Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peanut Butter Balls

  Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are one of my favorite candies.  Do any of you have a special way that you eat it?  I eat around the outside, saving the center for last.  That amazing taste of peanut butter and chocolate together.....nothing beats it.

If you are like me and love the pb/chocolate combo, you are going to go wild for these.  A simple, tasty treat for the holidays!

Peanut Butter Balls

Mix together 2 cups smooth peanut butter and 3/4 cup softened butter.  Add 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar and 3 cups crushed Rice Krispies (measure out 3 cups, then crush).

Roll into balls.  Chill for 1/2 to 1 hour.  Melt 1 lb of chocolate.  I used almond bark to keep it simple.  Dip balls into chocolate and cool on wax paper. 


Smooth. Creamy. Slightly crunchy. Chocolatey (from Whitney).  Peanut buttery (from Wyatt).  Good (from Wyatt... he is a boy of few words!).  Awesome (from Ellie).  


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Tradition Continues....

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is our annual cookie baking day.  Since I was 5 years old, my grandma, my mom and I have had a tradition of getting together to spend an entire day baking cookies. As my daughters have gotten older, they have been included as well.....and my sister-in-laws, and someday my nieces.  We all brave the cold temperatures, haul into the house cardboard boxes full of 5 lb bags of flour and sugar, chocolate chips, as many cookie sheets as we have and whomever has a kitchen aid mixer, they are required to bring that as well.  We have several mixers going at once, a cooling table, and a 'display' table....we churn out a crazy amount of holiday cookies.  This year, I hosted and my mom came up to join me, Whitney and Ellie.  What a day!  We ended up with 11 different kinds of cookies.  Some we make every single year....and I mean every single year without fail.  Others, we make every so often.  And each of us always has one or two new ones that we want to try. 

This recipe is one that we make every year.  It's a crowd favorite, so much that last year I entered it into the Des Moines Register Cookie contest......and WON!  Wahoo!  What was the prize, you ask?  52 FREE GALLONS OF MILK!!  It was great.....we go through a lot of milk with 5 in the family, so I was super excited about winning.
This will become a favorite in your house as well.....


3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 T water
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 lb Andes Mints

Place butter, sugar and water in saucepan on low heat until butter is melted.  Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted.  Remove from heat.  Continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Pour into a large mixing bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to cool slightly.  With mixer at high speed, beat in eggs one at a time.  Reduce speed to low and add combined flour, baking soda and salt, beating just until blended.  Chill dough about 1 hour.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.  Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Bake 11 to 13 minutes---do not overbake!  Immediately place mints on hot cookie.  Allow to soften, then swirl mint over cookies with back of a spoon.  Remove from cookie sheets, keeping cookies on the foil and cool completely.

These will become part of your Christmas baking too!  Your family will begin to ask for them each year.  They will fight over the last ones.  They are moist, minty, cool and chewy.  It makes a very large batch and they freezer very well.  If you store them in plastic containers, keep these separate or every cookie in the container will taste like mint!  :-)