Have you ever had Turkish delight? If so, what did it taste like to you? Did it seem super sweet and spongy, just like a marshmallow? Was it rose-infused, delicately balanced, and decadently persuasive – an utterly whimsical treat? Or perhaps it was magical, just like the world of Narnia? 🙂
I had Turkish delight many times as a child. I can still remember how tough it was to chew it and to swallow it. That Turkish delight was old, loaded with sugar, and truly nothing special. My mother would usually use it in desserts, in an attempt to add more moisture to it, and to make it more palatable. As I grew up and tasted authentic Turkish delight, I learned to appreciate the mythical aura of this sweet treat, whose origins are disputed, and whose health benefits seem to abound.
Memories of Turkish delight-based desserts came back to me recently, when I was challenged by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas to create a nostalgic no-bake summer treat. With temperatures heating up, many people often turn away from using their ovens to bake. Nielsen-Massey wanted to show how vanilla could still be used throughout the summer, in seasonal desserts that didn’t require any baking.
I received a bottle of Nielsen-Massey‘s exquisite Pure Vanilla Extract in order to complete this challenge and to (re)create a no-bake recipe that brings feelings of childhood comfort and nostalgia. I couldn’t wait to start working on my sweets! 🙂
After some thinking and testing, I decided to focus on Turkish Delight truffles – rose-flavored, childhood-inspired, and straight from my mom’s recipe book! We used to make this rather often when I was growing up- it was a simple way to use up any leftover cookies or cake crumbs we had lying around. For this recipe, I used store-bought imported petit beurre biscuits, as well as melted Turkish Delight, cocoa powder, cranberries, freshly squeezed lemon juice – and Nielsen-Massey’s vanilla, of course!
Finding Turkish Delight was the hardest part of this challenge. I finally got lucky and was able to locate it in the imported food aisle at Jewel Osco:
Unlike the Turkish delight I used to eat during my childhood, this one came straight from Turkey, it was fresh, moist, and ready to be used.
I used one big pack (525 grams) of Petit Beurre biscuits…
…which I crushed with my meat tenderizer (you could also use a rolling pin). I placed the crushed biscuits in a large mixing bowl.
I added plump dried cranberries…
… cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
As per mom’s recipe, I melted the Turkish delight in a pan on the stove, over low heat, stirring continuously to make sure it didn’t stick to the pan.
This looks rather spectacular, don’t you think? 🙂
I added the melted Turkish delight to the bowl with the other ingredients.
… and started mixing it with my hands until combined (be careful, the Turkish delight might still be hot!). I quickly realized the mixture was too crumbly, so I added some water, one tablespoon at a time, and kept mixing to see if the consistency improved.
Ultimately, I was able to form cohesive ball-shaped treats with my hands…
… which I placed on a large plate and into the refrigerator. I don’t think refrigeration is actually necessary since these truffles do not have any eggs or milk in them – still, I wanted to be on the safe side.
You can serve these truffles as they are, or dust them in cocoa powder. Either way, they are mouthwateringly delicious! I love how the rose flavor from the Turkish delight shines through in these truffles, in a very exciting and exotic fashion.
For posting purposes, I decided to keep the truffles as they were, with no addition of cocoa. I just thought this way they would make a nice color contrast with the roses in the background.
I had an amazing time recreating no-bake childhood favorite treats, and I thought Nielsen-Massey’s latest campaign was inspired and therapeutic. At no time did I ever feel the need to reconnect with my past more, and never did I imagine Turkish delight would mean so much to me. Truffle days were days of peacefulness and quietness – days of childhood innocence and laughter, days I will never forget. This truffle making experience has brought back such delightful memories, and has allowed for soul searching and healing in the midst of these extraordinary times – and for this, I’m very grateful.
Have you ever used Turkish delight in desserts? Let me know in the comments! You can also head to my Instagram account and enter my giveaway for a chance to win a bottle of Nielsen-Massey’s vanilla extract to recreate my truffle recipe at home.
Good luck – and happy no-baking! 🙂
*Disclaimer: While I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.
Turkish delight truffles
- 1 lb rose flavored Turkish delight
- 3 packs petit beurre biscuits (525 grams)
- 3 tbsp Dutch process cocoa + more for decoration (the latter optional)
- 6 oz dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Juice from one big lemon
- 7 tbsp water + more, if needed
- Crush the biscuits into small pieces with a rolling pin. Put in a large mixing bowl. Add cranberries, cocoa, and vanilla extract.
- Place the Turkish delight pieces in a medium size pan. Bring to a boil on the stove over very low heat, stirring continuously. Take off heat when melted completely, and add to bowl with the other ingredients. Also add water. Mix with a spoon or your hands until fully combined (be careful, the Turkish delight might still be hot!). Add more water gradually (1 tbsp at a time), if needed - just enough to ensure the mixture can be rolled into balls. Make balls with your hands, using about 2 tbsp mixture per ball. Roll truffles in cocoa powder, if desired. Put on a plate and place in the refrigerator to chill slightly.