Mocha Hazelnut Truffles

Here’s a great candy recipe from Charity Ferreira. I love to make these around the holidays or for Valentine’s Day. They also make a nice hostess gift or party favor.

Mocha-Hazelnut Truffles

Espresso and Frangelico flavor these creamy white chocolate truffles. To skin the hazelnuts, bake them in a 350˚F oven until golden brown under their papery skins, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the nuts cool and then rub them vigorously in a clean kitchen towel to remove the loose skins.

Yield: 36 (¾-inch) truffles

12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 ½ cups hazelnuts (about 6 ounces), toasted, skinned and finely chopped or ground

1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)

Powdered sugar, for dusting hands

Fluted 1-inch paper candy cups (optional)

Step 1: Place the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the espresso powder in the cream and bring to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir gently with a flexible spatula until the chocolateis melted and smooth. (If the chocolate does not melt completely, place the bowl over a pan of hot water and stir until smooth.) Stir in ½ cup of the hazelnuts and the Frangelico. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, about 3 hours.

Step 2: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Scoop out tablespoon-size portions of the chocolate mixture; place them on the waxed paper. If the mixture is too firm to scoop, let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften.

Step 3: Place the remaining 1 cup of hazelnuts on a plate. Dust your hands lightly with powdered sugar. Shape each scoop into a ball, then roll it in the nuts to coat. Place each truffle in a paper candy cup, if desired. Refrigerate the truffles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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