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Shannon M. Smurthwaite
Truffles Cioccolato are made with four ingredients, plus garnishes. Do plan ahead as they take several hours to chill.

Gifts from the kitchen always find a way to the heart. What better time than Valentine's Day to share chocolate creations and capture the sweet tooth of family and friends?

Truffles Cioccolato are simple to assemble. Get a saucepan, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, and select your favorite garnishes.

Streamline the recipe by having all ingredients measured and ready to blend because the truffle chocolate comes together swiftly.

Patience is part of all good things. Plan your efforts around two chilling times as the chocolate will need about 3 hours in the refrigerator and the finished rolled truffles another 2 hours.

If you have any left over, your confections can be stored covered and placed back into the refrigerator for three to five days.

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TRUFFLES CIOCCOLATO

Shannon M. Smurthwaite
Truffles Cioccolato ready to chill. They will need about 3 hours in the refrigerator and the finished rolled truffles another 2 hours.

Makes: approximately 2 dozen truffles

¾ cup butter (not margarine)

¾ cup baking cocoa

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, completely opened at the top for pouring ease

1 teaspoon good vanilla (real vanilla extract, not imitation)

Garnishes, optional: More baking cocoa, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, candy sprinkles (tiny chocolate or confetti colors), flaked coconut, crushed graham crackers

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Melt butter in saucepan over lowest heat. Add cocoa and stir until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk; cook and stir constantly until mixture is thick with a smooth, glossy appearance (3-4 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Blend well. Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours until firm.

Shape into generous 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in bowls of desired garnish. Place on cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate again until firm (about 2 hours).

— adapted from "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook," by Shannon M. Smurthwaite

Correction: A previous version did not include the measurement for the baking cocoa. It should be ¾ cup baking cocoa.