Ethiopian Truffles – A Maida Heatter Classic


I love this cookie recipe from Maida Heatter‘s Book of Great Desserts, 1965. It’s one of my favorites for the simple reason that they have nothing to do with Ethiopia or with truffles. I no longer have a copy of this book but a quick Google search sent me right to the recipe! Incredible. So if you loose this recipe, know that it’s still out there. Click here to see it.

I save this recipe for special occasions as it does take time. So if you are looking for an unusual cookie for a cookie swap, this would be a great choice.

To read more about Maida Heatter this article from Savuer in 2002  is one of the best.

Maida heatter1 Maida heatter2

Ethiopian Truffles

For 20 cookies

Ingredients for the Pastry:

1 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp. vanilla bean powder
1/2 confectioners sugar
2 cups flour

In large bowl of a mixer cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the vanillas. On low speed add the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Once all flour is in and dough is in a uniform ball shape. Place in a piece of wax papper and flatten into a large disk. Place in the refrigerator to chill and rest.

Ingredients for the Filling

1 2/3 cups blanced almonds
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 egg whites

In a bowl of a food processor finely grind the almonds and chocolate. Place into a bowl and mix in the egg whites.

Assembling Truffles:

Divide the dough in 20 similar sized balls. Flatten a piece in the palm of you hand that is big enough to a small 2 tsp. bit of the chocolate filling. Close the dough all around the filling and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If the the dough sticks, then dust your hands with a bit of confectioners sugar.

Place the cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. During this time preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden. Let cool completely then dust with confectioners sugar.

3 Responses to Ethiopian Truffles – A Maida Heatter Classic

  1. sarah benedict March 4, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    Thanks for the Ethiopian truffle post! I love Maida’s recipes, but overlooked this one.

    • Barr March 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      It’s one of my favorite and most mysterious Maida recipe. Enjoy!


  1. Peanut Butter Bars | Flavorista - September 9, 2013

    […] If you don’t know who Maida Heatter is, she is a legend in the baking world. This 2002 article from Saveur magazine sums up why she was so beloved. In any event, these chocolate chip peanut bars are delicious. Equally as wonderful is her recipe for Ethiopian Truffles. […]

Leave a Reply

site by iKnow