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Ice Cream Truffles

Making these truffles, a fun dessert for kids, calls for only a handful of easy steps. The truffles can be made up to a week in advance, which leaves you plenty of time for preparing last-minute dishes for your meal. Ice cream in any flavor, such as chocolate or strawberry, can be used. Serve the truffles on footed dessert dishes or in small, decorative bowls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts,
      pistachios or walnuts
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 12 oz. good-quality semisweet chocolate, at
      least 61 percent cacao, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out balls of the ice cream (about 1 inch in diameter) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Work quickly, making 24 balls total. Cover the baking sheet with foil and freeze for up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to coat the ice cream balls, melt the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching gently simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet or on a sheet of aluminum foil, and then transfer the ice cream balls to the rack. Spoon some of the chocolate over each ball, rolling the ball as needed to coat on all sides. Sprinkle the balls with the nuts while the chocolate is still soft.

Return the coated truffles to the foil-lined baking sheet, cover and freeze until ready to serve. They can be frozen for up to 1 week.

To serve, place a few balls on a plate or in a bowl and serve immediately. Makes 24 truffles.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).