Sunday, W and I followed our favorite morning routine, which includes a satisfying meal at our home-away-from-home diner. After breakfast, W went into my backyard to check out a tree that had fallen down after being uprooted from all the rain and melted snow. It was leaning against another tree, falling toward the yard, and I wanted to just push it in the other direction so it didn't land on one of our kids. I couldn't budge it. W, however, could, and he literally lifted the tree into the air, and dragged it all the way into the back of the woods. The tree had to be 25' high, at least. I felt like I was in the presence of a hulky lumberjack. I fell in love with him all over again.
Now, for the peanut butter balls.
Today I am showing and telling you about the most amazingly tasty dessert I've ever had. Get ready to drool.
My first experience with homemade chocolate peanut butter balls goes back 11 years. My former Boonton neighbor, Vicki Cobane, was an amazing baker and cook, and she was very generous with all that she made. She would bring me homemade bread in a basket with homemade herbed butter. She would bake cookies for me, and bring over wine and cheese. We would sit on my porch, eat, and talk about whatever was going on in our lives.
My first Easter in that house, Vicki came over with a basket filled with homemade chocolate peanut butter balls. She said that she made them every year, and the trick was that she used cream cheese in place of butter. While I do like cream cheese on my bagel, I don't like it sweet. Cheesecake grosses me out. I thanked her, closed the door to my house, and put the basket down. I didn't want to taste them, but they just kept calling to me. They smelled like decadent Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
Finally, I caved and tried one.
They were the most amazing things. The peanut butter balls, also known as buckeyes, were creamy and peanutty, and they had just the perfect amount of chocolate on them. I think I finished the whole basket myself. Ever since then, I've been making Vicki's recipe as Easter treats. There is something about them that is perfect for springtime. Last week Emma asked me to make them; she's had a voglie (VOHL-yay), a craving. I made them today, and we all had them after dinner tonight. Three remain. Try them, and then tell me that you can stop at just one. I won't believe you. I've posted the recipe below.
|I made this batch especially for Emma.|
vicki cobane's chocolate peanut butter balls
- 8 oz. cream cheese, I use the Philadelphia brand bar (do not use low fat cream cheese or whipped)
- 3 1/4 powdered sugar, divided
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 c peanut butter, creamy (do not use natural, too oily)
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Blend softened cream cheese, 3 c powdered sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt in a large mixer. Mix on medium until combined. Add extra powdered sugar if the mix is too sticky.
- Make 1" balls, and refrigerate 1 hour. Smaller balls will be very chocolaty, larger balls will be very peanut buttery.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Roll balls in chocolate and put on wax paper. Set in 'fridge. Store airtight for up to 1 week (they will never last that long -- yum).
Tiffany Palisi is a freelance writer and the author of the book, "Mama's World: Essays From the Inside Out." She has interviewed actresses, designers, and entertainers; her favorites include Cynthia Rowley, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, and children's singer Dan Zanes. She is a contributing writer for Mountain Lakes Living magazine. Palisi lives with her family in New Jersey.