Pina Colada Rice Pudding

brown rice pudding with coconut milk
I think rice pudding is one of those divisive foods. Some people love it, some people hate it.

When I was a kid, every time we went to New York City my mother would take us to her favorite deli. We’d slurp bowls of matzo ball soup, share overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, and then tuck into a creamy bowl of rice pudding. Wolff’s Deli’s rice pudding was cool and sweet, laced with plenty of cinnamon and a generous helping of raisins. Wolff’s served their rice pudding with a swirl of whipped cream on top, but Mom and I would skip the cream, digging down deep in search of plump raisins. My brother would wrinkle his nose and shake his head and pat his pastrami-filled belly. I don’t know if he ever actually tried that rice pudding, but he insisted that he hated it.

Jeff hates it too. But that didn’t stop me from turning a take-out container of leftover brown rice into a sweet, exotic treat. I love cool, cinnamon-scented deli rice pudding. But this week, I wanted something a bit more tropical. Ok, that’s actually not true. The truth is that I just didn’t have any raisins. And along with that leftover rice, I had half a can of coconut milk languishing in my fridge. Basically, my cupboards were almost bare and I was hungry. So pina colada rice pudding was born.

I actually ate this rice pudding warm for breakfast. But I think that it would be lovely either warm or cold, for breakfast or dessert. I had some fancy flavored roasted cashews lying around too, so I sprinkled those on top. I think any toasted nut would be tasty, and give a bit of good crunch. I used a combination of skim milk and coconut milk, but if you are avoiding dairy I think that you could substitute almond milk for the skim milk and the results would be fantastic. I wouldn’t go for all coconut milk since it’s a bit heavy.

pineapple coconut dessert

Pina Colada Rice Pudding
Serves 2-4

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup low-fat or skim milk
1 cup canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts of your choice (for garnish)

In a saucepan, bring the rice, milk, and coconut milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the pineapple, vanilla and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. This will take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of rice and how long you have left it sitting in your fridge. Serve warm topped with toasted chopped nuts or chill and serve cold topped with toasted chopped nuts.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , ,

Chocolate Matzo Toffee

matzo chocolate toffee with almonds

Jeff hates matzo. Not surprising, really, since there isn’t much to like about matzo. Dry and bland, matzo isn’t meant to be tasty. And yet, we do just about everything we can to make it palatable. Never mind that enjoying it really sort of defeats the purpose, we’re pretty determined to make matzo delicious. And frankly, with enough butter, sugar and chocolate, just about anything is delicious – even matzo.
matzo candy with sea salt

There are some clever things done with matzo this time of year. There’s matzo ball soup, of course. And matzo kugel. Matzo brie is a personal favorite, along with matzo pizza. Some more creative folks make matzo lasagna or matzo sliders or matzo granola. Pretty fancy stuff when you’re starting with a humble cracker, and pretty tasty too. But Jeff won’t touch any of it. All I have to do is mention matzo and he leaves the kitchen.

So when I set out to make a lovely batch of chocolate matzo toffee, Jeff turned up his nose. But the smell of bubbling butter and sugar and the sweet scent of melted chocolate piqued his curiosity. When I handed him a nice big chocolatey piece he took a tiny, tentative, reluctant bite. And then he smiled.
chocolate matza

Yes, even Jeff, the ultimate matzo-hater, approves of chocolate matzo toffee. It’s that good. Sweet, buttery, and crunchy, it’s pretty much everything you could want in a treat. I topped half of my batch with toasted sliced almonds, and the other half with pretty pink Hawaiian salt. I happen to be partial to the combination of salt and chocolate, but you can feel free to use any toppings you like. Chopped dried fruit might be nice, or walnuts. But for the chocolate, I really do like to use the mini chocolate chips – they melt faster.

Happy Passover!

Chocolate Matzo Toffee

5 pieces whole wheat matzo
1/2 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
toasted nuts, flakey salt, or chopped dried fruit for toppings

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, arrange the matzo pieces, breaking as needed to fit. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Pour the butter and sugar mixture evenly over the matzo. Bake until the brown sugar mixture bubbles and darkens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the matzo from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips. Allow the chocolate to melt, about 5 minutes, and then use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the matzo. Sprinkle with the toppings, and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until very firm, about 2 hours. Once firm, break the chocolate matzo toffee into pieces and serve.

Published in: on March 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Spice Cake and a New Bundt Pan

spice bundt cake
I’ve been sitting here, trying to think of a way to explain to you why I adore spice cake.

