My sister and I are creating new traditions, facsimiles of who we were once. People used to think we were twins--same haircut, height, and mannerisms. We grew apart, became different people. Still are, but we found a way to communicate that is at once reminiscent and on another hand completely foreign to us both.
Two days ago, I was at her house and we baked dozens of cookies. The kind my father liked, the kind my mother liked. Last week, my parents went over to her house and my mother and sister made candies. I was not able to make it, prior commitments I sometimes force on myself to keep an arms length with my family. My mother brought me back cherry cordials and lemon-flavored hard candies. I snacked on one while she told me about her day and how beautiful my niece, Lana, was.
It's one tradition that has lasted, making candies by hand as presents. I was in charge of buckeyes this year, the cyclopean truffle that is just peanut butter and chocolate. I morphed it to my tastes, to who I am these days. Added some tahini and a little flaked sea salt. I'll bring them to her house on Sunday. And I'll smile, knowing the centrifugal force of holidays, how it all comes full circle and then falls into place.
Tahini Buckeye Truffles
- 3/4 cup tahini (or 1 1/2 cup tahini, as a substitute of the TB)
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (or 1 1/2 cup PB, as a substitute of the tahini)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 8 oz milk chocolate, chopped
- 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 TB sesame seed
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- First, prepare two pans with cooling racks for your truffles to rest on
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together your tahini, peanut butter, butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until well blended
- One cup at a time, slowly pour in your confectioner's sugar with the mixer on its lowest setting. Add just enough sugar so that a crumbly dough forms
- Roll out onto a work surface that is dusted with confectioner's sugar and knead a couple times to form a disc
- Wrap disc in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes
- When 10 minutes have elapsed, melt your chocolate either in a microwave or a double broiler (see author's note below)
- Take disc out of the fridge and unwrap back on your sugar-dusted work surface
- Pinch off about a 1/2 TB of the tahini mixture and roll in your hands to form a ball
- Roll in your chocolate with a fork and allow to harden on the cooling rack
- Sprinkle with a little sesame seed and salt
- Repeat with remaining filling
- Can be stored in a container for up to a week
Note: I gave two methods for melting chocolate here because I know people have their preferences (and their qualms). If using a double broiler, you're golden, but it may take a bit of time for the chocolate to melt, which is fine as the longer the dough stays in the fridge the better anyway. For the microwave option, only add 2/3 of the chocolate you are melting in the bowl and heat at 30-second increments, stirring between rounds. When that chocolate is melted, add your remaining 1/3 and stir vigorously to melt fully. This is a ghetto tempering trick I learned from Ina Garten.