Maya was in the patio looking in, nose pressed against the glass door, holding her bubble kazoo, watching me grind peanuts in the kitchen. She joined in and we rolled the truffles together, dipped them in chocolate and topped each one with half a peanut. Soon enough, we were enjoying them with a glass of milk.
What I love about sharing such experiences with my daughter are the unique teachable moments they provide. Simply naming the ingredients, smelling and tasting spices or exploring kitchen tools opens up a whole new world for a child. I will always remember the first time she sneezed when her tiny nose came into contact with black pepper. Precious.
Few things in life make me happier than sharing food with family and other meaningful people in my life. Whether the sharing revolves around preparing or eating food together, it is quality time I truly treasure. It may sound cliché to say that food connects us but I’ll say it anyway.
Aïcha was a deft, swift and extremely efficient young lady who helped my aunt with housework. She used to make this recipe in truffle form or in logs that she dipped in chocolate, let dry and sliced, biscotti-style. Every time I visited I begged her to make them. Sometimes she mixed the peanuts with the Moroccan equivalent of Graham crackers called Henry’s (fancily pronounced “onreece”) and moistened the mixture with condensed milk to hold it together. Me? I used OJ but I bet apple juice or coconut milk would have worked too. This is one of those foolproof desserts that you can totally go spontaneous with.
Peanut Truffle Recipe
Makes about 12
1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup melted bittersweet chocolate
Grind the peanuts and corn flakes into (almost) a powder using a food processor.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate.
Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls.
Dip the truffles in melted chocolate and allow it to harden on wax paper 30 minutes or so before serving.