Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles

Peppermint seems to be one of the ultimate Christmas flavors, and with red and white spiraled candy canes used as decorations for the yard to the tree, the humble candy cane shines as a sweet tradition of the season.  While I adore looking at the canes, peeling the wrapper off and eating one is not my thing.  Too sweet and a sticky mess, I find them better left on the tree than in my hand.  That being said, a candy cane or peppermint candy crushed and used in a recipe has become one of my favorite holiday ingredients.

Two years ago, Wendy of the Weekend Gourmet, and I discovered a recipe for Peppermint Truffles floating around the web.  I've since forgotten where I saw the original post, however the inspiration comes from a recipe on the Kraft website called Easy Oreo Truffles.

Peppermint Truffles with one half eaten
Wendy and I have both adapted our versions to suit our tastes, with my favorite featuring Trader Joe's holiday ingredients.  Though the recipe is simple enough, the dipping part can take a bit of time. With an elf to help you, though (mine is named Liv), and a few time saving tips, we'll have you looking a hero in no time.

Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's provide the base the these fabulous treats, and we use a block of low fat cream cheese as a binder.  My favorite part is the addition of the crushed candy cane or hard peppermint candy.  Bringing an ever so slight crunch to the creamy truffle, the peppermint candies leave the truffles simply bursting with holiday flavor.

Now a tradition in our holiday season, I'd say you can't go wrong with these Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles.  Perfect on your holiday cookie tray, a welcomed personal hostess gift or simply as a nibble before breakfast, I can't get enough of these holiday confections.

Candy Cane Peppermint Truffles - Trader Joe's version
I heart Trader Joe's!!!  And I'm extraordinarily blessed to have no less than 3 stores in a 5 mile radius from my house providing me all the ingredients necessary for these addictive holiday treats.  If you are not so lucky, see below for a non-TJ's version.
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1 box Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's
1 pkg Trader Joe's low fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (about) crushed Trader Joe's Hard Peppermint Candies (more for sprinkling)
1 pound Trader Joe's dark chocolate

Process Joe Joe's in a food processor until crumbly.  Add chunked cream cheese and crushed candy cane and process until combined, being careful not to over-process.   Shape into 1 inch balls and place into the freezer (balls are much easier to dip when frozen, or at least very cold - they stay together better and the chocolate sets up faster).

Peppermint Truffle balls ready to freeze before dipping in chocolate

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  Dipping and keeping the truffle pretty can be a bit of a challenge, but finding a trick that works for you is key.  We have found two methods that work well for us:  1.  Place ball into the chocolate and roll around in the chocolate with a spoon or fork.  With a fork, remove the truffle while allowing the excess chocolate to drip, then carefully place onto a sheet of waxed paper.  2.  Drop the truffle into the melted chocolate and roll around with a spoon.  Using a wooden skewer, skewer the truffle and allow the excess chocolate to drip, then place on the waxed paper.  With a small spoon, drop a bit of extra chocolate onto the skewer hole.

As soon as you drop the chocolate onto the wax paper sprinkle immediately with the crushed candy cake (A good job for your elf if you have one).  Allow to set.

Truffles will last a few days kept in a covered container in the refrigerator and are fabulous right from the fridge.  Brought to room temperature they are just as good.

Peppermint Truffles, Non-Trader Joe's Version
Trader Joe's Organic Peppermint Extract
Sorry... I got mine at TJ's!
While I love my Trader Joe's products, I understand that not everyone has a Trader Joe's near themA simple increase in the crushed candy canes along with a few drops of peppermint extract should do the trick.

1 package oreos
about 1/3 cup crushed candy canes
1 eight oz. package cream cheese (may use low fat)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
1 lb dark chocolate

Follow above recipe adding the peppermint extract when you add the cream cheese.


  1. Yes...we are peppermint truffle soul sisters, Kim! I'm going to make them with Joe Joe's this year since I can now...and I'll make sure to adjust the amount of peppermint crunch since they are very minty. I made a vanilla version of these and posted on the blog a couple of weeks ago. I am going to make a batch of both for Christmas Eve this year.

  2. OMG!! Holiday Dream Cookies come true!!! I want!
    By the way, there's no Trader Joe's anywhere near me! (boooooo)

  3. These look incredible! I love chocolate and peppermint!

  4. These sound way better, and way more festive than the traditional Oreo Truffles.

  5. Thank you for linking your beautiful Peppermint Truffles to At Home with Rebecka Holiday Recipe Exchange and Linky Party! I'll be adding these to my list of must make confections this year!

  6. Oh yummy! I love the Candy Cane Jo Jo's! These look delightful.

  7. these look sinfully delicious!!! they were so good i even shared on my facebook page and now my sister wants me to make them for

  8. these look delicious! how many truffles does this recipe yield?

  9. Anonymous... we have made different sizes, so have had different yields! However, I would say about 20-24 decent sized truffles.

  10. Truffles are one of the treats that every year we have to have on Christmas day. I ADORE both chocolate and peppermint and yours not only sound so delicious but look amazing Kim.
    Hope you'll bring them to the chocolate party this month

  11. These look so yummy! I have some milk chocolate - do you think that will work? I'm not a dark chocolate fan,.
    Can't wait to make them!

  12. So fun to have found your blog. I am in Orange County and have family in Carlsbad. Your photography is gorgeous.

  13. Just found this post on pinterest! Do you think it would work with mint oreos?

    1. Kylie... absolutely!!! Or you could do regular oreos and add a bit of peppermint extract.

  14. Oh YUM!! 8-) Just found your post on Pinterest! And can't wait to give them a try! Do you think they would be okay if kept in the freezer packaged up air tight and ready for gifting? I am trying to work ahead a little on our Christmas gifts for our neighbors, We usually give them out during the week of Christmas... :-)


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