17 December, 2009

Christmas Treats

I've had a fairly crafty, creative fall so far and thought I'd share a few recipes and photos of the fun!

The non-profit I work for owns and operates a Cranberry Bog here on Nantucket...which means I was flush with with cranberries all season. Cranberry this and that - whatever could be made with a cranberry, was! But here's the best thing...

Courtesy of Cooking Light magazine: Nantucket Cranberry Liqueur!



Recipe:
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
12 ounces of fresh cranberries
3 Cups Vodka (the cheap stuff works well!)

1) Cook sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves - stir constantly. Remove from heat and cool.
2) Chop cranberries finely in a food processor (about 2 minutes). Combine sugar mixture and cranberries in a large bowl. Stir in Vodka.
3) Pour mixture into clean jars (I just used clean canning jars and twisted the lids on tightly) Let stand for 3 weeks in a cool dark place, shaking every other day
4) Strain the cranberry mixture through cheesecloth and bottle!


This will last for a year. And man, isn't it pretty!!!!



So...to continue the sinful theme... Truffles!!! And so so easy to make!



I made a couple kinds - plain chocolate, plain chocolate dipped in white chocolate (which did not work so well! White chocolate does not melt well!!!)




And the best one - raspberry flavored dipped in dark chocolate - should have made more of these!!!

Here's the simple recipe (anyone can do this! I'm surprised I never tried before!)

Recipe
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened.
3 cups confectioners sugar
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in confectioners sugar until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Place in the fridge for about an hour.

2) Remove and shape into truffle balls. This is the step to start dipping although, make sure the truffles are warmed up to room temp first! Roll in your melted dipping chocolate (you can melt chips or blocks or bars - whatever) and place on parchment paper to dry.




3) To make flavored truffles, replace the vanilla with a different extract, like raspberry.

Enjoy!!! What's the Christmas season without a little indulgence - hey this is what I run for!!!!