As I’ve mentioned before, two of my favorite things about the holidays are making homemade gifts and the peppermint mocha (in the red cups) from Starbucks. So, this year, when it came time to make some homemade candy for gifts, I used my favorite seasonal hot beverage as inspiration.
These peppermint mocha truffles are pretty quick and easy to make. I like to put them in pretty foil wrappers and place them in white candy boxes (you can find boxes at most craft stores this time of year). Be sure to tie the box with some pretty ribbon and add a label so that everyone knows exactly what they’re getting (and if you’re like me, so you don’t get them mixed up with the other goodies you’re making!).
I will be adding these truffles to the Virtual Cookie Jar for the 12 Days of Sharing. There’s still time to make a donation (and to be entered to win some great prizes in the giveaway). Consider making some homemade gifts this year and donating what you would have spent if you had bought your gifts!
Peppermint Mocha Truffles
- 8 ounces cream cheese (or neufchâtel cheese), softened
- 24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Crushed peppermint candies (optional)
- Additional chocolate for drizzling (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the instant espresso and water, whisking until completely dissolved. Add the cream cheese and peppermint extract, and set aside.
In a double boiler, melt half of the chocolate chips (12 ounces) over barely simmering water until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl with the cream cheese, and use a hand blender to mix thoroughly. Cover and chill until firm (a few hours or overnight).
When ready to make the truffles, use a mini ice cream scoop (or clean fingers) to form little balls (about 1 inch in diameter) of the filling. Place the balls on parchment paper or waxed paper.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining chocolate chips with the 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable shortening in a double boiler over barely simmering water until the mixture is smooth. (Note – you could use the chocolate coating wafers that are found with candy-making supplies in place of the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening.) Remove from the heat.
Carefully dip each ball into the melted chocolate and coat on all sides. Lift with a fork and let the excess chocolate drain off. Place back on the parchment paper to let the chocolate set. Sprinkle with peppermint candies, if desired.
If desired, place the finished truffles in small foil candy wrappers and drizzle with additional melted chocolate.