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Chocolate Mint Truffles for Home for the Holidays. . . Gluten-Free Style!

[You wanna piece of me?  Recipe at end of post.]

I’m delighted to be taking part in the Home for the Holidays event, organized by Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily.  The event spans almost a month, with a new blogger each day (25 in all!) presenting to you the recipe that spells “home” to her or him: the one that sparks memories of family gatherings when you were a child, warms your insides, makes you smile and evokes love and community. The one you immediately think of when you think, “holidays“!  And we hope you’ll join in on your own blog by posting the badge, below, and linking up to the event as well!

So what does this mean?  Well, there are twenty five amazing recipes–AND twenty five amazing giveaways!  Just as there will be a new recipe posted every day (mine’s at the end of the post), there will also be a new set of prizes each day (each blogger will be giving away 3 prizes, with some repeated, so if you don’t win a favorite book on one day, you can try again later!).  In addition to the individual bloggers’ giveaways, Shirley is coordinating three incredible Grand Prizes–and you’re automatically entered for each of the grand prizes every time you enter any of the individual giveaways throughout the month (such as the one you’ll find below!). D

Here’s the jaw-dropping lineup:

3rd prize: Caveman Cookies  ($89.00 value!)

2nd prize: Shopping Spree at Free From Gluten ($150 value)

GRAND PRIZE: Top of the Line VitaMix blender! (and you all KNOW how much I love my VitaMix!!) 😀

To enter to win these three prizes–or any of the others—leave a comment on any, or all, of the blogs presenting in the event. Every entry also counts toward the three grand prizes. The more you enter, the more chances you have to win! The three prizes above will be announced on Gluten Free Easily on Christmas.


TWO Copies of Living Without Magazine!  This is a fantastic resource for anyone who has food intolerances, sensitivities or allergies.  You’ll find great information and recipes for people who live without eating gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, etc!


ONE copy of Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It by Jeff O’Connell. As you know, this is a topic close to my heart.  O’Connell talks about how we’ve become sugar addicts in our society, the causes, the effects, and what we can do about it. 

TO ENTER TO WIN ONE OF THESE GREAT PRIZES THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED! (all entries are also eligible for the three grand prizes): simply leave a comment on this post. 

You can gain extra entries by doing one or more of the following.  FOR EACH EXTRA ENTRY, PLEASE COME BACK AND LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING ME THAT YOU’VE DONE SO.

The giveaway will run until MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13.  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED! Shirley will announce the winners on her blog at the end of the week, and I’ll also announce them here thereafter.

To see Kelly’s amazing Peanut Butter Pie with Double Chocolate Crust from yesterday, click here.  And check in tomorrow for a treat from Iris at The Daily Dietribe.

For a complete list of all the prizes and their sponsors, see the end of this post (just after the recipe).

[Chocolate + peppermint + truffles = My kinda holiday food!]

When I thought about what foods evoke “holidays” for me, there was only one answer: chocolate.  As an avowed chocaholic (okay, serious, recidivist, chocolate addict), pretty much any special occasion has to include the beloved blissful brown bite, but wintertime holidays in particular bring this confection to mind.

When I was a singleton living on my own, I rented the basement apartment of a fabulous Victorian home that had been converted into four flats.  The woman on the top floor was a jetsetting, run- (and flirt)-with-the-wolves kind of gal, with a fashion sense that combined pixie-cute appeal with a definite siren-sexiness factor. (In the end, she nabbed the son of Canada’s richest billionaire as her husband.  The marriage has since dissolved, but I have no doubt that the bank account is as healthy as ever).

One  year, Ms. Jetsetter invited me to a Christmas party in her flat.  Emerging from the bowels of the building, my eyes still squinting from the light, I was entirely entranced by the fantasty winter-wonderland theme of her party and the dreamy quality of the decorations in her apartment. It was as if she had smeared the camera lens with Vaseline and strung gauze all over the place, with everything slightly blurred, the edges softened, silver and white undertones to the light and shadows throughout the place. The antique tree decorations were illuminated in glimmering beams, reflecting off the glowing embers in the fireplace. Tabletops were crowded with plates of food and drink and small, flickering candles emitting a soft and sensuous glow.  And there, in the bathroom (yes! the bathroom!) was a lovely bowl of individually wrapped chocolate truffles on the counter, so guests could sneak a little treat with them after checking their reflections, fixing their lipliner, or straightening a tie.

