Cooking with Kids: Making Perfect Imperfect Truffles


LIZ WILLIAMS

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Children love to help in the kitchen, but they are astute detectors of a person who is letting a less than acceptable product pass as good. There is no fooling children into thinking that they have done a good job, when they haven’t. I tried to be mindful of the realistic ability of my children to create a happy result. If their motor control wasn’t quite developed, there was nothing more fun and satisfying to make than truffles.The truffle is malleable, the results are intentionally not perfect, and it tastes wonderful.

Empty a can of sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl. Cook on high heat for two minutes. Remove from the microwave and add a 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate is melted and well-mixed. If the mixture is too warm for children to handle, refrigerate until it is cool. This will make two or three dozen depending on how large the truffles are.

Assemble several coatings for the truffles. One small bowl of cocoa. One small bowl of confectioners sugar. One small bowl of ground nuts.

Each child should be given a tablespoon of the truffle mixture. Children can roll the mixture into a ball. I made sure to show children chocolate truffles in a food magazine, as well as pictures of real truffles, so that they would see that perfection was not in order. The children can roll all of the truffle mixture and place the balls on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Then the children can roll the truffles in the chocolate or sugar or nuts. Place each truffle in a fluted candy cup. This shows how seriously you take them and makes them look like professional candies. Place six candies in a small box and use as a house gift or teacher gift. These are not the most sophisticated truffles, but they are fun.

If you are making these for adults, you might also use ground chili powder or curry powder to coat the truffles. These are still not fine, but there have an interesting flavor.

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