Saturday, December 12th, 2009
8:44 pm - Candy Planned  
So, it's time to start making some Christmas truffles. When I was out and about at various stores this morning I was thinking about laying in some raw materials, but I also remembered that I still had some of the materials left over from last year. I also wasn't exactly sure how many batches I would need to make. Still, I knew that I had none of one essential ingredient, cream cheese, in the house, and by happy coincidence Stop and Shop is running a buy one get one free special on Philly. That works out to a buck a package, so I picked up four. I also got a bag of shredded coconut and couple of bags of white chocolate chips at Wal-Mart. Now to figure out how much I actually need.

Going back over the notes in my Trouble with Truffles posts (here and here*), each batch will make about one pound of truffles**. I have ten people that are going to get them, and I'm gonna give them each a pound, so that's ten pounds all together, and thus I'll need to make ten batches. I'm also going to bake cookies, one batch each of two kinds, same as last year, so I'll need to figure what I'll need for them, too.

* Man, how handy is having it all written down on the web?

** Except for the coconut ones, which make about a pound and a half, but those are my favorites, so I'll keep the extra half pound for myself.

For variety's sake each batch will be a different type. Here's what I have so far:

mocha centers -

chips: Hershey's Special Dark chips
flavoring: 1½ tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp of hot water

coating: dark chocolate


dark chocolate centers -

chips: 60% cacao chips
flavoring: 1 tsp of vanilla

coating: dark chocolate


milk chocolate centers -

chips: milk chocolate chips
flavoring: 1 tsp of vanilla

coating: milk chocolate


mint centers -

chips: white chocolate chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of peppermint extract

coating: dark chocolate


coconut centers -

chips: white chocolate chips
flavoring: 1 x 7 oz package of shredded coconut

coating: milk chocolate


orange centers -

chips: white chocolate chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of orange extract

coating: milk chocolate


raspberry centers -

chips: white chocolate chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of raspberry extract

coating: dark chocolate


maple centers -

chips: white chocolate chips
flavoring: ¾ tsp of Mapleine (a maple flavored extract)

coating: white chocolate


butterscotch centers -

chips: butterscotch chips


sugar-free centers -

chips: Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chunks
flavoring: 1 tsp of vanilla

coating: cocoa powder


That's ten types right there***. However, the dark chocolates really aren't all that different from the mochas, and I was sort of eh on the butterscotch. That leaves a little room for some experimenting. My little experiment with caramel centers last year was pretty much a failure, so no need to repeat. I'll have to go visit the extracts aisle at the supermarket. I also might split the sugar-free batch into a couple of portions and add some flavors to the chocolate. Unfortunately I have yet to find any sugar-free white chocolate.

*** The sugar-frees are for my mother.

Meanwhile, time to tote up what I'll need. Each batch requires one 12 oz bag of chips, one half of an 8 oz package of cream cheese, and about 8 oz of chocolate coating****. So here's what I have, and what I still need to get:

Chips: 5 bags of white chips, 1 bag of milk chocolate chips, 1 bag of dark chocolate, 12 oz sugar-free chocolate chunks, and two bags to be determined. The current inventory is: 2 bags of white, 1 of milk, 1 of dark, and 12 oz of sugar-free. Still need to get: 3 bags of white plus two mystery bags.

Cream cheese: Need 5 packages, currently have four. Fortunately it is still on sale.

Coating chips: Need 1½ lbs dark chocolate, 1½ lbs milk chocolate, and ½ lb white chocolate, plus whatever I decide to coat the mystery centers with. The good news is that Not only do I already have the 1½ lbs milk, the ½ lb white, and ½ lb of the dark, but I also have both white and dark chocolate mint coating chips. I can probably use the white ones for the mint centers, so that's one less bag of white that I need to get, And I can coat those with the dark, so I need less regular dark chocolate. So, lessee, carry the two, I still need to get a pound of the dark, and a pound or so still to be determined.

Flavorings: I still have lots of assorted extracts, and I picked up the coconut, so I should be all set except for any new flavors.

**** It's more that you need to melt at least 8 oz of melted coating chips to make it worth dipping the centers. Some of it doesn't get used, but can be remelted for other batches or to make things like malted milk bark.

I still have to figure out the cookies, but right now I'm exhausted.

Of course the other thing that must needs be done before anything else is cleaning the kitchen. Sigh...