Holiday Cookie Exchange

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s nice to slow down for a moment and do something special for your friends and loved ones.  One of the most classic ways to show we care is to give the gift of baked goods!  Because really, who doesn’t appreciate a sweet homemade treat?  So today some of my blogging and baking friends are swapping cookies… virtually!  And can you guess the best part?  You’ll enjoy six new recipes to add to your holiday baking list.  Plus some creative packaging ideas for gifting!  It’s a Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange!!

My recipe is sort of a cookie, but more like a mini tart.  I know, I know.  It’s a cookie exchange!!  {I almost made a cake but figured that was one step too far… I’m not a rule breaker!}  But trust me, these are delicious.  I wanted to do something that was both beautiful and impressive, but most importantly quick.  We are all so short on time, especially during the month of December!  Me included!  These little minis are like a chocolate truffle but with less steps.  The crispy tart-like shell is made of pure dark chocolate and provides the snap you normally get from the outside of a truffle.  The filling is a creamy and smooth chocolate ganache, just like a traditional truffle center.  Topped with pistachios, peppermints or any crunch topping of your choosing!  It’s a super simple, no bake, decadently delicious Chocolate Truffle Mini Tart!

Seriously!  If you love chocolate, this one’s for you!  Although it’s ‘mini’ in terms of a traditional tart, it is equivalent to two (maybe three) regular truffles.  But hey, it’s Christmas.  And nothing spreads joy like chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Tarts  | perfect for holiday gift giving

Top with chopped pistachios to give them a festive green shade and a nice salty crunch.  Or top with chopped peppermints for a traditional holiday combo.  I like the soft mint kind.  Really, any crunchy topping would work.  During my officially taste testing, I personally liked the pretzel topping best.  Chopped toffee bars or fleur de sel would be excellent as well.

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Tarts  | perfect for holiday gift giving

To package them up, I found this adorable wooden crate in the clearance section at Target.  Since it’s not intended for food use, I lined each section with unbleached parchement paper to protect my ‘cookies’.  Then I wrapped the box with red baker’s twine (from The TomKat Studio) and tied with a kraft tag.

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Tarts  | perfect for holiday gift giving

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE MINI TARTS
a recipe by Carrie Sellman
(makes 24)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz Dark Chocolate
  • 12 oz Semisweet Chocolate
  • 12 oz Milk Chocolate
  • 12 oz Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared coffee, cooled (or liquor of choice)
  • Assorted toppings (chopped peppermints, pistachios, pretzels, etc)

STEP 1 : In a microwavable bowl, melt dark chocolate.  Heat for 30 seconds on 50% power.  Stir.  Repeat until chocolate is melted, smooth and shiny.

STEP 2 :  Using a flexible silicon cupcake pan, scoop 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate into each cavity.  Using a brush, paint the entire cavity with melted chocolate.  Pop into refrigerator for 10 minutes while making ganache.

STEP 3 : In another microwaveable bowl, combine semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate and cream.  Heat for 30 seconds on 50% power.  Stir.  Repeat until chocolate is completely melted and mixed with cream.  Stir in coffee.  This chocolate ganache will be smooth and shiny.

STEP 4 : Pull chocolate cups out of the fridge.  Pour enough ganache into each cavity to almost fill the entire cup.  Top with chopped peppermints, pistachios, pretzels, etc.

STEP 5 : Refrigerate 2 hours or until the entire cup is solid.  Gently remove from baking mold.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

BAKERS NOTES : This process goes much faster if you happen to have two silicon baking molds.  You’ll be finished with all 24 tarts before you know it!  If you don’t have a silicon mold, you can also use a regular muffin tin lined with candy wrappers.   This will give you a slightly different final appearance but will taste equally as delicious.  And while this recipe was written for a holiday cookie exchange, it is an easy go-to recipe any time of year.  Simply swap out the toppings to customize it for the occasion.  Anytime of year is a good time for chocolate!  Enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Tarts  | perfect for holiday gift giving

Thank you to the wonderful ladies participating in this Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange!!  Be sure to hop over and check out the incredible recipes they are sharing today as well!

Wishing you oodles of holiday baking and memory making!  Remember… The 12 Cakes of Christmas continues on today and throughout the month of December!  Don’t miss today’s cake.  The 2nd Cake of Christmas goes up soon!

 

Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.

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