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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (15 pcs)
200 g almond flour
65 g wheat flour
65 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
25 g butter
1 tsp rosewater or orange blossom water
90 g icing sugar
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 (20 pcs)
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
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 (20 pcs)
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
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
250 g white chocolate
2–3 tbsp matcha powder
Garnish with coconut flakes, edible flowers, dried fruits, etc.
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.
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.
Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen