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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cheesecake truffles

Turtle flavored desserts have been all the rage lately.  I, however, don't love pecans.  Or nuts in my desserts, in general.  So I took a recipe that I found for turtle cheesecake balls, altered it a little, and renamed them cheesecake truffles.  Because truffles just sound tastier.  And fancier.  This is another great no-bake summer treat, however I don't know that it's good to serve in the summer.....unless there is some air conditioning on!  I think they'd just melt into a blob.  And blobs don't sound all that tasty.  Or fancy.

The original recipe called for coating the cream cheese-graham cracker mixture in chocolate, sprinkling with chopped pecans, and drizzling them with caramel sauce.  But as I mentioned earlier, I don't like pecans.  And the caramel sauce just sounded messy.  So I made half of the recipe with the cream cheese and graham crackers, and then added a tablespoon of caramel sauce to the mixture.  Way less messy!

I froze them overnight without the chocolate coating, but then got worried that the chocolate would crack if I dipped them straight from the freezer, so I let them "warm up" in the fridge for a little while before dipping them.

Plain on the left, caramel on the right                                                        

Now, being that I'm not a huge cheesecake fan, these truffles are great because they have a bite-sized cheesecake punch with a chocolatey coating.  Not that huge slice-of-cheesecake heaviness, just a little taste.  And the fact that the cream cheese is mixed with the graham cracker crumbs also cuts the heaviness a little more.

Cheesecake Truffles
(adapted from these Turtle Cheesecake Balls)

8oz cream cheese
1/2 - 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I ended up using 1/2 cup plus about 2 Tbsp)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used chocolate chips)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup caramel sauce (or melted caramel squares) - I added 1 Tbsp caramel sauce to half of the cream cheese and graham cracker crumb mixture instead of drizzling them
3 tbsp chopped pecans, finely chopped (I left this out completely)

Combine the cream cheese with 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs. Taste and add more graham cracker crumbs as desired.  (Keep in mind that the chocolate and caramel add plenty of sweetness, so you want the cream cheese mixture to still have some tang.)
Use a melon baller to scoop up 1 1/4" sized balls to a wax-paper lined baking sheet (I used my mini scooper, so mine were smaller than 1 1/4 inches).  You should have about 15 balls (but I got a lot more).

Freeze for 10-15 minutes.

While the cheesecake balls are being chilled, melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the vegetable oil, stirring until smooth.

Using 1 or 2 forks, dip each cheesecake ball into the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip away between the tines. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the wax paper on the baking sheet. Repeat for all cheesecake balls.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Best if served within 24 hours.

If using the pecans and caramel drizzle, Top each truffle with pecans. Drizzle caramel over each truffle before refrigerating.

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