Almond Chestnut Truffles

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire brings to mind Christmas songs and memories. Yes, these are the same Chestnuts, they are just candied. Candied chestnuts are pasty on their own, but turn creamy when mixed for this filling. Chestnut trees were abundant in America until they were destroyed by a fungus blight in the early twentieth century.

Marzipan Base

    2 (8-ounce) packages marzipan

Chestnut Filling

    2 (10.8-ounce) bottles chestnuts in vanilla syrup
    1 cup unsalted butter
    2 ⅔ cups confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon imitation rum or almond flavoring
    cup reserved syrup

Coating

    2 pounds Nestle Peter's Dark Sweet Chocolate
    teaspoon Crisco
solid vegetable shortening


1.  On a large breadboard dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll   
     marzipan into a 12 x 12-inch square. Cut 1-inch rounds and
     place them in small foil candy cups.

2.  Drain chestnuts, reserving all the syrup. Place chestnuts in a       
     mini-food processor and blend until almost smooth, then use
     a spatula to scrape the chestnuts into a medium deep bowl.

3.  Use a wooden spoon to mix in butter and confectioners' sugar.
     Stir in rum flavoring and cup reserved syrup.

4.  Press this mixture through a large sieve. Fit a piping bag   
     with a size 22 piping tip. Fill piping bag with chestnut      
     filling. Pipe rounds onto marzipan. Place in freezer until          
     solid or about 20 minutes.

5.  Melt chocolate in a crockery cooker with shortening. When         
     completely melted, turn heat off.


6.  Set out cups, when chocolate has cooled slightly, spoon into
     cups to cover chestnut filling. Set back into freezer 10 minutes.
     Serve or keep frozen until 1 hour before serving.


     Hint 1: Reserve any leftover syrup to mix with any remaining
     chocolate for chocolate syrup with ice cream.

     Hint 2: Use any remaining melted chocolate to make free-
     form shapes. Place the melted chocolate in a disposable
     pastry bag and cut a small hole at the tip. Line a small baking
     tray with parchment or wax paper. Squeeze the chocolate out
     onto the paper in fun shapes. Hearts are my personal favorite.
     These shapes can then be used on desserts later in the week.
 
     Makes 40 or more truffles