Friday, December 06, 2019


The holiday season is almost upon us, and it is the right time to start planning the dessert platters and gift baskets. And among rows of cookies and miniature pies, there is always room for truffles, pralines, and other desserts alike.
Truffles are among the perfect homemade gifts and party treats. Usually uncomplicated to make, convenient to transport, and almost everyone loves them, because everyone loves bite-sized desserts, especially if they are homemade and flavourful.
These little beauties are full of roasted hazelnuts, vanilla, and orange blossom water; and some strong espresso, for good measure. And if you like, you can add a splash of coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa or Tia Maria.

200 grams vanilla biscuits (such as Petit-Beurre), divided
120 grams butter, softened
120 grams icing sugar
200 grams roasted hazelnuts, ground
30 ml strong espresso
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon orange blossom water
15 ml coffee liqueur, optional

Crush the biscuits in a food processor into fine crumbs, then add 150 grams of the crumbs to a large bowl, and add in the softened butter. Mix, either by a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula, until the mixture starts to come together. It does not have to be fully blended at this point. Sift in the icing sugar and add the ground hazelnuts; and mix everything together until a soft but crumbly batter forms.
Add in the vanilla and the orange blossom water, and half of the espresso. Mix until incorporated, and then slowly add the remainder of the coffee. If using, add the coffee liqueur, and gently form the batter into a ball. Place it into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, so it can cool down and firm up slightly. Take out pieces of chilled batter with a small cookie scoop, and form them into truffles, then roll each one into biscuit crumbs. Refrigerate until serving. Yields 25 truffles.

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