The Magic of the Christmas Sweet Bite

Christmas Sweet Bites

I LOVE to share my Christmas Sweet Bites. Each holiday season (or anytime of the year) I pull out all my recipes; scour Pinterest and Google for any new ones to add to my collection; make a grocery list; and then the MAGIC begins.

I have a variety of cake truffles (some might call them cake balls) that I love to change based on the season or whatever flavor I am craving at the time.

Pink Champagne White Chocolate Sweet Bite

Living in Willamette Valley, Oregon, I have become quite fond of Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine.  My first introduction to this lovely bottling from Oregon was a several years ago upon my arrival at Soter Vineyards. I was met with a glass of Mineral Springs Brut Rosé, affectionately known as SoterPop, and I was hooked.  They also produce Plant Oregon Rosé Bubbles at a more everyday drinking price.

Since that first introduction, I have enjoyed the Mia Mousseux Brut Rosé Sparkling from Lange Winery while sitting on their deck enjoying panoramic views of the vineyard, the valley and the Cascade Mountain Range.  Another favorite of mine is the RMS Brut Rosé from Willamette Valley Bubble pioneer Rollin Soles of ROCO Winery.

So many more have exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years. A great place to taste your way through Willamette Valley Sparkling offerings is to attend Bubbles Fest the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day at Anne Amie Vineyards.  Here’s hoping we get to enjoy these types of events in the near future.

I digress, only because I do love Brut Rosé Sparkling so very much…that I wanted to capture the flavor in a sweet bite. I found some Pink Champagne Cake and Cupcake recipes and here’s what I came up with:

Pink Champagne White Chocolate

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 C pink Champagne/sparkling wine
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 3 drop red food coloring
  • 1 tsp Sparkling Wine Flavoring (who knew, right?)
  • 1 15.6 ounce container vanilla frosting
  • 1 12 ounce bag white chocolate melts
  • Pink sugar
To make the cake balls:
  • Mix cake mix, pink Champagne/sparkling wine, egg whites, oil, food coloring and sparkling wine flavoring on high for 3 minutes and then on medium until all ingredients are combined thoroughly.
  • Bake cake in a 13 x 9 cake pan according to directions on the box. Let cake cool completely once removed from oven.
  • Transfer cake to a deep bowl and crumble with fork or hands.
  • Add frosting to cake crumbs 1 spoonful at a time, mixing together with a fork or spatula (or your hands) until mixture is soft, but firm enough to be formed into bite-size balls without falling apart (this may not take an entire jar of frosting). I usually stir the frosting vigorously or warm in microwave for 30 seconds to make it a bit softer.
  • Chill 30 minutes.
  • Using clean hands (I often use disposable kitchen gloves), roll cake mixture into about 25 1-inch round balls. You may also use a #100 (.38 oz) scoop for portioning and then round off with your hands.
  • Place balls on a baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper, then place in the freezer for 1 hour to chill.
To decorate the cake balls:
  • In a bowl, melt white chocolate according to directions on the package.
  • Remove cake balls from freezer and use a fork or dipping tool to dip in melted white chocolate. If white chocolate is too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons melted coconut oil, mixing well until the consistency softens slightly. Gently tap fork or tool against the side of the bowl to remove any excess white chocolate.
  • After dipping each cake ball in white chocolate, place back on lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with pink sugar before chocolate sets.  I usually dip 2-3 and then add the sugar.
  • Once all cake balls are decorated, place baking sheet in fridge until white chocolate is fully hardened.

 

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cake Truffles

This sweet bite came from my mother’s love of Red Velvet cake…and my love for my mother!  The photo is actually one of her cakes. Anyone in our family or close friends had the pleasure of tasting her well-known concoction. This recipe is similar to the one above, but with slight variations. The featured image at the start of the blog is of these truffles.

