Thursday was Boyfriend’s and my 4th anniversary. 4 years is a long time, mind you. We’ve survived two years of long distance, two cross-country moves, and countless wolf spiders. As much as we’ve been through together, there are still a number of firsts. Like today when Boyfriend yelled for me through the closed bathroom door, imploring me to fetch him a roll of toilet paper. I opened the door a smidge, covered my eyes with one hand and blindly threw in the roll of toilet paper. After 3 botched attempts and several “I can’t believe this is my life! I told you to always refill the toilet paper when you use the last!"s later, I decided he owes me. Big time.
To celebrate our anniversary, we made a reservation at a very posh restaurant downtown, got all dressed up and feasted on the finest Asian-Fusion food New York has to offer. I’m still drooling over the General Tso’s dumplings that exploded in your mouth.
Our anniversary also happens to be just before Cinco de Mayo and, let’s be honest here, I love a good excuse for festive baking. Now, I’ve never made truffles before and truth be told I’m not a huge truffle fanatic. But I decided to try these because they’re filled with cookie dough, and really, who doesn’t like chocolate-covered cookie dough?
Boy was I right. These are insanely good. Normally when I have "spicy” Mexican hot chocolate, it’s not actually spicy. IMHO, you can’t make a claim like “spicy” and not deliver. So when it came to making these, I made sure these were spicy. Maybe even a bit too spicy. I found myself sneezing up a storm from the cayenne pepper I aspirated. And when a coworker popped a whole one in his mouth, his contorted face told me perhaps I had overdone it.
Now, I maintain the kick-in-the-face spicy is good. It’s not quite melt-your-face spicy, but it has a subtle warming effect. The other nice thing to note about this recipe is that the cookie dough doesn’t have eggs in it, which means that you can taste it as you go to ensure that you reach your desired spice level. Just be forewarned - it’s VERY easy to get carried away with “tasting.” I could barely keep myself from eating the cookie dough alone. Also, I don’t care for dark chocolate (in my book, chocolate should always be sugary and sweet), so I prefer to use milk chocolate. If you have a more sophisticated palate, feel free to use dark chocolate instead.
Whether you’re celebrating a romantic moment of your own or just want an excuse like Cinco de Mayo, grab your cayenne pepper and give these a go. They’re fairly simple, wildly impressive, and ridiculously tasty.
Spicy Mexican Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 15 decently-sized truffles
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk if you prefer)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (if you don’t like real spicy, you may want to dial this down to 1/8 teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips (or mini semisweet if you prefer)
- Chocolate coating: 8 ounces milk chocolate (or dark-chocolate if you prefer) and ¼ cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in milk and vanilla.
- Stir in flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
- Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place sheets in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add solid chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler until the chocolate melts, mixing them together (or melt the chocolate very carefully and slowly in a microwave and mix with warmed heavy cream if you’re lazy like me), being careful not to overheat it.
- Using a fork or dipping tool, dip truffles one at a time in chocolate to cover. Tap fork on the edge of the bowl to shake off excess coating, and return truffles to baking sheets to set. (I found this step is easiest if you don’t actually spear the truffle but just drop it in the chocolate, roll it around a bit, and scoop it up with a spoon, placing it back on the sheet).
- To decorate, you can go the fancy route and pipe a little dark chocolate on top of each truffle, or go the easy route and simply sprinkle some cocoa powder over them. These will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for 1 week. Enjoy!