It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me if I weren’t busy baking Christmas cookies. I love gathering my kids into the kitchen creaming butter with sugar, sniffing the relaxing scent of vanilla from the bottle, melting chocolate chips until they blend into a smooth, rich mess, the smell of sweet concoctions wafting from the oven all while we seem to end up with a dusting of flour on our shirts and a smear of batter on our chins.
And so I interrupt my normal blog with a Christmas recipe for you. Our family favorite is Buckeyes – basically a Reese’s cup shaped like the fruit of Ohio’s state tree, the Buckeye tree, a.k.a. Ohio State’s mascot, Brutus.
My recipe is an old one, laced with tradition. It comes from my great grandmother Mildred, who everyone for unknown reasons called, “Mul”. You know it’s an old recipe when it begins with: blend one pound Oleo with two pounds peanut butter… Yup, OLEO, do not confuse it for Oreo. Do. Not. Because Oleo is just a fancy cooking term for lard, think the original Crisco. Told you it was old. Also, any recipe measured in pounds gets my attention. I’ve modernized this baby by swapping butter for the Oleo, just couldn’t bring myself to cook with Crisco. We have nut and gluten allergies at our house, so I also sub in Trader Joe's Sunflower Butter for peanut butter to make this a safe-to-eat treat. If you were looking for one last cookie to make, give them a try. I dare you to eat just one.
2 pounds peanut butter, sunflower butter, or almond butter (pick your favorite)
1 pound butter
3 pounds powdered sugar
24 ounces chocolate chips
½ cake paraffin (This is cooking wax sold in the baking aisle. The only brand I know is Gulf Wax. It makes the chocolate shell easier to dip, harden more quickly, and gives it a pretty shine. It does not change the flavor and is safe to consume)
At room temperature mix peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar. Mold into small balls, slightly smaller than golf balls. Set on wax paper and chill over night. Next day melt chocolate chips and paraffin in microwave at 50% power. Dip balls into chocolate with a corsage pin (or toothpick), leaving a tan center (the iris of the buck’s eye) uncoated. Set on wax paper to harden. Eat! I like mine cold from the fridge.
Laura L. Smith