Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Mess to Success: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls

This post doesn't include a recipe, but I hope it encourages you that with a little creativity what starts out as a cooking mess can turn into a cooking success.

This story began a couple of weeks before Christmas.  It has become a tradition that I make chocolate peanut butter balls every year during the holidays. The balls are made by mixing together peanut butter, melted butter, and powdered sugar then forming into balls and dipping in melted chocolate. This year my hubby wanted to help by making the peanut butter mixture.  Although he didn't need it, I supervised and told him exactly what ingredients and how much of each was needed.  He followed the recipe exactly.  I had the bright idea to mix it in the Kitchenaid mixer instead of by hand.  It must have over mixed the peanut butter mixture, because it would not roll into balls. I normally freeze the mixture before forming the balls, but even after freezing, it still wouldn't work. I even mixed in more powdered sugar thinking that would help to make it thicker, but with no luck. It was a peanut buttery mess, but tasted delicious so instead of  throwing it out I put it in the freezer to use at a later time.  I made another batch and mixed by hand and it turned out perfectly. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics, but that just gives me a good excuse to make them again soon so I can share the pics and recipe with you.

A few weeks later after the Christmas craziness was over I thought about that peanut butter mixture and decided I would use it to make icing. I mixed in some cool whip and crushed Oreos  (processed in a food processor) until it was the consistency of icing.  Originally I thought that it would be good on a white cake, but as I was getting ready to bake I thought to myself, "Duh, peanut butter, Oreo, cool whip icing would go perfect on a chocolate cake not a white cake!" So I mixed in 1/2 cup cocoa with the white cake mix (from a box) to make it chocolaty and then followed the directions on the box for a two layer cake. Once cooled, I iced it with the peanut butter concoction, and then covered it with more crushed Oreos. It was perty good, and my family loved it.

After a couple of days the cake was a little too dry for me so I decided to try and make cake balls with it. In the past I tried making gingerbread cake balls, but they did not turn out so well. However, I am not easy discouraged and was ready to give the balls another try.

Since cake balls are simply cake and icing, I figured I could use the leftover cake to make them. I mashed the cake and icing until it was blended well and then using an ice cream scoop formed 1 inch round balls and flash froze them (put the balls on a cookie sheet and put in freezer for 30 minutes).  Then using a toothpick, dipped them in melted chocolate chips, drizzled chocolate on them, and then decorated with sprinkles. I was so excited how they turned out. They were fantastic!! My family devoured most of  them. My husband took the leftovers to work and they received rave reviews. From now on anytime I have leftover cake it will be a perfect excuse to make cake balls.

So it goes to show that cooking messes can be turned into successes!! It is true in life too. Even though our lives may seem to be a mess there is always hope for a turn around.  I have learned this in my life and am thankful for God's forgiveness and grace as well as the opportunity to move forward in his strength and become a success.

Even Paul the apostle started out with a mess of a life and through the grace of Jesus his life turned into a great success. Perhaps not by earthly standards but by eternal standards he was a winner.

I Timothy 1:12-14

I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

My dad always told me, "It's not how you start. It's how you finish." I am thankful that in everyday life and cooking our messes can become successes and that sounds like joy to me!

Buon Appetito!

All pics were taken by my very talented husband. He loves photography and has been doing all the photography for my blog the past couple of months.  If you have noticed an improvement it is because of him. If you see a not so good pic on the blog, just know I took it :)

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