Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I LOVE the holiday season. When the days are short and the cold is biting, Christmas makes it all so much better. I am a huge stickler for the traditions: stockings, cookies for Santa, reading the Night Before Christmas with my sisters, and even letters to Santa. But what I love even more is the holiday atmosphere in December: the bright lights, decorations, music, parties, treats, and sense of wanting to give back. For the sentimental like me, it’s the time of year I can relentlessly shower those I love with affection and, of course, sugar.
Gift-giving is a major hobby of mine and I always try to get as crafty as possible this time of year, mostly because it’s much more fun giving things that are homemade (and obviously in part due to my grad school stipend limits!) This year I decided to combine my two favorites: homemade gifts and “healthy” baking. And voila, so began the mass production of vegan truffles! They take a bit of time from start to finish with the heating and cooling and rolling, but overall such a easy recipe with very few ingredients.
The base of the truffle is simple: dairy-free chocolate, coconut milk, and oil or butter. From there, it is just a matter of what type of flavor you want for the truffle. I made three batches with a few of my favorites: ginger, coconut, and almond. Adding just a touch of extract or even liqueur to the truffle base gives it a distinct and rich taste. Then rolling the truffles in various toppings gives it texture, flavor, and a unique presentation. Other truffle varieties I have yet to try but encourage: peppermint, toffee, bourbon, orange…the list goes on! Without further ado, here are my three varieties of vegan chocolate truffles and I can almost guarantee that you and your friends will be in guiltless bliss!
Ingredients (30 truffles):
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp each: vanilla, almond, and coconut extract
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- toppings: shredded coconut, crushed crystallized ginger, ground almonds, or cocoa powder
Directions (phase 1):
- Heat coconut milk in small saucepan until just bubbling around edges.
- Turn off heat and immediately add chocolate and butter/oil. Whisk until chocolate and oil is melted completely.
- Pour chocolate mixture into three small bowls, then add 1/4 tsp extract to each bowl. (Note: if making one big batch, add 1 tsp extract to entire mixture.) Stir well.
- Add ground ginger to mixture with vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Cover each bowl with saran wrap and let cool in fridge overnight, or at least several hours.
Directions (phase 2):
- Meanwhile, prepare small bowls with the toppings: shredded coconut, ground almonds, and bits of crystallized ginger.
- Remove chocolate bowls, one at a time, from fridge and using a spoon to scoop our chocolate, roll into 10 small balls per batch, about 1 inch diameter. (Note: if you want perfectly round truffles, you may want to roll into balls first, then stick in fridge for 15 min, and then take out and roll again to make them smoother.)
- When truffles are still fairly firm, roll balls in the toppings immediately. You may want to stick them in fridge after rolling into balls, before rolling in toppings. Once you have covered the truffles, place in a tupperware in freezer (ideal) or refrigerator to keep cool until serving.
- If you are making these as a gift, place cooled truffles in mini muffin cups (I used these from Amazon) and then in small cardboard boxes with ribbon. Such a simple but sweet present!