Hello everyone, and happy weekend! Hopefully your weekend is off to a much more fun and exciting start than mine. My plans for this weekend include nothing but studying for a Japanese architecture midterm on Monday, and working on my portfolio, which is officially due in LESS than ONE month. "OMG" is right. That's what went though my mind when I read the email sent out to all the seniors in the architecture department reminding us about all the senior requirements that are due at the beginning of April, because, hey, we're GRADUATING. What is this. This is nuts, that's what it is.
I have been proactive though at least. Lots of studying has been done, and an obscene amount of flashcards have been made (seriously, 200 flashcards to memorize is just ridiculous). I actually woke up early today and am currently drinking coffee (this has become the story of my life), and having some orange juice and frozen blueberry waffles with Aunt Jemima syrup as I finish up writing this post. It's a perfect way to start off my day, but then there's the thought that I'm going to be immersed in Illustrator, Indesign, and Photoshop for the rest of the day looming over my head, and then I just get sad. Sigh. This madness will be over soon, at least!
In any case, there are other things to look forward to. Like St. Patrick's day! Not that I've ever really celebrated St. Patrick's day, but I do have a real liking for Baileys-flavored things and Guinness-flavored things and the like. Pots of Gold and Rainbows cake pops are also really awesome and adorable. I couldn't wait to get started this year on my St. Patrick's day-themed projects, and I knew from the moment I saw the recipe for these truffles on Sprinkle Bakes that I just HAD to make them. I mean, who doesn't love a good truffle? I don't know anyone who doesn't. Now just imagine a truffle mixed with pretzels and Guinness. That's a combination that just can't be beat!
Truffles are among my favorite things to make. There's just something about truffles that makes them seem like an extra special treat. They're rich and velvety, and are the perfect small indulgence to look forward to at the end of the day (or any time of day, really). The fact that they're bite-sized and easy to pass around makes them a perfect option to bring to any kind of social gathering (or, you could do what I did, and just keep them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and just sneak a truffle every time you walk into the kitchen...). There's also the fact that truffles are incredibly simple to make, and these are no different. I mean, how hard is melting some chocolate and butter together, letting it chill in your fridge, and then rolling some ganache into balls and covering them in pretzels? Doesn't sound hard at all! These truffles do take some time, because the ganache needs to chill in the fridge for some time so that it becomes hard enough to roll into balls, but that's no big deal. The final results are totally worth the time invested.
These Guinness and pretzel truffles are amazingly good. They have that rich, velvety chocolate taste that truffles are known for, and subtle hints of Guinness come through. My actual favorite part about these truffles though, was the pretzel-chocolate combination. Think chocolate-covered pretzels, but in truffle form. The crushed pretzels on the outside gave the truffles a nice crunch, and the truffles that were mixed into the ganache resulted in a perfect balance of salty and sweet. Enjoy!
Guinness and Pretzel Truffles
recipe from Sprinkle Bakes
12 oz Guinness stout, divided (chocolate stout works too!)
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cups (1 stick) unsalted buter, cut into pieces, slightly softened
3/4 cup finely pulverized pretzel rods
3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels (for rolling the truffles)
Place 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Guinness stout in a small saucepan and set aside. Pour the remaining Guinness in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the Guinness until it has reduced considerably, to about 1 tablespoon (this can take a while, about 30 minutes!). Keep an eye on the Guinness while it reduces, as it can burn easily!
Pour the chocolate chips into the saucepan with the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Guinness. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, and let stand until the chocolate begins to melt. Use a whisk to mix together the chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted completely and is smooth, begin to add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Gently incorporate the butter into the chocolate with the whisk. Once the butter has melted completely, add the reduced 1 tablespoon of Guinness. Stir in the finely pulverized pretzels. Transfer the chocolate mixture into a bowl, and place in the fridge to chill until the chocolate is firm, about an hour (overnight is fine).
Once the ganache has firmed up, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of the ganache, and quickly roll in between your palms to form round balls. Chill the truffles in the fridge until you are just about ready to serve them. Add the crushed pretzels to a shallow dish, roll the truffles around in the crushed pretzels, and enjoy!
The truffles can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for several days. Also, if you find yourself having trouble getting the crushed pretzels to stick to the rolled truffles, simply roll the truffles in between your palms for a bit. The heat from your hands will warm up the truffles, which should help the pretzels to stick much more easily.
Makes about 20 truffles