Bourbon-Caramel Chocolate Truffles


It’s become somewhat of a tradition to make cookies at Christmastime with my friend Katie, who I’ve known since kindergarten, and her dad, who also happened to be my fifth grade teacher. Perhaps “tradition” is a bit premature, since we’ve really only done this two years in a row, but I suspect it may become one. That is, if I don’t accidentally feed Katie a maggot-covered truffle ever again.

Truffles don’t really count as a cookies, but I’d gotten it in my head that I would make bourbon-caramel truffles after I’d tasted one a colleague made a few weeks earlier. I brought the ingredients—including some cocoa powder I uncovered in my mother’s cupboard—over to Katie’s. Her dad noticed the crushed, well-worn box of cocoa powder and noted, wisely as always, “This looks historic.”

I should’ve stopped right there and thrown it out. And actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I used that same box of cocoa to make both hot chocolate and my favorite flourless chocolate cake last Christmas.

But, I figured, unsweetened cocoa powder lasts forever (right?). I dutifully dipped the bourbon chocolate in it, and formed half-inch balls, and re-rolled the truffles in the cocoa to give them a nice powdery sheen. I noticed a small white fleck on one of the truffles and figured it was just some butter from the counter. (Which, really, makes no sense at all. There is no butter in this recipe.)

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after Katie snuck a truffle that I noticed another little white fleck, and this one was moving. Wriggling, actually, like a worm. Because these were no ordinary flecks of butter. These were maggots.

I ended up having to dump the whole batch.

There’s a lesson in this, somewhere. And I think that lesson would be: If it looks old, it probably is.

Bourbon Caramel Chocolate Truffles

If, by any chance, you haven’t completely lost your appetite, I do highly recommend this recipe, and it is relatively healthy since it comes from Cooking Light. I made another batch with maggot-free cocoa powder. They came out a little too hard for a truffle, which I attribute to my flash-freezing of the chocolate instead of the recommended four hours of chilling in the fridge, so don’t try to work around that step. I’ve also upped the the bourbon content from the original recipe on the recommendation of my colleague.

I found that these truffles do not keep for very long. And, make them small (about a half-inch in diameter) because they are INTENSE.

  • 3 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TSBP evaporated whole milk
  • 1 TBSP golden cane syrup (such as Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which I was able to find in my mother’s grocery store)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  1. Combine brown sugar, milk, cane syrup and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in bourbon and vanilla extract. Add both types of chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Stir until smooth.
  3. Pour into a shallow dish; cover and chill 4 hours.
  4. Using a warm spoon, scoop the chocolate mixture with spoon and dip in cocoa. Form into half-inch balls and roll in the cocoa powder once more. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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About Laura Parisi

I am a writer who loves food, gardening, donuts and dogs. We tell stories to remember them. These are the food stories I want to remember.

2 responses to “Bourbon-Caramel Chocolate Truffles”

  1. Sue Sell says :

    I’m cleaning out my cupboards today. There’s a box of cocoa powder up there somewhere…

  2. scgirl529 says :

    Oh, I laughed so hard. Those truffles sound delicious!


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