I’ve come up with about 25 different adjectives, but the truth doesn’t have anything to do with flowery language. The truth is pretty darn simple. I love spice cake because I can get away with eating it for breakfast.

Cake for breakfast. It’s my dream. Which is why I adore my grandmother’s sour cream coffee cake in muffin form – anything in a muffin tin qualifies as breakfast, right?

As I mentioned back when I shared that coffee cake muffin recipe with you all, for many years my kitchen has been lacking a bundt cake pan. I have more bakeware than any woman should reasonably own. In fact, Jeff had to build me an extra set of shelves in the basement to hold my mini doughnut pan, my Madeleine pan, my candy molds, my petit-fours kit, my mini tart pans… you get the idea. But for some reason, I never got around to buying the basic bundt pan.

I was at my aunt’s house for dinner a couple weeks ago, and after we were so thoroughly stuffed with brisket and potatoes we thought we would never eat again, she brought out two of the prettiest bundt cakes I had ever seen. Yes, two. She’s like that. At her table, I have never been served less than two desserts, and usually more.

Her cakes were beautiful, with their pretty fluted edges. And after one taste, I realized that the shape was not just for show – all those ridges (all that extra surface area) make for plenty of extra buttery crisp bits. I love that buttery crisp cake edge!

I oohed and ahhed over those cakes, bemoaning my lack of bundt pan, whining to my cousin even as I devoured a mega slice of each.

And a week later, when UPS delivered a beautiful bundt cake pan to my door, I was baffled for only about two seconds. My cousin is so thoughtful – and had been so shocked that my over-stocked kitchen could be lacking such a necessary staple – that she turned to Amazon that very night.

So I made spice cake. And I’m loving all those buttery crisp edges and intense flavors this morning with my cup of tea. This cake is wonderfully moist and lovely on its own, but also fantastic with some barely sweetened whipped cream. And if, like me, you save a slice for breakfast, a smear of cream cheese is pretty great too.

spice cake

Spice Cake
(adapted from this Spiced Applesauce Cake recipe)

3 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups applesauce
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until very fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. Then stir in half of the flour mixture, all of the applesauce, and then the remaining flour mixture. The batter will be a bit stiff. Spread it into the bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool before removing from the pan.

Published in: on March 10, 2013 at 11:15 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day

I have to admit that I think Valentine’s Day is kind of hokey. Teddy bears and silly cards are cute enough, I suppose, but overpriced flowers and prix fixe restaurant menus don’t do much for me. But this Hallmark holiday does have one major redeeming quality: chocolate.

Who can be cranky about a holiday that prompts coworkers to share bowls of hershey kisses and husbands to bring home cherry cordials? Even better, of course, are the home made treats. Nobody can resist chocolates from your very own kitchen. And on this one day, all chocolate is calorie-free. True fact. So go to town!

Below are a few of my favorite chocolate truffle-like recipes.

I hope you enjoy!

cake balls white chocolate
Cake Ball Truffles

chocolate goat cheese truffles
Nutty Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles

peanut butter chocolate truffles
Peanut Butter Balls

Published in: on February 11, 2013 at 9:19 am  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , , ,

Coconut Hot Cocoa

coconut milk hot chocolate

It’s official; I’m an old fogie.

I’d rather be curled up on the sofa with a mug of cocoa than partying it up at a bar.

When did that happen?  When did my PJs and a James Bond movie marathon become my idea of a perfect evening?

At some point along the way, a steamy mug of really great hot chocolate eclipsed tequila shots as my New Year’s Eve drink of choice.  And this coconut hot cocoa is about as great as cocoa gets.  It’s incredibly creamy and full of deep, rich chocolate flavor.  But best of all, it smells incredible. The combination of coconut and chocolate is addictive.  And it’s so easy to make!

You could certainly top this cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream or a few mini marshmallows.  But I’m a hot cocoa purist.  To me, whipped cream detracts from the chocolate, and elusive little marshmallows distract me from my chocolate desires. But I do advocate a splash of coconut rum here.  After all, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m not THAT old!

Happy New Year!

Coconut Hot Cocoa

Serves 2

1/2 cup low-fat milk

4 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup canned lite coconut milk

2 tablespoons coconut rum (optional)

In a small saucepan, wisk together the low-fat milk, sugar and cocoa powder over medium-low heat.  Once the sugar has dissolved, wisk in the coconut milk and heat, stirring, until hot but not boiling.  Add the rum, if using.  Pour into two mugs and enjoy. Great with ginger snap cookies!

