Let’s Celebrate

Let’s celebrate the passing of the old year and ring in the new. Whether you are staying home for a quiet evening watching the televised celebrations around the world or you go out on the town with a group of friends, enjoy all that has been good about the past year and let’s look forward to what lies ahead for the new year.

A New Year's Celebration
A New Year’s Celebration

A glass of bubbly and a little chocolate is a lovely indulgence for New Year’s Eve or any special occasion and if you are going to have chocolates, truffles are seen as special.

If you go to a famous chocolatier, you will pay dearly for a small box. The nice thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for truffles. No matter if you are just learning to cook or are an experienced gourmet chef, you can make your own. Making truffles is as simple as it gets….all you need is good quality chocolate and  cream and you can have decadent chocolate truffles. This is a basic recipe for truffles that can be adapted to your tastes.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles
Homemade Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

  • 1/2 c. whipping cream 
  • 1 (10 oz. package) approx. 2 c. chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet) or finely chopped  quality dark chocolate 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1/4 c. sifted cocoa powder for coating the truffles

Place the chocolate into a glass bowl. Bring cream just to a boil, remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit until the chocolate starts to melt then stir until smooth. (If the chocolate isn’t thoroughly melted, place in the microwave for ten seconds and then stir again.) Stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier, if using. Cover and let sit for several hours or over night until the mixture firms up. (Can be placed in the refrigerator to firm if your kitchen is warm. If you refrigerate, watch that the mixture doesn’t get hard…you just want it firm enough to be able to form soft balls.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil or a Silpat. Scoop out small portions of the chocolate mixture with two small spoons…one to scoop and one to push it off.  Place the chocolate on the lined baking sheet, then refrigerate (a few minutes) until firm but not hard. When firm, roll pieces of chocolate between your fingers to shape the truffles (if your chocolate is hard, your can roll in your palms but the chocolate will quickly soften). Then roll truffles in cocoa powder. Instead of cocoa powder, you can use finely chopped nuts or other ingredients of your choice.

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There are so many things you can do with this basic recipe. Different liquors and extracts can be added as well as ground nuts, grated orange peel, sea salt, espresso powder, chili powders, etc. The truffles can also be rolled in a variety of chopped nuts, shaved chocolate, coconut flakes or covered in a hard chocolate shell. Just use your imagination and experiment until you find your favorite combinations…they will be delicious.

I would like to take this time to say “thank you” to all the readers that have stopped by this year. Whether it was the first time or you were a regular, I appreciated your kind words  about my travels, recipes, homes and gardens. I look forward to the new year with you following along as I explore more back roads. Let’s celebrate the passing year and welcome in 2013 with glee.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

151 thoughts on “Let’s Celebrate

  1. My favorite indulgence is a champagne truffle from Godiva or Teuscher. Between the calories and the cost I don’t have them often, but it looks like this recipe solves the cost issue. Now, if you could just do something about those calories . . . Happy New Year Karen!

    1. Hi Karen, I have one piece of chocolate every evening and there is nothing better than truffles. As far as calories go…everything in moderation. Have a wonderful new year as well.

    1. Thank you Roger, for your nice compliment. I’m looking forward to New Year’s eve and the new year. I hope you have a wonderful new year as well.

    1. Thank you Emil, for your nice compliment. I always look forward to your visits here. I agree that truffles are both divine and decadent. Have a great time on New Year’s eve. Knowing you…it will be fun, I’m sure.

  2. I’ve used this same method for making truffles and they are always perfect! I too will get crattive with adding in different liquors and coatings. You are so right, these are easier, less costly and so much better than store-bought!! You’ve inspired me to make a batch for my neighbors! What better way to ring in the New Year! And I thank you for sharing your travels and great recipes thru thr year. Best to you in 2013!

    1. Hi Linda, Homemade truffles are probably the easiest recipe ever…there is no end to the combination of flavors you can create. Your neighbors will love your gift of truffles, I’m sure. I always appreciate when you stop by to visit and your lovely comments…thank you! Have a wonderful New Year.

  3. The first picture is such an elegant presentation. I don’t know which to try first … the glass of bubbly or one of your truffles.

    I haven’t made truffles in years. They are fun to make and eat, aren’t they? 🙂 The matcha ones in the post below were my favourites. I was going to make Grand Marnier/orange zest ones eventually but never got around to it. Too many other desserts to make.

    http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/74463.html

    1. Hi Boleyn, I’m glad you liked the first photo…I wanted something a little special to end the year. Oh, you must have a sip of the bubbly first, I think. Orange and chocolate are a perfect match.

    1. Thank you Anna, for your lovely compliment. I know what you mean about the sweets…I have cookies and fruitcake, now these. Oh, what is a girl to do.

