Great gift idea: Walnut cranberry truffles

December 8, 2009 4:03:15 PM PST
Walnut cranberry truffles -- a recipe you can make with the kids and give as a holiday gift!

Walnut Cranberry Truffles
Yield about 30, 3/4 to 1-inch truffles


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 cup California walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  1. In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil just around the edges. Add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cranberries.

  2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a pie pan or 9 inch pan. Refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.

  3. Using a teaspoon scoop the truffles. Return to the refrigerator and let firm up again, about 30 minutes.

  4. Place the walnuts on a plate or pie pan. Roll the truffles in the nuts and then roll them lightly between your palms until they are a nice round shape.

  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutritional Information:
  • 90 Calories
  • 8g Total Fat
  • 3.5g Saturated Fat
  • 1g Monounsaturated Fat
  • 2g polyunsaturated Fat
  • 10mg Cholesterol
  • 0mg Sodium
  • 6g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 1g protein
Walnut Maple Syrup Sauce with Coffee Ice Cream
Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2-4 scoops of coffee ice cream
  1. In a small pot, bring the maple syrup to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes over medium heat until the syrup starts to thicken. (When it does, the boiling bubbles will bubble more slowly.)

  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Let cool slightly.

  3. It can be made a head and reheated on top of the stove or in the microwave. Stir in the walnuts. Pour over the ice cream and enjoy!
Chocolate Walnut Crinkle Cookies
Yields 30 cookies

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 30 walnut halves
  1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. Whisk until smooth.

  2. Mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar for 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed and stir in the melted chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Refrigerate the dough until firm, about an hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  5. Scoop or form the cookies into balls each about 1 tablespoon.

  6. Put the confectioners (or powdered) sugar in a bowl and roll each of the balls in the sugar. Place on parchment lined baking sheets several inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes until crackled on top. Remove from the oven and gently press a walnut half in the middle of each warm cookie.

  7. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
About Chef Emily Luchetti

Emily Luchetti, executive pastry chef at Waterbar and Farallon Restaurants in San Francisco, is recognized around the world for her award-winning sweet creations. With four cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, including a 2004 James Beard Award, patrons can always count on a delectable, exotic and innovative end to their meal.

Luchetti has been executive pastry chef at Farallon since 1997 when the restaurant opened. She has been executive pastry chef of Waterbar since it's opening in 2008. Luchetti's history with Farallon and Waterbar's co-owner Mark Franz spans more than 20 years when they were both part of the opening team of Stars Restaurant in San Francisco.

It was at Stars that Luchetti began her Bay Area cooking career as a line cook, working her way up to lunch chef and eventually stoking her passion for desserts. She was named executive pastry chef at Stars in 1987, a position she held through July 1995. During that time Luchetti was also the co-owned StarBake, a retail bakery, with Jeremiah Tower.

Luchetti has written four cookbooks: Stars Desserts, Four Star Desserts, A Passion for Desserts, and A Passion for Ice Cream. She created the dessert recipes for The Farallon Cookbook. Her first two books were rereleased as Classic Stars Desserts in 2007.

Since the debut of her first book, Luchetti has passionately taught baking to dessert lovers across the country so that people can obtain the same enjoyment she does from creating something with her hands and providing delectable treats to others to savor. Fundamental to her passion for baking is the belief that desserts increase the social experiences and interactions of friends and family as they linger around the table.

Luchetti and her recipes appear regularly in national newspapers and magazines and she has been featured on numerous news programs and The Food Network's The Ultimate Kitchen, Sweet Dreams, Cookin' Live with Sara Moulton, Sara's Secrets and The Martha Stewart Show. She was the co-host of the PBS Series The Holiday Table.

Luchetti graduated from Denison University in 1979 with a BA in Sociology.

Following graduation, she attended the New York Restaurant School and worked in various New York establishments (including David Leiderman's Manhattan Market and The Silver Palate), building her resume and sharpening her culinary skills prior to moving to the Bay Area. She currently resides in Sausalito.

In addition to the James Beard Award, Emily received honors including the 1998 San Francisco Focus Magazine Pastry Chef of the Year, the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award and the 2003 Food Arts Magazine Silver Spoon Award. In 2009 The San Francisco Chronicle named her one of 20 Visionary Chefs in the Bay Area. She is currently Vice Chair of The James Beard Foundation.

399 The Embarcadero South
San Francisco, California 94105

Farallon Restaurant
450 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94102