Bonbons? We’re off and running, thanks to this great letter/recipe combo from Chris Wheeler of Everett.
“Reading the call for this recipe made me think it was from my daughter,” she writes. “But, in checking the name, I see it isn’t. Made me laugh, though. I found this recipe years and years and years ago in a newspaper and have been making it at Christmastime with and for my two daughters forever!
“It’s one of our favorites, and we made big quantities of it. I was able to five-times this recipe when I made it, with no problem, although you need strong hands to knead the dough.
“I hope it is what Katrina Newhall is looking for.
“We made this recipe for the bonbons, and chocolate-covered cherries, along with many other treats for the holidays.”
Next up, we have a recipe called buckeyes, another version of bonbons. Shared by Snohomish cook Bonnie Edwards, it includes a technique for turning the buckeyes into cherry chocolate morsels.
Chris Wheeler’s peanut butter bonbons
2packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4cups unsifted powdered sugar
1/3cup unsweetened cocoa (not chocolate drink mix)
1cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts
2cups peanut butter chips
2tablespoons shortening (more, if needed for thinning coating)
In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with milk; blend in the powdered sugar and cocoa. Add the vanilla, then stir in nuts.
Chris says, “I did this all by hand, and you literally have to get your hands in there to mix it well — it is stiff! Use extra powdered sugar to clean the dough off your hands, and sprinkle a little powdered sugar in the bowl to get the dough scraped off the sides and bottom of the bowl.”
Chill dough 1 hour. When dough is chilled, shape into 1/2-inch balls and place on waxed paper on a cookie sheet and freeze for about an hour, then transfer balls to a large bowl in your freezer.
Chris says, “I added this freezing of the balls to the recipe, as it is easier to just take a small bowlful of them out at a time to coat — they are easier to manage.”
For the coating, in a double boiler, melt the peanut butter chips with the shortening. Dip frozen chocolate balls in hot mixture, removing them with a fork and scraping excess coating off on the rim of the pan. (Add a little more shortening, as needed, if your coating gets too thick.) Drop coated balls upside down onto cookie sheets covered with waxed paper and let them dry.
Chris says, “When dry, I put them in gallon self-sealing plastic freezer bags and return them to the freezer until I want to use them. They last a long, long time — that is, if you can keep the kids out of them!”
Makes about 31/2 dozen bonbons.
Note: Chris adds, “I think you could even experiment by making centers with 1 cup peanut butter, instead of the cocoa, and a little extra — maybe 2 more cups — powdered sugar, then dip them in melted chocolate chips.”
Peanut butter buckeyes
13/4cups peanut butter
1cup butter or margarine, softened
41/4cups powdered sugar
2cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1tablespoon vegetable oil
In large bowl, cream together the peanut butter and butter or margarine until light and creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Roll into small balls about 3/4-inch in diameter. Place on waxed paper and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
Melt chocolate chips and oil in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water until completely melted. Using toothpicks, spear each ball, dip lower half into melted chocolate and return to waxed paper.
Refrigerate to harden. Store candies between layers of waxed paper in airtight containers. Keep in a cool place.
To make cherry chocolate morsels: Follow procedure for making peanut butter cream. Instead of rolling into balls, wrap it around stemmed maraschino cherries. Proceed as for buckeyes, rolling candies in finely ground pistachio nuts after dipping in chocolate. Refrigerate to harden.
The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Food section.