I was in love with the idea of offering truffles in virtually every room of the party, and since then, have blatantly copied the concept any time I throw a holiday bash.  But the truffles themselves were easier to attain, since they came from Canada’s own President’s Choice line.  Anyone who lives in Ontario (or has access to the brand) will likely be familiar with these rich little squares, covered in milk chocolate and concealing a mint-chocolate ganache filling. 

Now that I can consume neither chocolate nor sugar, I just had to create an ACD friendly version of my own.  I think you’ll find these incredibly reminiscent of milk chocolate, and just as irresistible.  The insides are a blended-till-silky-smooth mix of coconut, cashews and chocolate (somebody save me), all covered in a thick and intense dark chocolate cloak. The contrast in flavors and textures is enough to make even the richest billionaire swoon.

The next time you throw a holiday party, you can proudly lay these treats out for your guests–in whichever room you choose.


[Didn’t I tell you they look like milk chocolate?  Rich, minty, smooth. . . heaven.]


“Milk Chocolate” Mint Truffles (ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

The coconut-chocolate combo in the filling really looks like milk chocolate and has a mouthfeel that is very reminiscent of the “real” thing.  These truffles are rich and delectable enough to satisfy any chocolate lover in your life! I’m including a more labor-intensive version (my preferred) as well as a quicker and easier version; both are delicious and they are very close in texture.

Filling, Version I (a bit more work, but much more economical):

1.5 ounces (40 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate (I use Cocoa Camino; I hear that Scharffen Berger is great, too)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic

2 cups (160 g) unsweetened, dried thick or medium shredded coconut (not coconut flakes or the shredded type that is already ground up into crumbs, unless you weigh it)

1 heaping cup (160 g ) lightly toasted natural cashews (no salt)

1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar

pinch fine sea salt

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste (about 1/2 tsp/5 ml)

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure peppermint extract

Filling, Version II (faster and easier, but more expensive):

heaping 1/2 cup (130 ml) coconut butter (not oil), warmed and then scooped into a measuring cup

heaping 1/4 cup (70 ml) smooth natural cashew butter

1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar, measured and then ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder

pinch fine sea salt

1.5 oz (40 g) unsweetened chocolate (I use Cocoa Camino; I’ve heard that Scharffen Berger is great, too)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste (about 1/2 tsp/5 ml) 

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure peppermint extract

Chocolate Coating, Version I (less sweet, but smoother; I preferred this one)*:

4 ounces (115 g) unsweetened chocolate (I use Cocoa Camino; I’ve heard that Scharffen Berger is great, too)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil (use refined to avoid adding coconut flavor), preferably organic

2 Tbsp (30 ml) sifted carob powder

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

Chocolate Coating, Version II (sweeter, but a hint of graininess):

2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut sugar, measured and then ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder

4 ounces (115 g) unsweetened chocolate (I use Cocoa Camino; I’ve heard that Scharffen Berger is great, too)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil (use refined to avoid adding coconut flavor), preferably organic

10-15 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

Make the Filling: Prepare a small square plastic container, single-serving loaf pan, or other small (around 2 cups/500 ml) square container by lining with plastic wrap.  Alternately, you could use miniature silicone muffin cups (for round truffles).  I used a small square plastic freezer container. Set aside.

For Filling Version One, Proceed as Follows:  In a small, heavy-bottomed pot over lowest heat possible, melt the chocolate and coconut oil; set aside.

Place the coconut, cashews, sugar and salt in a high-powered blender (I use my VitaMix) and, using the wand, blend until you have a smooth and semi-liquid coconut-cashew “butter”.  Keep blending until it is very smooth and pourable! (The mixture will be very warm at this point).

Add the melted chocolate, vanilla, stevia and peppermint extract and blend again just to combine.  

