While I often talk about wanting to move to California (#CaliforniaDreaming), there is one thing I will miss when I move: our yard.
Okay, so there are a few things I will miss, though not many, and one of the things I will hate to leave behind is our yard, specifically in summer.
We don’t have a lot of land, which is nice really. More land = more work, and we already have more than enough yard work. But the land we do have is populated with trees. Pine trees, maple trees, flowering trees. They are stunning, but not quite as beautiful as the flowers.
From peonies and tulips to irises and coneflowers to the plethora of annuals we are unable to stop ourselves from buying each year. Once everything is in full bloom, the neighbors fade away and our yard that looked so desolate in winter turns into a tropical jungle.
With all these plants, all these hiding places, comes wildlife. Birds that sing and swoop around the yard. Squirrels and chipmunks that bound along in the grass. Hummingbirds that come right up to the window to say hi … and eat. Probably mostly eat. Baby bunnies that explore the world for the first time.
It is life right in front of me and it gives me life on days good and bad. And really, this is why I want to leave this yard behind, so I don’t have to give these things up in the winter. And hopefully one day when I do get to move, the next family to move in will enjoy the yard as much as we have and perhaps enjoy winter a bit more.
To make sure we all enjoy the beauty of summer, fun no bake treats like these Maple Walnut Truffles, which also happen to be gluten free, are perfect.
These are super easy to make. They are filled with maple flavor and crunchy walnuts. Plus, since it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator, they are a refreshing treat to beat the heat. Feel free to swap the walnuts for pecans if you prefer, just make sure to use real maple syrup.
Enjoy summer and these irresistible homemade candies.
½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 ½ tablespoons pure vegetable shortening, divided
In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and maple syrup. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine. Whisk in vanilla. Add more maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar as necessary to achieve a thick yet smooth mixture. Stir in walnuts. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm.
Once chilled, roll mixture into about 1 tablespoon sized balls. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate an additional 10 minutes.
While the truffles are chilling, melt the carob or dark chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon shortening, in the microwave in 30 second increments until fully melted.
Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and using a fork dip into the chocolate, coating completely. Return to the parchment to set. Repeat with remaining truffles.
Melt white chocolate in the microwave with remaining ½ tablespoon of shortening, in 30 second increments, until fully melted. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over truffles.
Refrigerate truffles until set, about 20 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Truffles may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Additional chilling time is necessary
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust