Sunday, December 21, 2014

Child's Play - Mocha Pecan Balls

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If your children are at all like mine were, the lead-up to Christmas is almost unbearable for the six and under crew. An elf, as long as one is placed on every ledge in the house, may help, but I think they're going to need a bit of structured activity to keep them from killing themselves, or their siblings, over the course of the next few days. Why not some time in the kitchen? I have a no-bake recipe that is a sanity-saver for moms. It can be made by the kids, without adult intervention, and it will keep them busy for the better part of an hour or so. You can also factor in another couple of hours for kitchen clean-up and the baths they'll need after shaping the chocolaty balls. Please remember, I promised you cookies, not the garden of Eden. We are, all of us, old enough to know that everything has a price and a light dusting of cocoa powder covering the surface of the earth is a small price to pay for your sanity and a bit of peace and quiet. When I am working with kids under six, I get them started with pre-chopped nuts and crushed wafer crumbs. It's just easier. Strangely enough, this simple recipe makes a really nice cookie that even adults who like tea parties will enjoy. The kids will not make perfect balls, but Christmas is about God's perfection, not theirs, so if an occasion oval or amoeba surfaces, steady as you go girl. Their grandparents will love the cookies almost as much as the hands that made them and the cookies, regardless of who makes them, will make a nice additional to your holiday cookie tray. Here is how they are made.

Mocha Pecan Balls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home Best Holiday Recipes

2-1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 65 wafers)
2 cups + 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup reduced-fat evaporated milk
1/4 cup cold strong brewed coffee
Additional baking cocoa, optional


1) Mix wafer crumbs, 2 cups confectioners' sugar, pecans and cocoa in a large bowl. Stir in milk and coffee (mixture will be sticky).
2) With hands dusted in confectioners' sugar, shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll in reserved 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar or additional baking cocoa if desired. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 to  4 dozen.

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