed to be a treat anyway. If you were really concerned, you could always sub out some or all of the butter for peanut butter or some other nut butter of your choice. The undipped dough isn’t as sweet as you’d expect, but once you dip it in chocolate it doesn’t make a difference. I’d also speculate that this dough would be great for cookie dough ice cream. Just saying…

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Cookie Dough Truffles (Gluten-Free)

Adapted from Frisky Lemon

http://friskylemon.com/2011/08/12/brace-yourself-cookie-dough-truffles/

Total Time 90 minutes

  • 1 ½ cups almond meal
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 3 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • 8 Tbsp butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt or grey salt
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips (you could go less, but why would you?)
  • 1 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and tempered for dipping (See How-To Temper Chocolate below)

Allow the butter to soften to room temperature, and cut into 8 pieces. I find that the cut butter is easier to work with. Put butter into a stand mixer and begin to beat until smooth. Add agave and vanilla. Cream together until combined and smooth. Next add the almond meal and quinoa flour one cup at a time, blending until smooth between each cup. Next add the tapioca flour and beat until combined. (Note: At this point the balls should look rather sticky. If they are dry add a little more agave to moisten them up. If they look too sticky don’t worry. We are going to chill the mixture slightly before rolling the balls.) Next add the salt and mini chocolate chips, and mix until combined. Cover the mixture, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.

Once the dough is chilled, roll the dough into balls roughly 1 inch in diameter. They should be just large enough for one or two bites. Place the dough balls on a lined cookie sheet and return them to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. At this point you can either eat them as is or continue on and dip them in chocolate…and who doesn’t want cookie dough dredged in chocolate?

Once chilled, dip each ball in tempered chocolate, tap off the excess, and place on a lined baking sheet. Once all the balls are dipped in chocolate, return the sheet to the fridge for another 30 minutes. Once the chocolate has hardened the truffles are ready to eat!Photo 3

How-To Temper Chocolate

If you’ve watched enough food shows on either Food Network or TLC you’ve probably heard the word temper in reference to chocolate. You’ve probably also seen professional chocolatiers pulling out chilled, smoothed granite cutting blocks, repeatedly spreading melted chocolate back and forth over the granite, before returning the still melted chocolate to a larger container of melted chocolate. This process is called tempering, and it had far more importance than to just impress people with their magic chocolate skills.

When we melt chocolate we are also breaking the bond between the chocolate molecules that hold the chocolate together, give it shine, and a sharp snap when you break it. Allowing melted chocolate to cool on its own doesn’t temper it, and if you’ve ever done this you’ve probably noticed your chocolate has a flat, matte finish, bends more than snaps apart, and sometimes gets a white powdery finish on it. This white coating is called a chocolate bloom and is a pretty sure way to know the chocolate wasn’t tempered properly. There’s nothing wrong with un-tempered chocolate, but it doesn’t have the same look or textured as un-tempered chocolate. When the chocolatier from above spreads the melted chocolate on the cool stone he’s chilling the mixture, and forcing the molecules to reestablish connections. Then when he adds that tempered chocolate to the rest of the batch, it allows the remaining chocolate to build on those new connections.

Now, for all of us amateur cooks in our kitchens there’s no need to purchase a granite cutting block for tempering. There’s a simpler way that can get you close enough for your own cooking adventures.  You can do this in either a microwave or on a stove top. I personally prefer a stove, because it’s easier to keep the chocolate at a workable temperature without needing to re-temper it.  I would like to note that once you temper your chocolate you need to work quickly. So have everything you’re dipping or molding ready to go before you begin. The more you have to re-heat your chocolate to keep it workable, the more likely that you’ll need to re-temper the chocolate.

For a stove top, either using a double boiler or working in a small pot with the burner on low, slowly melt ¾ of the chocolate you plan on working with, stirring constantly. Therefore, if your recipe calls for a 12oz bag of chocolate, like it does above, melt 9oz on the stove. Once the chocolate is heated, remove from heat and stir in the remaining chocolate. Your chocolate should still be melted and workable, but it will be slightly cooled. Then dip, dunk, or pour your melted chocolate as you see fit. If your chocolate starts to stiffen up, put it back over your heat source just long enough to make it workable.

For a microwave, melt ¾ of your chocolate in a microwave bowl on low in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between. Once your chocolate is completely melted, add the remaining  solid chocolate and stir until smooth. Again, if the chocolate starts to tighten up, put it back in the microwave on low for 30 seconds to loosen it up.

So let’s talk real quick about what’s happening here. In short, when you add the solid chocolate to the melted chocolate, the solid chocolate is reestablishing the connections between the molecules that you broke during the melting process.  Remember it’s these connections that give chocolate its shine and snap. It’s a similar process to our chocolatier above, except less theatrical and we’re not making a mess. Enjoy, and regardless of how the chocolate looks, it will still taste good. It is chocolate after all.

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