I would love to say that I am the person responsible for carrying on family tradition but that would be a lie. Most of our family traditions stem from love in the kitchen and unfortunately, that is not my preferred place to be. (Unless I am grabbing a snack!)
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE all things food. I simply don’t enjoy preparing it is all. I have always left that up to the elders. And now many of those elders are long gone and most of my immediate family has moved away. Thankfully, there are a few lingering recipes that have been passed down and are in my possession.
Easter on my Mom’s side of the family brings about all the smells and tastes of Polish food. Periogis, golumbki, borscht, kapusta, and fresh polish sausage crowded the tables and filled our bellies. Yummy memories for certain. But the tastes and smells that are the strongest for me can be found on my paternal Grandmother’s table.
The fragrant floral smell of fresh, sweet hyacinths is enough to take me right back. Next to her potted plant would be her giant silver candy dish. (Which I am lucky enough to have in my possession now.) This time of year, it was transformed in to a basket of sorts. In it, her famous Peanut Butter Eggs wrapped in cellophane would lay in decorative Easter grass dotted with bright jelly beans. Each egg was adorned with a flower burst of pink or yellow frosting. Her eggs were the size of a russet potato, no joke! You would take a bite or two… and then wrap it back up to try again later. She shared them with the family and neighbors and everyone looked forward to them each year.
Because they are simple (and oh so yummy!) I have made it my tradition to make them each year at this time. I downsized and turned them into more of a bite sized ball instead of 3-day eating task. I think it makes for an even better chocolate to peanut butter ratio! Biting into them instantly takes me back to her dining room and makes me feel her presence. In her honor, I am sharing the recipe with you. Caution: they are super sweet!
Grandma Mary's Peanut Butter Eggs/Balls
1 stick of butter (*MUST be room temp)
1 cup of peanut butter
3.5 cups of Confectioners sugar
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1. Use a hand mixer to combine butter, peanut butter and confectioners sugar until well blended. This takes about 3-4 minutes. It will appear to be dry and separated. (It's not!)
2. Form into small balls and place on cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour. (I do overnight.)
3. Melt chocolate chips one cup at a time in a double boiler. Roll each ball quickly while coating all sides and return to paper. *Adding sprinkles or frosted decorations is optional. Allow to cool and harden several hours.
If you celebrate this season, what sights, smells, and tastes bring you back? What magic of the holiday do you keep alive through tradition?
Wishing you all a joyous season of rebirth whether you are celebrating Spring, Easter, or both!