Every year we try to make some delicious treats for the neighbors. This year's choice was a small amount of homemade Irish creme, and a lot of chocolate peanut butter balls.
[UPDATE: See note at bottom of this post]
Since the Irish creme has to ripen for a week, I made it first. (Full instructions can be found here.)
One of the ingredients in Irish creme is chocolate syrup. But wait, we're out! I was prepared to make a grumpy run to the grocery store when Don suggested I consult my faithful "Cheaper and Better" to see if I could make it myself. Sure enough.
A few chocolate chips, a little bit of butter, some boiling water, and voilà: chocolate syrup. Gotta love that book.
I only needed four teaspoons, though, so I put the rest in the fridge.
Then I finished making the Irish creme. Normally I use vodka ('cuz it's cheap and flavorless) even though the liqueur is traditionally made with whiskey...
But wait! We had whiskey! A friend of Don's visited a couple years ago and brought along a bottle of good stuff.
It never even got cracked open and has been sitting gathering dust (literally) in our pantry ever since.
I decided to split the batch (since we only had a limited amount of Gentleman Jack). I made half the Irish creme with vodka...
...and half with whiskey.
We'll do a taste comparison and see which we like better.
With the Irish creme made and put into a dark cabinet to ripen...
...I turned my attention to making chocolate peanut butter balls, for which I went into full-scale production mode. Not all of our neighbors drink alcohol (we have a lot of Mormon friends), but sweets are always appreciated.
I picked up some pretty tins at a thrift store...
...and packed them with goodies. The tins are of various sizes, which is good. The smallest will go to a single friend. The largest will go to a family with seven children.
With all the treats done, we can now look forward to Older Daughter flying in from New Jersey on Christmas Eve.
(Bonus photo: sunset on the winter solstice.)
[UPDATE: Some readers have noted used copies of Cheaper and Better were going for outrageous prices on Amazon. Sure enough, they are. Yowza. I found another source here which might be better.]