  4. Karen, Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, and I hope you ring in the new year with gusto!

    Oh, my hips & thighs thank you for this yummy recipe! LOL!!

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your wish. New year’s eve is always spent at home…too many crazy people out on our sometimes icy roads. A special meal with Champagne and ending with these truffles is how we celebrate the evening. I’m glad that you like the truffle recipe. I hope you have a great New Year.

      1. Hi Karen like you, we stay home too for the very same reasons. This year we’ll be in Old Orchard, all our friends live within walking distance, so it’s very convenient for us. On New Years Day we’ll head to the beach to watch the “Lobster Dip” – those are the nuts that run into the North Atlantic for a swim, all for a good cause though! Happy New Year!

      2. Walking to your friends sounds like a great way to ring in the New Year…enjoy the beach. I can’t believe the people that go into the water even for a good cause…I think the ocean is cold in summer. LOL.

  5. I love homemade truffles and as you’ve said…so easy to make and so much better than store-bought! Hope you have a lovely weekend Karen, and the happiest of New Years. I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2013!

    1. Hi Betsy, I’m glad you agree with me about truffles being so easy to make. I always look forward to your visits…I’m happy that you enjoy the posts. Have a wonderful New Year as well.

  6. Lovely photos, Karen, and the truffles look amazing! I’m sure they taste amazing, too. No cozy New Years with Bubbly for us this year as my closest friend these past 40 years is having his 60th Birthday New Years Eve. So, Baby Lady & I are throwing him a birthday party. Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

    1. Thank you John, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. If you are throwing a birthday party for your friend, I know it will be a blast…lucky him. Thank you for your wish, I hope the New Year will be a wonderful one for you as well.

    1. Thank you Kristy, for your nice wish…I hope you and your family will have a wonderful New Year as well. I’m happy that you enjoy following along on our adventures…I always appreciate your comments.

  7. Really nice food styling on your photos. They’re both so pretty. And truffles are great, and they really are so easy to make! Messy, though — I don’t make them because my wife likes to, and there’s always cocoa powder on the tip of her nose by the time the truffles are done! But they’re so good, and just a fraction of the price of the ones you buy. Happy New Year! I eagerly look forward to seeing what back roads you’ll be exploring in 2013.

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment on the photos…I’m glad you liked them. Actually, I had the process of making the truffles pretty much under control but flour is the enemy in my kitchen. LOL. Thank you for your wish, I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well. I’m happy that you are looking forward to new back road adventures…Florida will be coming up soon.

    1. Hi Bill, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. Chambord liquor would be wonderful in the truffles…the berry flavor goes very well with chocolate. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Southern, I’m happy to know that I have inspired you. This is probably one of the easiest recipes you will ever make…I hope you will give it a try. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Thank you Nancy, for your lovely comment. I appreciate that you enjoy my posts and are looking forward to the New Year. I hope you have a wonderful year as well.

  8. Oh YUM! Those truffles look very impressive, not to mention delicious. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and will have a joyful New Year. In my family, 2012 has been a year filled with tough times. My mother has been very ill – we nearly lost her in October – and she had major surgery only a few days before Christmas. Thankfully it was successful.

    Lets raise a glass to 2013; may it be peaceful, joyful and fun!

    1. Hi Grace, Thank you for your nice compliment and wish. I knew that your mother was ill…I’m happy to know that the surgery was successful. Let’s hope that both you and your mother have a much better year in 2013.

  9. I did my own sugar and dairy free version of truffles for Christmas but if someone offered me one of these, I sure wouldn’t refuse. As you say, everything in moderation. I hope lots of wonderful things happen for you and your family in the coming year. I enjoy coming to your blog and catching up.

    1. Hi Suzanne, Thank you for your lovely compliment. It is nice to know that you enjoy visiting my blog. I do believe in everything in moderation. I know that you are cooking without sugar, dairy and grain for health reasons and you have made some very nice desserts.

    1. Hi Marlene, I love chocolate and have one each evening. I thought that there would be nothing nicer than truffles to end the year and ring in the new. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Looks like you are ready for a decadent New Years Eve, Karen! That first picture you posted is fabulous! Makes me think of the Great Gatsby. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you Ruth, for your nice comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. I wanted the first photo to have a feeling of all that is glamourous about New Year’s Eve…the Great Gatsby does have that feeling. I hope you have a great year as well.

    1. Thank you Afra, for your lovely comment. I appreciate your compliment and wish and hope your New Year will be wonderful as well. I look forward to your return visits.

    1. Hi Victoria, I appreciate your nice compliment and wish. I have a wonderful Mexican chocolate and cinnamon mixture that I am going to roll my next truffles in…I think a little coffee liquor would be great in them as well. I hope your New Year will be wonderful.

