Christmas has come and gone, and here we are. Much of the Internet is relatively quiet during this week leading up to the New Year, especially food blogs. You’ve baked your little hearts out already, and hopefully now you’re taking a well-deserved rest. But there’s still plenty of time to make New Year’s Eve and Day pretty special. These gluten free Ferrero Rocher style hazelnut chocolates, right out of the pages of Gluten Free Classic Snacks, are certainly something special. Remember those commercials, where the chocolates are butler-passed and everyone takes just one and savors it by the moonlight? ? That could be you!
They’re really quite simple to make, as they’re essentially cookie crumb truffles covered in chocolate. It all begins with the hazelnut wafer cookies. When I make them just to crush for the truffles, I most definitely don’t cut out perfect circles of dough. Why bother?
If you plan to make the truffles all the way, just follow the recipe for down-and-dirty hazelnut wafer cookies. Then crush them, mix them with roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts and Nutella. Then coat in chocolate and more chopped hazelnuts. Ferrero Rocher perfection.
But if you’re out of Nutella (hey, it happens!), or you’re just looking for a bit of a shortcut, try rolling out the hazelnut wafer cookie dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Then cut out rounds of dough and bake them as directed. Then, dip half in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
But once you make the wafer cookies, you’re almost all the way home, to homemade gluten free Ferrero Rocher-style chocolates. So maybe at least make a few and enjoy them in the moonlight on New Year’s Eve? You don’t even have to stay up until midnight!
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch
1/2 cup (60 g) hazelnut flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*To make your own hazelnut flour, follow the instructions below for toasting raw hazelnuts, then process the toasted, skinned nuts in a food processor with a teaspoon of cornstarch or potato starch just until you have a powder. Or, purchase gluten free hazelnut flour from nuts.com.
Candy Truffles & Chocolate Coating
1 recipe Hazelnut Wafer Cookies, crushed into small crumbs (about 2 cups crumbs)
1 1/3 cups (180 g) raw shelled hazelnuts
1/2 cup (150 g) Nutella hazelnut spread
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons (42 g) virgin coconut oil
First prepare the wafer cookies. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, cornstarch, hazelnut flour, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, egg whites and vanilla, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick. Divide it into pieces, about 1 tablespoonful each. Roll each into a ball, place on the prepared baking sheet and press into a disk about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, placing the disks about 1-inch apart from one another. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and firm to the touch (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, with the heel of your hand on a flat surface, crush the cookies into small crumbs.
Toast the raw shelled hazelnuts. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Place the whole shelled nuts in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Place them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from he oven and transfer the warm toasted nuts to a clean tea towel. Wrap the nuts up in the towel and allow them to steam for a few minutes. This will help the skins on the nuts come off easily. Rub the towel on the nuts to remove as many of the skins as possible. Roughly chop the nuts and set them aside.
Prepare the candy truffles. Place the cookie crumbs, half of the chopped nuts (90 g), and the Nutella in a medium-size bowl and mix together completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until the mixture can be shaped into balls. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator and divide it into about 30 pieces, and roll each piece tightly into a ball about 1-inch in diameter. Place the truffles on the prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm.
Prepare the chocolate coating and finish the candies. In a medium-size, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil and melt either in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until melted and smooth, or over a double boiler. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and immerse each, one at a time, in the chocolate coating mixture. Press down on the truffle with a dipping tool or fork, flip it over in the chocolate, remove the truffle with the utensil and place back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each chocolate-coated truffle with the remaining 90 g chopped, toasted hazelnuts and gently press the nuts to the chocolate so they adhere. Allow to set at room temperature.