Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bring 'Em some Buckeyes

I love to bake cookies during the holiday season. I love to roll out the dough, check the oven to ensure that the edges of the cookies have turned the perfect golden brown, and to decorate snowmen, bells, stars, angels, and reindeer using sprinkles and dozens of loaded pastry bags of colored frosting.

I love to fill cookie tins with wax paper and an assortment of handmade goodies. To me, this is a true gift from the heart. I sing hymns and carols while I make cookies and I deliberately try to inject each batch of sweet, buttery dough with merriment.

Last week, I made buckeyes, which are technically a candy and not a cookie. But if you've already made batches of divine fudge (like my pal Maggie Sefton) and still want something chocolate-flavored and bite-sized to round out your cookie tins, then look no further than these chocolate and peanut butter bits of bliss.

This recipe makes a ton, so you'll have plenty to pass around. (My family likes to eat theirs right from the freezer.) The trick is to keep your buckeyes small (marble-sized). Enjoy!

Blissful Buckeyes

2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into balls the size of a marble (or buckeye nut) and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
Chill in freezer until firm, about 45 minutes. Don't take them out until you're ready to use them.
Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. (You can also use the microwave). Stir frequently until smooth.
Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate using a toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until serving.
I bet Perry Mason adored a buckeye!