Peanut Butter BonBons & Jam Thumbprints: Dare I say PB & J Recipes?

No, not all in the same cookie. Sheesh! This post is all about two classic cookie recipes, perfect for holiday gifting and eating. Both take a few extra steps but the results are so worth it. For the bonbons – the rustic uniqueness of each bon is adds to the flavor and sentiment. The bonbon recipe is my Grandma’s, and is the perfect marriage of peanut butter with a hit of chocolate, with a surprise crunch. The best part? No tempering required!

The Jam Thumbprints are the perfect way to showcase you homemade jams full of summer splendor or use up all those near empty jars hanging around in your fridge. This following recipe originally came from my childhood neighbor, Doreen, and is one of my mother’s favorite cookie. Dainty and pretty on a plate!

Jam Thumbprints

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup sifted flour
  • 2 slightly beaten egg white (see I told you)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts (I have also seen coconut used in addition too, or instead of nuts)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Beat well.
  • Gradually add flour, mixing well.
  • Shape into small ¾ inch balls, dip each into egg whites, then roll in the nuts. I like to place the chopped nuts on a plate to make it easier to coat.
  • Place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Don’t skip the greasing or use parchment paper. Trust me.
  • Press a dent in the cent with your thumb or finger (hence the name). Don’t forget this or you will have a walnut rolled shortbread ball. Again, trust me.
  • Bake in heated over for 15-17 minutes.
  • Let cool. Fill centers with jam just before serving, ideally. I did some of mine ahead of time and kept in refrigerator and results are ok.
  • Feel free to use different kinds o nuts. Think about almonds with cherry jelly! Pecans would be great too, or a “medley” if you want to use a bunch up. I use several kinds of jam in this batch including pear, blackberry, chokeberry and blueberry rhubarb.

Peanut Butter BonBons

Makes a crap ton, 96?

Note: these do take some time, so despite what other say, you don’t just “whip up” a batch. There is chilling, rolling, chilling, dipping and chilling involved. But still sooo worth it. You can top with sprinkles if you want or double dip in melted peanut butter chips after chocolate. I don’t always have cooking paraffin (not the manicure or canning stuff) handy, and it turns out just fine if omitted.

For BonBon filling or “ganache”

  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, preferable unsalted, a little bit softened but not too much (easier to mix)
  • 2 cups peanut butter, crunchy or smooth or a little bit of both
  • 3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar (taste and if you want the filling sweeter, add more sugar in ½ cup increments)
  • 3 cups crispy rice (RK) cereal

For chocolate coating/shell:

  • 1/2 block paraffin wax (which is about 2 ounces, be sure it is the baking kind)
  • 12 ounce package chocolate chips, depending how good you are at shaking off the excess (or if you want thicker) you might need more chocolate. Plan on it.
  • About 1 tablespoon shortening to thin out the chocolate
  • Assorted sprinkles and candy decorations for topping, if desired. Not at all nervous

Instructions

  1. Mix the soft butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar together well. I highlight recommend using a stand mixer, it is an arm work out.
  2. Add the cereal in three parts and mix by hand, to avoid crushing the lil crispies.
  3. Put the mixture in the fridge for a bit to cool down so that it will be easier to roll
  4. Roll into bite size balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Set on a cookie sheet or pan lined with wax paper or parchment. Put these back into the fridge to cool.
  5. Prepare the chocolate coating by melting the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Add the shortening if the mixture still seems to thick. This is the step to add the paraffin. If ysing the paraffin don’t use the shortening.
  6. Using a fork to hold the ball and a tooth pick to help move it onto wax paper and other “maneuvers” , dip the chilled peanut butter balls, roll them around to get them covered (all while on the fork) and then move it back right to left to “shake” off the excess chocolate. Then using the toothpick push the covered ball onto the lined pan. When the pan is full, let the chocolate harden and chill in fridge. If you want to add sprinkles, add them before the chocolate hardens.
  7. If planning on double dipping into peanut butter. Repeat when the chocolate is cool, then using a clean double boiler, melt the peanut butter chips and proceed. You could also melt and then drizzle the melted peanut butter (or whatever, white chocolate?) over the top of the chilled bonbons while still on the parchment paper.

These bonbons are also known as buckeye balls, but that just doesn’t frankly sound very festive or tasty. They also aren’t totally surrounded in chocolate, in order to look like eyes? None the less popular though. For a double boiler I like to use one of my Glass Pyrex bowls on top of a sauce pan full of water. Works great for me!

2 thoughts on “Peanut Butter BonBons & Jam Thumbprints: Dare I say PB & J Recipes?

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