Friday, 4 November 2011

Candy Turkey

Candy Turkeys are the perfect Thanksgiving candy! These adorable turkey look-alikes are made from chocolate truffles, candy corn, chocolate-covered peanuts, and fruit chews. They make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece or fun holiday craft.

1. The first step is to prepare the ganache for the truffles that will form the turkey bodies. Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, and put the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. When the cream comes to a simmer (small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan) pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit a moment to soften and melt the chocolate, then begin to gently whisk the cream and chocolate together. Mix until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll, but not so hard that it cannot be formed into a ball. This should take about 90 minutes.

3. While you wait for the ganache to firm up, prepare the turkey heads. Start by forming the beaks: cut small triangles from the yellow fruit chews and form them into small, pointed beaks. This recipe yields about 16 turkeys, so make as many as 16 beaks, or fewer depending on your needs.

4. Melt the candy coating in a bowl in the microwave. Dip a toothpick in the melted coating and smear a thin layer on the inside of one of the beaks. Press the beak to the side of a chocolate-covered peanut and hold it there until it is firm. Between the coating and the stickiness of the fruit chews, they don't take long to set.

5. Next dip a toothpick in the coating again and dab two dots above the beak. Press a large white sprinkle onto each dot. If you can't find large sprinkles, you can use dabs of melted white chocolate to form the eyes.

6. Use a toothpick to dot tiny specks of coating in the center of the white sprinkles to finish the eyes and complete the turkey heads. Set the heads aside while you finish the turkey bodies.

7. When your ganache is firm but not hard, roll the truffles. Cover a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper, and place a little cocoa powder in a bowl. Dust your hands with cocoa. Use a candy scoop or a teaspoon to form balls of ganache, then roll them between your palms to make them round. If the ganache is very sticky and doesn't easily hold a ball, it needs more time in the refrigerator. If it's so firm it resists being rolled between the palms, let it warm up at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and try again. You should get about 16 1-inch truffles from this recipe.

8. If the truffles are still quite hard after being rolled, they can be dipped right away. If they've gotten soft at room temperature, refrigerate them for about 15 minutes to firm them up a little and help them withstand dipping.

9. If necessary, re-warm the candy coating to get it nice and fluid for dipping truffles. Use a fork to dip a truffle completely in the coating, then tap the fork against the lip of the bowl to let the excess drip off the candy. Place the dipped truffle back on the baking sheet.

10. While the coating is still wet, take two candy corn pieces and press them into opposite sides of the truffles. You'll want to do 2 at once so that the opposing motion keeps the truffle from sliding around. Add a total of three more candy corns, until you have a nice feathered tail fanning out around the outside of the truffle. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped and have their candy corn tails.

11. Refrigerate the candy turkeys to set the coating, for about 10 minutes. After the coating has hardened, smear a small amount of melted coating on the back of one of your turkey heads, then press it to the front of a truffle. Hold it there until the coating sets and can support the turkey head.

12. Candy Turkeys can last for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

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