Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays everyone!

by L.C. Dean

As I debated what to share with you all, I tried to think of a way to be clever or funny or at least interesting—I settled for real. Let’s face it folks, the holidays, no matter which one you celebrate, are often about food and family, perhaps a bit too much of each at times. Food and family are for me inseparable. I grew up helping my grandmother make Pepper Nuts (AKA Pfeffernusse). They are super tiny, impossibly hard, and richly spiced. Grandma used to give me a half cup of coffee (no more as it would stunt my growth) and I would soak the cookies until they were soft. Trust me, they may sound odd but they are fabulous!

Since two of the main characters in Ginger Snaps for Two do not have family to speak of, I decided to focus on food—the really decadent stuff that most American women only indulge in on special occasions, unless of course they’re menopausal or pre-menstrual. I played with recipes and tweaked the ingredients until I found one that was both luscious and well-suited to my characters. Nothing to it. I promise. Be sure to let me know how they turn out.

Decadent Chocolate Truffles

8oz. semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz German Sweet chocolate
1/3 c heavy cream

Optional: add 1 to 2 T of Kahlua, Rum, Amaretto, or Orange Liqueur—a few drops of your favorite candy flavoring can be used instead but these are great plain too. Depends on how dark you like your chocolate.

6 oz quality chocolate melted –semi-sweet [or half semi-sweet & half German sweet]
Optional – chopped nuts or coconut

Directions: Always start with quality chocolate – no skimping. Chop chocolate. Heat cream until it is near boiling in a large microwavable bowl. Add chocolate and let sit for a few minutes until the chocolate is melted. Whisk smooth. Add flavoring if desired. Refrigerate until set – overnight is great but 2 to 3 hours will usually do. If the filling is still too soft freeze until workable. Scoop 1T portions of mixture onto a parchment lined pan and place in the refrigerator 15 to 20 more minutes. 
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in microwave in 20 second intervals stirring after each – this is important as you are basically tempering the chocolate and do not want to scorch it. If you want your treats to be prefect, roll them gently in your hands before dipping in melted chocolate, but remember they are called truffles because they resemble the fungi. Place in candy or mini-muffin papers. Optional: Sprinkle with chopped pecans, hazel nuts, coconut, or whatever makes you say, “Wow, that is delicious!”

Give Away: I am a big believer in cancer research, as is Decadent Publishing, and I love supporting those who want to help. My giveaway today, in addition to an eBook copy of Ginger Snaps for Two, is a beautiful ribbon necklace made by a South Dakota artist. All the proceeds from her work go to the American Cancer Society for research. It has nothing to do with my book, but it is a reflection of the amazing spirit of the holidays in that it represents unselfish giving at its finest. So how do you win it? Leave a comment about your favorite holiday treat from when you were a child or now and why you love it. That’s all. How easy is that? Everyone who follows the directions will have their name thrown in a hat and I will have an objective party draw on January 2nd. BTW, due to the lightweight nature of the gift, anyone from any country may win. Just don’t expect it January 4th if you live in Australia. That’s a long way from Minnesota, my friends.


  1. Ooh those truffles look good! I can feel the weight piling on my hips.
    My favorite holiday treat from when I was a child? This is going to sound corny - but was NOT having to have gravy on my Christmas dinner. I HATE gravy and I was made to have it on my meals. (Strict parents) So not having it on Christmas day was wonderful. I could enjoy everything without the brown gloop. You probably won't understand what I'm talking about if you're American - I think gravy on every meal is a Brit thing.

  2. The dessert looks delicious. I am in awe of everyone who goes out of their way to help others. Thank you for the giveaway.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  3. I love cookies with names I can't spell...and that sound like someone sneezed. ;-)

    Favorite holiday treat? Oh, Mom's cinnamon rolls, hot from the oven on Christmas morning. All year, we waited for that breakfast...

  4. Did someone say Kahlua???? This recipe sounds yummy. I've just add Ginger Snaps for Two to my must have list.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  5. My main love when I was little were mom's sugar cookies. Every year though, I try an "experiment" cookie and this year's is a winner (I'll have the recipe up on my blog next week).

