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The recipe my mother had for these things included using some kind of wax in either the peanut butter or the choclate mixture. She could never figure out why they didn't taste like the ones my neighbor made (that presumably didn't involve wax of any kind). Thanks to the internet, I figured out pretty quickly that the recipe she had been given was some kind of weird, 70s, preservative fest.
However, I would have to say the quintessential holiday cookie would be the big, chewy, sugar-crusted ginger cookie...mmm.
Parrafin! Yes - that's what was in my mother's recipe. I think there is a certain amount of that in chocolate chips, which may be why they work so well.
I've done it with good chocolate and butter and it has worked before...or has at least worked well enough. I'm not one for aesthetics when I'm cooking - nothing I make ever looks good, but it generally tastes good, which is much more important.
also - curious as to why you think shortening is "gross"? is it the health issues, taste, texture? what? just curious.
@5 - In my experience (YMMV) double boilers are not necessary if you use a sauce pan that's relatively heavy and thick (especially the bottom). If your sauce pan is relatively thin - i.e. most stainless cookware or cheap-o cookware) then a double-boiler can help.
I'm gonna advocate for the paraffin wax version, since it's what my dad's/my version uses. We've never used shortening and the consistency's always been perfect, easy as pie, and I've honestly never noticed a taste difference between ours and those made by other families.
The biggest trouble with paraffin is FINDING the stuff. It's pretty easy in the south, but major metropolitan areas tend to be devoid of it. We just buy a huge box when we find it and it usually lasts five or so years.
We do the cheap version of a double boiler — one pan balanced precariously on top of another — and again, no troubles. And we cover the WHOLE ball in chocolate, so they're not technically buckeyes, but fuck yeah chocolate, right?
It keeps a nice consistent temperature perfect for dipping. It's also under $20.00.
Although I use shortening for the reasons above, I also think it's gross. It's also messy and difficult to measure....
One way to get around the double boiler is to melt the shortening, butter, or paraffin first, so that the chocolate is not sitting directly on the hot pan.
The always-resplendent HARDWICK'S in the U District carries paraffin wax.
1 lb (4 cups) confectioners' (powdered) sugar
30 grams (1/3 cup) unsweetened ( I like Scharffen Berger) cocoa powder
42 grams (3 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
I always make mine in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth, but still thick.
It works great for making Lamingtons. Of course, I'm dipping chilled squares of sponge cake with it and not Buckeyes.
Just thought I'd throw it out there.
I have never heard of eating paraffin, unless you count the thin layer on store-bought apples. Still, I wouldn't deliberately add it to my food. Shortening maybe, if I had to, but not paraffin.
I've heard of making buckeyes with hershey bars, with noting added. But I've never made them yself so I can't really say.
Alternatives to cooking with wax.
But what's all this loose talk about improvised double boilers? I have a lovely Georges Briard double boiler that I leave out on the stovetop for decoration, and a handsome copper and ceramic number I drag out when I mean business. Both from the thrifts, and worth every nickel, especially when dealing with temperamental stuff like chocolate or milk.
Furnishing a kitchen can be fun and thrifty if you have patience.
Well that's a relief. I thought it was the same stuff used in candles.
Melt together over low heat:
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Remove from heat & add:
2 teaspoons milk
It's very runny at first, so walk away and let it cool for 10-15 minutes or so.
Must try the buckeyes recipe... yum!
1 lb hot sausage
1 lb mild sausage
2 lbs Velveeta cheese
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 small jar pimentos
Tabasco sauce to taste
Brown sausage (drain grease); melt cheese in crockpot; add remaining ingredients. Serve hot with triangular chips.
This process has the byproduct of tempering the chocolate -- the crystalline structure in the unmelted chocolate seeds the formation of crystals in the cooling chocolate, such that the chocolate dries firm and glossy, rather than mealy and dull.
They are considered a confection or candy. I've never made them or tried them, though. From the Joy of Baking: "The best way to describe their flavor is to say they are like a homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. They have that same lovely coating of chocolate with a smooth and creamy peanut butter filling that is almost fudge-like in texture."
Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/candy/PeanutB…
I'd rather mess with lamingtons. I usually make traditional and buttered-rum, and I'm going to attempt a carmel-whisky version. I'm not crazy about peanut butter anymore.
I haven't seen any good double boilers, though, or I probably would have bought one by now.
and they don't require any baking, dee. just chill 'em down, and devour.
Kim - Lamingtons, oh my word! Please send me some! Actually, now you mention it, maybe I should try my hand at baking some. I haven't had one since my last trip home. Did some clever Aussie/Kiwi introduce you to them? Your boozy versions sound great, do you flavor the cake, the filling, or both?
1. the recipe is 1, 2, 3. 1 pound of butter, 2 pounds peanut butter, 3 pounds powdered sugar.
2. do not double the recipe, EVER.
3. put a small amount of parafin wax in the chocolate, about half the size of your thumb for every 16oz of chocolate in the double boiler.
Go forth and eat my friends.
@37 - we cover them entirely here in MN, too. So not truly buckeyes.
I posted the Buttered-rum Lamingtons recipe here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive… See post 70.
I got my traditional recipe from The Joy of Baking website which lists "The Cook's Companion," by Stephanie Alexander as its source.
I fell in love with Australia when I was about 10 years-old, and I'm still enchanted. It's on the list of places to go, not next year though, I have family to see in Denmark. My daughter's friend's dad is from Perth and they came up in a conversation once, so I researched them. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years is loaded with birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and I found that they work wonderfully for cocktail parties.
The caramel-whisky (Kentucky, can't bring myself to experiment with bourbon) ones are in process. The cake is being baked today. And, the rest will be done tomorrow. We will see how they turn out.
And I admit the "radar range" does come in handy for drunk food. If you pass while it's cooking, you probably shouldn't be eating, and you just throw it out in the morning. If you pass out while somethings on the cooktop, you end up with a horrible smell in the house and a piece of Kobenstyle fused to the burner.