It's still snowing!
We've had a lot of snow this year! Since the snow began in the Fall, over 29 feet has fallen on our little town. Despite the occasional rain and warm days, a lot of that snow remains; some yards have drifts over 17 feet high and their homes are invisible from the street. In particuliar, Sunday seems to be the "snow day" of choice as we have had heavy snow fall every Sunday for the past month!
The snow is very beautiful, and this week we got to see our little valley town in all its Alpine glory when three days of sweet, welcome sun graced us (with cold temperatures, yes, but we'll take any sun we can get right now!). The evergreens that cover the mountain inclines were encrusted with glittering snow, and the peaks and precipes were gleaming and glorious with their pure white frosting. Every evening as the sun descended, the mountains would glow golden and bright for a few moments before a sleepy darkness descended.
It would be an absolute winter wonderland, if but for one thing.
When snow falls three to seven feet at a time, shovelling is no joke. You'll remember that I had to shovel my way into the house a few weeks ago after an evening out. Our dogs (well, the two little ones) need pathways dug so that they can tend to their necessities without becoming lost in the drifts. Even our rugged Jeep has been pushed to its limits; indeed I heard of a Hummer that became hung up a few weeks ago. So when one must face this mass armed with a shovel, even the hardiest, winter loving souls quake, at least momentarily. In moments like these, there is a sight and sounds that makes the heart sing...
A neighbor with a snow blower!
We've been really blessed. We live on a street with a number of long time Kitimat residents, all of whom own snowblowers. We had to do very little shovelling the last few storms other than our steps and dog paths , and for this we are very grateful! So this week, I decided to show my neighbors just how appreciative we are with some tasty treats from my kitchen.
We had been planning to make chocolate truffles for quite some time. Originally I had planned to make them for Christmas, but the holiday came and went without the chocolates materializing. January brought with it a resolve to eat better, so we decided to wait until Valentine's day to make our favorite sweet. I had also seen Sugar Cookie Truffles on a few blogs (such as From the Kitchen of Mrs. Betty Rocker and Ptit Chef. I loved the look of them and thought they would make a great sweet to serve at an upcoming shower I'm hosting. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to test run the recipe in advance. Finally, I made a batch of Soft Sugar Cookies, both to use in the truffle recipe and to give to the neighbors.
The cookies and sugar cookie truffles turned out perfect. Thecookie truffle recipe calls for frozen Pillsbury sugar cookie dough; our local grocery doesn't carry this so I used my own soft sugar cookies and the finished product was delicious, kind of like cheesecake in a delightful, white chocolate covered ball. I sprinkled the truffles with multicoloured round jimmies, and they looked adorable. For the shower, I think I will purchase yellow melting wafers and drizzle the truffles with yellow as this is one of the wedding colours. The cookie recipe is one of those that I've made a million times; it's my go-to recipe for cookie swaps because it always turns out perfect. The chocolate truffles, on the other hand, were a little more challenging.
I used a recipe from a source that is generally very reliable, so I'm willing to concede that I may have made an error (the wrong kind, or not enough, chocolate perhaps?) When I finished making the chocolate I let it set in the refridgerator for the suggested time, but when I took it out it was nowhere near set; in fact I could tell that left in its present form it wasn't going to set at all. I did a little online research and the general consensus was that I should re-heat the mixture in a double boiler and then add more chocolate. I did this and added more chocolate (in a different form) and let it set for several hours. This did work although the truffles were softer than I would have liked. Instead of coating them in cocoa powder I dipped them in dark chocolate coating and drizzled white chocolate over them. They looked great but did need to be kept in the refridgerator in order not to melt.
Since I wasn't completely pleased with the chocolate truffles (delicious as they were) I gave the neighbors the cookies and cookie truffles. They were a big hit! I'm still a big fan of chocolate truffles, though, and I want to make them again. I can't find the reliable recipe I used to use, so I'm asking you, friends, to suggest your favorite truffle recipe, as well as any tips you have for getting them to set up to truffle-y perfection.
I'll be back on Wednesday with a post on how I'm tackling organizational problem areas in my home. Friday it's time for another edition of the Christmas Calmdown; can you believe it's been a month?!! See you then!!!