I got the chance to go visit my grandma again yesterday. As strange as this might sound, when I walked into her room, I was so happy to see her sitting up. When my grandpa was in the nursing home last summer, he was bed-bound. He was suffering from spinal stenosis, which made him pretty much impossible to use his feet or legs at all. So, I was used to seeing him laying in bed every time I went to visit. To see my grandma sitting up on her own just made me feel so much better about her being in a nursing home, although I still hate seeing her there.
Right now, I am trying to make cookies I know she enjoys. Chocolate chip are classic – I mean, who doesn’t like a delicious chocolate chip cookie? – so I knew those would go over well. This time, I decided to make something that reminds me of my grandma.
Every Christmas, Grandma always makes the same types of cookies every year. My absolute favorites are her Peanut Butter Balls. Most people would call these Buckeyes, but she dips hers completely in chocolate so they are no longer Buckeyes, but balls of pure deliciousness. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a Peanut Butter Ball made by anyone other than Grandma. They will never be the same for me every again. Mine aren’t nearly as delicious as hers, but they come pretty darn close.
GRANDMA’S PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
From Smitten Kitchen. I actually don’t have my grandma’s original recipe, but I know these come pretty close compared to the other recipes I looked at. I think I need to try to acquire that recipe from my mom, since I KNOW she has it!
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
8 sheets graham crackers, crumbled
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons butter, melted + cooled
1 small bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Add the graham crackers and mix well. Add in the powdered sugar and butter and mix until combined. The “dough” will be pretty dry, but that’s OK, it should still stick together pretty nicely.
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high for 30 seconds, remove from microwave + stir. Return to microwave for another 15 seconds, remove + stir. Continue to cook in 15 second increments until completely melted, stirring every 15 seconds. This will prevent the chocolate from scorching.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out “dough” by the tablespoon or a little more (I used a small cookie scoop which made it extra easy) and form into balls. Place the ball onto the cookie sheet and continue with the rest of the “dough”. (I had to use 2 cookie sheets.)
Using a tooth pick or skewer, gently stab each ball and roll in chocolate until completely coated – there should be no peanut butter showing. Place back onto cookie sheet and continue with the rest of the peanut butter balls. Once each ball is coated in chocolate (the more chocolate, the better), place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. The chocolate will harden and you will have complete peanut butter + chocolate perfection!
These are time consuming but super easy to make. They are extremely rich, thanks to the cream cheese added in the batter. The chocolate is thick and pairs perfectly with the peanut butter – would you expect anything else?
These have officially become part of my Christmas cookie repertoire, as I hope to pass on my grandma’s tradition down to my own little girl.