Monday, December 20, 2010

A Few Christmas Sweets to enjoy...

Adapted from smitten kitchen
makes 36 to 42 tablespoon-sized candies
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups honey roasted peanut butter*
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full size graham crackers)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
maldon salt or other flaky salt
Make the filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined.
Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds.
Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined.
Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out about one tablespoon’s worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.
Make the coating:

Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth.
Make the candies:

Using a fork or large skewer, drop each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that the entire candy is coated. Gently stick a skewer into the ball and lift out of the chocolate, letting the excess drop off, then gently place back on the parchment. Play around with a few practice pieces until you find what works best for you.
Sprinkle each with a little salt, if desired.
Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.
* I made my own peanut butter because I didn’t have any on hand, but you can use creamy of chunky, whatever you have on hand.

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