Confession: I do love Christmas candy. Yesterday and today found me cooking it.
Today I spent the morning at my friend Cynthia’s house, learning the ropes of a teach-me-in-person kind of recipe that’s been in her husband’s family for generations. It’s a sweet, creamy stick with tri-colored layers: fresh coconut candy! That one you’ll have to ask her to pass on.
The treat I made yesterday, while kids hovered at my elbow and Pandora carols blared and joy and sorrow wrapped around my heart, is the one I want to share with you.
Besides party mix, it’s our only other must-have Christmas treat, and comes from the opposite side of the family. I got the recipe from Ryan’s mom back in the days when I called her Loila–that’s the name written in the corner of my worn 3×5 card. With the recipe came the tacit understanding that if I were to become a Zook in deed and in truth, I must cook
For nine years now, I’ve obliged, and I’ve never looked back. After the first year, I discovered that I was making them for me as well as for him. Oh yeah. Let the games begin.
1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup margarine
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix by hand until smooth. Shape into 1″ balls or smaller. Chill until hard. Dip in melted chocolate, using toothpicks. Chill two hours before eating. (Yeah right. Good luck with that…) Patch holes.
Yield: at least 75 candies
This year I tried something new–I dipped a few in white melting chocolate. They are delicious!
Thanks, all you Zooks, for letting me become.