Kahlua Balls

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In an act of holiday kindness, I made “care packages” for my Dispatch team with these and the Rumchata Truffles included. Suffice to say, they went over well.

These are a variation on the recipe for Rum Balls provided by Food Network, modified specifically for my Dispatch team’s particular allergies.
Ingredients :

2 cups finely ground Gluten-Free Brownies (Prepare according to package [I used Krusteaz]  — sub out water for Kahlua, if you like!)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
1 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 to 4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Kahlua
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (or chocolate almond bark base), melted, optional

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix together the brownie crumbs, powdered sugar, and nuts.

2. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of honey and the Kahlua.

3. Using your hands, try to form the mixture into a ball. If the mixture won’t hold together, add a little more honey (or Kahlua).

4. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (I used a cookie scoop), then roll them in powdered sugar or melted chocolate, and let them set up. Then, let them age or ripen 24 hours.

Rumchata Truffles

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Rumchata
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
Vanilla almond bark or white chocolate chips for dipping the truffles
cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Set up a double boiler using a heavy pot and a Pyrex bowl. Fill the pot approx. 1/3 with water and heat water to just below boiling.  In the bowl, place your chips and Rumchata. Place the bowl over the pot. As the chips begin to melt down, stir the Rumchata and chips together, creating a smooth mixture.

2. Once all of the chips are melted and the Rumchata is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a container and let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

3. Use an ice cream scoop (smaller size), to roll the truffles into a 1 inch size ball. You might have to use your hands to shape the ball.

4. Using the double boiler setup from earlier, melt the almond bark or chocolate chips.

5. Dip the truffles into the almond bark and sprinkle with cinnamon to decorate.

Candied Bacon

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My SCA sword brothers, House Clovenshield, love bacon… And when celebrating one of your sword brothers’ 4 years of cancer remission, why not go all out? So, I made them candied bacon.

Makes 4 lbs. of Candied Bacon. The ingredients can be quartered if you’re only making 1 lb… But why would you?

Ingredients

2 C. Light Brown Sugar

4 Tsp. Garlic Powder

4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

2 Tsp. Black Pepper

4 lb. Thick Cut Bacon (I used bacon that was applewood smoked)

Utensils

1 Spoon

1 Large Bowl (or reclosable bag)

4 cookie Sheets

Parchment Paper

Cooling Rack

Sharp Knife

Cutting Board

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Open bacon packages and cut in half.

4. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5. Lay bacon in cookie sheets from edge to edge, making sure the pieces touch.

6. Liberally sprinkle approx. half of the dry rub on bacon. Rub into meat once applied.

7. Place bacon into oven for 15 minutes.

8. After 15 minutes has passed, remove bacon from oven and turn over.

9. Liberally sprinkle the other half of the dry rub on the bacon.

10. Cook bacon in the oven for another 15-18 minutes.

11. Line cooling racks with parchment paper.

12. Remove cooked bacon from cookie sheets and place on lined cooling racks.

13. Allow bacon to cool.

14. Enjoy (preferably with a cold beverage of your choosing)!

 

Tiger’s Chana Masala

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
2 Medium Sweet Onions (I used Vidalias), Chopped Finely
2 28oz cans Crushed Tomatoes
24 oz. Canned Garbanzo Beans (Fresh can be used, too, but boil to soften before adding!)
1 Tbsp. Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp. Garam Masala
16 oz. Water
1/2 c. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Instructions:
1. Prepare chickpeas according to their packaging (If using canned, skip this step.)
2. In a medium-sized frying pan on medium heat, heat the olive oil. Once it has gotten hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook them until soft/slightly brown from frying.
3. Once the onion and garlic are where you need them to be, add the garam masala and coriander powder. Stir them together and form them into a paste-like consistency.
4. In a separate pot (I suggest using a dutch oven or slow cooker), add the crushed tomatoes and garbanzo beans, stirring them over medium heat.
5. Once the tomato and garbanzo bean mixture is heated thoroughly, add the onion-garlic-spice mixture and stir to incorporate.
6. Add the sugar and water, and stir to combine.
7. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover, and let cook. Stir occasionally. This can be left on for as little as an hour up to four hours. I suggest letting it cook for the entire four hours to let the flavors meld better.

Serve with naan or any other “classic” chili toppings. When I made this last, I used mashed potatoes, cheese, and sour cream!

Happy eats!