Published in: on December 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , ,

Snickerdoodle Cookies


Sweet, cinnamon-coated snickerdoodles are hands-down my favorite holiday cookie.  There is nothing fancy about these rich little cookies.  Just simple, buttery goodness.

You probably already have an identical snickerdoodle recipe in your recipe box. But when was the last time you used it?  In our house, it had been a while.  For years, I had overlooked my beloved snickerdoodles in favor of more trendy holiday cookies. But trendy doesn’t necessarily trump delicious. So, I just wanted to remind you about the humble snickerdoodle.

christmas cookieThe best thing about snickerdoodles is the warm cookie smell.  Something about the combination of cinnamon and butter is both homey and festive.  I don’t actually remember my grandmother ever baking snickerdoodles. She was always way more into brownies than cookies. Even so, the snickerdoodle aroma takes me back to her cozy kitchen anyway.

I also love that snickerdoodles keep very well.  Plop them in a parchment-lined cookie tin, and they will be soft and chewy for at least a week, maybe longer. I don’t really know how much longer – we always eat them all within a week. If you want to ensure that they last for a few weeks, or even a few months, you can freeze the baked cookies, and simply leave them on the kitchen counter to thaw when you want to enjoy them.

Happy Holidays!

christmas cookie

Snickerdoodle Cookies

makes about 5 dozen cookies

11/2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for topping

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

3 cups flour

2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat  together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat to combine.  Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.  Beat well until all ingredients are well mixed.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the cinnamon.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (place the remaining dough in the fridge in between baking batches of cookies, as this will make it easier to roll the next batch into balls). Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.  Avoid over-baking.  Allow to cool slightly on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cook fully.

Published in: on December 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Whole Wheat Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake

Last week, I promised you an apple cake recipe. And I’m following through on that promise – sort of.  Technically, I promised you my grandmother’s apple cake recipe.  This is not it.

But it turns out that Nannie’s apple cake recipe is actually a major family mystery.

I was pretty sure that I had the recipe for Nannie’s cake, along with half a dozen other Jewish apple cake recipes, in my recipe file.  But as it turns out, the recipe I had thought was my grandmother’s was virtually identical to a recipe from my aunt, which she apparently got from a woman at her synagogue. The only difference between the two recipes was the type of baking pan to be used. And when I questioned my aunt further, she revealed that she had always believed Nannie’s apple cake to have been straight from a boxed mix, with the addition of a few chopped fresh apples.  So I called my mother, and then my brother, and despite all of our combined memories of Nannie’s apple cake, we are frankly still confused.  My mother swears that while Nannie was fascinated by boxed cake mixes, her apple cake was 100% from scratch.  My brother thinks she baked it in a bundt pan, I’m certain she did not.  My mom thinks there was cinnamon in the cake batter itself, but not one of the recipes in my file has cinnamon appearing anywhere but in the apple mixture.  And the question of whether or not she peeled the apples opened a whole new round of arguments.

All I can tell you for certain is that this recipe here is decidedly not Nannie’s.  She would never have used whole wheat flour, or egg whites.  Nope – Nannie was a full-on butter and sugar kind of lady. But since uncovering the truth about the real deal would have required more recipe testing than I had time for this week, I just winged it.

jewish apple cakeAnd I think Nannie would be proud.  She would have liked the way the whole wheat flour adds a little bit of heartiness to the crumb of this cake. Nannie’s apple cake was always more like a huge, round muffin than a fluffy cake, and the whole wheat flour only enhances that lovely, dense texture. This cake is chock full of apples, which as my mom pointed out, is the whole point.  My mom is famous for having spent her youth creeping into Nannie’s kitchen to sneak slices of apple out of this cake (or pilfer raisins from a pan of cooling bran muffins, or snag bits of apricot from a cookie filling). But most of all, Nannie would have loved how easy this cake is to make.  It comes together in minutes, bakes up beautifully, and is basically fool-proof.  Nannie was not a fussy lady, and this is not a fussy cake.

This cake is wonderful with a dollop of whipped cream, and I think it would be equally tasty as a sweet breakfast treat with a big cup of coffee.  It would make a great addition to a Yom Kippur break-the-fast buffet, too.

