What’s your favorite Christmassy flavor combination? I bet it involves peppermint in some form, or maybe you’re a gingerbread sort! For me, it’s definitely white chocolate and peppermint, reminding me of the days growing up. Mom would treat us to a peppermint white hot chocolate after indulging her in mall santa photos. From then on, the pairing of cool mint and creamy, rich white chocolate is inseparably seasonal to me.
When I was planning my very first big “family” Thanksgiving this year, I decided to treat my guests to a little takeaway, preferably in edible form, since, obviously, they’d need a little snack to make it home after that awfully ascetic Thanksgiving Dinner. After all, some of them live up to twenty minutes away!
Nonetheless, I initially planned on making mini loaves of pumpkin bread, all wrapped up in King Arthur’s mini paper loaf pans, which I just adore. I did some thinking, though, and realized that, as much as I love earthy pumpkin and the aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, this year’s late Thanksgiving would be a great time to officially welcome in the winter holidays–namely, at least on my family’s side, Christmas.
I figured I could infuse the two flavors in a simultaneously elegant and festive, yet portable little bite as a peppermint white chocolate truffle. Several years ago, I attempted various truffles to package as Christmas gifts and I failed miserably. I feel like that should be in all caps, but I don’t want to confuse you. I don’t want you to think that something so eye-catching applied to this post. Why? Because, a few years older and wiser, with these little wintry suckers,
I succeeded. Successfully. Real successfully. Real successful-like.
But not at first. I followed a basic white chocolate truffle recipe, but the butter and cream content was too high, making the ganache almost impossible to roll and dip. I did roll and dip them, but it was EXTREMELY frustrating and difficult and I recommend it to no one. However, they were in-for-the-love-of-all-things-holy-CREDIBLE. The candy coating was satisfyingly crunchy, the filling tender and melty and gooey and UGH. However.. did I mention they were almost impossible to dip? They did not freeze, so there goes that.
In my second attempt, I created my own recipe, cutting down the butter and cream, leaving the peppermint flavor as is to get that beautifully cool and seasonal flavor. It’s perfect. Just perfect! The truffle filling might not be as soft and melty, but it’s much more “truffley” and is completely rich. I left a good ratio of butter to upgrade the richness beyond a basic chocolate-and-cream ganache, but it’s low enough that you can roll the chilled ganache into perfect spheres and dip them with ease, ending up with perfectly smooth and professional-looking little bonbons of delish. As an aside, I just spent 45 seconds retyping “delish”, since OSX Mavericks wants nothing more than to remind me I actually mean “relish”. The only way in which relish belongs in this post is if I were referring to how much I relish this recipe. I really do, though. I do, really. It’s perfect.
You can easily make these as a surprise giveaway or place setting name marker.. thingy for Thanksgiving. They don’t require much active time, and there’s probably only two ingredients you don’t already have on hand!
These peppermint white chocolate truffles are ideal for holiday gifts and favors or a just-because indulgence. They’re simple to make and so incredibly rich, yet light, thanks to the butter and peppermint extract, respectively. You can top them with crushed candy cane or little red nonpareils, or even dust them with edible silver shimmer or red glitter! They make stellar gifts because they’re delish, easy, and stylish. What more could you want?
Oh, for me to mail you three dozen?
Well.. I’ll consider it, it being the inauguration of the season of giving and all.
Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles
- 6 ounces white chocolate (by weight), about 1 cup volume
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter , cut in 3 pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- small pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- vanilla candy coating , or tempered white chocolate, for dipping
- crushed candy canes , red nonpareils, white edible shimmer, red edible glitter, etc., for garnish
In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the white chocolate, butter, and heavy cream. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring after each go-round, until melted. It should take about 90 seconds - but be careful, white chocolate burns faster than milk or dark chocolate, so take care to really stir after each 30-second burst. When the white chocolate mixture is totally smooth and melted, stir in the salt and extract place a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the mixture and refrigerate.*
Place cooled mixture in the freezer, for at least an hour or two (up to a couple days, I'd imagine). Before rolling your truffles, remove white chocolate mixture from freezer and let sit on the counter for about an hour, or until still very firm but soft enough to stick a spoon in and gather some truffle mixture.
When ready to roll your truffles, melt your vanilla candy coating in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. How much you need will depend on how thick you end up making your coating, but I used about half of a package for this one batch. Microwave in 30-second bursts, taking care to only melt it to smooth, as scorching hot mixture would melt our truffles!
Setup your truffle-making station. You will need, in this order, your white chocolate mixture and a tablespoon/truffle scoop/regular spoon; the melted candy coating and a fork or two; a baking sheet or plate lined with wax paper; your garnishes.
Scoop out about a tablespoon-size portion of your white chocolate mixture (actual size will be up to you - I think mine were a LITTLE smaller than this, but I just used a regular soup spoon). Roll it between your palms to make the perfect sphere shape. Drop it in the candy coating and, using the fork, toss it a bit to coat completely. Remove from the candy coating with the fork, letting excess drip off. Using the second fork, gently push the truffle off the first fork by almost lifting it/sliding it off the first fork onto the wax paper. IMMEDIATELY garnish your truffle - if you wait, the cold truffle filling will freeze the candy coating, hardening it, making it impossible to garnish.
Repeat until you've used all the white chocolate mixture!
*The first time I made these, I placed the just-melted mixture right into the freezer. It's technically better to bring the ganache mixture to a cooled temp first before freezing, but well.. if you're short on time, just go right ahead and put it in the freezer. You didn't hear it from me.