TODAY   |  December 13, 2012

Holiday kitchen: Winning party desserts

Chef Jacques Haeringer shares his secrets to making the perfect holiday party gifts -- soft and delicious truffles – as well as a beautiful honey glazed apple tart and a festive “Drei Augen” cookie. Steal these recipes from the chef whose restaurant has been voted DC’s “Most Popular” and “Most Romantic” for 17 years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> bring to the party. chocolate truffles are so affordable to make.

>> here to handle all these balls is jacques, chef decuisine in northern virginia .

>> bon jour, ladies.

>> merci.

>> we are making truf de chocolate.

>> you worry about every bite and of sip, the stress will kel you.

>> let's enjoy.

>> let's enjoy. we are scalding two-thirds of a cup of heavy whipping cream. we're going to add 12 ounces --

>> much dark chocolate .

>> if you would like to stir that in. we just want to melt that and take it right off the fire. now comes the hard part. you have to decide which one of these liqueurs. think of the fun we could have and how many batches we could make.

>> amaretto is terrific.

>> that one.

>> this one right here. we're going to put grand marnier in. my charm and personality don't work, i put a little grand marnier , that kind of helps. now we're just going to melt it. we've made a ganache now. whatever flavor you want. we're going to refrej rate that for a couple of hours.

>> is that it?

>> that's it.

>> well, it's a little bit more to do. then i need a scooper helper.

>> this is not hoda's fortay.

>> what we do is take a melon baller .

>> no, hoda.

>> try to make them flat like this.

>> like a little ball, honey.

>> you just dip it in hot water, and do it like this. that's right. the other way, if you are feeling -- you can always -- get the real emotions out right there. then we're going to dust them with powdered sugar . then we have to -- then i need your help here. we have to form them. we have to form the little -- look at that. then put them back in.

>> cooking is like love. it's messy sometimes.

>> oh, yes.

>> we are going to then freeze those for at least an hour or two, and here they are frozen.

>> uh-huh.

>> it is messy and fun.

>> i like that.

>> then we're going to take those and dip them into --

>> more chocolate. then just coat them with the chocolate. like this.

>> is that dark chocolate as well?

>> i use bittersweet, so that would be one-third sweet chocolate and then two-thirds unsweetened chocolate. kind of like a lot of sugar. go ahead and dip those in there. then it sguz the cocoa powder . you want to give it that rough texture. a real truffle is a fungus, it's a mushroom. we kind of want to give it that look. we'll dump them in here.

>> dump it in here.

>> there we go.

>> dump that. that's not an elegant word.

>> looks beautiful.

>> that's what you meant.

>> then we're going to just roll it around.

>> i have to say, these look good.

>> they're really, really good. look how easy it is to make. you can make them in a couple of days. you can make your batch. then you just freeze them overnight. just finish them at your leisure. this is cocoa powder . then we're going to put the --

>> red?

>> it has a little --

>> we're going to put it in here and shake off the excess.

>> let me do that.

>> then you have your truf de chocolate.

>> then we're going to add them to our pile of truffles.

>> i'm here to taste.

>> there you go.

>> should i take a wet one or dry one? i'll take one of the dry ones.

>> i have a box that i brought for you ladies.

>> merci.

>> you can always pack them up and take them to a party.

>> are we sharing?

>> there we are.

>> hoda and i together.

>> i have more. i have more boxes.

>> we've also --

>> a couple of tarts.

>> we have a three-eyed cookie. it's a shortbread with a rasberry jam, and we have a honey glazed apple tart. you have a custard with apples and almonds, raisined, and then you put honey on top.

>> now you are talking. this truffle is unreal.

>> when she glazed over like that.

>> yummy.

>> doesn't care what you are