The holiday season is a time for candies and cookies and every other sweet thing you can imagine. However, one of the most popular treats that are given around this time of year are truffles. Oftentimes, people are buying a bag of Lindt truffles or making really expensive ones, but there are ways to cut down on your truffle cost this season.
Some of the top prices that have been paid for truffles are up around $2,600 a pound, which is crazy, and you should not pay that for truffles (ever). Buying gifts, or making them, for the holidays should not be bankrupting you.
Many people think that the best truffles come with a high price tag, but that is simply not true. There are truffles that you can make within the comfort of your own home that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (and your gift with have that special homemade touch).
Thinking Outside of the Box
One cheap and easy way to make truffles for your family and friends (and keep cost down) is to change the filling. By changing the filling, you aren’t spending a ton of money on chocolate. Instead, you are keeping costs low and still providing a delicious and meaningful gift.
You may be asking yourself, “What do you use besides chocolate?” Well, one of the most popular items to use are Oreo cookies and cream cheese. Separate the Oreos and take out the filling, crush the cookies. Then, mix the cookie crumble with cream cheese and “Viola!” you have a delicious truffle center. Roll the Cream Cheese/Oreo mixture into one inch balls (truffle-sized balls).
Instead of using gourmet chocolate to coat the outsides, you can simply microwave semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips) and coat the Oreo/Cream Cheese balls in chocolate. When the Oreo/Cream Cheese balls have been coated, place them on wax paper (on a baking sheet) and put them in the refrigerator to cool.
It Doesn’t Have to be Gourmet
You don’t have to buy Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger or Guittard chocolate. You can use chocolate chips from the baking isle and simply mix the chips with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and pop it into the microwave (using a microwave safe bowl). When microwaving chocolate you will want to heat it for about 30 seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Using 30 second heating cycles will prevent the chocolate from burning.
Once the chocolate is heated, use a melon-baller (or a spoon) to make balls of chocolate. Once this is done, immediately roll the ball of chocolate in cocoa powder (another fairly cheap product) or powdered sugar. If you are wanting to spent a little more money, you can also roll the chocolate balls in nuts or coconut. Then, set them aside on wax paper to cool. You can also leave a few uncoated to provide variety in your truffles. These will not require refrigeration unless you are also baking and you kitchen is hot. If your kitchen is warm, place them in the refrigerator.
You can buy all sorts of goodie bags for the holidays. There are tins, baggies, tupperware, glass containers and all types of containers to present your homemade truffles in. Many of these types of containers can be found at a local discount store, but another cost-efficient way of presenting them is to buy a set of Mason jars. You can fill the jar with truffles and tie a bow on it (or stick a bow to the top of it). Mason jars have become a trendy, but low-cost way of presenting gifts.
So, if you are thinking about getting people truffles for Christmas, save your wallet some pain and make them. They are extremely easy, and there are cost-efficient ways to make them. Plus, anything homemade is better than something out of a bag.