For Filling Version II, Proceed as Follows: In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the coconut butter, cashew butter, coconut sugar, salt and chocolate. Heat over lowest heat possible, stirring constantly, until melted and very smooth.  Add the vanilla, stevia and peppermint extract and stir well. (For a glassy-smooth filling, at this point you can pour this mixture into a blender and blend for 30 seconds to smooth out any last remnants of graininess from the coconut sugar. . . but this is totally not necessary–still delicious without!).

For both Versions, Continue as Follows: Pour the mixture into the prepared container and refrigerate until solid, 40-60 minutes. Once solid, invert onto a cutting board lined with plastic and allow to sit for 5 minutes just to soften slightly (it will get soft fairly quickly, but if you cut it right away, it will splinter and crack).  Using a very sharp knife, cut into desired number of squares (I made 16; some cracked or broke, so I ended up with about a dozen good squares). 

Place the cutting board with the squares on it in the freezer until completely solid, about an hour.

About ten minutes before you will coat the truffles, make the coating.

 For Coating Version I, Proceed as FollowsBring about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a boil in a small pot; turn down to lowest heat.  Set a glass or metal bowl over the pot (the bowl should be big enough that the bottom isn’t touching the water in the pot) and add the chocolate and coconut oil to the bowl.  Allow to sit about 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts. Remove from the pot and whisk in the carob powder and stevia.  Mix well to eliminate any lumps.

For Coating Version II, Proceed as Follows: Place the sugar, chocolate and coconut oil in a small, heavy-bottomed pot over lowest heat possible.  Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat and add the stevia; stir until well combined.

To Coat the Truffles: Place the bowl of chocolate on the counter.  Get yourself a big, wide-tined fork (I found a good one at the dollar store; any large fork should do). 

Bring the board with the cut-out filling to the counter.  Working quickly, grab each piece and dip the bottom in the chocolate; let it drip off a bit, then place chocolate side-down onto the board.  When they’re all done, return the board to the freezer so the chocolate can firm up a bit (about 5 minutes).

One at a time, place each square chocolate side-down on the fork.  Hold the truffle over the bowl and, using a spoon or spatula, spoon more chocolate over the top and sides, allowing excess to drip through the tines of the fork and back into the bowl.  Tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess.  At this point, it’s really important to ensure that the entire filling is coated, with no uncovered spots peeking through the chocolate!  Slide each truffle off the fork one at a time by pushing it off with the tip of a knife or another fork, and replace them all on the cutting board.

Once all the truffles are coated, you can pop them the fridge to firm up (no need to go back in the freezer at this point). 

Once the truffles are firm, you can drizzle any leftover chocolate coating over them to create pretty patterns, or dip a dried cranberry or goji berry in a bit of the leftover chocolate to “glue” it to the top of a truffle as decoration. 

Store the truffles in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Remove them from the fridge at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the filling inside to soften up for a smoother, more ganache-like consistency.  If you’ve covered the entire filling with chocolate, they should be fine at room temperature, as the coating is solid and will prevent any of the filling from oozing out.  Makes 12-16 truffles. 


Here’s the full lineup of participating sponsors and prizes for Home for the Holidays:

PRINT BOOKS (Cookbooks and Resource Books, or Combos):

