our gingerbread house construction after touring downtown Seattle Christmas lights.
Mama was all about the little details...
and Miss Stella was all about her frosting stache!
Stella's been in Seattle since the 17th and we've done LOTS of baking while Rudolph here was at preschool :):
a big thanks to Michelle, a mama from Arlin's preschool for inspiring these yummy treats: Peanut butter Chocolate Balls aka "Chubby Hubby Truffles" aka "Naughty Bits!
- light brown sugar
- powdered sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy skippy worked very well for me, Michelle says natural peanut butter is a bit oily to work with)
- 1 tablespoon room temp unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 1 cup dark or milk chocolate (I used one large hershey paper wrapped hershey bar)
- plastic sealable bag and dough roller (to crush your pretzels)
- freezer paper
- cookie sheet or large flat plate for chilling
- room in your fridge or freezer for a batch of these to cool and harden
To make: in your handy Kitchen Aid mixing bowl: add 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 and half cup crushed pretzels and pinch of salt and mix together. Then add in 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and mix again thoroughly.
With your hands roll the mixture to form 1 x 1 inch balls...Tip: if your mixture doesn't want to stick together you need more peanut butter....then maybe a little more powdered sugar. These are the 2 ingredients I found myself adjusting when making multiple batches of these yummies. As you roll your balls place them onto freezer paper and place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can speed this process up tremendously by placing them in the freezer. Do not skip this step or your pretzel balls will fall apart during the chocolate dipping process!
when your peanut butter balls are ready for dipping make a water bath to melt your cup of chocolate and remember to add 1 table spoon of vegetable shortening as chocolate melts. I found tipping the bowl so that all the melted chocolate was on one side worked best. I dropped each ball in and let it roll to the bottom, making sure chocolate covered all sides, carefully with tongs I removed letting extra chocolate drip off and transferred them back onto the freezer paper. Once all coated in chocolate place them back into the fridge to harden the chocolate. If your feeling extra fancy after peanut butter balls are completely hardened you can drizzle carmel and sprinkle some crushed pretzels on top!
while we were at it, Stella and I had fun thinking of all the things we could sprinkle on chocolate dipped pretzels. We did, peanuts, candy canes, coconut flake, M & M's, and x-mas cookie sprinkles. Stella got a real kick out of the "smashing" process!
We wrapped handfuls of them up to add to bundles we made for neighbors, friends, and Arlin's preschool teachers. Just took sandwich baggies, cut the tops off and used some x-mas tape...
we also managed to make cranberry drop cookies (back on popular demand) gingerbread cookies, snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies too!
And yes, we also managed to have a few stomach aches along the way taste testing each goody!
Lots more to share. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families and friends!