New Years sweets: fruitcake truffles and chocolate amaretto balls

chocolate truffles

New Years is a time for resolutions and goals. I’m pretty sure at age 25, I had about two goals for the next five years. The first was obviously to get my PhD done at some point in the next five years. The second was to get married at age 27 (27 was a random age I picked that seemed appropriate at the time). The PhD happened at age 28. As for my other goal, an email at age 26 with the words “I’m sorry” and “we aren’t getting married” changed pretty much everything. An email can do that.

So, in my 26th year, I changed my address, all my phone numbers (cell and landline), and my hair-do (from straight hair to a wild ’80s perm). I even changed friends (pretty much all of them), and I think I started to become me in the process (except for the hair). I baked like crazy (obviously), and I connected with amazing people that I will love forever and who let me figure out me.

chocolate truffles

I clearly didn’t get married at 27, or at 28, or even at 29, and I guess that’s okay because I continued to figure out who I am. At 28, I finished my PhD and I was a medical writer for awhile. This last year, my 29th year, I was a “funemployed” traveler, spending most of the year baking, blogging, and meeting people who love food as much as I do. There were ups and downs to the year, just like any other, but I think I finally accepted that what I want to do might not be what others think I should do.

chocolate truffles

Now that I find myself a few days away from my 30th birthday and on the eve of a new year, I made two new goals for my next 5 or so years. The first is to learn to bake, for real, courtesy of a professional diploma (after all, I am good at school, if nothing else!), and the second is to open a bakery. I want a little shop that will make me happy. A shop that will represent me. Fine, the last goal is a little nuts. It may or may not work out, and it may take longer than 5 years, but I’m going to try and see what happens.

So, an email can change everything, and it did, probably for the better. Several years later, I think I am closer to figuring out who I am and who I want to be.

chocolate truffles

On a regular day, I’d probably never make truffles or sweets like these, but since it’s the holiday season, and New Years, I ended up making two kinds. Don’t worry, they’re really simple to make. They store well, and make great gifts!

The first batch are chocolate covered fruitcake truffles (adapted from Donna Hay magazine, issue 58). Basically, you blend left-over fruitcake (unfrosted, please!) with some spiced rum. Form the dough into truffles, dip them in melted chocolate, and dust with cocoa. They are super easy, and allow you to repurpose some of that left-over fruitcake. These truffles have a hard chocolate shell on the outside, and a moist, fruity inside with a sweet rum flavor.

The second batch are chocolate amaretto balls (recipe courtesy of a friend of the family), made of vanilla wafers, melted chocolate chips, ground nuts, and amaretto. Again, these are really easy to prepare. Just form the mixture into balls, and roll them in granulated sugar for a pretty, shimmery effect. These chocolate balls are pleasantly drier than the usual truffles, with a lovely nutty texture and the taste of amaretto.

Fruitcake truffles

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 dozen
Author Janice


  • 400 grams fruitcake
  • 4 tsp spiced rum
  • 200 grams 70% dark chocolate melted
  • Cocoa powder for dusting


  1. Place the fruitcake and the rum in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined.
  2. Roll the mixture into small, bite-sized truffles (~ 1 inch).
  3. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set.
  4. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Chocolate amaretto balls

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 dozen
Author Janice


  • 170 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur 125 mL
  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs 300 grams
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 70 grams
  • 1 cup chopped nuts 160 grams, I used pecans
  • Granulated sugarfor rolling


  1. Melt the chocolate chips, and then add the corn syrup and the amaretto. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, powdered sugar, and the nuts.
  3. Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix well.
  4. Let stand about 30 minutes and then form the mixture into 1-inch balls.
  5. Roll the balls in granulated sugar.
  6. Let the balls season, in a container for several days before serving.


amaretto, candied & dried fruits, candied fruit, chocolate, christmas, fruitcake, nuts, pecans, rum, truffles

11 Responses to New Years sweets: fruitcake truffles and chocolate amaretto balls

  1. Michelle December 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Wow – by email? Doesn’t sound like marriage material anyways!!

    Good luck with school – I know you’ll do great! And good luck in the longer term with your bakeshop. I think they are wonderful goals!

  2. Patricia December 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    You know, I have some amaretto kicking around because of this chocolate torte thing I made. I’m excited to try something else with it now!

  3. Stephanie January 2, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    I don’t usually like fruitcake, but in truffle form? I think you might change my mind!

  4. Jamie January 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I have always believed in destiny and whatever has happened in my life, good or bad (and there was way too much bad) has guided and led me to where I am today. And it is far from over. Once we believe that, we are no longer afraid to change things at will. Love the truffles – very pretty, too. Happy New Year!

  5. Mary January 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    These sound delicious. I’m a first time visitor to your blog, so I’ve spent some time browsing through your earlier posts and really enjoyed the time I spent here. I like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  6. Jan January 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    @Jamie Thanks for the words of wisdom, Jamie! Greatly appreciated 🙂

  7. Jan January 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    @Mary Thanks for visiting my blog, Mary! I’m glad you like it 🙂

  8. January 10, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    So, you’re heading to culinary school? Good for you! And happy belated birthday. I’m an over-educated corporate drop out too, choosing a life of food, blogging, writing, etc. over climbing the corporate ladder. And I’ve never been happier. All the best to you in 2012!

  9. Lasagna Raso January 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Well I can see that this New Year started sweetly for you and your family, you made some great cookies there. Bravo!


  10. gobakeyourself January 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    What a great start to 2012 – the Ingredients look perfect and I can almost taste the wonderful flavour combination!
    Awesome blog 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Fresh Fruit Tart


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