- Line a large baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper; butter the paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine marshmallow creme, butter, almond extract, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the 3 cups powdered sugar, beating until well mixed. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until mixture is easy to handle.
- Lightly dust your hands with additional powdered sugar; shape marshmallow mixture into 1-inch balls, forming the mixture around a whole almond, pecan half, macadamia nut, hazelnut (filbert), date piece, or dried cherry (you may need more marshmallow mixture to completely cover the pecan halves and almonds). Place balls on prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly; freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine semisweet chocolate and shortening. Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Line another large baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper; set aside. Remove balls, a few at a time, from the freezer; dip balls in chocolate and use a fork to lift balls out of chocolate, drawing the fork across the rim of the saucepan to remove excess chocolate. Place balls on parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle tops with finely chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or candy sprinkles. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes or until completely set. If desired, drizzle truffles with melted white chocolate. Makes about 40 truffles.
From the Test Kitchen
If you prefer, omit the almond extract or vanilla and add 1 tablespoon desired flavored liqueur (such as raspberry or orange) to the marshmallow mixture; increase the 3 cups powdered sugar to 3-1/4 cups.
You may use 8 ounces vanilla-flavor candy coating instead of (or in addition to) the semisweet chocolate. If using both, in separate small saucepans, combine the candy coating or semisweet chocolate with the shortening; melt, dip, and decorate truffles as directed. (You will have leftover melted candy coating and chocolate, but use 8 ounces of each so you get enough depth to dip truffles.) If desired, drizzle white-coated truffles with melted semisweet chocolate.
Layer truffles between pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.