Like A Bridge Over Truffled Waters

I have a confession: I really dislike making Christmas cookies and treats.

A roast or a stout stew, yes, but a couple dozen cookies can easily slay me. I marvel at the amount of cutely and carefully packaged homemade cookies, bon bons, brittles, and mini-loaves of breads that arrive at my house this time of year. It's always a glorious outpouring of love in little tins, boxes, and baggies. If it were possible for me to put a bow on some seared ahi tuna, I may be in business, but cookies and treats....I just can't seem to pull them off.

Despite all this, I am enamored with the "idea" of holiday baking and sweets. A friend of mine made this comment the other day on her Facebook status: "Sometimes [reading blogs] makes me feel like every other mother is frolicking through the kitchen with laughing babies following behind and they do crafts and read books and bake bread." I laughed as I read her post, remembering the scene that surrounds every attempt I've ever made at gingerbread houses and holiday baking. There's no frolicking. It usually involves mess, stress, and a mom learning to die to perfectionism and expectations. There's no rule that says you must make treats at Christmastime--it is not at the heart of what Christmas is about. And yet, I'm willing to silence the candy-cookie scrooge within, in hopes of spreading just a little bit of the sweetness that comes to my door.

So, it is with this frame of mind that I offer you a chocolate truffle recipe. I combined two different treats into one (because if you are gonna do it, you might as well get everything you want in one bite!) It's like an Almond Joy on the inside, a Kahlua truffle on the outside. Boom.

I present to you...

Coco Cocoa Kahlua Truffles (say that 3x fast!)

16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup heavy whipping cream 4 tablespoons butter 4 tablespoons Kahlua 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk 1 7 oz. bag of sweetened coconut flakes

Coatings for truffles: unsweetened cocoa powder, or toasted coconut

Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. If chocolate is not completely melted, microwave in 10 second increments and stir until melted. Mix in the Kahlua. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).

In another bowl, combine coconut flakes and condensed milk. Mix well, cover, and also refrigerate until firm.

Place your coatings for the truffles on separate plates. Remove the coconut mixture and the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, scoop a small amount of coconut mixture and form into a ball, about 1/2 inch in diameter. This will be the center of your chocolate truffle. (You can form all the centers first, or do the entire truffle one at a time.)

After making the coconut ball center, use a small spoon to scoop out chocolate mixture, and form into ball over the coconut, about 1 inch in diameter. Lightly roll to form ball. (The balls don't have to be perfect! They look cute as misshaped morsels!)

Immediately roll the truffle in the coating (I used the cocoa powder) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Enjoy...and hopefully you have some left over to share! :)

Makes approximately 60 truffles.