Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Traditions ... with Peanut Butter Balls

One thing always happens as the Christmas holidays get closer - we start digging through family recipes looking for those tastes and smells that bring back wonderful memories.  For the past few years, our children have carried on one of our Christmas family cooking traditions by making their Grandma's Peanut Butter Balls.  I don't remember a Christmas that my mother-in-law Jane did not have a bucket full of these wonderful little nuggets and as you can see this recipe has seen quite a few holidays.  I'm delighted that my children are keeping the tradition going.

In her younger days, Jane worked in our local high school cafeteria.  She brought home this recipe and after considerable calculating, worked it from a serves-700-or-so to a more manageable family size.  The last few years she was with us, our children helped with her Christmas baking and treat preparations.  So now, they can turn out some mighty fine Peanut Butter Balls, but of course, they learned from one of the best.

Peanut Butter Balls
1 pound butter, melted
2 cups peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla flavoring
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 pound raisins
3/4 quart coconut (1 large & 1 small can)
1 stick paraffin wax
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, except paraffin and chocolate chips, until thoroughly blended and roll in one-inch balls.  Place on cookie sheets covered with wax paper. Pierce each ball with a toothpick for easier dipping later. Refrigerate until firm.

Melt paraffin and chocolate together in the top of a double boiler.  Dip each ball into chocolate mixture.  Return to wax paper to let chocolate dry.  Store in refrigerator.

I personally can eat my weight in these and my scales will attest that I have often tried to do just that.  

This recipe will yield 6-7 dozen, depending on your interpretation of one-inch balls.  We chose to half the recipe ... I'm hoping for more restraint this year.

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