Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Naughty or Nice Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Hello, everyone! I am beyond excited to be a stop on the Naughty or Nice Winter Blog Tour! Today, we are celebrating the releases of six great books and I have a super fun holiday post from Lucy Parker to share with you all! With the holidays fast approaching, Lucy has some cute and delicious recipes that you can indulge in this holiday season. Enjoy! And don't forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the end of this post! 

It’s almost that time of year again.

Christmas carols are starting to play on a continuous loop at the mall, your mailbox is overflowing with festive junk mail, overexcited children can be coerced into good behaviour by vague threats about the all-seeing eyes of Santa Claus, and candy cane-spiked hot drinks are back on the menu. The nights are drawing in and there’s a hint of snow in the air. Or, if you live here in the southern hemisphere, it’s becoming swelteringly hot and you’re cranking up the barbeque and whipping out the beach towels.

So what better time than to hang out in a stifling kitchen and try to make things with melted chocolate?

The basic recipe for these comes courtesy of my mum, who’s been making them for years, and these truffles are the taste of Christmas for me. I’ve discovered in recent years that it’s very easy to make them all cute and whimsical as well as freakin’ delicious.

Thus, there are three decorating options: The Classic, The Christmas Pudding and The Rudolph. Pick your favourite—or try them all. J

(All versions taste best if stored in the fridge and served chilled. Dangerously, can also eat them straight from the freezer.)

The Classic Version
(Can be doubled or tripled. I recommend quadrupled. They’re really good truffles.)

• ½ packet wine biscuits (not as interestingly boozy as they sound. If you’re in America, graham crackers would probably be a good substiture. If you’re in the UK, digestive biscuits should work. A packet of wine biscuits is 250g.)
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• 1 cup icing sugar (powdered/confectioner’s sugar)
• ½ cup desiccated coconut
• 100g butter (softened to a spreadable texture, but not melted)
• 2 tablespoons sherry
• 1 teaspoon rum essence

(1) Put biscuits/cookies in a food processor and pulverise. If you don’t have a food processor, you’re probably going to need to put them in a plastic ziplock bag and get really aggressive with a rolling pin. We need fine crumbs.

(2) Add the cocoa powder, icing sugar, coconut and butter. Mix well.

(3) Add the sherry and rum essence. Mix some more. And take a few deep breaths, because it should be smelling really good now.

(4) With wet hands, roll the mixture into small balls.

(5) If making The Classic* version, roll each ball in either chocolate hail (chocolate sprinkles) or dessicated coconut. Put on trays in the fridge to chill.

If you want something a little more time-consuming and a lot more cute…

The Christmas Pudding Version
You’ll need:

• 1 packet Oreos or similar chocolate cookies, crushed into crumbs
• White chocolate
• Red and green-coloured gummy candy

What to do:

(1) Make the truffles through to step 4.

(2) Instead of rolling the truffles in chocolate hail or coconut, roll each truffle in the crushed chocolate cookie crumbs.

(3) Melt the white chocolate in a smaller bowl. Chop the red and green gummy candies into small pieces.

(4) Spoon a small dollop of white chocolate onto each truffle (for the Christmas pudding icing) and place one piece of red gummy candy and two pieces of green candy on top (for the holly and berries).

(5) Leave to set completely. 

The Rudolph Truffles Version
You’ll need:

• A bowl of melted dark chocolate
• Miniature pretzels
• Red M&Ms
• White chocolate chips
• A thin skewer

What to do:

(1) Make the truffles through to step 4.

(2) Instead of rolling the truffles in chocolate hail or coconut, dip each truffle in dark chocolate until coated.

(3) Break the miniature pretzels in half until you have pieces that look vaguely like reindeer antlers, with a bit of a imagination.

(4) Push two antlers/pieces of pretzel into the top of each truffle.

(5) Put one red M&M on each truffle for the nose.

(6) Place two white chocolate chips on each truffle for the eyes.

(7) Dip the tip of the skewer into the melted dark chocolate and dab a tiny dot onto each white chocolate chip.

(8) Leave the truffles to set completely.

(9) Look at how cute they are.

All versions of the truffles make great treats for after Christmas lunch, and they make fantastic homemade gifts for friends and co-workers.

Happy Holidays!
(And if you do decide to make these, please tweet me at @_LucyParker, because I’d love to see! J)

Check out Lucy's novel! 
Act Like It
By Lucy Harper
Release Date: November 30, 2015
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?


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