Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box
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Raspberry Brownie Truffles

June 21, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Fun For Kids, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path

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Oh, truffles, darling truffles, made with fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, brownie mix, and your lovely little hands. What a dazzling, dreamy, decadent treat! Don’t stand there drooling, get started right away!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • Egg(s) as directed on box
  • Water as directed on box
  • Oil as directed on box, except substitute melted butter for the oil
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • Fresh raspberries, about 30, optional but highly recommended
  • 1 pound “tempered” white or vanilla chocolate (this means “candy melts,” the kind of chocolate you use in a candy mold; I used the generic store brand from Meijer)
  • Red sprinkles to use as a garnish

Mix batter according to box instructions, except substitute melted butter or margarine for the oil. Bake according to box instructions, and let cool completely. When brownies are cool, trim off the “crunchier” edges from the pan of brownies, just 1/4 inch or so.

You don’t need those crispy, crusty edges, so set them aside (in your mouth). Take the remaining tender, “middle” brownies and break them up into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup raspberry jam (I like seedless, but I suppose you could use preserves instead). Then mix thoroughly into the broken-up brownies, creating a uniformly dense truffle filling.

Option A: Roll into truffle-sized balls with your palms.

Or, option B: Go all the way, and tuck a small fresh raspberry into the center of each ball. The raspberries I bought were pretty big, and I decided to cut them in half so the balls didn’t have to be overly large.

 Put rolled balls onto wax paper and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes while you do the next few steps.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 pound of tempered chocolate (aka CandiQuik, candy melts, or dipping chocolate) by following the microwave instructions. Don’t overheat; I suggest heating 20-30 seconds at a time and then stirring in between heatings until smooth.

Depending on your preference, you can use chocolate (above) or white/vanilla (below).

Don’t use chocolate chips because they’re not tempered. Only tempered chocolate will give you a hard candy shell that allows you to pick up the finished truffle without getting gooey fingers.

When your tempered chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the truffle balls from the refrigerator and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate.

Work one by one: Dip, allow excess chocolate to drip off, place dipped truffle onto wax paper, and then garnish. Repeat. For a dipping tool, I used a fork because the tines allowed the extra chocolate to drip back down into the bowl. As you continue dipping and garnishing, the chocolate may begin to get stiff and harder to work with; in this event, just microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds and stir until smooth again.

Once you place the dipped balls on wax paper, they will dry almost instantly, so be sure to immediately add any garnish you may want. I garnished with pretty red sugar sprinkles, but you might instead choose to use a sprinkle of cocoa, nuts, or powdered sugar. I found the cutest mini-muffin paper cups that were the perfect size for presentation. Adorable!

Refrigerate until serving. A friend of mine is making these for a “True Blood” party; I wonder why?

So, so pretty. You’ll be tempted to pop the whole dang thing in your mouth and grab another, but I suggest savoring it in 2 or 3 long, passionate bites.  Brownie truffles with these gorgeous raspberry centers are sure to be a hit at any special event, or to make any event special!

Nutella-Kahlua Brownie Truffles

June 21, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Off the Beaten Path

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Oh, truffles, darling truffles, made with hazelnut Nutella, Kahlua liquor, brownie mix, and your lovely little hands. What a dazzling, dreamy, decadent treat! Don’t stand there drooling, get started right away!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)
  • Egg(s) as called for on the box
  • Water as called for on the box
  • Oil as called for on the box, but instead of oil, substitute melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
  • 2 Tbsp Kahlua (optional)
  • 1 pound tempered chocolate (this means chocolate “candy melts,” the kind of chocolate you use in a candy mold; I used Baker’s brand dipping chocolate)
  • If available, 1/8 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts to use for garnishing

Choose a garnish before you get started and have it ready in advance. I chose finely chopped hazelnuts. If that’s what you want to use, I highly suggest toasting the nuts for about 5 minutes at 350 F, because toasting takes the bitter edge off the hazelnuts. Set toasted nuts aside until it’s time to garnish.

Mix batter according to box instructions, except substitute melted butter or margarine for the oil. Bake according to box instructions, and let cool completely. When brownies are cool, trim off the “crunchier” edges from the pan of brownies, just 1/4 inch or so.

You don’t need those crispy, crusty edges, so set them aside (in your mouth). Take the remaining tender, ”middle” brownies and break them up into a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp Kahlua into 1/2 cup Nutella and mix them together. Stir this dark, rich mixture thoroughly into the broken-up brownies, creating a uniformly dense truffle filling.

