Sweeten the holidays with homemade truffles and cookies

Matcha white chocolate blocks, rose water-flavored Ghriba cookies, and wonderful vegan-friendly sesame truffles and coconut mango truffles. These mouthwatering delicacies are perfect for the festive season.

This year, celebrate the holiday season with delicious homemade sweets.

EDIBLE GIFTS ARE ideal to that special person who already has everything. Find some beautiful boxes, wrap the treats in tissue paper and give a selection of homemade sweets as a present. In the United States, a homemade cookie box is a popular gift to loved ones. These recipes are just what you need to use the same idea.

Ghriba or Ghoriba cookies flavored with floral water are a North African specialty. The dough also includes a lot of nuts, which makes the cookies particularly soft and delectable. Usually, the recipes contain almonds, but you can replace them for example with walnuts or pistachios. Ethnic shops sell rosewater and orange blossom water, which give the Ghriba cookies their distinctive, light and flavorful aroma reminiscent of a perfume. To make the cookies extra special for the festive season, you can add some cardamom to the dough.

Sesame truffles in Tivoli's Marquee box
Salt flakes serve as a garnish for the sesame truffles and accentuate the sweetness of the dark chocolate. The small Fein spoon is by Ferm Living and the Marquee box by Tivoli.

Get yourself in the right mood for making these edible presents: prepare a mug of hot mulled wine to enjoy on the side, and listen to some holiday classics.

Coconut mango truffles in Verso Design's Pala Box
The coconut mango truffles please with the mild taste of white chocolate. Verso Design’s wooden Pala Box makes a stylish gift box for any homemade sweets.

We are also introducing two vegan versions of the traditional chocolate truffle. The recipes are mirror images of each other: the dark truffle is intense, slightly bitter and strong, whereas the white truffle is sweet, gentle and mild. The tahini and chocolate in the dark truffle go well together, and the salt flakes accentuate the sweetness of the dark chocolate. The dried mango makes the white truffles less sweet, but if you don’t like dried fruit in a truffle, you can roll the truffles in mango powder instead of coconut flakes.

Ingredients for matcha white chocolate on Vaidava Ceramics' Earth plate
Bitter matcha tea pairs particularly well with sweet white chocolate. The Earth dinner plate is by Vaidava Ceramics, the Ultima Thule plate by Iittala, and the small Merci plate by Serax.

The simplest, but most spectacular confection in these recipes is the white chocolate, flavored with Japanese matcha tea. The melted chocolate is spread on baking paper and garnished before it sets. When solid, the bar is cut into pieces. The slightly bitter matcha is a perfect pair for very sweet white chocolate.

Get yourself in the right mood for making edible presents for the festive season: prepare a mug of hot mulled wine to enjoy on the side, and listen to some holiday classics – the right atmosphere is very important. Remember that these recipes take time, because the truffle mass solidifies slowly and if the chocolate is too soft, it is difficult to mold.

Homemade sweets are best stored in a cool place as they can easily melt at room temperature.

The holiday delicacies:

Cardamom Ghriba cookies on Vaidava Ceramics' black Eclipse plate
The Ghriba cookies are dipped in icing sugar before baking in the oven. The black plate is from Vaidava Ceramics’ Eclipse collection.

Cardamom Ghriba cookies (15 pcs)

Ingredients:
200 g almond flour
65 g wheat flour
65 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 eggs
25 g butter
1 tsp rosewater or orange blossom water
90 g icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 175°C. Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Add the almond flour, wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, eggs and melted butter to a bowl. Add the rosewater or orange blossom water. Mix everything into a sticky dough.

Put the icing sugar into a small cup. Take a tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball with wet hands and dip the ball in the icing sugar to cover it with the sugar throughout, and place on the baking tray. Roll the whole dough into balls in the same way and finally, flatten them lightly. Bake for 15 minutes and cool. The cookies are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Coconut mango truffles on Hay's Golden Tray
The coconut mango truffles conceal a piece of dried mango that cuts the sweetness of white chocolate. The golden oblong tray is by Hay.

Coconut mango truffles (20 pcs)

Ingredients:
100 g cashew nut butter
60 g icing sugar
3 tbsp coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa butter
50 g dried mango slices
50 g coconut flakes

Instructions:
Measure the cashew nut butter, icing sugar, coconut cream and vanilla into a bowl. Melt the cocoa butter over low heat in a small saucepan and pour into the bowl. Mix thoroughly and allow the mixture to solidify in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Take a dab of the mixture in the palm of your hand, press in a piece of mango and roll into a ball. Roll the truffles in coconut flakes and arrange in small muffin tins if you like. The truffle mixture melts easily, so you need to work fast and keep the truffles refrigerated.

Sesame truffles on Marimekko's Sääpäiväkirja plate
The blue shade of Marimekko’s Sääpäiväkirja plate creates a beautiful contrast with the sesame truffles rolled in cocoa powder.

Sesame truffles (20 pcs)

Ingredients:
200 g dark chocolate (vegan)
100 g tahini, that is, sesame seed paste
40 g dark cocoa powder
Garnish with salt flakes and roasted sesame seeds

Instructions:
Melt the dark chocolate in either the microwave or over a water bath. Make sure that the tahini is at room temperature, measure it into a bowl and stir until soft. If necessary, pour in a little warm water. Add the melted chocolate to the tahini and mix thoroughly.

Allow the truffle mixture to solidify in the refrigerator for about an hour until you can easily mold it into tiny balls. If the chocolate mixture is kept in the cold for too long, it will become rock hard, and you’ll need some elbow grease to be able mold it. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder and garnish with salt flakes and sesame seeds.

Matcha white chocolate blocks on Vaidava Ceramics' Earth plate
The eye-catching matcha white chocolate is served as generous chunks.

Matcha white chocolate blocks

Ingredients:
250 g white chocolate
2–3 tbsp matcha powder
Garnish with coconut flakes, edible flowers, dried fruits, etc.

Instructions:
Carefully melt the white chocolate over a water bath. Spread the baking paper on the baking tray. Take three tablespoons of white chocolate in a small bowl and mix in the matcha powder. Pour the rest of the white chocolate on the baking paper and spread quickly into a thin layer. Put droplets of the matcha-flavored chocolate over the white chocolate spread on the baking paper and make eights with the tip of a knife to marble the surface. Garnish before the chocolate solidifies. Put the tin into the refrigerator for about an hour, then cut into pieces and store the chocolate in the refrigerator.

Style inspiration

Verso Design
Pala Box
Ferm Living
Fein spoon
Tivolik
Marquee box
Marimekko
Sääpäiväkirja plate
Klong
Gloria candleholder
Alessi
Circus glas jar
Serax
Merci plate
Vaudava
Eclipse plate
Vaidava
Earth plate
Fiskars
Norr knife
Gense
Le Gourmet mortar
Hay
Tray
Suvi Kesäläinen

Design Stories contributor Suvi Kesäläinen is a photographer, who loves to create dishes that are not only delicious but also fast and easy to make. She’s passionate about the best seasonal ingredients, local food and intriguing culinary trends.

See also:

Tableware for the holidays at Finnish Design Shop >

Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen

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