Thursday, December 21, 2006

Making goodies from Christmas past...

I know I said I was done... but I couldn't help myself! I thought of a Christmas goodie that Mom would always make this time of the year. Now, I have not had one of these in forever and I'm not sure what made me think of them, but I just had to try and make a batch on my own!

I remember Mom having to hide Peanut Butter Buckeyes as soon as she made them... I made sure to put a dent into the supply laying around. These sweet peanut buttery balls are just smooth peanut butter mixed with confectioners' sugar, melted butter, a dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt since we used unsalted butter. The dough is not sticky at all, so if you have little helpers around, make sure to recruit their help to roll the mixture into balls! To create the "buckeye", they are dipped into melted bittersweet chocolate - to ease the dipping, be sure to refrigerate or freeze the balls until they are quite firm before starting. For quick and clean dipping, use a toothpick placed in the center of each ball.

A lot of recipes for this candy call for melting the chocolate with paraffin wax - if you used this, it would make the chocolate a little thinner, more stable and would prevent them from melting from the heat of your fingers as you eat. Now - I prefer to use tempered chocolate rather than trying to use wax, but since I was only making a small batch, I just used good-quality chocolate that I chunked up and slowly melted. Besides, these were just for us and I'm perfectly okay with licking my fingers clean of any chocolate that may melt on them!

Dinner tonight, Leek and Potato Fritters with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt, gussies up those refrigerated pre-shredded potatoes you can find in the stores lately. I'm sure you could always par-boil your own potatoes and shred them, but I took the easier route tonight! To top these fritters, a yogurt sauce is made by first draining some plain yogurt in paper towels to ensure a thicker sauce. I like this method as it only takes about 5 minutes and it adds body to the sauce. Don't worry about the yogurt sticking to the paper towels - it can be easily scrapped off. Garlic, lemon zest and cumin enhance the tangy yogurt with a stimulating flare.

Adding flavor to the fritters begins by cooking thin sliced leeks until they begin to turn golden. They are mixed with the pre-shredded potatoes and then bound together with a couple whole eggs and egg whites. Using only a tablespoon and a half of canola oil per group, the fritters are quickly fried until both sides are a crisp golden brown. Because this makes 16 medium-sized fritters, it needs to be done in two batches - to keep the fritters warm while the others cook, place them on a baking sheet and set them in an oven set at 250 degrees. The creamy sauce complimented the mildly seasoned fritters and helped to keep them from feeling too heavy.

PS - I did get the recipe posted for the Gingerbread Biscotti!


  1. Those buckeyes look great. Thanks for posting the recipe for the biscottis. Can't wait to try them. I tought I was done also but found some interesting recipes to make from your site. Thanks to be so generous!

  2. Those buckeyes look divine!! Love your site! Suz

  3. Helene - Hope you like the recipes!

    Suzanne - Thank you!