Roll into truffle-sized balls with your palms.

Put balls on wax paper and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes while you do the next few steps.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 pound of tempered chocolate (aka CandiQuik, candy melts, or dipping chocolate) by following the microwave instructions. Don’t overheat; I suggest heating 20-30 seconds at a time and then stirring in between heatings until smooth.

Depending on your preference, you can use chocolate (above) or white/vanilla (below).

Don’t use chocolate chips because they’re not tempered. Only tempered chocolate will give you a hard candy shell that allows you to pick up the finished truffle without getting gooey fingers.

When your tempered chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the truffle balls from the refrigerator and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate.

Work one by one: Dip, allow excess chocolate to drip off, place dipped truffle onto wax paper, and then garnish. Repeat. For a dipping tool, I used a fork because the tines allowed the extra chocolate to drip back down into the bowl. As you continue dipping and garnishing, the chocolate may begin to get stiff and harder to work with; in this event, just microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds and stir until smooth again.

Once you place the dipped balls on wax paper, they will dry almost instantly, so be sure to immediately add any garnish you may want. I garnished with chopped hazelnuts, but you might instead choose to use a sprinkle of cocoa, powdered sugar, or shiny sugar sprinkles. I found the cutest mini-muffin paper cups that were the perfect size for presentation. Adorable!

So, so pretty. You’ll be tempted to pop the whole dang thing in your mouth and grab another, but I suggest savoring it in 2 or 3 long, passionate bites.  Brownie truffles with hazelnut Nutella and Kahlua are sure to be a hit at any special event, or to make any event special!

White-Chocolate Truffle and Cherry-Pie Brownies

August 23, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Candy Bar, Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Nut-Free

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White-Chocolate Truffle and Cherry-Pie Brownies….  What? You say that it’s not possible to have THAT MUCH goodness in one brownie?

Well, believe it, my Brownie Minions. It *is* possible to have white chocolate AND truffle AND cherry pie AND brownies–all together in one dessert that could teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. Stop snickering. I’m serious.

It's um, gah. Whew... This symphony of sweet treats is *almost* beyond words. Think of cherry cordials. And Christmas. In your mouth.

If you need proof, then bake this new brownie creation. It’s this site’s first fruit brownie: The White-Chocolate Truffle and Cherry-Pie Brownie. Before you read any further, please have a seat–I don’t want to face any lawsuits because this recipe caused someone’s knees to buckle.

INGREDIENTS

Brownie box mix (plus egg, oil as directed on box)

A 21-ounce can of cherry pie filling (use the bright-red cherry filling, which is much prettier than black-cherry filling)

1 ounce amaretto

1/2 tsp ground cloves (plus or minus, to your taste)

6 ounces (or about 15) white-chocolate truffles (like Lindt, shown below)

Just getting warmed up here. Gathering all my darlings together before the "quickening." (All of you Highlander fans will get what I'm talking about here.)

DIRECTIONS

Measure out one ounce (a full shot glass) of amaretto.

Liquid gold. So pretty.

Mix pie filling, amaretto, and cloves together in a small bowl; set aside.

Amaretto goes into the cherry pie filling. Smell that sweetness?

 

Mix in the cloves. It's a party in your Olfactory Factory.

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box. I always use the option on the box that says “for a thicker brownie;” it usually calls for an extra egg. And that extra egg will give your brownies some more loft. Pour batter into a greased pan. Add dollops of cherry mixture using the spoon to push cherry mixture deep into the batter. Swirl gently with a knife (but not too much).

Despite much evidence to the contrary, this is the best kind of spooning there is.

I get a little light-headed just looking at this photo. <swoon>

Bake as directed on box, adding about 10-15 minutes to total baking time to compensate for the extra thickness due to the cherries. While brownies are baking, cut up your truffles into halves or thirds.

This step may seem tragic as you're carrying it out, but keep moving forward. Soon, you will be glad that you "ruined a whole bag of truffles" by hacking them to bits.

Remove brownie pan from oven when a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10-20 minutes. While crust is still warm and soft, push truffle pieces down into the crust.

You're almost there!

Nirvana is at hand. With this brownie, there's no need to wait until it cools. It's a decadent treat when served hot with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

This box is pretty enough to pair with my White-Chocolate Truffle and Cherry-Pie Brownie. Sproing, indeed!