Thursday, December 1, 2016

Elfing - A Family Tradition

Before I was married, I had the habit of making lots of Christmas sweets for co-workers and family members.   When I married, it became a frugal way to gift extended family and friends.   Then, along came the children, and somehow this event morphed and became known as “Elfing.”   The girls and I spend hours baking cookies, making candies, and wrapping up gift boxes full of Christmas cheer.   The husband then takes the kids out to “Elf” people.   The list changes from year to year, adding a new acquaintance or random stranger who looks like they need a pick me up.

Peanut butter balls is by far the most requested item from my Christmas kitchen.   These little delicacies aren’t nearly as difficult as people imagine, but they are time consuming.   They are a perfect project for kids in the kitchen!

Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of your favorite peanut butter (I like Reese’s)
  • 1 pound of butter or margarine
  • 2-4 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ pound paraffin wax (found in the canning supplies)

Instructions:

Over low heat, melt peanut butter and butter together, stirring often.   When completely melted, stir in vanilla.   Add 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar and stir well.

At this point, you will need to determine if your mixture is thick enough to form into balls or if you need to add more confectioner’s sugar. This is not an exact science as it is a different amount each time.   You basically want it to be the consistency of Play-doh (yum).   Once you’ve got the right consistency, begin to roll the mixture into bite size balls, and place the balls onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet.   Do this before the mixture is completely cool.   Once all the mixture has been rolled, place the cookie sheets into the fridge for an hour or so to chill (or pop them in the freezer for 20 minutes).
In the top of a double boiler, melt your chocolate chips and paraffin wax, stirring well.   Using a toothpick, dip your peanut butter balls into the chocolate mixture and return balls to the waxed paper.   The chocolate coating dries quickly and these stack well in containers.


Our second biggest hit in our “Elfing” is potato candy. This candy has reduced recipients to tears on more than one occasion, as it reminds them of past Christmases with their own parents and grandparents.   You can see a more in depth tutorial at my blog, S.A.H.M. I Am!

Potato Candy Ingredients:

  • 1 small potato
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
  • peanut butter
Peel, boil and mash potato. Mix in vanilla and butter. Mix in sugar (using your hands works best). Mix well. Place mixture between wax paper and roll it out very thin. Remove top sheet of wax paper, spread peanut butter on top of mixture. Roll up like a jelly roll.

Chill and cut into thin slices.

I hope you enjoy these delicious treats as you celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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