Chocolate Holiday Treats
After a discussion with my author assistant Denise about holiday chocolate treats, we thought it would be fun to share your favorites. Here's my assistant Denise's favorite to make! ~Marin
I grew up with šuhajdy on the Christmas cookie list. It's not really a cookie but it ends up on the cookie plate so it was on the cookie making list. Anything you like with your chocolate can be added so this recipe has always been a holiday staple in my family! Šuhajdy are a cross between a truffle and rum ball. It's a 3 layer chocolate treat that we actually made in my great great aunt's open kitchen candy factory as well as at home. It's not hard to make, it takes much more time than actually work You can make large batches at once if you have the room and give them to friends!
My directions are without a double boiler because we never used one to melt chocolate, but if you normally use that method please do! And my directions are old family recipe style and working in a candy store style so it's a lot of estimate, you may need a little more or less of an ingredient or two.
1/2 to 3/4 cup of chocolate
3/4 of a stick of Crisco (I've never made it with a different fat, but any good fat should work)
You can alter this to add more chocolate if you like or less if you want your ganache flavor to come out more. It should work out with between a 3:1 to 2:1 ratio.
You are going to melt these together on low. You want a melted consistency but you want to stop when there are just a few chunks and pull it off the heat. The chocolate will continue to melt and it will prevent it from burning.
While that last part is melting (or before if you think that far ahead), line a baking sheet with small candy cups or mini muffin cups. Do a final stir and pour the chocolate mixture into your cups. You only need about a Tablespoon or a little less than 1/3 of the cup you are filling. Here's the tricky part, you need to let it cool. You can put it in the refrigerator but the best way I've found is how we cooled (and stored) all our cookies...a cool basement. The problem with cooling in the refrigerator can be the quick change in temperature. When you take it from melting to an almost freeze level, it can easily cause the chocolate to crack or look foggy when you pull it out. In a pinch, I've done the fridge and even the freezer but they always seem to turn out best this way.
If you used only half of your chocolate to fill the bottoms, set aside the mixture to remelt. If you are making a large batch, get the same amount of the ingredients you used for the base layer, ready for the top.
While it is cooling and setting up, you can make your filling. The filling is just an easy ganache. 1/3 cup nuts, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 stick Crisco, 2 tsp cocoa, 1/3 cup milk. Bring them to a boil on the stove stir 10 more seconds then pulling from heat. If you would rather have coconut šuhajdy, replace the nuts with coconut. If you want a mix of nuts and coconuts, add equal parts of each. If you want rum or a spiced alcohol in your šuhajdy, this is the spot you add a shot!
Bring up your cooled chocolate cups and spoon in the filling. I can't say this part enough...put the filling in the center. It's thick so it will spread outward towards the edge without touching it. If you try to dump the filling on the side, you will have a šuhajdy with half filled and half chocolate!
After you fill the cups, with filling, pour another Tablespoon of the chocolate mixture over the filling and chocolate so you cover the filling and reheat the chocolate it touches. This will seal over the filling and mold the layers together.
If you want to decorate the top with nuts, sprinkles or candies, now is the time. Be creative, then take the tray to your cool place to let the šuhajdy settle up.
Once they have set up, you are good to enjoy!
Now that you've got my favorite holiday chocolate, what's yours? ~Denise