Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls + What I've been up to today

So unmotivated today. But I need to finish wrapping Christmas presents (and get a few more...), bake cupcakes for the neighbors (chocolate with peppermint butter cream, John wouldn't approve), clean and finish up some things for our Christmas Party Part 2 today. I haven't been feeling very Christmasy this season, so we're hoping that another night of treats, gluten-free sugar cookies, Christmas movies and carols will help fix that.
Today I've been doing lots of little things and I thought I'd show you. I made 2 shirts, one turned out HORRIDLY and the other is nice. I'll show you the nice one soon-ish, it's a wrap shirt inspired by a vintage photo. The other... yeah. Not sure what to do with that one. I'm trying to finish up the blog I've been working on since August, too.
Hair bow & earrings (phase one)
At work we're doing accents of red, so I made another pair of the DIY Glitter Earrings in red and then made another hair bow from this old tutorial as well.
I promised John a surprise today, so I made him these peanut butter balls. I've made these for him before, he's a huge fan of reeses, but I don't like processed junk. I've only been able to make them once recently, though, because we had to sell all of our bake ware when we got Odette. We *finally* got a set of bird-safe stainless steel this month and I've been SO glad to have a double boiler. YAY for melted goodness! Today, I decided to shake up the peanut butter balls a bit and make them crunchy this time around. 
Here's what you'll need...
Melted chocolate
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. rice krispies (I used gluten-free)
1/4 c. powdered/granulated sugar mix (1/2 c.  if you're using natural peanut butter)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Melted chocolate

Optional mix ins: 
2 tbs peanut butter chips (reeses)

Double boiler (or a bowl that fits into a pot for your stove) and wax paper.

It tastes better than it looks
(1) Melt the chocolate. If you've never worked with chocolate before- be warned. It burns SO easily. My mom has been making chocolates since... well, good grief. I'm not even sure. I know that on my first day of school each year she sent me with crayon shaped chocolates. So- she's been working with chocolate for at least 21 years! I grew up around it and I'm very familiar with when it's in danger. Just keep your temperature low and keep stirring, you'll be fine. 
(2) While melting, make your filling! Mix all ingredients EXCEPT for the rice krispies. Try a bite and see if it's sweet enough. Add in your rice krispies.
(3) If you want them to look pretty and not be just edible, then put them in your fridge or freezer for a little bit. This will help you roll a nicely shaped ball and coat it in chocolate. I skipped this step for the sake of speed. Tablespoon sized will give you between 10 and 14. Another tip? Lots of chocolate. I didn't use much because that's all we had left. You'll have an easier time coating them if you have tons of chocolate
(4) Dip the balls in chocolate. Set on wax paper to cool/solidify.
(5) Enjoy!

Chox/mint mallow
I'm showing them off on my new Christmas plates (they represent the 12 days of Christmas. Those are the swans!) I got a few weeks ago. I liked them so much that I got a second set. They're very small, but adorable for serving dessert. You'll probably see them showcasing treats quite a bit in the holidays to come.
Apron 1
Also, I'm including two pictures of my latest apron! A friend at church gave it apron to me. It belonged to her grandma and it's so classically vintage. I love it! It was so kind of her to give me a family memento like that, but she promised that she would never wear it. It's a lovely addition to my collection (we're up to 16 now, my sister in law contributed another last week!). Thank you, Sheryll! In it I'm wearing the super easy hair bow (link in the first paragraph of this blog) and also the DIY shoe update I did this week (click here).
Apron 2
Ps- I don't know about you, but I *hate* wasting chocolate. After I've dipped everything, I go through and scrape the excess with marshmallows. Then I add toppings to them, like nuts, crushed peppermint (I keep a jar on hand!), chocolate chips, cinnamon... anything. They taste great and there's no waste! 
And now I have to finish getting ready for Christmas Party Part Two! There are cookies to bake and presents to wrap and music to download! Best wishes for a warm and wonderful day for you. As always, thanks for reading. Pin It

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