You guys!! It’s almost Christmas! What are you up to? Are you spending Christmas with your family? A group of close friends? Sunbathing in the Bahamas? Oh man, I wish I was sunbathing in the Bahamas right now. It’s getting cold outside!
Which means it’s time to snuggle up in a blanket on the couch and drink cups of tea or/and/with hot chocolate and these delicious Christmas candies. I call them Christmas candies because it’s almost Christmas and I really want you (yes you!) to make these for Christmas because they’re delicious, but you can make these cream candies whenever you want really. Make them for Christmas, make them for New Year’s Eve, make them for Easter, make them for a birthday, or make them just because you feel like treating yourself. I mean, why not?
All you need is some leftover buttercream. Or heck, make some just so you can make these cream candies!
I got the idea for this recipe-which-is-barely-a-recipe a few days ago, when my second post for Serious Eats was published. By the way, have you had time yet to check out my first post for Serious Eats? The Chocolate Meringue Cake filled with whipped cream and raspberries? It’s good! Anyway, my second post for Serious Eats is basically a summary/sequel/expansion of my Battle of the Buttercreams series. In the post, I stress how important it is to serve buttercream at room temperature, because you can’t really experience it’s velvety smoothness when it’s cold. Anyway, some of the SE readers thought otherwise, and one of them included this much-loved family recipe in her comment.
And guess what? Although I still think you should make sure to serve cakes or desserts frosted with buttercream at room temperature, these candies – which are basically CHILLED dollops of buttercream topped with nuts and chocolate – are delicious!
Just fill a piping bag fitted with a large open tip with leftover buttercream (I used about a cup) and pipe little mounds onto a chopping board (or a plate or something) covered with baking parchment. Press some toasted walnut halves and pistachio pieces on top of each mound, drizzle with some dark chocolate and chill!
Nothing to it at all…
And the result is delicious! And pretty! In fact, I think these creamy candies look a lot classier and more elegant than they really are! I mean, let’s face it: it’s just buttercream with nuts and chocolate, yet they look as classy as French macarons and Turkish delight. Don’t tell your guests it’s buttercream, and they’ll probably think they’re eating something really expensive while they’re really eating leftovers!
Oh, and about that leftover buttercream, you can use any kind you like. I used leftover American and Italian buttercream – both vanilla flavored – because that’s what I had and because I wanted to experiment with different buttercreams.
The creams made with American buttercream were a lot sweeter than the Italian buttercream candies, so if you like things sweet, go with American buttercream. For a more subtle sweetness, make these with Swiss or Italian buttercream.
Oooooor, try these with dark chocolate buttercream! Drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. Or use the candy cane buttercream I made a few weeks ago and top the creams with crushed candy canes. Or go with peanut butter buttercream, topped with cookie crumbs and a chocolate drizzle!
Oh, and now I’m hungry… Let’s have another one of those Christmas Creams…
And yes, because they’re chilled you can totally pick them up with your fingers like real candy! So whip these up for Christmas guys. Or set your kiddo’s to work. Like I said, these candies are super easy to make!
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- 240ml (or 1 cup) leftover buttercream
- 10 toasted walnut halves
- small handful of toasted pistachios, chopped*
- 30g (or 1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
- If you're using frozen or chilled leftover buttercream, first allow it to come to room temperature, then beat it with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large open tip with the buttercream and line a chopping board with baking parchment. Pipe 22 little mounds of buttercream onto the parchment.
- Press either a walnut half or a few pistachio pieces (or both!) on top of each mound and place in the fridge to chill.
- Once the creams are in the fridge, melt the chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler (check out how to fake a double boiler). Remove the creams from the fridge, drizzle with the chocolate, then place back in the fridge to chill a bit more. Serve chilled if you want to be able to pick them up with your fingers.
- Creams will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 1 week.