italian dessert recipes

Amaretto Truffles

"Amaretto, Cream, and Quality Chocolate"

peppermint cheesecake
Amaretto truffles are one of those special Italian cookie recipes (ok it's more of a candy) that take a little time. I make them for gift giving, holidays and special events. It is step-intensive. But it's special because not everyone will make these - NOR do they know how. It's really not that big of a deal. Just a lot of cooling steps. Read below and check it out.

There are many choices of "dipping". ( The coating around the candy). And in this last batch you can see I used cocoa powder and hazelnuts. Yes, I realize hazelnuts are slightly excessive. But there were going to expire. And they are a nut we use in many Italian dessert recipes. So I felt justified. Other options to roll the truffles in are listed in the section below.

If this isn't the type of dessert you were looking for - I have many other amaretto desserts in my Italian cakes section and a few in my Italian cookie recipes. There are tons of Italian drinks I have that use amaretto. Whatever your reason for stopping by - thanks! I hope you try a few of these recipes - and then let me know your ideas!


Amaretto Truffles

YIELD: 2 dozen small truffles

10 ozs. high-quality bittersweet chocolate see below for inexpensive ideas

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream (NOT Half & Half)

1/4 cup amaretto

1/2 cup coating or dipping powder - see below for ideas

8 oz. bittersweet or a semisweet chocolate for this step is ok

Amaretto Truffles Procedure

Set aside some time to be around. There are cooling periods needed. And you will be mad at yourself for letting some of the stages cool too much if you happen to forget.

* Place the 10 oz. of chocolate and the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it enough to melt both and mix together. It doesn't need to bubble, poof or do anything. You are just getting them to mix together. I usually do this in two stages of "zapping". Set it aside.

* Heat the corn syrup and cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Use a medium heat.

* After this simmers pour it over the chocolate mixture. Don't stir it yet. Let it sit about 2-4 minutes.

* After this has sat begin stirring from the middle of the bowl moving outward. (You will be less frustrated.) It blends easier this way.

* After the mixture looks creamy and blended - add the amaretto (slowly) and blend.

* Pour this into a GLASS dish that will fit in your fridge. It's time to cool this whole mixture. So Find a dish where the mixture will be in a layer no thicker than 1/3 of an inch.

* Leave this in the fridge approx an hour. Here's what is happening - the mixture is going to firm so you can scoop it into little balls.

* TIP: If you chilled too long I use these are the little tricks to soften this up and get back on track.

* After the cooling time is over, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. You will scoop out the chocolate and drop a rough looking little ball onto the waxed paper.

* If you don't know how or what to scoop with...see below.

* After you have the rough looking not-even-close-to-truffles on the cookie sheet - place them in the fridge about 30 minutes.

* After 30 minutes take the truffles out of the refrigerator. You are now going to form them into balls. No way out of it, you have to use your hands.

* Now that they look almost round place them into the refrigerator again.

* Leave them in the fridge until they are totally cooled.

* Put the dipping coating in a small bowl.

* Melt the 8 oz. of chocolate. ( Don't get this hot! Just get it barely melted.)

* Roll the amaretto truffles in the melted chocolate first. (Yes it's soooooo messy)

* Then, roll the truffles into your dipping coating.

* Put the truffles on a flat surface so they set up.

* You should be done.

* Put them into some pretty little papers for gift giving or serving. (Or just pop 'em in your mouth and eat 'em yourself.)

What are some inexpensive good quality chocolates?

You have two chocolate stages in this amaretto truffles recipe. The first one is tastes the best with a "bitter-sweet" chocolate. And really labeling and guidelines don't mean jack-diddly. In a real world where manufacturers didn't lie, a label that says "bittersweet chocolate" would mean a higher amount of cocoa than a "semi-sweet". But there are no official rules or guidelines. And the chocolate monitoring policemen don't exist. So trust your brands and then last but not least see what the manufacturer calls it. Here's some good cheap "bittersweet" chocolate I've really liked.

  • Ghirardelli - You can find this in most baking sections

  • Moser Roth - A fantastic INEXPENSIVE bittersweet chocolate carried at Aldi's.

  • You know your own store brands best - but go for a high cocoa content. The higher the number the better.

    What dippings work well?

    The last chocolate layer will be warm. This is the layer gets rolled in the dipping powder. Here's some ideas:

  • coconut

  • cocoa

  • very finely chopped nuts

  • How do I make the amaretto truffles into balls?

    For that first cocoon stage when you pull out the glass baking dish you are looking at one layer of mass chocolate. Don't be overwhelmed. You are only looking to separate the chocolate into rough shaped balls. This isn't the pretty gift-giving impressive amaretto truffles ( yet!) . Just separate the mixture. To do that you can use any of the following:

  • A coffee spoon ( the ones you measure coffee grounds with)

  • A melon baller

  • That little cookie scoop thing that came out back in the 1990's.

  • Help! I chilled too long. What do I do now?

    Relax. It's okay:

  • Boil a water in a big pot

  • Pull the pot off the burner

  • Put a cookie rack or something over the pot and place your glass baking dish on that.

  • Let the steam warm the glass dish. And for heaven's sake Stay there until the mixture warms up so you can get back on track.

  • Don't get all befuddled. It's OK. You are halfway to amaretto truffles heaven. And life happens. So you chilled too long. No problem. Warm it up slowly and move on.

    How long do truffles keep?

    Not real long. You have milk product in these. I always keep mine in the fridge till I give them away or serve them. Yep, it's a lot of work for something that doesn't keep.

    Back to the top of the amaretto truffles.

    Lisa Gianotti

    Labor Day Is Coming Up!

    It's still so hot, it's hard to get excited about cranking up the over. So - there are a couple of NO BAKE stand-by's I use:

    Strawberry and Marsala

    Amaretto Mouse Cheesecake

    The big word is NO BAKE.

    And then, there's always my Italian Drinks collection to make a party unique and festive.

    Whatever you choose for Labor Day, keep it cool. Keep it simple. And keep it safe!


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    Recipes on this site are from family cookbooks, family traditions, or intentional adaptations from traditional recipes to add an Italian flair. If a recipe was adapted or used from another cook - it is mentioned on the recipe page and the recipe author is given credit.