–More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow and Totally Together Journal combos–by Stephanie O’Dea, three combos (3)
–Simply … Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski, 2 signed copies (2)  each with a package of Carol’s Gluten-Free Flour mix
–Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Pete and Kelli Bronski, one signed copy (1)
–Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Pete and Kelly Bronski, one signed copy (1)
–Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies by Jean Layton and Linda Larsen, one copy (1) (release date Dec. 6)
–Gluten-Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn — 2 copies (2)
–Gluten-Free in 5 Minutes by Robin Ryberg — 2 copies (2)
–Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson – 2 copies (2)
–The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam, six signed copies (6)
–The Gluten-Free Cupcakes Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam, six signed copies (6)
–The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell, two copies (2)
–The Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Kitchen by Denise Jardine, ONE EXCLUSIVE ADVANCE COPY (1)
–The Pure Kitchen by Hallie Klecker, two copies (2)
–Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone, three copies (3)
–Free for All Cooking by Jules Shepard, one signed copy (1)
–The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Jules Shepard, one signed copy
–Healthier Without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen, three signed copies (3)
–Sugar Nation by Jeffrey O’Connell, four copies (4)
–Wheat Belly by William Davis, three copies (3)
–Dangerous Grains by Ron Hoggan and Dr. James Braly, two copies (2)
–The Food Allergy Kitchen by Amra Ibrismovic and Carmel Nelson, one copy (1)
–The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen* by Lévana Kirschenbaum and Lisa R.Young
–The Spunky Coconut Cookbook 2nd edition, by Kelly Brozyna, one signed copy (1)
–Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts by Kelly Brozyna, one signed copy (1)
–Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield, three copies (3)
–Go Dairy Free* by Alisa Fleming, two signed copies (2)
–Modern Spice by Monica Bhide, one copy (1) (in combo package with Monica’s app, iSPICE)
–Perfect One-Dish Dinners* by Pam Anderson, one signed copy (1)
–The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Ali Segersten and Tom Malterre, two signed copies (2)
–The Steamy Kitchen* by Jaden Hair, one copy (1)

100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster, one copy (1)

E-BOOKS (Cookbooks and Resource Books) 

–Gluten-Free Goddess E-Book: Best Loved Recipes by Karina Allrich (1)
–The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook by Diane Eblin, one copy with tote bag (1)
–7 Quick Start Tips for Living a Healthy Gluten-Free Fit Life, by Erin Elberson, five copies (5)
–Sweet Freedom*, by Ricki Heller, one copy (1)
–Combo Set of following: Good Morning Breakfasts, Desserts Without Compromise, and Anti-Candida Feast Book by Ricki Heller, one copy (1) of set 

MAGAZINES–Easy Eats, three subscriptions–electronic (3)
–Delight, two subscriptions–print (2)
–Living Without, two subscriptions–print (2)  


–Cook IT Allergy Free by Kim Wilson-Maes, three apps (3)
–iSPICE by Monica Bhide, one app (in combo package with her cookbook, Modern Spice; already mentioned above) (1)  


–GlutenTox Testing Kit, two packages (two tests in each kits) (2)
Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Certified Organic, one quart (1)

Five pound bag of Honeyville organic almond flour (1)

*Indicates prize is not exclusively gluten free, but offers much that is gluten free or easily adapted 

GRAND PRIZE–A top-of–the-line Vitamix—woohoooo! Specifically, Vitamix is offering its Super Healthy Lifestyle package, which includes a 5200 machine and a 32 oz. dry grains container for grinding your own, gluten-free flours. Note that on Cyber Monday (11/28), Vitamix will be offering this package at $499 as part of its holiday special; that’s $50 off the normal price. The winner will also receive a copy of the e-book, Eat Fresh and D-Tox Your Life. This e-book is the perfect companion for this amazing Vitamix; read more here

SECOND PRIZE—A $150 shopping spree at Free From Gluten (freefromgluten.com). Free From Gluten is the largest gluten-free store offering everything from basic products like gluten-free flours and xanthan gum to those treats like Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and special products like baguettes and ice cream cones.

THIRD PRIZECaveman Cookies giveaway package ($89 value).  One large bag of each of the current three flavors , Original, Tropical, and Alpine ($28.95 value) plus one large bag of the soon-to-be released new flavor, Rainforest ($9.95 value; will be shipped as soon as available; anticipated end of Dec); 1 large variety pack ($32.50 value), and 1 t-shirt ($17.50 value; your size, your color). 

Last Year at this Time: Rich and Creamy Chai Carob Latte (gluten free; ACD   Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Stevia-Sweetened, Gluten-Free Blueberry Lemon Muffins (ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Blended Hot Cereal (gluten free option; ACD maintenance)

Four Years Ago: Dog Day: Bonehenge

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs




471 comments to Chocolate Mint Truffles for Home for the Holidays. . . Gluten-Free Style!

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