    I love all the support for cancer research this month! <3

  6. LOL - Barbara - I understand the gravy thing to some extent. We had a two bite rule thing so I always had to taste pickled herring on Christmas - yuck.

    Gesundheit, Maureen ;-D

    Cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, and Kahlua laced truffles - yum. I want to hang with you all this holiday.

  7. My favorite treat was always my grandmothers banana pudding. It's a legend around these parts. The preachers have even had sermons based upon it. True Story. Lol. I've made several different types of truffles but haven't ventured into chocolate ones yet. So far they've been red velvet and golden oreo ones, but those I may just have to try!


  8. Grapes. It was the only time of year we had them when I was a kid, because they were classed as "expensive" by my folks. Nothing was ever more wonderful than those cold, juicy grapes.


  9. Great post. We've always made pepper nuts and yes they tough cookies. But a little coffee does help, even though my gran also thought it would stunt my growth. Must be that generation's thoughts.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  10. My grandmother used to make cracker candy for Christmas. I haven't had it in years. I'm not even sure how to make it. I just remember loving it as a kid.

    Geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  11. Lolarific - I would love your grandmother's banana pudding recipe if you would care to share. PM me on FB.

    Anne, we couldn't get grapes in the winter but we always had oranges in our stockings because we could rarely afford fruit. Thanks for bringing that memory back. :-D

    Our grandmothers may have been right about coffee stunting the growth. I only made it to 5'2"

    Stacie, is that the kind with the caramel glaze and pecans or is it something else? Would you share the recipe with me if you find it? PM me on FB.

    LOL - I should make some and send them to you Heather.

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  13. My mom didn't make a lot of treats for Xmas when I was young. I started doing the baking as a teenager. My favorite is a recipe I found a couple of years ago. Magic bars..they have graham crumb crust. Craisins,nuts,marshmallows,coconut and mixed with condensed milk.It gooey,sticky yummy sweetness.They're awesome.

    Happy Holidays
    Great giveaway


  14. Those Magic bars sound luscious and I could almost pretend they were good for me with craisins in them. Would love it if you would send me the recipe - you can PM me on FB.

  15. Your truffles look terribly decadent...yum!

  16. Those truffles sound SO good! And a great idea for the giveaway! My fav treat from my childhood has been the PB marshmallow squares I shared on my post earlier this month.

    Happy Holidays! :)

  17. My favorite holiday treat is white chocolate covered Oreos.


  18. I grew up with peppernuts too but Krumkaka was always my favorite treat. I have an iron to make it now and my daughter is a pro at rolling them but it is a time consuming process.

  19. I have so many favorite holiday treats. My mom always made candy - fudge, pralines, divinity, rum balls. Those always scream holidays - and extra poundage. I personally love haystacks - a combo of butterscotch. peanutbutter and shoestring potatos (Not the noodles - Yuck)

    The necklace is beautiful! I too am a supporter of cancer research.

  20. Wow, those look delish! Yum!

    I love my sister's brownies. Drool.

  21. Truffles look fab, I'm accepting donations. :-)

    The necklace is gorgeous. I am showing my Relay For Life event chair this so she can post it to the event page. THANKS!!!

  22. Love your post! I always loved warm gingerbread with Cool Whip! Oh my god so good! :)

    laurakayeauthor @

  23. My favorite treat is peanut butter fudge. When I was growing up, my mom would make it for me each year for my birthday (Dec 20th) so I still love fudge at the holidays (other times too, lol). I love the necklace and that it supports cancer research. I try to support various cancer research whenever possible.
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  24. I so need a way for you all to share your recipes. Everything mentioned sounds deliscious! Yum.

  25. Recipe saved, now to find a time when I can make them without eating them all myself. My favorite Christmas cookie is the Snowball, also known as the Mexican Wedding Cookie. No one made them this year, so I didn't get to eat any. Might have to break down & make some for New Years Eve.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  26. Yummy recipe...great book...gorgeous necklace...wonderful cause...'nough said! :) Have a safe and Happy New Year!

    barbbattaglia at yahoo dot com