It’s National Coffee Day … I intended to make it to the coffee shop this morning to buy myself a fancy coffee, but then I got busy with other things … When I finally got home this afternoon, I still had a craving for coffee. I opened the fridge and there sat a pot of cold coffee that my son had made. It’s very warm (almost summer-ish!) for late September, so I decided a peppermint mocha slushie would be a fitting way to celebrate the occasion.
If I had thought ahead, I would have frozen some coffee ice cubes. Oh well, it was still delicious.
Skinny Peppermint Mocha Slushie
- 1/2 cup coffee, brewed double strength, then chilled
- 1 cup 2% lowfat milk (or fat free half and half would be even creamier … I am sure almond or coconut or soy milk would work fine for this too)
- 3 teaspoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tablespoons Stevia in the raw
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- several fresh mint leaves (if you have them)
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups crushed ice (or frozen coffee)
Pour everything into a blender and blend till it’s a nice smooth, slushie texture. Add more ice if needed to get it to the desired thickness.
and How I (almost) Killed My Ninja Chopper
I had a funny naming conversation with my (male) friend about these truffles … it went something like this:
Me: Hey what do you think I should name those truffles?
Him: Bob … or Robert
Me: LOL, you’re funny
Him: Wait, I guess they really should be called Hazel … but that seems contradictory …should be a boy’s name
Me: because they have nuts?
The conversation deteriorated from there … we ended up with this name: “Surprise, Hazel has Nuts!” … which I thought was funny good. But then I had a thought afterwards … perhaps they could be “Date with a Nutty Monk” Truffles? … they are a bit like a Nutty Monk (the cocktail) and they have dates in them … so I’m going to let you choose whichever name you like.
I bought the Frangelico (a hazelnut liqueur) several weeks ago, intending to make some truffles. But I didn’t make them. I don’t know what was stopping me, maybe some other things just got in the way. Maybe it’s just too summery out there to think about things like truffles. Maybe I had other sources to satisfy my chocolate cravings. I’ve got to be in the right mood to make truffles.
But then my chocolate supplies ran low. My chocolate peanut butter granola bars dwindled, my Godiva truffles were gone, my Dove chocolates disappeared … there was some chocolate cake … but really, when I need chocolate, I need something more intense than cake.
So I set about to making my truffles finally. But I went about this all wrong. If you want to put dates in your truffles, you should SOAK the dates first so they are soft. If you don’t soak them, they could gum up your chopper and stress the motor and make you truly believe it died. My poor little chopper died that day … it wouldn’t whir at all, wouldn’t do anything. It came back the next day and has worked ever since, but I don’t think I really want to do that to it again … poor thing.
Mocha Frangelico Surprise Truffles
a.k.a. “Surprise! Hazel has Nuts!” Truffles, ”Bob”, or “Date with a Nutty Monk” Truffles
This is a slightly revised method from mine, so that you don’t kill your chopper like I did.
- 1/4 cup frangelico (hazelnut) liqueur
- 1/4 cup Kahlua (or homemade coffee liqueur)
- 14 large dates
- 8 chocolate graham crackers, crushed into a fine powder (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
- 4 oz. light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- 2 squares dark chocolate, melted
- 1 Tablespoon high quality vanilla extract
- About 27 whole hazelnuts, toasted (You will need 1 for the center of each truffle … so the number of nuts you need depends on how big you make your truffles)
- 3/4 - 1 cup good quality dark chocolate chips (or a dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces), for dipping
- Chopped hazelnuts, for dusting the tops
Chop the dates into hunks and soak them in the liqueur for 15 minutes or until the dates have softened up. Then put the mixture into your handi chopper or food processor and process until the dates are a fine paste. Mix the date/liqueur mixture with the crushed crackers, cream cheese, dark chocolate, and vanilla until smooth. Chill the mixture in the fridge or freezer until it’s stiff enough to form into balls.
Spray your hands with cooking spray, then take a nut and a small spoonful of the mixture and shape the chocolatey goodness completely around the little nut. Set on a baking tray sprayed with cooking spray. When you have formed all the mixture into balls, set the tray in the freezer to chill for at least a couple hours.
Melt the dipping chocolate and take the chocolate nut balls out of the freezer. Set out a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Using a spoon, swirl each little truffle around in the melted chocolate, then set on the waxed paper and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Let set in a cool place until the dipping chocolate has set. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Share with your sweetie or your friends … or take them on a date with a nutty monk.