Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 3 - Buckeyes

Take out a stick of butter and will it to soften in the cold, winter kitchen.

Finally, when you think it may be softened enough, add 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter. Throw in a splash of vanilla that looks like it could equal a teaspoon.

Ignore the instructions about sifting and measuring the powdered sugar. Instead, before opening the bag of sugar, give it a massage or two to break up the biggest lumps, then toss it all in because one box is supposedly approximately 4 cups.

Then, even though the measurements and other important things were ignored, follow the directions when they say to mix these ingredients with hands. Of course, for this project a little hand scum won't hurt because, hey, it's all in the family. Note to self if making these for others: mix with a spoon or one of those new-fangled inventions called a mixer.

Wish with all your heart that the children would be patient enough to make sure each ball is equal, but resign yourself to allowing the children to form the dough into whatever size balls they wish. And then allow them to place them haphazardly on the waxpaper-covered pan. And then go back and re-organize. And maybe reshape a few of them.

Then place them precariously on top of stuff in the garage refrigerator because the regular refrigerator is still too full of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Answer this question at least a hundred times in 30 minutes: "Mom, is it time to decorate them yet?"

Finally, it's time to decorate them. Even though you have banned the use of shortening in your kitchen because lard just ain't good for anyone, melt the chocolate with 2 tablespoons of shortening because that's how you're supposed to do it.

Then dip each peanut butter ball in the chocolate. Although various web pictures show the peanut butter peeking out of the top, you know that everything is much better fully encased in chocolate, so immerse each one in chocolate, rolling them around for good measure, giving them a virtual Chocolate Bath.

Follow the directions and return the chocolate bathed balls to the waxed paper only to realize that the generous amount of chocolate you have afforded each one is pooling up and will therefore leave a strange looking, hardened pool of chocolate under each buckeye.

Transfer to a cooling rack.

Then melt the red and green chocolate disks in pastry bags.

Allow the children to decorate the Buckeyes, biting your tongue when you wish to tell them their blobs of design would look prettier as little designs of holly and ivy or something because you know that since these designs come from them, they are indeed beautiful no matter how you look at it.

Once everyone has decorated their fair share, allow them to dispose of the leftover chocolate in the only logical way.

And enjoy!

Here is the recipe without interruptions:


1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. shortening

1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with hands to form a smooth, stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan and refrigerate.

3. Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water (otherwise known as a double boiler). Stir occasionally until smooth and remove from heat.

4. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.


Arby said...

I may have to try this , this weekend. That looks good!

dclouser said...

Your 24 days of Christmas is such a wonderful idea. You are making lots of good memories! I used to make Buckeyes back in the day. This year I won't be making cookies like I usually do.

CrossView said...

Those look good...
Now I see why you needed to take a school break! I just love the whole idea of the 24 days. Is the excitement running high in your house?
Measurements? Who needs measurements? Measurements are for sissies!

Teacher Mommy said...

You are EVIL. EVIL, I tell you. I was really trying to figure out a way to avoid gaining more weight this holiday season...

Brownie said...

Wonderful! Very fun to read!

4 Lettre Words said...

YUMMMM, Kathleen! A friend used to make these every Christmas when/where I worked. I forgot how much I liked them! Hmmmm...

SJ said...

looks real scrumptious!

A smile from SJ =)

Linda said...

Those look good, and I like the comment about banning shortening. (in fact, I like all of your instructions; you bake like I do) The same thing came up the other day with my daughter and I told her to just not tell anyone!
I'm going to pick on you now though. It's Advent!! Not Christmas yet. Preparing during these 24 days is Advent. The first day of Christmas is Dec 25th and goes through 12 days.
Ok, picking over. :o)

Kathleen said...

Linda ~ LOL! I'm sorry my title is bothering you! I realize it is advent. Hence, the Advent Calendar. However, I wanted to bring the word Christmas into my oh so clever title. I'm tired of seeing "xmas" and "happy holidays" and "holiday trees", etc., etc. The kids get the title better too. I've just ordered Lisa Whelchel's book "ADVENTure of Christmas", which has more serious activities for advent. We may pick some of those up for our remaining 24 days or just save it for next year. This year...just havin' some fun!!

Linda said...

A-Hah! Got you again! the 'X' in X-mas stands for Christ. It's from the Greek- 'Chi', or 'X' is the first letter in the word Christ, and has been used for centuries. So, forgive me, but I will use "X-Mas" with total respect for the Christ in Christmas.
When you get to the post I am composing in my head about celebrating Christmas before Christmas, you have my permission to roll your eyes. ;o)
Let me know how you like the book. She's published some good home schooling ideas in the past.

Kathleen said...

The fact that the "x" stands for "Christ" is precisely the reason I do NOT like to use the term "xmas". Why not just leave Christ in there? Are we really too lazy to type the extra 5 letters?

btw, I've been meaning to ask you--why do you use "G-d" in your posts rather than "God"? Just curious. :)

Linda said...

Ah... I never thought of it as laziness. Any more than the little fish is lazy for writing, "I am a Christian". They're symbols, ancient languages... tradition.
I just think it's funny when people scream, "Put Christ back in X-Mas!" There are more important things to be bothered with. It's what is in the heart that matters. What Arby wrote in my comment section said it best.
It's all good. Peace!
Oh, and I answered the question on my comments.