Halloween “Eyeball” Cookies (no bake!)
More years ago than I care to admit, my mom volunteered me to assist a local woman who made and sold Christmas cookies for extra income at the holidays. Her name was Ann, and her signature cookie was a peanut butter ball (although it’s really more of a confection than a cookie). She made several hundred a day they were so popular. As compensation for helping her, Ann shared her secret recipe with me.
I typically make these for Christmas and drench them in semisweet chocolate, but this year I decided to give them a Halloween twist.
Peanut Butter (eye)Balls
3 c. Rice Krispies® cereal
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 jar (18oz.) crunchy peanut butter
2 bags white chocolate candy melts
Red decorating sugar
1 package Fruit Roll Ups®
Black cake decorating gel
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cereal and the confectioners’ sugar and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and peanut butter. Stir the liquid ingredients into the cereal/sugar mixture and combine well. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a waxed-paper lined baking sheet.
Cut circles, about 36 to 40, out of the Fruit Roll Ups® sheets and set aside. (I used the bottom edge of a pastry tip as a little cookie cutter.) Keep them covered to prevent drying out.
Melt one bag the white chocolate candy melts in the top of a double boiler (see tip below). This will help keep the white chocolate melted. Working quickly, coat the balls with the white chocolate. Put two at a time into the white chocolate, gently roll them around and remove with a spoon or candy dipper. Place back on the baking sheet. (If you run low on the melted candy disks, use the remaining bag.)
Before the coating sets completely, sprinkle each eyeball with red decorating sugar and place a fruit circle “iris” on it. Make a pupil with the black decorating gel. Chill in the refrigerator until the coating is firm. Store in an airtight container up to one week. Yield: about 36.
Notes and Hints:
– Yes, it does have to be crunchy peanut butter. I’ve tried it with smooth and it doesn’t work.
– If you do not have a double boiler, use a heat-resistant mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should fit snugly into the pan and the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
– Candy melts are available at craft stores and many grocery stores. You may substitute white chocolate morsels, however, I find that the candy melts have a longer work time and a smoother melt than baking morsels.
– If you do not have a pastry tip to use like a mini-cookie cutter, get creative! Anything that is about dime-sized in diameter should work – look for a bottle cap, a marker cap (wash it first, obviously), or maybe even a hoop earring – anything that will cut through the fruit sheet.
– To make these for Christmas, melt a bag of semisweet chocolate morsels in the top of a double boiler. Dip and coat the balls, the decorate with green and red sugar or Christmas sprinkles.