*Americana Vignette is a pen name. All rights, intellectual or otherwise, express or implied, are reserved by the original author/creator.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Any Occasion Fudge Truffles

Pictured above: handmade truffles and hand-dipped white chocolate strawberries.

18 ounces (1 1/2 packages) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8-oz package cream cheese
3 cups confectioner's sugar

Optional: 12 oz. white chocolate for dipping
Optional: chocolate candy sprinkles

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat. Cut cream cheese into 1-oz chunks and add to melted chocolate, stirring until blended. (It might be necessary to return the mixture to the double boiler momentarily, but beware of overheating.) When chocolate and cream cheese are well mixed and the color is consistent, add confectioner's sugar in three parts, one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Set finished filling mixture aside to set, approximately 1 hour.

When truffle mixture has set (meaning the confectioner's sugar has soaked up enough moisture to make it semi-tacky, but not too sticky), scoop out by heaping teaspoonfuls and roll into balls. Place balls onto cookie sheet and set in refrigerator to chill overnight. (If you are short on fridge space, then allow to set longer at room temperature, until the outside edges of the truffles are no longer sticky to the touch. This could take several hours. Remove from tray with a metal spatula, place into a ziploc bag and chill overnight.)

Melt white chocolate either in a double boiler or the microwave; beware of overheating. Dunk chilled truffles into the melted chocolate and place onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Sprinkle immediately with candy sprinkles, if desired. Yield: about 3 dozen truffles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Butter-Cookie Shortbread


1 ¾ -2 cups white flour
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar.
Additional sugar for sprinkling

Mix well together and press out into 1/2” thick square on cookie sheet, approximately 8” X 10”. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are browned and the top is covered with small bubble pockets. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional sugar. Allow to cool. Cut into triangles and serve. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eggnog Frappucino

16 frozen coffee cubes*
2 cups eggnog
3 tablespoons white sugar

Pour eggnog into blender; add sugar and 10 frozen coffee cubes. Pulse until ice is partially crushed. Add remaining ice cubes, pulse again for approximately 15 seconds. Blend until smooth. Yield: 1 large or 2 small frappucinos.

*Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cherry Cream Cheese Thumbprints

2 cups white flour
1 cup white sugar
8 oz. container whipped cream cheese
¼ cup margarine (or butter)
Additional sugar for rolling
Maraschino cherries

Mix together the flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the margarine in the microwave, then stir into the flour mixture until mixture looks like coarse meal. Microwave the cream cheese briefly, about 15 seconds, to make it more moldable. Mix by hand into the flour mixture until a solid dough is formed. (Optional: dough may be chilled or set in fridge overnight.) Roll dough into 1” balls, then roll balls into sugar to coat. Place onto cookie sheet, leaving 1”- 2” of space between each ball. Gently press a fingertip into center of ball. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop Maraschino cherries into 1/8 pieces, and gently press one piece into the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned (13 minutes if dough is chilled.) Serve warm or cooled. Yield: 2 ½ dozen.

*Americana Vignette is a pen name. All rights reserved.