I am very thankful that I married someone who has family in the south. There are certain things I would have no idea about, such as boiled peanuts, sweet tea, Alabama white sauce, and Chess Squares. Good gracious, Chess Squares. Quite possibly one of the easiest and most decadent recipes I’ve ever made. Continue reading
This pie was concocted during what we will call “The Great Apple Pie Test Session” by Lulu. She was determined to find an apple pie recipe worth making again and again. The best part about this “session” was:
1. All I did was taste test
2. She tried completely different pie recipes, so different you can barely compare them. (Apple Tart Tatin and Slab Pies are from 2 completely different families, I am quite sure the french would not be caught dead using the word slab, it’s probably not even in their dictionary).
I am most definitely NOT french and we can talk about “slabs” and eat them together all you want! And, as I will make sure to repeatedly tell you, give me a dessert in the form of a bar (I mean slab) anytime over a “slice.” I’m an on-the-go girl, and need to have as many bites of my dessert before I make it to the couch. I mean, the treadmill…
During this grand experiment, my mom discovered what may be the secret to pie crust: part butter, part shortening. We barely adapted Smitten Kitchen’s Slab pie recipe, and all we changed was the crust having both butter and lard (crisco, shortening, whatever).
I am so very thrilled to be bringing you some famous family balls! When I was a kid, my mom would always make various types of balls around the holidays. It has been YEARS since we have revisited the tradition, and I needed to get these recipes on lockdown! I’m kicking off our famous balls recipes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. These are super easy, decadent, and delish! Better than any store bought peanut butter treat I have ever had, I love the little crunch you get from the crispy rice cereal.
Off we go into how easy these are!
All you have to do is mix the crisp rice cereal with powdered sugar, then add the butter and peanut butter alternatively in a few batches until everything is combined. Throw the mixture in the fridge until it has firmed up…
Then line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper and form the mixture into balls. You can make whatever size you like, each of my balls are about 2 bites each, just a little over a tablespoonful!
Then you get ready to dip your balls into chocolate! Paraffin was in the original recipe, but I didn’t use it. I think it’s pretty unnecessary unless you are going for a super glossy and smooth look, plus you lose some of the pure chocolate flavor. (If you haven’t already noticed, my balls definitely aren’t perfect. But in my opinion, taste always trumps looks when it comes to balls).
These totally brought me back. I can tell you, anyone who loves a good peanut butter treat will love these balls. They are awesome straight out of the freezer. The best part is you can make these in advance, freeze them, and then gift them when you are ready. Stay tuned for more famous family balls recipes!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
makes about 3 dozen balls
- 3 cups crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
- 12 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/8 lb paraffin (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together the crisp rice cereal and the powdered sugar. Add the butter and peanut butter alternatively in thirds until the entire mixture is well blended. Refrigerate mixture until cold and firmed up, for at least an hour.
Remove mixture from refrigerator and place waxed paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Form peanut butter mixture into balls, I make mine about 2-bite sized, maybe a little bigger than a tablespoonful each. Place the balls on the waxed paper.
Gently simmer 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan or double boiler. If not using a double boiler, place chocolate and parrafin (if using) in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and place the bowl over, not touching the simmering water (this creates your homemade double boiler). Melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove from the simmering water and get ready to dip your balls into the chocolate. You can use a fork to dip, or a wooden skewer, whatever works! Let balls dry on the waxed paper and chill in the fridge for about an hour before removing.
Balls will keep for at least a week in the fridge, even longer in the freezer.
Who doesn’t love Cherry and Chocolate together? They are made for each other. Although…chocolate is made for a lot of things…chocolate orange, almond chocolate…wait. Don’t even get me started. Back to these Cherry Chocolate Cookies.
Although Cherry and Chocolate are good together at any time, these cookies make me think of Christmas, just a little bit…First of all, they are a wonderful pink/red color, and they look great sitting next to Grinch Cookies. Oh god, there’s another great chocolate combo…mint chocolate chip!