And as for the to-peel or not-to-peel debate, I vote don’t peel.  It’s just too fussy (and I’m just too lazy).

jewish apple cake recipe

Whole Wheat Apple Cake

Serves 8

1 egg

3 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup orange juice

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium apples, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8″ round baking pan.  In a large bowl, beat the egg, egg whites, 1/2 cup of sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and juice together until well mixed. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and stir to combine. Toss the sliced apples with the remaining sugar and the cinnamon. Spread half of the cake batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Add the apples, and spread them as evenly as you can.  Top with the remaining batter, doing your best to spread evenly (as I mentioned, this is not a fussy cake, so don’t worry if you don’t get the batter all the way to the edges of the pan, it will spread itself as it bakes).  Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top of the cake is a dark golden color and the edges pull away from the pan.  Cool  before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Published in: on September 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm  Comments (15)  
Tags: , , , ,

Sweet Zucchini Crumble

sweet zucchini raisin crumble

Jeff whines to anyone willing to listen about my habit of sneaking veggies into every dish.  He’s right – I do shove spinach into lasagna, cabbage into potstickers, cauliflower into mac and cheese, sprouts into sandwiches and peppers into quesadillas. Jeff, on the other hand, could go for weeks without consuming so much as a carrot stick.

Over the years he has become amazingly adept at ferreting out even the smallest dice of hidden vegetable. Dinner in our house goes something like this:

Jeff: “There’s fennel in this sauce, I can tell.”

Katie: “Yep.”

Jeff: “I’m not a big fan of fennel”

Katie: “Too bad.”

And on some nights dinner is more like this:

Jeff: “The kale gives this pesto a weird texture”

Katie: “There’s no kale, it’s just basil and oil and nuts and cheese”

Jeff: “Liar”

Katie: “OK, fine, basil and oil and nuts and cheese AND kale.  You win.”

Jeff: “I always win”

So I’ve basically given up on pulling the wool over his eyes.  He has super-human veggie-radar.  But if the veggie-avoiders in your life have a less developed system of vegetable detection, this zucchini crumble is an amazing way to sneak some green into their tummies. While it would never fool Jeff, this sweet zucchini crumble would probably pass for apple crumble with most zucchini haters.

squash crisp Zucchini is amazingly versatile.  From ratatouille to chocolate zucchini bread it works in almost everything.  But until my mother-in-law suggested last weekend that zucchini could take the place of apples in a classic crumble, the idea had never, ever occurred to me. She swore up and down that it would be delicious, but I couldn’t quite imagine it. So, of course, I immediately ran out and bought some zucchini.  Despite my mother-in-law’s proclamation of zucchini crumble wonderfullness, I was fully expecting disaster.

But you know what?  It’s completely freaking delicious!  Who knew? Well, my mother-in-law knew.

It isn’t quite like apple crumble, but it’s close.  In fact, I might even like it better.  The texture of the zucchini here is surprisingly lovely – soft enough to seem decadent but firm enough to stand up to the hearty oat crumble topping. The raisins add an extra burst of sweetness, but if you are feeling experimental, I think dried cranberries might add a nice tart punch. This crumble makes a great dessert served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  But I actually have been eating it for breakfast with a dollop of Greek yogurt.  And I don’t even feel guilty about having dessert for breakfast.  After all, I’m getting my veggies!

sweet zucchini crisp

Sweet Zucchini Crumble

Serves 4

3 cups chopped zucchini

1/4 cup raisins

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut in bits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease four individual ramekins.  In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the raisins, sugar, half of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Divide the zucchini mixture among the ramekins. Stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and remaining cinnamon.  Add the butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the oat mixture until it is mostly incorporated.  The mixture won’t be uniform, and that’s fine. Top the zucchini in each of the four ramekins with a quarter of the oat mixture.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the zucchini is soft.  Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt.

Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , , ,

Aunt Beth’s Chocolate Farfel Cookies

Let me say right of that bat that these are not cookies.  They aren’t really even close to cookies. So why do we call them cookies?  I have no idea.  Maybe it’s because they kind of, sort of look like cookies (if you squint)? Or maybe because we don’t know what else to call them? Or maybe it’s simply because we always have?

But just because these aren’t actually cookies doesn’t mean they aren’t actually wonderful.  They are really more of a chocolate confection than a cookie, but who cares?  They are yummy. And easy.  These days, I’m into easy. Aren’t we all?  My Aunt Beth is a serious cook, a woman with more delightful signature dishes than I could count, so why have I chosen to share with you only her simplest, quickest, no-cook recipe? Because I like them.I really, really like them.  I eat-them-for-breakfast, snatch-them-out-of-Jeff’s-hand like them.

