It's been a year since I published my children's book, The Squirrelly Nut Gig, and I've finally launched an eParty!
Meanwhile, I'm preparing for the holidays. Most of our Christmas decorations were packed away in the garage after Hurricane Sandy, and the garage is a scary place at best. So, I've got a few sparkly icicles hanging from the twig bush out front, a red bow on the porch rail, and some jingling bells on the front door. We aren't the most decorated house on the block, but we are festive.
And the baking begins. Sort of. Over twenty-five years ago, my eldest sister came home from college one winter with a bag of no-bake cookies that some friends had made, and they were a sensation! We've been making them ever since. These cookies are now expected every Christmas among my family and friends. In fact, a fortunate few have made it onto my mail-order short list.
Chocolate PB Cracker Cookies
Ingredients: (make the best for friends & family; use organic and non-gmo foods)
crackers (Ritz or equivalent)
smooth peanut butter
chocolate chips (two cups of melted chocolate will cover about three dozen cookies)
*light cooking oil (coconut oil is delicious!)
large serving fork
Assemble the cookies by placing peanut butter between two crackers. I usually place the assembled cookies in a container and keep them in the freezer until I am ready to dip them. This helps prevent the peanut butter from melting in the chocolate.
Cover trays with wax paper. Place a sheet of wax paper on the table where you are working to catch spills.
Melt two cups of chocolate chips with two tablespoons of oil in the microwave for about two & a half minutes on half power. Half power, very important. Check and return to microwave if needed for another minute. On half power. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and a little thicker than milk.
Drop a cookie into the chocolate, flip it over with the fork, then use the fork to place it on the tray. Once the tray is filled, decorate with sugar sprinkles, then place the tray in a cool room and let the chocolate set.** You will then be able to handle them and place the cookies in tins. Once they are set, they can be stored in the freezer.
*NB: water will make the chocolate seize. If you are using a butter spread, be sure it contains no water (most do). It is best to use either oil or pure butter to keep the melted chocolate smooth.
**NB: white chocolate, butterscotch, and other non-chocolate will set much faster than chocolate, so you will want to decorate them after one row, otherwise they will be too hard for the sprinkles to stick.
I've made these with semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel and peanut butter chips as well, and also with chocolate nut-butter filling in place of peanut butter. I've also made some with a dollop of marshmallow fluff inside. Anyway you do them, they are fun, great for cookie exchanges, and are always a crowd pleaser!
Have a Squirrelly Holiday!