Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tis The Season

It's begun . . . my annual all consuming desire to "make and bake". I love to "make and bake" really all year long but during the holiday season from Thanksgiving until New Year's, it seems that desire is much, much stronger. I am not complaning, I absolutely love it!

To start the season off, last night I made a batch of homemade Buckeye's for my BFF's mother for her birthday. A box of homemade Buckeye's (think Reese's Cup). Now, what more could a person want for her birthday? And let me tell you they were most delicious. I only had one (remember WWs) but that one was absolutely so heavenly - I definitely could have eaten quite a few more! But at 151 calories and 9 fat grams per ball, that was my limit!

The recipe for the Buckeye's is below for any of those who feel so inclined - they are well worth the time and effort.

Best Ever Buckeyes (makes 40-50 balls)

1 1/2 C. smooth peanut butter
1/2 C. butter (softened)
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 T. shortening

Mix peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in bowl. Shape into 1" balls. Refrigerate balls. Meanwhilte, melt chocolate chips with shortening. Add more shortening, if necessary, so that the melted chocolate is thin enough for dipping. Insert toothpick into refrigerated balls and dip into chocolate, leaving small area resembling a buckeye. Cool on wax paper and store in refrigerator or freezer although I think they would be okay at room temperature as well.

I've got quite a history making homemade candies. I used to make boxes and boxes of sweet goodies for friends, family, and co-workers for Christmas. I've made Sugar Spiced Pecans, Turtles, Fudge, Divinity, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Martha Washington Candy, Minature Reese Cups, Caramels, Peanut Butter Candy, Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Pralines, Peanut Brittle, Peppermint Bark, and so many more that I'm not going to list them all here. And now I can add Buckeye's to the list!

To me, it's much more fun making candy than holiday cookies. Candy is so much faster and it quickly satisfies that sugar craving you might have. Cookies, on the other hand, take forever or so it seems, and are much more filling. I've just always taken to the candy but I'll certainly whip up a batch of holiday cookies in a heartbeat. In fact, I've planned to make some Ginger Snaps for my work mates for Monday, which I'm sure they'll enjoy.

My love for candy making started a long time ago. I remember as a kid going to Disney World and standing outside the window of the candy store on Main Street just marveling at the workers inside making every sweet confection you could think of. I've done the same thing at the candy store in Savannah, Savannah's Candy Kitchen. They actually pull their own taffy there with a machine that's been in operation since 1924 and if I remember correctly, it pulls, portions, and wraps each individual taffy piece. As you can imagine, it's quite a show and the taffy is to die for! Very profound experiences, I guess, since I now have this same love to make sweet candies.

Buckle up and prepare yourself for the next sweet delicacy to come out of my kitchen! It's going to be quite a ride!
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Zan said...

Patti- Your post has managed to make me hungry and I just got home from eating Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house.

I hope to see you Saturday but don't blame you if you stay home if it's pouring rain. I probably won't let Nick run if it's muddy and slick as I'm a real chicken. I don't worry as much about Rosie as Pharaohs are just a bit sturdier. I guess partially because they just aren't going as fast and don't weigh as much. In any event, we'll be there as Rosie will run both days. I'm hoping to get her field championship this year (though it likely won't happen). Here's hoping for enough rain to make the field soft, but not enough to make it muddy and slick.

Kim said...

The Buckeye's were wonderful!! Although I could have done without knowing the calorie information! Thanks Patti!