Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Truffles and My FIRST order!

The Truffle. No, not the overly pricey mushroom pigs find in the dirt of far off countries. I am talking about the chocolate kind! I had never made a truffle or anything dipped in chocolate before until about 3 weeks ago. Wow! What a fun and interesting new experience that was! 

My first try at truffle making was White Chocolate Oreo Truffles from a recipe I found on Bakerella. Oh yummy!! They were gone in no time! As I said this was my first time making anything like this before although this was not my first time working with chocolate. A lot of people at my husband's work loved them. Also someone suggested I try to make peanut butter truffles. 

Okay! Sounded like fun, then I remembered from my childhood other people making peanut butter cups or truffles. I always had  the fear of having an overkill taste of powdered sugar. I am not a big fan of powdered sugar in the first place. So with that in mind I found and tweaked a recipe that was not going to taste like you just ate a spoon full of peanut buttery powdered sugar. 

My husband and I were watching Eureka in the living room when I decided to try to make the truffles. I decided I wanted to watch the show still while making the balls and dipping them. So we moved the kitchen table into the living room. It was funny!

Side topic:
Have you heard of or ever watched Eureka? It is on Sci-Fi and on Netflix. It is a funny nerdy show we love! Netflix has seasons 1 through 3. Total bummer since there is a 4th season and we wanted to watch it.

Alright back to the truffles. I made the balls, chilled them, melted my chocolate, and dipped! I was having a problem with having too much of footing on the truffles after dipping. So frustrating!!! Argh! I tried everything from a spoon, fork, to a toothpick; the toothpick was the only thing that worked well enough to get the ball dipped and set on the parchment paper. With a little trial and error I figured out how to get just a little footing. I guess that is why MOST chocolates and such are in little cups.

Once the peanut butter balls were dipped, I melted some white chocolate to drizzle over the tops. They looked great! I was very pleased because.....they tasted 10 times better than a Reese's! None of that choking taste of powdered sugar either! Yuuuuummmmmy!

So fast forward a week later, Monday, October 24th, and my hubby calls from work with some exciting news. One of his co-workers wanted to order two dozen for her anniversary on the 1st of next month. Apparently her husband loves my truffles more than Reese's and this man knows his Reese's! I about squealed from pure delight! I did pat myself on the back though. MY FIRST ORDER!! Holy cow I am excited and ready to make some truffles!

Oh yes....anyone know what makes something a bite, a ball, or a truffle? I am curious to know why some things are called one name and others, another name.Also, anyone have any tips or tricks on how to avoid a ton of footing on the bottom or your chocolate covered things like truffles or cake pops?

Thank a million for sharing and reading!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Awana & Halloween Sugar Cookies

So some of you are probably wondering what is Awana? Awana helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

The Awana name comes from the first letters of "Approved workmen are not ashamed" as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15 of the Bible. The kids in Awana love it and can not wait until next week to come again. I am a Helper in my little group of girls. I can see that Awana is very important to them and they soak up all the information. It is wonderful!

Last week, I volunteered to make some treats for our group, so I made Halloween Sugar Cookies! I have been woking on perfecting my sugar cookie recipe. I think I have got it, maybe just a few more tweaks here and there. 
Sugar Cookies for Awana
Oh! A little fun side note! When my husband came home from work and I gave him one of my sugar cookies, he accused me of buy store bought cookies!! I about died from laughter. Now he can not get enough of them which is great because he has always disliked most sugar cookies. So far everyone that has had one of my cookies, they have loved it. So pleased and grateful that the recipe has so far been yummy. Just a few kinks to work out, like spreading out when baking.

I made the dough, which is a little sticky, so I let it chill out for a while in the fridge.Even though the dough was cooled, my cookies still spread out when baking. So I put the dough in the freezer for a while and that seemed to help for the most part. Can't have bats shaped cookies turning into puffy triangles! 
I had a few air bubbles pop out when piping the lines inside. Ugh.

For some of the other cookies I have made, I just made an alternative royal icing from the lovely and wonderful Amanda from i am baker

1 cup Confectioners Sugar (sifted...ALWAYS sifted)
1 tablespoon Milk
1 tablespoon Corn Syrup 
2-3 drops of Lemon Juice

Works great for outlining and flooding. Just thin the icing down a little bit more for better flow for flooding.

Now for the cookies I made for my Awana girls, I tried regular royal icing recipe, I got from the talented Bridget of Bake at 350 & University of Cookie.

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup *
few drops clear extract (optional)

* Corn syrup makes icing glossy!

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. With a regular hand mixer, just mix on low until foamy. Then sift in the powdered sugar and mix on low until it is combined. Add in the corn syrup and extract, if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. You should be able to put the paddle or hand mixer out of the icing and the peak left behind will hold.

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."

I looove meringue powder! Works wonderfully for royal icing! Although, I do enjoy the taste of the alternative royal icing better.

Cookies baked, decorated, and eaten! I am so happy they were such a hit with the girl and the leaders! Even my niece devoured three of the cookies. 

 Thanks for reading and happy baking!

A bunch of cookies!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Blogger up! Ready to start baking and start making things come together! Thing will be under some heavy construction, so please stay tuned for yummy cookies, cupcakes, and candy!!