Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

4

Remember those peanut butter MnM gems? Well, let me tell you a little story. A very good friend of mine, let’s call her Anonymous, doesn’t care for peanut butter desserts. (I know, I’m not sure why I hang out with her either…) However, it’s her husband’s favorite so when I made them the first time, I dropped off a few for him to sample. Granted there were only three, but they’re pretty rich and it was just for one person. Anyway, shortly after I left them with her, I got a text message as follows:

Anonymous: “Omg. Was going to eat one and leave 2 for (my husband). Went back for a second because they are soooooo delicious. Then crap! I ate all 3! I will have to make some for him. Delicious!!!!”

I had a good laugh and of course made them again for her husband to try. I knew if I could get a non peanut butter dessert fan to love these then I was doing something right. I started thinking about what else I could do with this ratio of ingredients. (Something pumpkin is definitely in the works!) So, this past weekend I traveled to Rhode Island for a good friend’s birthday celebration, and wanted to make him something for the occasion. His favorite combo is chocolate hazelnut and I realized this no-bake option would be right up his alley.

I made a few swaps (Traded peanut butter for Nutella, MnMs for hazelnuts, PB flavored Cheerios for chocolate ones…), and rolled them in cocoa powder for an extra flavor component that eliminated the stickiness factor. These Ferrero Rocher inspired treats are insanely decadent, with a dense fudgy center, balanced by crunchy hazelnuts.

I can’t wait for Anonymous to try them.

Ingredients:

1 8oz. package Neufchatel cheese

1 cup Nutella

1 cup chocolate Cheerios

1 cup hazelnuts (plus more for garnish)

2 tablespoons agave syrup (or honey)

Unsweetened cocoa powder to taste

Instructions:

Pulse chocolate Cheerios in a food processor until crumbs form and set aside.

Add Neufchatel cheese to a large mixing bowl.

Scoop in Nutella,

Drizzle in agave,

Toss in hazelnuts,

…and pour in cereal crumbs.

Mix to incorporate.

Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto  a parchment lined baking sheet. I recommend using a cookie scoop if you have one!

Top each truffle with a few additional hazelnuts.

Freeze for at least a half hour. The truffles will be easier to work with once hardened a bit.

Sprinkle some cocoa powder into a bowl (I used unsweetened, but sweetened would work too).

Use your hands to mold each truffle into a more rounded shape. They will be a bit sticky, but pliable. Roll each truffle into the cocoa powder, tapping them gently to knock off any access.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Eat and enjoy with someone special…if you can wait for them to get home.

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