It would not be Christmas without the famous cookie tower in our family. Throughout the month of December I make and freeze several types of cookies. This is a true labor of love as I am NOT a baker! The anticipation builds as the month progresses. Come Christmas Eve, we host a Réveillon dinner party and the cookie tower is the star of the menu. Constructed by stacking 5 glass cake stands or pedestal dishes in gradated sizes, it becomes a towering display of Christmas sweets. The great thing about the tower is that it can be replenished as the cookies vanish. During the holidays we do “serial” entertaining. This cookie tower is a lifesaver as it Is set up once and refilled as needed. It makes frequent appearances from dinner one night, to brunch the next day to impromptu dessert for an unexpected gang of friends of our college-aged sons who happen to drop in and stay for dinner. It is always popular, versatile and makes dessert a no-brainer.
And the favorite cookie is…Peanut Butter Balls. This cookie is called by many different names in different parts of the country: buck eyes, chocolate peanut butter truffles or peanut butter balls. No matter its name, it is always irresistible. I mean chocolate + peanut butter? That equals a match made in heaven! Try to eat just one!
PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
1 c icing sugar
3/4 c smooth peanut butter
3 T butter, softened
1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
7 oz good quality dark chocolate such as Dove
Method: With an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, peanut butter and butter until smooth. Stir in the Graham cracker crumbs. Form into 1″ balls. You may want to chill the dough for easier handling, about an hour, although it is not necessary. Melt the chocolate and let cool a bit before handling. Coat each ball in chocolate and place on a sheet of wax paper to set, a messy business! If there are bare spots, use a spoon to add a small amount of melted chocolate to cover. If you want to double up the recipe I recommend making separate batches. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Sprinkling some crushed peanuts on top of the wet chocolate fancies these up. We like ours plain so they just melt in your mouth.
“From morning till night,
Sounds drift from the kitchen
Most of them familiar and comforting.
On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart,
The kitchen is the place you can find it.” E. B. white 1899-1985