Last-Minute Gift: Homemade Chocolate Truffles

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It's hard to beat the decadence of chocolate truffles, but they're not always as sinful as they might seem. These homemade ones have about 50 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of sugar apiece. Best of all, the chocolate treats are far easier to create than you might think, making them an ideal last-minute gift.

Simple Chocolate Truffles

Makes 30 pieces
8 ounces good-quality dark or white chocolate, finely chopped
Heavy cream (½ cup for dark chocolate; 1/3 cup for white chocolate)

Coatings: cocoa powder, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, confectioners' sugar, crushed candy

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set aside. Place cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes; whisk well until all chocolate is melted. Transfer bowl to the refrigerator, and let set for about 1 hour.

Using a spoon or mini ice cream scoop, take spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and gently roll into a ball with clean hands. Roll in desired coating and place on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper. Return to the refrigerator and let harden for 15 to 20 minutes more. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Info Per Piece:

Calories: 50; Total Fat: 5 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 4 grams
; Sugars: 3 grams; Protein: 1 gram; Sodium: 0 milligrams; Cholesterol: 5 milligrams;
 Fiber: 1 gram

Recipe Variations

Take your truffles to the next level by adding even more flavor. Add 2 tablespoons of citrus zest or liquor to the chocolate before it sets and experiment with coatings. Here are a few winning combinations:

  • Espresso Crunch: instant espresso in the chocolate, rolled in crushed toffee
  • Candy Cane: white or dark chocolate, rolled in crushed peppermint candies
  • Lemon Chiffon: white chocolate with lemon zest, rolled in cookie crumbs
  • Orange-Pistachio: Grand Marnier in the chocolate, roll in chopped pistachios
  • Coconut-Almond: white or dark chocolate, rolled in toasted coconut and chopped almonds
  • Irish Cream Caramel: white or dark chocolate infused with Irish cream liqueur and drizzled with caramel
  • Fleur de sel: basic truffle , drizzled with melted chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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