I pride myself on being at least a halfway decent cook. For the first few years of our marriage, my cooking confidence really took a blow. You see, when we went to family gatherings with my husband’s family, it seemed like there was never anything I could make that would please the crowd. I think mostly it was just that everyone has been making and bringing the same dishes for so long, that there wasn’t really any desire for something new. Everyone already knew who was going to bring what, so it was easy. And then I came along…
The first year I made pumpkin pies. I make pumpkin pies from scratch – even the puree, if I have it on hand. But my mother-in-law makes the pumpkin pies for family gatherings. I didn’t know this (and The Hubs neglected to tell me), so I felt like a complete turd bringing one. Not only that, it was different than the way she makes it, so I doubt anyone liked it. After that I tried a variety of foods including tamales (from scratch), green bean casserole (someone else already brings it), cupcakes, and on and on. No one really cared and I usually ended up taking the exact same amount home, less what I had eaten myself.
But last year, last year I had a breakthrough.
Last year for Christmas my gift to my mom was a cookie decorating class for both of us at a local shop. There we learned an awesome recipe for homemade thin mint cookies. I made the cookies for Christmas last year, and not only were they devoured by the crowd, they were fought over. Finally – I heard the angels singing the Handel’s Messiah chorus – finally I had found something that was a hit. In fact, it was so much of a hit that it was demanded for New Year’s Eve and again for this year’s Thanksgiving gatherings. You know what my favorite part of it is? It’s super easy to make. This year we are adding one ingredient (which brings it to a whopping total of 4 ingredients), so we’ll see how the hounds like it – so far it’s a hit at home! I’d love to know what happens when YOU try it, so give it a whirl and let me know! It’s super easy to store the ingredients for these cookies too, so I keep them on hand just in case I need an entertaining dessert dish on the fly.
Homemade Peanut Butter Thin Mint-esque Cookies
1 package dark chocolate melting wafers (could subtitute for dark or semi-sweet baker’s chocolate)
1 package Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoon Peppermint extract
Creamy Peanut Butter* new ingredient this year!
1. Melt chocolate according to the directions on the package in a medium to large mixing bowl, casserole dish or other wide mouth, microwave safe container.
2. Spread sheets of wax paper on the work surface.
3. Add peppermint extract to chocolate and mix well.
4. Spread a layer of peanut butter on one side of the crackers.
5. Place cracker inside chocolate. Spoon chocolate over the top of the cracker.
6. Using spoon, flip cracker over to ensure both sides are equally coated. Flip back over before removing from chocolate.
7. Using fork, lift cracker (peanut butter side up) from chocolate. Hold the fork over the chocolate to allow excess chocolate to drain off.
8. Gently tap the hand holding the fork against the table or side of the container (do what’s comfortable and keeps the chocolate from making a mess) to encourage more excess chocolate to drain.
9. Place cracker on wax paper.
Voila – you are done! Now just repeat over and over again until you either run out of chocolate or crackers! Last year I found the peppermint extract at WalMart – $2 for 2 bottles. A little bit goes a long way, too.
Happy Holidays! 🙂
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