These make  a great Passover treat, of course.  But you don’t really have to save them for Passover.  In fact, I made these “cookies” today not for Passover Seder, but to bring to Jeff’s grandmother’s house for Easter!

And you can feel free to just break matzo into tiny pieces instead of buying matzo farfel, if you prefer.  You can also get creative with the nuts and fruits.  I like the walnuts, but almonds work too, and pistachios are awesome.  Just be sure to toast whatever nuts you use, for maximum nutty flavor.  As for dried fruit, cranberries are great (especially with the pistachios) and so are cherries. Really, any combination will work.  And I’ve even been considering trying a white chocolate version, just for fun. 

passover recipe dessert candy

Aunt Beth’s Chocolate Farfel Cookies

Makes about two dozen

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

2 1/4 cups matzo farfel

pinch of salt

Slowly melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring often. In a large bowl, stir together the melted chocolate and remaining ingredients until everything is well coated with chocolate.  Line two baking sheets or trays with wax paper.  Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the chocolate mixture onto the wax paper.  This is a messy process, so be prepared to use your fingers (and to lick off the chocolate later)! transfer the trays to the fridge and chill for at least an hour, until the chocolate hardens.  Remove from the fridge a few minutes before serving.  These “cookies” keep for a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Published in: on April 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , , ,

Peanut Butter Balls

chocolate peanut butter candy

Over the weekend, in New York, I had a delicious wholesome lunch with two wonderful childhood friends.  There’s nothing like spending time with people who have known you your whole life over quinoa salad and sautéed brussels sprouts.

And there’s nothing like indulging in a chocolate truffle after filling your belly with organic veggies. Which is why, after taking a leisurely, sunny walk through Soho, I made a stop at Kee’s Chocolates (Kaffir lime infused dark chocolate truffle!) and then another at Jacques Torres (did you know they sell chocolate covered Cheerios?) and a final stop at Chocolate Bar (spicy milk chocolate!). 

I adore the beauty of a chocolate shop.  From a cozy corner confectionary serving steaming cocoa in china tea cups to an over-the-top high-end boutique with truffles displayed like jewels.  I love the smell of chocolate, the symmetry of each pretty little square.  How do they get each and every truffle, each caramel, each cherry cordial to shimmer with perfection? Every corner of every strawberry creme is an exact 90 degree angle, every morsel of cashew bark a slim parallelogram. 

And while I well never turn down a beautiful bon bon from the latest and greatest chocolatiers, I am just as content to enjoy a homemade, lopsided confection.  I’ve had dreams of opening my very own chocolate shop, but the dream vanishes when I remember that every truffle would have to be identical and perfect, over and over.  Perfect is simply not in my nature.  I like messy.  I like my jeans ripped and my wine glasses unmatched. I like my oddly shaped truffles and fingerprints in my turtles. 

These peanut butter balls (also called buckeyes) are perfect in their imperfection.  If they are slightly different sizes, so much the better.  If they aren’t perfectly round, that just makes them easier to bite.  These are homey chocolates.  These are chocolates that have no place in a velvet-lined glass case but every right to join in on Sunday dinner.  Peanut butter balls are beyond easy to make, and are ideal for kid kitchen helpers.  And no matter how awkwardly shaped they turn out, they will still be delicious.  How can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?

These peanut butter balls would make a great addition to your Easter dessert spread.  They are also fantastic for Passover, if it’s your family or community tradition to consume peanuts on Passover.  Peanuts are a strange gray area.  As a nut, they would be generally considered acceptable Passover fare, but as a legume they come into question.  In any case, you can certainly substitute almond butter for the peanut butter if that works better for your needs.

chocolate buckeyes

Peanut Butter Balls

Makes about 5 dozen

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

24 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla, and sugar until well combined.  The mixture should be soft, but firm enough to form into balls (if too soft add a bit more sugar). Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Refrigerate the balls for at least an hour.

Melt the chocolate very slowly over a double boiler, or in 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring often whichever method you choose.  Dip each peanut butter ball in chocolate, carefully tapping off the excess. (Although messy, I find this easiest to do with my hands. You could use a fancy dipping spoon, or simply pierce each ball with a toothpick and use that to neatly dip it in the chocolate.  But hands are most fun!) Place each chocolate coated peanut butter ball on the wax paper lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.  Remove from the refrigerator a few minutes before serving.  They will keep in a container in the fridge for up to a week.

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm  Comments (14)  
Tags: , , , , , ,