For the nuts, you can use raw cashews or roasted and lightly salted cashews. The former will give you a sweeter end result, while the latter will produce a truffle with a slight “roasted” flavor and you will be able to taste the salt, but salt and sugar together is a happy marriage.
These truffles are, of course, perfect sweets for the sweet on Valentine’s Day that you can dress up with assorted coatings and elegant candy cups or mini-baking cups. But, don’t feel you can only indulge on special occasions!
- 2 cups cashews halves or pieces (raw or roasted and lightly salted; if the latter, the truffles will have that “roasted” flavor and you will be able to taste the salt, but salt and sugar together is a happy marriage)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup water plus up to 1 tablespoon more
- Optional: ½ teaspoon flavoring or extract of your choice, e.g. vanilla, rum, hazelnut, etc.
- Coating: cocoa powder, colored sugar, very finely chopped nuts, etc. (I used red sugar for the one in the photograph)
- 24 mini-paper colored and/or patterned liners (I purchased mine at a craft store)
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Place all ingredients, except paper liners of course, in the bowl of a food processor. Process for a few seconds and then scrape the sides of the bowl. Process the mixture for several minutes or until very smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Add the additional 1 tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to prevent stressing the motor of your food processor, as this is a very thick mixture.
- Scrape it into an airtight container and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until it is firm enough to handle very easily. (The motor of your food processor working will have caused the mixture to warm slightly.)
- Scoop the mixture into 1-inch balls (I use a small scoop for this task), rolling each one between your palms quickly to shape, and placing it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Return the sheet to the refrigerator if necessary before coating the candies.
- Pour the desired coating into a small bowl, quickly roll each truffle in it to cover completely, and place it in a mini-paper liner.
- Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Package as desired.