I love the idea of giving baked goods for Christmas and since before we were even married, Daddy and I have made a tradition of giving baked goods to family and friends each year (in addition to other gifts of course). We've done lots of different things from individual gingerbread houses to "Hazelnut Brittle" with a mini cleaver to chop it ... remember this post! And I think this tradition may be rubbing off on our girls. Bethany and Hannah love to bake, and they love to give baking to family and friends. Fun, Fun, Fun!!
So this year for her school classmates, Bethany really wanted to bake something and I remembered this super-simple Chocolate Truffle Ball recipe from when I was a kid. In fact, my younger brother had a book about tractors, rollers and other machinery doing roadwork, which was a story-book that gave the recipe for these balls in the story of the machinery crushing the rocks and mixing the earth and so forth. It was a fantastic book, but sadly we can't find it. Has anyone else seen this book? If so, can you email me with the title/author. I'd love to see if I can find it to buy!
Anyway, I thought I'd share my recipe in case anyone's stuck for last minute gift ideas. The great thing about this recipe is there's only 4 ingredients, it takes about 30 minutes tops to prepare (plus some time in the fridge), the kids can be involved in every step of the process, and there's no baking involved. They look great as a gift just with 8-10 balls in a cellophane bag and tied with ribbon, which we have done for our swimming and gymnastics teachers and a few friends and extended family in the lead up to Christmas.
For Bethany's class, we also added these cute Rudolf, Santa and Elf sticks which Nanna found in a local craft store. They are foam, and just glued together and stuck to a wooden stick. I thought the kids could use them as bookmarks!
So my recipe is a simplified and tweaked version of several other recipes I've read. Here's how we made these balls:
Ingredients: (Makes about 40 balls)
- 1 pack of Milk Arrowroot Biscuits (or any other sweet plain biscuit/cookie)
- 3 tablespoons of Cocoa powder
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of desiccated coconut
1. Roughly break up the biscuits / cookies and place in a food processor. Then blitz them until they are like bread-crumb consistency.
If you don't have a food processor, no worries. Bethany and Hannah had a ball making the first batch of these by putting the biscuits/cookies into a clip-lock bag, closing the bag (getting as much air out as possible), then whacking and smacking the bag with a rolling-pin until all the biscuits were crushed up.
2. Put the crumbs into a large mixing bowl, then add 3 (heaped) Tablespoons of Cocoa, and the can of sweetened condensed milk. ... Yum ... who doesn't love condensed milk!
3. Mix it together thoroughly. It will become a thick paste-like consistency.
4. Pour the coconut onto a dinner-plate ...
6. Once they've set (after about an hour in the fridge) they will stay pretty firm even when taken out of the fridge, so they're perfect as a gift even if you don't have fridge access for them. They will also last fairly well in the fridge, so if you're looking to make them ahead of time, they will be fine. I would make them now for Christmas next week, and get this project ticked off the to-do list before the last minute rush of things.
And to all of you, my lovely readers, I wish you the happiest of Christmases and pray for a blessed year ahead for you and your loved ones. I'm hoping for lots more crafty fun in the new year as we enjoy our summer holidays (and 6 weeks off the school-drop-off-pick-up routine!), and looking forward to sharing more of What this Mummy's Been Up to!