Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Part 2

So this was week 2 of the three week cookie-baking endeavor. This was peanut butter week and it went very well!

On Tuesday night, I made buckeyes. This is a very traditional Ohio thing, but many places have something similar or even the same called something different. They are basically peanut butter balls dipped in melted chocolate. I went out Tuesday to get the ingredients, but the recipe I had called for paraffin wax and I could not find it at the store. First of all, I have always thought that eating wax was kinda weird. And secondly, I did find it a few days late, but the recipe I ended up using was so good, I don't think I will ever go back.

So, I went to to get this recipe, of course, and it was amazing. In the comments, a few people recommended adding paraffin wax, which I though was hilarious! Anyway, the balls were great, but try not to make them too big. My first attempt was with balls that were too big. I also used a double batch of the chocolate to dip them, and I still ended up with about 10 balls without chocolate.

So then I made it again a few days later because they were amazing and I ended up giving a dozen to the kids' instrument teacher, packaged in a hot pink old-fashioned lunch box.

In the second batch, I made the balls a little smaller and melted triple shortening and four times the chocolate. I had plenty and I covered the ones that were left from before and drizzled it over small pretzel sticks and still had a little left over. So I think that maybe a triple batch would be perfect. But what is in the recipe is not nearly enough.

I also recommend one thing with the dipping. When I put it on the wax paper and then get it off, even very gently, I get a flat chocolate rim around the bottom. If I drop it onto the wax paper just a tiny space above the baking sheet and it worked out great. I would not drop it from a huge distance, but a short distance is perfect.

Then on Thursday, I made my favorite peanut butter cookies. Let me just say that peanut butter cookies are by far my favorite cookies EVER! I am not a freak about peanut butter, like some people, but I just love these cookies. Maybe it is because my mom was locally famous for her chocolate chip cookies and I wanted something to be my own.

Anyway, since I knew they were amazing, I made a double batch of cookies and got just over 2 dozen out of it. I used the stand mixer for the dough and it worked amazing. They were a little soft still after they came out of the oven, so I added one minute to the baking time and then added a minute to the "cool on baking rack" time after they came out of the oven. This turned out amazing.

So last week, the gingerbread cookies were so good that I am going to make them again this weekend. I want a few more cookies and my middle son has been begging for a gingerbread house, so I may make the dough before I pick them up at school so it can chill while I am gone...

I highly recommend breaking the baking into a few weeks. At the end, I will not have a huge amount of cookies left, I will have made all the stuff I really like, and I am making memories with the kids. (As if they don't lose interest after about 10 minutes!)

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