Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Honey-Sugar-Vanilla Based Peanut Butter Balls

What's this? It's the base for peanut butter balls.

I remember the first and only time I encountered peanut butter balls -- a once-close friend of my mother had me over for the weekend. She loved to bake, especially sweets, and we often found ourselves at work in the kitchen.

On this particular visit, she mentioned peanut butter balls. I had never heard of such a thing. She was surprised, then informed me that they were pretty much the best invention ever. Yes, better than sliced bread and apple pie and cheddar cheese and chicken n' waffles -- combined! OK -- I'm kidding about that last part. But she did rave on and on and on about them.

They were so simple to make, and I was surprised that they required no cooking at all.

I cannot recall how we made them then, but this is how I made them -- this time for the office:

I scooped a ton (overstatement) of creamy peanut butter into a bowl. Without measuring, I added honey, brown sugar and confectioners sugar along with vanilla extract.

Turns out I needed more peanut butter and, thus, more sweetner.

All told, I have no idea how much I added. This was one of those go-with-the-flow type of encounters.

I am actually amazed that for someone who does not care for sweets and who does so little baking of sweets at home that I actually had all the ingredients -- even the chocolate. Strange indeed.

For dipping and rolling, I used Lindt dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa, crushed walnuts and also coconut shavings.

Nice combination. In the end, they looked to me like miniature donuts. Tee hee.

It was a multi-stepped process.

I first mixed the peanut butter and sweets together stirring with such intensity that I felt I was getting an upper body workout.

Nice.

I then let the mixture sit in the freezer for a half hour hoping that it would be easier to handle. It was! I then quickly rolled the peanut butter into little balls. All of this was quite easy. I know that some recipes call for butter, but I didn't see the point in it. I did, however, grease the bowl I was using to melt the chocolate with a little bit of butter. That worked out well.

I had returned the balls to the freezer while prepping the chocolate. From then on, it was kind of haphazard. The peanut butter balls melt quickly, and I found it challenging using toothpicks while covering them in melted chocolate. I will have to think of a better method.

For the assembly, some went bare, and others were mixed. Start to finish, the process took almost two hours.

With everything dipped, rolled and dressed, I put the balls back in the fridge overnight, taking them to work the next morning. 

I did sneak a plain one the night prior. For a minute, I could understand why lovers of peanut butter and chocolate would believe -- as my childhood friend did -- that these treats were, indeed, invented by the Prince of Darkness.

Cook's note: Be sure to have some wax or parchment paper on hand. I ran out in the process and had to sit about 10 of these balls on a plate. Bad idea. Yep -- big oops! While the bare and coconut-rolled balls came off with little tension, the chocolate ones pretty much melded to the plate. I had to warn my office mates that the dented ones were not half eaten but that I had to use herculean strength to pry them from the plate.

And bonus points if in the photo below you can see the peanut butter balls that look like they've just heard a ridiculous joke. Here's a hint: They are fraternal cyclops twins.

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