  11. Even though I don’t have a sweet tooth I was bought fresh truffles from Brussels, a city I adore. They were sublime! Yet, I’ve never bothered to make them.
    Yes, totally agree with you – let’s welcome 2013 with glee! What a charming little word glee is.

    1. Hi Johnny, I have to agree with you about Belgium chocolates. My gravatar photo is in Bruges with a chocolate shop in the background. If you have a quality chocolate, you can make a wonderful truffle. Yes…I agree that glee is a charming word and explains my feelings much of the time. I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  12. I must say that champagne and chocolate is one of my favorite celebrations – there is nothing like it! Happy New Year, Karen! Hope 2013 brings all good things!

    1. Hi T.W., Thank you for your nice wish. We have very similar tastes…from Champagne and chocolates to gardens and apple trees. Let’s hope we both have a wonderful New Year as well.

    1. Thank you Lorraine, for your wish for the New Year…I hope yours is wonderful as well. There is nothing simpler than making your own truffles and they are so good.

  13. Don’t know whether my imagination is again working overtime or I am just in a romantic mood waiting for the bells to ring, but I just love that first photo 🙂 ! Seriously tho’: thank you for all the posts, from home or ‘our’ travels!

    1. Hi Eha, I’m glad you liked the first photo…I think New Year’s eve is a romantic time. I have enjoyed all your visits and comments this year. I’m also looking forward to you following along next year.

  14. Truffles and champagne. What a nice way to ring in the New Year! It’s been some time since I’ve had homemade truffles but I do remember that they were so much better than any I’d ever had. Given your skill in the kitchen, Karen, I’m sure yours would be every bit as good, if not better.
    Wishing you both every happiness in the New Year!

    1. Hi John, I do think truffles and champagne are a great way to celebrate the New Year. I just have to hope I don’t finish them before the celebrations begin. Truffles are one thing that anyone can easily make…they are so simple. I hope you will have a wonderful New Year.

  15. What a wonderful recipe to begin celebrating the New Year. I love the basic recipe and think it would be a good one for me to perfect! I agree with you that this has been a very special year to make many new blogging friends. I’m looking forward to “getting to know you” even more in the coming year, Karen!

    1. Hi Debra, You will have no trouble making the truffles…even the first time as they are easily made. I’ve enjoyed our blogging friendship and look forward to the New Year. All the best to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Ming, for your wish. I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well. I do appreciate your visits and I’m glad you enjoy our adventures. The truffles are as good as they look…thanks.

  16. We’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at a friend’s home and these would be a delightful treat to bring. I’ve only made truffles once and it was a delightful surprise to find out how easy they were to make, and so easily tempting 🙂

    Happy New Year, Karen!

    1. Hi Susan, I do think your friends would love it if you brought truffles. As you say…they are so easy to prepare and everyone loves them. Have a wonderful New Year as well.

  17. The truffles look very good and I’ve paid dearly for a few in the past. We’ll just sip a little bubbly and I’ll start the new yearby hitting the sack around 10pm. It seems to come in okay without me actually watching the ball :-).

    1. Thank you Larry, for your compliment. I can’t believe how much truffles can cost sometimes. Have a wonderful New Year. You will feel a lot better than many people who party into the wee hours of the New Year, I’m sure.

      1. I love photography, what can I say? With all your travels I have patiently been waiting for a change. I almost succumbed to gently prodding you in that direction but no need, kindred minds think alike.

      2. You are so right. I have been wanting to change the header but it is so narrow that all the photos I wanted to use wouldn’t fit. This photo was so lovely…it is a shame that I could only use a sliver.

    1. Hi Mary, Truffles are so easy to make. You should make them again…they are so delicious for so little work. I always appreciate your visits and comments. Have a great New Year.

  18. Karen, I loved visiting you every week in 2012 and can’t wait to read about your fantastic recipes and explorations in 2013. This is one perfect chocolate little bite. Very indulgent and I bet I can’t stop at just one. I think I might try this by adding a little chili, how fun. Did you like the cocoa powder dipped one or the ones dipped in nuts better? Wishing you and your family a very safe and happy 2013. Take Care, BAM

    1. Hi Bam, I have to thank you for your lovely comment. I always appreciate your kind words when you visit…it’s nice to know that you enjoy my adventures and recipes. I have to say that if I could only have one…it would be the ones I rolled in finely chopped pecans (but that is just because I grew up on a ranch in Texas with pecan trees, I’m sure.) Actually, I don’t think I have ever had a truffle I didn’t like. I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year as well.