Mom's Red Velvet Cake

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix, plus any additional ingredients called for on box
  • 1 1/2 11-12 ounce bags of dark chocolate chips or melts
  • 1 12 ounce bag white chocolate melts
  • 2 ounce red colored chocolate melts (Wiltons make smaller bags)
  • Red Food Coloring
To make the cake balls:
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix according to directions on the box with all listed ingredients.
  • Bake cake in a 13 x 9 cake pan according to directions on the box. Let cake cool completely once removed from oven.
  • Transfer cake to a deep bowl and crumble with fork or hands.
  • In a bowl, melt 1/2 bag of dark chocolate according to directions on the package.
  • Add to cake crumbs, mixing together with a fork or spatula (or hands) until mixture is soft, but firm enough to be formed into bite-size balls without falling apart. If balls are falling apart, melt more dark chocolate and combine.
  • Chill 30 minutes.
  • Using clean hands (I often use disposable kitchen gloves), roll cake mixture into about 25 1-inch round balls. You may also use a #100 (.38 oz) scoop for portioning and then round off with your hands.
  • Place balls on a baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper, then place in the freezer for 1 hour to chill.
To decorate the cake balls:
  • In a bowl, melt white chocolate according to directions on the package.
  • Remove cake balls from freezer and use a fork or dipping tool to dip in melted white chocolate. If white chocolate is too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons melted coconut oil, mixing well until the consistency softens slightly. Gently tap fork or tool against the side of the bowl to remove any excess white chocolate.
  • After dipping each cake ball in white chocolate, place back on lined baking sheet.
  • Once all cake balls are dipped, place baking sheet in fridge until white chocolate is fully hardened.
  • Once white chocolate is fully hardened, melt 2 ounces of red colored chocolate according to package.  If chocolate is too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons melted coconut oil, mixing well until the consistency softens slightly. Using a fork, drizzle red chocolate over the balls and chill until hardened.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bon Bons

I first experienced this delightful sweet bite at Icing on the Cake bakery in Los Gatos, CA.  The aroma as I walked in was all sugar, and chocolate, and butter, and caramel. It was one of those combinations that stayed with me.  When I moved away from that area, I decided I needed to try to recreate these sinful treats.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bon Bons

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 C pretzels
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter (I find that natural peanut butter works best as it has more natural oil)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (I often substitute in Brown Splenda using half the amount as noted on the Splenda package.
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips  (I also use Dark Chocolate)
  • Coarse Sea Salt
To make the cake balls:
  • Crush pretzels into small bits in either a food processor or in a baggie with a rolling pin.
  • In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt until smooth.
  • Add pretzels bits and mix thoroughly.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. (I usually add a Tbsp at a time.  This is to help the ingredients bind and form a ball more easily.)
  • Chill 30 minutes.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Using a #70 (.5 oz) scoop to make balls and place on cookie sheet.  This is a larger scoop than I use on the cake truffles above.  I like the filling to chocolate ratio with this scoop size better. (Yes, I’ve tried both sizes!)
  • Chill 15-30 minutes.
  • Round the edges with your hands. If sticking to your fingers too much, either add a bit more powdered sugar or run your hands under cold water. Or, use disposable kitchen gloves.
  • Chill again for 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, melt 1/3 bag of dark chocolate in microwave for one minute. Stir until completely melted.  If you need to heat more, use 10 second increments.  If chocolate seems too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil and stir to thin.
  • Dip balls in chocolate using a fork or dipping tool. Gently tap fork or tool against the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
  • Place back on lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with a few coarse grains of sea salt before chocolate hardens. I usually dip 2-3 and then add the salt.
  • Chill to harden.

Other varieties for a sweet bite that I like to make are: Carrot Cake White Chocolate Truffles with Crushed Walnut, Devil’s Food Dark Chocolate Cake Truffles with White Chocolate Drizzle (or red and green drizzle for a festive look), Pumpkin White Chocolate with Crushed Pecan.  The ideas are endless and you can use either icing or melted chocolate to bind the crumbs.  Or even Marshmallow cream for an added level of decadence! The sweet bite combinations are endless. We offer some of these through our website to enjoy in your guest room and may be added at the time of booking on the website or by phone.

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