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Homemade holiday gifting is all the rage in my home.
If I can choose between grabbing a small trinket in a random store and making something with all my heart at home, I will always choose the homemade gifts.
Not to mention, you don’t have to fight the holiday shopping crowds, and you actually end up saving more money by doing some things yourself. Everybody wins in that scenario, you know?
This is why I love to make homemade candy for my friends and family for the holidays, truffles in particular. They’re one of life’s little indulgences that we all seem to love. They can be made with so many different flavors, and you can customize them with everyone’s favorite ingredients.
Whether you are a fan of milk, dark, or white chocolate, I think we can all agree that truffles are a treat that will bring a smile to our faces, no matter how badly our day is going.
I love chocolate and hazelnut (like almost everyone else on the planet, I’m pretty sure…) so the combination of dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts in homemade candy is pure magic for me.
There’s just something about watching a loved one while they’re opening a package of cute packaged treats that you made from scratch, and seeing them gasp in surprise because you made them yourself, rather than buying them in a store.
Homemade gifts really make the difference during the holidays, and when you are at a loss for what to give someone, these truffles are the ones to go with. It’s so fulfilling to know that something you made in your own kitchen can bring so much joy to others.
They are flavorful and rich, in ways that bring your taste buds to life. The soft chocolates melt in your mouth, filling your palate with a bitter smoothness that everyone will swoon over.
The best part of this recipe is that it is so easy to triple or quadruple, so you can bust out all of your homemade gifts in one day. I like to put on the Christmas music, light some scented candles, and relax with a movie while the truffle base is chilling.
Then you can get to work assembling your boxes of treats, coating them in a variety of ingredients so they will really stand out in the crowd of seasonal goodies.
Keep reading to learn more about all the different ways that you can coat these truffles at the end of the article. I promise, there is no limit to the creativity you can express when you’re making these for your friends and family.
You can even make these truffles up to a week before you gift them. Simply pop them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to deliver them to the lucky recipients.
If you decide to keep these all for yourself, they make a fantastic treat to indulge in while you snuggle up with your family at home, next to a cozy fire. Pair them with a bold red wine and you have a romantic evening ahead of you, if you so choose.Print
Make your friends and family smile this holiday season with the best homemade dark chocolate truffles. It’s a tasty gift that’s easy to create.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Suggested Coatings:
- Sifted cocoa powder
- Shelled and chopped pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts
- Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Combine heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until nearly simmering. Stir in the vanilla. Pour hot liquid over the chocolate chips and stir mixture until totally smooth. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for about 3 hours or until firm.
- After the mixture has chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Place each of your chosen coatings on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
- Wearing latex gloves and using two spoons, scoop out rounded portions of the chocolate mixture by the tablespoonful. Form into balls by rolling with your palms.
- Roll each ball in the coating of your choice and place on a clean separate plate, or in a storage container lined with parchment or waxed paper.
- Chill until firm, for about 1 hour.
- These truffles can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Nutritional information below does not include optional coatings.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Category: Candy
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Desserts
Keywords: chocolate truffles, chocolate, candy, Christmas
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients
Measure out the chocolate chips, and place them in a medium-sized heatproof bowl.
If you don’t like dark chocolate, note that you can always use a different type of chips, like butterscotch, white or milk chocolate, or peanut butter.
Measure the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla.
Step 2 – Make Truffle Mixture
Add the heavy cream and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir to combine. When it is just barely simmering, stir in the vanilla.
Immediately pour the hot liquid over the chocolate chips. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until firm.
In this step, you are making ganache, a creamy dessert base perfect for candies, tarts, and more!
Step 3 – Coat and Chill
Place each of your chosen coatings on a plate. For this batch, I’ve used cocoa powder, toasted chopped almonds, toasted chopped hazelnuts, and salted pistachios.
You can also use peanut butter powder, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes, mini chocolate chips, or really anything else you can think of to make the ultimate flavor combination!
Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and form them into balls by rolling with your palms. Repeat for the remainder of the mixture.
Pro Tip: Be sure to wear latex gloves when you are forming the truffles, to keep your hands clean throughout the process. Otherwise, you’ll need to wash your hands with cold water after making every handful or so, to keep them from getting too sticky.
Roll each ball in the coating of your choice, and place on a clean plate or in a storage container. Line it with parchment paper or waxed paper if you like, to keep them from sticking.
Once all of the balls are coated, chill until firm. This will take about one hour.
Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.
Need More Inspiration For Coating Your Truffles?
If you are like me and you are considering making these for holiday gifts, you want to make a triple batch of these bad boys. You also want to make sure you have a good amount of variety, so when you pack up little boxes of the treats, they will really wow whoever you give them to.
I like to order a few packages of these boxes, available via Amazon.
Here is a comprehensive list of all of my top favorite ideas to coat these beauties, either on their own or in combination:
- Cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar
- Matcha (green tea powder)
- Nuts: chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, etc.
- Crushed candy canes
- Pixy Stix (for the inner kid in you)
- Chopped candied ginger
- Sanding sugar, sparkling sugar, or edible glitter
- Freeze-dried fruits like raspberries or strawberries, crushed or ground into powder
- Espresso powder
- Toasted and sweetened desiccated coconut
- Ground cinnamon or cinnamon sugar
- Cayenne pepper (for a spicy kick – mix with powdered sugar and cocoa powder)
What coatings would you use to make your own homemade truffle boxes? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe after you’ve had a chance to try it!
Trying to find healthier options to give as a gift? You’ll be pleased with our bite-sized recipe for either chocolate date truffles or cacao bliss balls! They are just as beautiful, but with mindfully chosen ingredients.
For a tasty box of assorted flavored truffles, make a few of these recipes:
- White Chocolate Almond Flour Blueberry
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut
- White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
- Chocolate Whiskey
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo via Premium Quality Gift Wrap Paper. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 24, 2009. Last updated: January 23, 2023 at 16:23 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.