Gingerbread Cookie Truffles
Ginger is one of my favorite dessert flavors, so naturally the holiday season is one of my favorite times of year because of many things, but mainly - gingerbread!
This recipe is a quickie but a goodie, perfect for using up slightly stale gingerbread cookies, or even - as I did - making them fresh and then immediately turning them into something new.
I recommend making your own, but you could use store-bought if you're short on time. Just make sure to not skip the step where you amp up the flavor with added spices.
Here are two of my favorite gingerbread cookie recipes to try:
MAKES a bunch (approximately 50)
Gingerbread cookies (half one of the recipes above, or as much/little as you want adjusting the below amounts accordingly)
Cream cheese (4 to 8 ounces), room temperature (to soften quickly submerge the sealed aluminum package in hot water for 5-10 minutes)
Powdered sugar (to taste)
Spices! (ginger, cinnamon, cloves or allspice, nutmeg, maybe some coriander and/or cardamom)
16 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped or callets, or chocolate chips (optional)
1-2 teaspoons flavorless oil (canola, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.) (optional)
Stand mixer with beater attachment
Medium microwave safe mixing bowl or a double boiler
Small cookie scoop or Tablespoon measure
Chocolate dipping tool or fork
Sprinkles for decorating (optional)
In a food processor, grind your gingerbread cookies until as finely ground as possible.
Transfer to your stand mixer bowl and as you mix on low, add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese at a time until the mixture comes together as a scoopable dough.
At this point you should taste it and if it's not sweet enough to your liking, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until it is. Remember to start your mixer on low so the sugar doesn't explode everywhere!
This is also when you can add additional spices to bump up the flavor. Starting with a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and ginger, and an 1/8 of a teaspoon of cloves or allspice, and a pinch of nutmeg (and/or coriander and cardamom), add whichever spices you prefer to taste - mix, then taste again.
Scoop into balls with a small cookie scoop or tablespoon measure, and roll them in your hands so they're round.
Freeze in a single layer (on wax paper or aluminum on a cookie sheet or cutting board) for at least 2 hours.
When they're ready to be dipped, if you want to get that smooth glossy sheen of chocolate on the outside you'll need to temper your chocolate using a double boiler. If you don't know how to do that, Google "How to temper chocolate" and you'll get some good info from TheKitchn.com, SeriousEats.com, and a few other sources.
If you don't want to do that, you can melt chocolate according to Tip #9 here, either using the chocolate or the chocolate chips. If you're using chocolate chips it'll be a little thicker and more difficult to dip into, so add about a 1-2tsp of flavorless oil to thin it out. Or, just skip the dipping altogether, roll them in a mix of powdered sugar and cinnamon and you're good to go!
If you're dipping them with tempered chocolate, make sure to check and rewarm your chocolate as needed if it drops too far below 88F.
Dip & place on wax paper, topping with any sprinkles or decorations within about 30 seconds before the chocolate starts to harden.
These will keep room temperature for up to two weeks, or longer in the fridge.