Ferrero Rocher truffles, Seventeen magazines and dollar votive candles. Those were my main purchases from CVS in the 90’s.
My best friend Meredith and I would ride our bikes around the neighborhood every day after school. I don’t know if we were explicitly not allowed to cross major intersections but we never crossed streets with traffic lights. This limited where went, so the shopping center with a CVS and a pizza place were our spots. When we were feeling particular cool we’d go to the old high school and “smoke” candy cigarettes while we leaned up against the bike racks.
A woman once tried to give us an “after school speech” about how smoking was bad for us.
When we weren’t bad asses eating fake cigarettes we wandered the aisles of CVS looking for cheap things to buy. We were 10, our budget was 5 bucks and under. Magazines were a sometimes buy, I still 900 votive candles so that happened more often and 3 packs of Ferrero Rocher fell somewhere in the middle.
I’m already stocked up on mini candles for the rest of my life and my magazine tastes are now more focused towards Bon Appetit or Food & Wine, but I always want to buy the gold foil-wrapped truffles as a last-minute impulse grab at the register.
So I first tried to straight up remake the hazelnut truffles but umm hazelnuts are expensive. From the bulk bin at Whole Foods they were 13 bucks a pound. Not that I paid that because when I went up to the register the cashier somehow missed the scan and dropped them in the bag without charging me for them. Yay, but I don’t think I would have been that lucky twice.
Also, when I blanched the hazelnuts to keep remove the skins the water turned black. The internet told me that would happen but I did not expect it to be black like squid ink. I think you can keep the skins on but again the internet told me to lose them so the hazelnuts wouldn’t bitter. Almonds don’t need this extra step and are more cost-effective so I’m calling them up for this recipe.
Voila, chocolate almond truffles instead!
You can skip this nut debate by using your preferred exotic nut butter but we only have peanut butter in my kitchen and I didn’t want a Reese’s type thing going on. If you want that then check out Smitten Kitchen’s peanut chocolate spread. My chocolate almond butter is based off of her recipe.
Making nut butter is easy, the worst part is that it’s really loud. My food processor screeched as it pulverized the almonds into first chunks and then eventually a smooth paste. Mhmm pasty food.
Homemade or from the store: the almond butter is then doctored up with powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
I don’t blame you if you stop at this point and proceed to eat this spread by the spoonful. It is delicious and like Nutella but almondy, spread it on all of your foods.
But if you do continue then your smooth chocolate almond butter is quickly roughed up with chopped almonds and crushed wafer cookies for texture.
The first time I made the recipe with my freebie hazelnuts I held back on the fillings and it made the truffles sad. Both chopped nuts and crushed cookies, like these wafers, give badly needed texture to the smooth almond butter. Without it you’re just eating a ball of chocolate, which is not bad but eh, I like filling them up with other crap.
I have no photo to show you of the filling mixed into the chocolate almond butter because it literally looks like crap. But it is tasty. Again, feel free to stop at this step and shovel the mixture into your mouth.
If you continue then roll the truffle filling into teaspoon sized balls. You then cover up the ugly mounds with melted chocolate that will harden into a shiny shell.
A few grains of coarse salt would also fancy up these chocolate almond truffles and maybe one up my beloved Ferrero Rocher.
- 1 ½ cups raw almonds
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ⅓ cups of Chocolate Almond Spread
- 2 cups crushed wafer cookies
- 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted almonds
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Toast the almonds in a 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until the nuts smell toasty.
- Transfer the almonds to a food processor and grind them until they become almond butter. This will take at least 5 minutes and will be very loud. Initially the mixture will look like chopped almond goop but will further break down into smooth almond butter. You'll need to stop the machine a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients: cocoa, sugar, salt and oil to the food processor and run again until fully incorporated.
- Roughly chop 1 ½ cups of almonds.
- Crush 2 cups of wafer cookies. You can either clean your food processor bowl, or go to town with your knife, or a plastic bag and a rolling pin.
- Combine the almonds, cookies, and chocolate almond spread in a large bowl and mix together.
- Let the mixture mingle and firm up in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Shape the mixture into teaspoon-sized balls and pop in the freezer for a few minutes to stay cold. Depending on how big or small you make the truffles, you should get between 35 and 45 balls.
- While the balls are chilling in the freezer, melt your chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Either melt in a microwave by zapping for 15 second increments or in a double boiler.
- Roll the cold truffles in the melted chocolate and place on a parchment lined plate or baking sheet.
- Once you’ve coated all of the truffles let them harden in the fridge.