    1. Hi Ducky, I know what you mean. This is one treat that everyone one can make no matter if they think of themselves as a gourmet cook or a novice.

    1. Thank you Charlie, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad you liked my photos and the recipe…I wanted this post to feel special like I think most people think of New Year’s eve.

  19. Your homemade chocolate truffles are just what I need right now! They look beautiful! Happy New Year Karen!

    1. Hi Mary, I think that bringing truffles to a celebration with some of your friends would be lovely. I’m sure everyone would enjoy them…I’m glad to have inspired you to make them again.

  20. Happiest of New Years to you, Karen! Your truffles look absolutely mouth-watering. Unfortunately we’re still sampling Christmas chocolates (way too much) so will wait a while to sample these. Raising a glass toward your beautiful blog and hoping to see you in the New Year.

    1. Hi Kathy, Thank you for your nice wish…I hope you will have a great New Year as well. I know all about having too many goodies to eat at the end of the year. I’m going to force myself to enjoy all delicious temptations in my home in the next few weeks. LOL. I’m happy to raise a glass with you and look forward to our visits in the new year.

  21. Karen, your recipe for the glamorous chocolate truffles could not be more fitting for a New Year´s Party or any kind of elegant celebration! A very nice idea for your last post of the year! I wanted to take the opportunity to send you and your family the very best wishes for the New Year! It has been a pleasure discovering your blog (you so kindly “visited” me first), I look forward to each and every blog post of yours and I cannot wait to see/read all about your discoveries in the upcoming year! All the very best from all of us here and a really heartfelt “Happy New Year! – Frohes Neues Jahr!”

    1. Thank you so much Andrea, for your lovely compliment. It has been a pleasure to have gotten to know you, my friend. I hope that our paths get to cross in the real world soon but until then I will enjoy our lovely blog friendship. I’m happy that you are looking forward to my adventures next year. I wish you and your family the most wonderful New Year.

  22. Beautiful truffles! I also make truffles on my own and find it a very easy and rewarding experience. Thank you for sharing with us your wonderful recipes and fascinating travel adventures! Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Sissi, Truffles really are easy and you have indeed made some lovely ones. I’m happy that you have enjoyed my recipes and travels over the past year. I have enjoyed your comments and look forward to the New Year…let’s hope it will be a good one for both of us.

  23. I hope that 2013 is rich in experiences, filled with love and happiness and of course great food. Have a safe and happy New Year. Keep smiling it is contagious.

  24. Excellent. I plan to give this a whirl today, maybe using unsweetened chocolate and adding chopping dates for sweetness. Diabetic-friendl-ier. Happy new year, Karen!

    1. Hi Misky, I’m glad you liked the truffle recipe. I would love to hear back from you if you do make a version that is diabetic friendly…it is very important for so many people who would love a bite of something sweet occasionally. I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well.

    1. Thank you Amy…I have to agree with you about chocolate truffles. They are perfect for any celebration. I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  25. Those opening photos show my favorite way to ring in the New Year – home with a little bubbly and a little chocolate. The truffle recipe sings with warmth and goodness. Happy 2013! May it bring you all good things.

    1. Thank you Claudia, for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. A little bubbly and chocolate make any day a celebration. Living in New England where the roads are often icy, a home celebration is a lovely way to ring in the New Year. I hope you have a wonderful year as well.

    1. Thank you Diane, for your lovely compliment. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the first photo. I have always thought that ending a year should be the best that it can be…and yes, decadent if you have the chance.

    1. Hi Moira, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. You definitely have to make truffles…they are the easiest recipe ever. I hope you have a wonderful New year as well.

  26. Happy New Year to your Karen. I know your evening will be special and delicious with those sweet little truffles. Love the ease of the recipe. Looking forward to another year of keeping up with you. Best.

    1. Thank you Teresa, for your nice wish…I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well. I have had some Champagne, a nice dinner and some truffles. I am eagerly awaiting the New Year.

    1. Thank you Maureen, for your very lovely compliment. I do appreciate your kind words…I’m so happy that you enjoy my posts and that they bring back nice memories of home. I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well.

    1. Hi Barbara, Believe me…truffles are so easy. They will be a piece of cake after all the wonderful desserts that you have made this year.

    2. The principle behind making truffles is pretty simple … a set ratio of good quality dark or milk chocolate to whipping cream and then a very concentrated flavour as dilute flavourings may make the filling too soft. Then you refrigerate the mixture until it thickens, spoon out small portions to roll in various coatings ie ground nuts, shaved coconut, icing sugar or unsweetened chocolate or shot. Voila … truffles

    1. Thank you Alli, I appreciate your lovely wish and comment. Yes…truffles are great for any occasion, no matter how small…even that it is finally the weekend, etc.

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