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White Chocolate Truffles

White Chocolate Truffles
Alejandra Garcia for NPR /

White chocolate is a blend of cocoa butter, milk solids, sugar and vanilla, is ivory colored, and is quite rich and creamy. But it can't actually be classified as chocolate because it doesn't include cocoa liquor, the thick liquid produced when fermented cocoa beans are shelled and ground — the key ingredient in all chocolate. Don't worry if these don't look like the average truffle. The outside shell won't be hard, but the taste will have you coming back for more. They're nice as an after-dinner mini dessert.

Makes 8 to 10 small truffles

2 tablespoons heavy cream

7 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (I use Bailey's)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the cream in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Cook until heated through. Lower the heat.

Using a whisk, slowly stir the white chocolate into the warm cream until completely melted. Whisk in the liqueur and vanilla extract. Take off stove. Cover and chill for 1 hour, or until pliable but firm enough to scoop.

Using two teaspoons, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and form them into tiny balls with your hands. Place balls on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until the tiny balls are cool.

Chop the hazelnuts or pass them quickly through a blender or food processor and roll half of the chocolate balls in the chopped nuts. Melt the bittersweet chocolate and drizzle over the other half. Chill until ready to serve.

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