My apologies in advance to all the hard core Wisconsin fans in the audience (myself included), because today I’m jumping on the Ohio band wagon with a little shameless promotion to one of my all time favorite Christmas treats; the almighty buckeye. And no I don’t mean the nut, although I can definitely be a little nutty at times; just ask anyone that knows me. I’m talking about a flawless little round ball of sheer peanut butter and chocolate bliss that is assured to bring a feeling of holiday jubilence to any set of lips it touches.
These no-bake edible gems are simple to make and completely customizable. Why stick solely with chocolate and peanut butter when you can sprinkle in a few toffee bits? How about replacing the chocolate altogether for butterscotch (my personal favorite) or, if you can track a bag down, cinnamon chips? If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, break out the cashew or almond butter for a whole new flavor experience. Make large batches and freeze some for later. Share with friends and acquaintances for an inexpensive, deliciously sweet holiday gift – if you can keep from eating them all yourself that is.
Fashion your own batch in a snap. Simply whip together a little nut butter of choice, a spoonful or two of cream cheese, a little powdered sugar and some vanilla.
Roll into balls and let them chill out in the fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes.
Once they’ve cooled, dip into the coating of your choice and allow them to harden. I used a spoon to dip, but you could also jab a toothpick into the top of a cold nut ball and submerge them that way.
No worries, I’m still a Wisconsin girl at heart. Now my sweet tooth is another story. You can find that hanging out with all the buckeyes across the Midwest border.
Yield: about 25 tablespoon sized balls
Total Time: 1 hour
1 16 Oz. Jar Peanut Butter (or other nut butter of your choosing)
1 3/4 Cup Powdered sugar
2 Oz. Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla
1/8 tsp Salt
1 10 Oz. Pkg. Chocolate Chips
*Optional: Add a handful toffee chips into the melted chocolate and/or sprinkle over the top. Replace chocolate with butterscotch or cinnamon chips. Experiment and have fun!
Beat together the first five ingredients. The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly.
Using about a tablespoon at a go, roll the dough into balls and set on to a cookies sheet lined with parchment.
Allow 30 minutes in the fridge or freezer to chill.
Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave (I run the microwave for 45 seconds a go and stir after each interval. Quit when the chocolate is about 2/3 melted. If you keep stirring after you pull it out, it will melt the rest of the way and not get too hot.).
Using a spoon, a skewer, or a toothpick, dip each of the balls into the chocolate, leaving a small bit of the top uncovered and place back on the parchment to dry and harden.
Ok, you’ve got your house built and now you’re tapping your fingers on the table wondering just how the heck you might go about decorating it. Well, I’ve got some good news for you, because as of right this minute, I’m all over it. After who know how many hours of standing in front of my culinary dwelling with varying pieces of sugar, some so small I practically needed a magnifying glass to see them, I’m finished, done, finito (well except for a potential welcome sign and maybe a mailbox and perhaps a little snow…). I have to say that I’m pretty darn pleased with the outcome. It might not win any national competitions, but it’s made with love and I even managed to impress myself on a few of the feats I achieved. Best of all I made it to the end (relatively speaking) and that, my friends, is something worth celebrating. Let’s take a closer look at some of the aspects of this house and I’ll pass on a few tips as to how I did them….
The boys gingerbread houses from 2009
Let me just say that I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to try my hand at a gingerbread house this year. I’ll admit, I did one a couple years back, but it was a simple square box home that I let loose on the kids and had them decorate to their hearts content. See that rather large gingerbread man standing next to the red and white peppermint over there? That, my friend, is Luke Skywalker, compliments of my oldest son, Nicholas. Don’t let the smile and the chocolate sprinkle jacket fool you. Make one wrong step and he’ll use the force faster than you can say yogurt covered pretzel….
It’s time for the 4th and final Rice Krispies Challenge of the year!
Team Asheville, comprised of Amy from She Wears Many Hats, Sommer of A Spicy Perspective, Robin of Add a Pinch, and myself, played around with several different ideas for our final entry, but when the krispie dust settled and the marshmallows were all melted and eaten, what we we were left with was a cold weather treat that would have even the Grinch sneaking back for seconds.
The theme presented to us this cycle by The Motherhood and Rice Krispies was Winter Holidays and what better way to ring in the cold weather season than with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a peppermint rice krispie treat accompaniment?
Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins. Sound delectable don’t they? Trust me when I say they were. The funny part about the whole process is that I wasn’t actually trying to bake muffins. My intended end goal was a personal pecan pie that you could eat in one sitting which, when putting fork to mouth, honestly sounds equally as delectable. Wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on the top. Or a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream placed neatly next to it. Oh how I love my sweet treats.
With visions of pecan pie running through my head in glorious stomach grumbling fashion while they baked, you can imagine my surprise when I pulled them out and saw the culinary result. I had to do a double take… and then I had to eat one right then and there to see just exactly what I was dealing with. It turns out that my unintended consequence was even better than I imagined. The gingersnap cookie crust became the flour for the muffin and added a subtle pop to the flavor that made it hard to stop eating. And then there were the nuts and chocolate chips. Honestly, I couldn’t get over how perfectly they sat at the top of my newly created sweet treat, begging me to take just one more bite. I’ll tell you what, when pecan pie muffins are involved, I’ll take an unintended consequence any day of the week.
Are you ready for a fun party idea for Halloween with your children?
Our Rice Krispies challenge team, Amy of She Wears Many Hats, Sommer of A Spicy Perspective, Robyn of Add a Pinch and myself planned a “Make Your Own Monster” party that is sure to be the highlight of your Halloween season!
We knew when The Motherhood and Rice Krispies announced Halloween as the theme for this challenge that we would make a fun party theme where children could easily get in on the action of making treats they’d be happy to show off as well as devour.
Our “Make Your Own Monster” party certainly met and exceeded that expectation!