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There are three important things that you need to know about today’s post:
- We are currently on vacation. During this trip we’ll be in Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and then finally the Caribbean.
- Tomorrow, December 20th, is my birthday! Yep, I’m a Christmas baby. I’ll be 32 years young!
- I originally planned to share a slow cooker recipe today, but I quickly changed my mind after visiting my mom’s house last week for an early birthday celebration.
And that, my friend, is where our chat is headed…the celebration that reminded me of my grandma’s famous cookies, which we’re going to make today.
Christmas cookies are a sacred and memorable part of my family’s Christmas celebration. As a child, I remember spending multiple days before Christmas making festive cookies with my mom and grandma. During our baking sprints, we would make everything from homemade sugar cookies to colorful spritz cookies to Grandma’s famous buckeyes. The cookies were then placed in tins and reserved for the big family gathering.
I’m not a huge cookie person (as evidenced by the lack of cookie recipes on the blog…there are a few classics in the archives), but Christmas cookies are an entirely different story. I have a deep deep deep love for Christmas cookies. Maybe this love stems from my childhood memories of baking with my mom and grandma? Or maybe I’m drawn to the unique flavors, colors, and textures of these cookies? I’m going with all of the above.
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During my birthday celebration at my mom’s house last week, my mom pulled out a red tin from her freezer. I knew what was inside: Grandma’s buckeyes! She passed the tin around the table, and I eagerly reached for one (or two) of the chocolate-coated cookies. Suddenly, I realized that a slow cooker recipe could wait; I had to share Grandma’s buckeyes with you!
I looked over at my mom and, with my mouth still full of peanut butter and chocolate, asked, “May I have the recipe for the buckeyes?”
My mom walked back to the kitchen and moments later came out with a handwritten recipe card from my grandmother. I took a photo of the card, visited the store for the ingredients the next morning, and here we are today.
Before sharing the recipe, let me point out that this recipe calls for a ton of sugar. I’m talking about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Friend, I thought long and hard (okay, just a few minutes last week) about converting the cookies over to a honey-sweetened or maple-sweetened treat, but then my reasoning took over…
- The powdered sugar not only provides a sweet flavor to the cookies, but it also holds the cookies together.
- This is Grandma’s famous recipe. A recipe that’s been passed down in my family. A recipe that I enjoyed as a child, and one that I plan to continue making and enjoying with my kids. Memories and tradition win!
I decided that Grandma’s recipe shouldn’t be tweaked. Plus, it’s Christmas (and my birthday)…a homemade treat that’s made with (organic) powdered sugar is exactly how I plan to celebrate.
Grandma's Famous No-Bake Buckeye Cookies
An easy no-bake peanut butter cookie that's dipped in sweet chocolate.
- 2 cups organic powdered sugar (240g)*
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (382g)**
- 6 TB butter softened***
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (74g)
- 10 ounces organic semi-sweet chocolate chips (285g // 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 TB coconut oil
- Maldon salt flakes or Fleur de Sel--my salt is from Trader Joe's (optional for sprinkling)
Place the sugar, peanut butter, butter, and coconut in a large bowl. Use a hand-mixer (or stand-mixer) to beat the ingredients together. This may take several minutes (2-3 minutes). The dough is ready when the ingredients are fully combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough into small balls, and place the balls on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet (and balls) in the freezer. If you don't have room in your freezer for a cookie sheet, place them in the fridge.
While the cookies cool, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil. I use a microwave to do this: place the ingredients in a bowl, and microwave the ingredients in 25 second increments, stirring each time, until fully melted. If you want to use the stove-top, you'll need to melt the ingredients in a double boiler: place a glass bowl on top of a saucepan partially filled with water over medium heat. Heat until the ingredients are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
Remove the balls from the freezer (or fridge), and carefully pierce a ball with a toothpick, roll it around in the chocolate, and then place it back on the parchment paper. I like to drizzle any remaining chocolate over the cookies to cover the toothpick piercings. Repeat this process with each ball. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to lower the balls into the chocolate.
(Optional) Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt over the cookies. This adds a fancy touch and a nice salty flavor to the chocolate. Just a pinch over each cookie.
Place the cookies in the fridge, and allow them to cool until the chocolate is firm (about an hour or two). Store the cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge for two weeks, or a few months in the freezer.
*Most stores sell organic powdered sugar. There are plenty of great brands available. If you'd like to make your own powdered sugar, this is a great tutorial from Cookie and Kate.
**Look for natural peanut butter that contains one or two ingredients: peanuts and possibly salt. I purchase freshly-ground peanut butter from our local health food store, which isn't salted or oily (like some natural peanut butters). Your local grocery store deli may sell freshly-ground peanut butter. The original recipe calls for "crunchy peanut butter."
***I used salted butter (Kerrygold). If your peanut butter is salted, I recommend going with an unsalted butter.