recipe || chocolate crispy peanut butter balls

J and I were talking the other day about how there are certain things at Christmas time that instantly sends us back to our childhood; sights, sounds, tastes, that instantly cause a flood of memories to wash over us. We love those conversations because it reminds us of the grace of God to have given us the families He did, parents who formed the traditions yet flexed when it was needed, who let sprinkles and paint go everywhere and let us eat "one more" christmas cookie, who danced to the music and let us wrap presents with 150 pieces of tape and who made the memories that we've carried with us for years.

We love those conversations because they inspire us to carry on those traditions. We get to take the soundtracks of our childhood and the treats and the ornaments and mold them into our little family, sharing with Anna Kate where they came from and the memories attached to them. And we get to make our own, the memories, the traditions, the favorite treats and music that AK will carry with her for years to come and, Lord willing, into her own home one day. How beautiful is that when you stop to think about it?

These chocolate crispy peanut butter balls are one of those carried over traditions for me. I know many people make peanut butter balls but my mom's recipe is my absolute favorite and it comes from the Creme de Colorado cookbook. These were always a staple in the "thank the teacher" Christmas gifts and the neighbor goodie bags, plus being the treat that was so easy to sneak out of the container without a clear sign that you had been there. I am strictly a creamy peanut butter type gal but I make an exception for these little circles of goodness. They are far from looking magazine shoot ready but they certainly do the trick.


3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup margarine, softened*

2 cups crunchy peanut butter**

2 cups rice krispies cereal

Chocolate Coating:

6 ounces german sweet chocolate

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

2 ounces parafin wax


Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Chill.

In top of double boiler over boiling water, melt German and semisweet chocolates with parafin wax, stirring constantly until smooth. Using a wooden pick inserted in ball, dip balls into chocolate mixture, one at a time. Set on waxed paper to harden. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

*we use butter, always

**I might add a little creamy peanut butter in there to just help bind it all a bit more. as you're stirring it all together just see how it's coming along and go from there.

What are you favorite Christmas treat recipes? I always like to learn of new ones!

recipe || candy cane rolls

These bits of yummy have been a Christmas morning tradition in my family since forever. I wasn't a huge fan of them when I was a kiddo -- the texture of the filling threw me -- but I can't imagine Christmas morning without them now. I just can't get enough of the tart and sweet cranberry type goodness this holiday season! They are the perfect compliment to a savory egg dish and a hot cup of coffee as your snuggled in pjs Christmas morning. This was my first time making a batch of candy cane rolls by myself and now, having completed them, I have made two observations:

1) My mom, gramma and mother-in-law are amazing. these babies are a bit time-consuming, particularly with extra little helping hands ;) (which I love), and to produce enough to feed all the mouths they have over the goodness. My appreciation for all those precious ladies have done to fill tummies over the years knows no bounds. 

2) You can't have too high expectations. As you can see, the candy-cane shape is a loose concept in a few of what I produced. I guarantee they taste good, though. 

I love how a simple thing like a candy cane roll can be a source of memory making and tradition. They've been a part of my family for all these years and since J and I have been married they've made their way into our home and the home of our Coobs side of the family. To have been in the kitchen making these with my gramma and my mom, to introduce them to my mother-in-love, and to now be making them with my own daughter? That's just a whole beautiful lot of wonderful.

I hope you lovelies enjoy them!!

Candy Cane Rolls

1 cup milk

4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. grated lemon peel

1 cup butter

1 package yeast

1/4 cup warm water 

2 eggs


1 1/2 cups finely chopped cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel


Scald milk and then cool to lukewarm

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, salt and grated lemon peel. Cut in the butter until coarse. 

Dissolve yeast in warm water and then add yeast, milk and 2 beaten eggs to flour mixture. Combine lightly. Cover tightly and refrigerate 2 hours to 2 days. 

Filling: Put all ingredients into saucepan and cook on medium heat to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and then cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Divide dough in half and roll one half into to an 18 by 15 inch rectangle on floured board. Spread 1/4 of cranberry filling onto center 1/3 of dough. Fold over the right 1/3 and spread another 1/4 of the filling on it. Fold over left 1/3. Cut the dough into narrow strips, about 15. Twist each strip and form into candy cane shape. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. Cool and then frost with a powdered sugar frosting. 

Note: these can easily be made and frozen, which is so helpful! Just make sure that you take them out to thaw on Christmas Eve and then they will be ready for you to partake of that beautiful Christmas morn. 


recipe || cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake

cranberries during the holiday season have become a must have for me. cranberry sauce at thanksgiving -- "it's like a tradition. you get a little piece of turkey on your fork, a little cranberry sauce, and a TOT!" #namethatshow -- sugared cranberries topping desserts and cranberry filled baking, particularly throughout the christmastime season.

I made this breakfast cake for dinner the other night with a frittata (which recipe I will be sharing soon) and it was just wonderful. plus, it was the coziest thing with a cup of coffee the next morning. the tart of the cranberries is just so good in a fluffy buttermilk cake! and it has the ever essential orange zest in it -- cranberries perfect companion. enjoy, my friends

Cranberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

the zest from 1 orange 

1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups fresh cranberries

1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter with orange zest and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. 

Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the cranberries.

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes, then check for doneness by touching the top gently or by inserting a toothpick. If necessary, return pan to oven, check every five minutes or so. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

original recipe via pinterest