My "family of origin", as the government calls it, is pretty calm when it comes to Christmas traditions. We aren't fancy or complicated, just a lot of family time, church and gifts on Christmas Eve, probably a puzzle and Ritz Cookies. And, just like my family traditions, they aren't fancy or complicated. In fact, they're super easy and very tasty!
Here's what you'll need:
Ritz crackers, creamy peanut butter and chocolate almond bark. Really, that's it.
Open the package of crackers. Set aside broken ones to be eaten by small children or hungry husbands.
Scoop out a teaspoon or so of peanut butter to spread on the bottom of the cracker. And if you measure out exactly a teaspoon of peanut butter, I'm calling for help.
And it should look something like this. Not so much the chubby, late-pregnancy fingers however...
Add another cracker, bottom side to the peanut butter. I pile them on a cookie sheet and when I've made all my sandwiches, I freeze them for at least an hour or two (or overnight). In the winter, the front seat of my van works quite well.
Why freeze them? It keeps the peanut butter from melting in the warm chocolate and oozing out between the crackers. I've been short on time and tried to skip the freezing and, trust me on this one, it wasn't pretty.
Then, when you're ready to dip them, heat the almond bark in a double boiler setup. If you have a double boiler, great. If you are like me and don't have one, use a glass bowl (it distributes the heat more evenly than a metal bowl) over a simmering pan of water.
Keep stirring the almond bark to keep it from burning on the bottom, because burned chocolate has no place in life.
When the chocolate is smooth throw three or so cookies in.
Use a fork with longer tines to flip the cookies.
Remove the cookie from the chocolate and wiggle your arm back and forth slightly to remove the excess chocolate. Then wipe the bottom of the fork on the side of the bowl to remove the rest. You don't want the cookie sitting in a pool of chocolate when you set it on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.
There they are! Sweet, salty, chocolate-y deliciousness.
They keep very well in the freezer and are great in the frozen state. If I have to describe the taste: a crunchy peanut butter cup.
Give 'em a try!!