Candy for Christmas Part 2: Lavender Truffles, Almond Truffles, and Almond Roca

As noted in my previous post ( My Adventures in Nougat Making…) I have been on approximately a week long quest to make candy for Thanksgiving/Christmas. I’ll tell you this much – I have consumed more sugar in this past week than I care to admit. It’s just impossible to make truffles and nougat and chocolate covered pretzels without ingesting some of it. Impossible, I tell you!

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I made plain truffles last year for Christmas, so I decided to get a little crazy with them this year, as you can tell. But not only are they decorated and fancy, they also are interestingly flavored – lavender and almond.

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As for the Almond Roca, this was the first time I’d ever made anything resembling toffee, which is basically what Almond Roca is. Actually, it is defined on Wikipedia as chocolate covered hard toffee with almonds, so there ya go. This process also involves a candy thermometer, so if you don’t have one of those and this confection sounds delicious, you better march yourself over to walmart and get one.

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Marbled Almond Roca (from Taste of Home Cookies & Candies)

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

METHOD:

1. Sprinkle almonds on a greased 9 x 13″ baking pan. Bake at 300F for 15 or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Add water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until your candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage). Quickly pour over the almonds in prepared baking pan.

3. Sprinkle chocolate chips and white chocolate chips on top and let stand for a couple minutes, or until they are soft enough to spread. Commence to swirl.

4. Cool completely then break in pieces.

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Lavender Truffles

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp dried lavender buds
1 cup dark or white chocolate chips (or both!) for chocolate coating

METHOD:

1. Start melting chocolate chips on a double broiler. Meanwhile, place heavy whipping cream and lavender buds in a pan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Once chocolate is melted, pour heavy whipping cream through a strainer (so no lavender gets in the chocolate) and stir until smooth.

2. Place in fridge or freezer until hardened. Use a teaspoon to measure out balls – you may have to round them a little with your hands (this is where it gets messy). Place back in fridge or freezer until chocolate coating is ready.

3. Melt chocolate for chocolate coating in double broiler. Dip the ganache balls into the chocolate so they are completely coated. Roll in sprinkles, nuts, or coco powder for some fun.

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Almond Truffles

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup chocolate (white or dark) for chocolate coating.

METHOD:

1. Follow the same method as in the Lavender Truffles except replace lavender buds for almond extract while simmering the heavy whipping cream. No straining is necessary.

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