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a little distracted today, going off on random tangents everywhere. Moving on…The original recipe calls for Hershey Kisses to be placed in the middle, but I can’t handle that…I absolutely hate thumbprint cookies because you don’t get chocolate in every bite. I am all about even distribution. Mixing in your choice of chocolate chips brings the cherry-chocolate combo to its peak. Go for it!
Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Servings: approximately 36 cookies
Adapted from The Curvy Carrot
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
- 1 cup dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
4. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
5. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
7. Fold in chocolate chips.
8. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.
9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies are so easy and perfect for fall. With dried cranberries, orange zest, and poppy seeds, they can practically be substituted as a healthy breakfast cookie…Mix them up the day before a party, and the next morning you’ll take out simple and slice-able dough that bakes up perfectly.
The best part about these cookies? There are loads of variations for the basic dough that you could make work during just about any season. This recipe is very similar to Martha Stewart’s Lime Meltaways that I made back in July. Next time, I would consider adding:
- grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with or mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Swap 1/4 cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
- Swap 1/2 to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts
Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Cookies (Slice and Bake Cookies)
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Put the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat until well blended, another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
- Add the flour and the salt, orange zest, cranberries, and poppy seeds, all at once, to the egg mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and and remove the bowl and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.
- Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of waxed paper. press each half into a log 1 inch in diameter. Roll into plastic wrap and store in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, although overnight is best.
- When ready to bake, place racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets w/ parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and use a knife to slice dough into 1/3 inch thick rounds. lace on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until barely browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days. For at least a month if you freeze them. The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- NOTE: If using different mix-ins and coating the cookies, roll cookie logs in any coatings after taking out of refrigerator, before putting in oven.
There is no reason to ever buy store-bought ice cream sauce. Why? Because this fabulous recipe exists. I don’t think I could ever come up with this on my own out of thin air, but Joy the Baker did. Go buy some vanilla ice cream and enJOY!
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sauce
makes about 1/2 cup sauce, enough for 4 sundaes
From the Joy the Baker Cookbook
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk or cream
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Once heated through, peanut butter mixture will be smooth and easily pourable.
Pour over scoops of vanilla ice cream. Go crazy and add chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, bananas, or a cherry on top!
I have come to the conclusion that I cannot resist something with the word meltaways attached to it. Back in the day (aka 15 – 20 years ago) my school would sell candy around Easter, and the Mint Meltaways were the shit. They totally melted in your mouth and I believe even at the delicate age of 8 I could eat an entire box. The fact that I just found out via quick search that they still exist is very, very dangerous.
But MOVING ON TO OTHER THINGS MELTAWAY –
I just told you I can’t resist the word meltaway. I also have trouble resisting anything that is lime-flavored and dessert oriented. Martha Stewart had to go along and make something that I had to try almost immediately. Thank God I had some limes in the fridge.
Makes about 3 dozen
- 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
Beat butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add lime zest and juice and vailla, and beat until fluffy.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix together on low speed until just combined.
Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8 by 12 inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds, spacing rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag.
This recipe is awesome. I was surprised the eggs puffed up so much. In the end, this satisfies me just as much as a pancake or waffle would, but it’s light and fresh. I’m pretty sure I could eat this for breakfast everyday. You basically mix all the ingredients together, put it in a hot buttered iron skillet, throw it back in the oven, and let the magic happen.
From The Sweet Beet
- 8″ cast iron skillet
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup whole milk (or half and half…whatever you have around that’s not as watery as nonfat milk)
- dash of salt
- fresh lemon juice and grated lemon zest
- sprinkle of powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 400. Add butter to cast iron skillet, put skillet in oven to melt butter and warm skillet. In a bowl, add eggs, flour, milk and salt. Whisk well. Once oven reaches 400, take skillet out, be sure the butter is well spread across skillet including the sides. Pour egg mixture into pan. Bake for 20 mins.
When you take it out, it should be puffy and browned. Once it deflates, squeeze fresh lemon all over it and sprinkle on some powdered sugar.
Double recipe if you need to feed more.