C is for Cookie

‘Tis the season for holiday treats. And, incidentally, a little extra winter insulation. Every year my family goes all out with the cookies – two kinds of sugar cookies, Ting-A-Lings (chocolate covered corn flakes), cream wafer sandwiches, Russian Tea Cakes (or Mexican Wedding Cakes or whatever your family calls the ball-shaped shortbread cookies speckled with nuts and dipped in powdered sugar), and Ritz cracker cookies. An unoriginal name to be sure, but I have yet to hear of or invent a more imaginative name for these annual favorites of mine.

What makes them so dang good? Mainly two ingredients – peanut butter and chocolate, the greatest culinary couple since peanut butter met jelly and macaroni found cheese. As an added benefit, they are exceedingly simple to make. You only need four ingredients, and the process involves no baking. So if Santa devoured your remaining stash of Christmas cookies, leaving only crumbs for your New Year’s Eve soiree, I recommend whipping together a batch of these tasty treats. Guests of all ages will enjoy them, and depending on your New Year’s resolution, you can send party goers home with left overs. Just be sure to save a few for yourself. I mean, you’ll have an entire year to tackle that resolution.

Ritz & Peanut Butter Sandwiches

What you’ll need:

Ritz Crackers (or similar buttery crackers)

Peanut butter, creamy or chunky – your choice

Chocolate bark

Flaky sea salt (i.e. Maldon)

Melt the chocolate bark according to package directions. I like melting the chocolate in a glass bowl fitted over a pot of simmering water. The chocolate melts evenly, remains viscous, and does not burn. While the chocolate is melting, make peanut butter sandwiches with the Ritz crackers. You can either spread the peanut butter with a butter knife or use a 1 oz. cookie scoop to plop the peanut butter onto the bottom cracker. Then use the top cracker to press down the peanut butter and make a sandwich. SUGGESTION: Only fill the cookie scoop half full of peanut butter or you’ll have too much (if there is such a thing). Once you have an inventory of sandwiches, use tongs to dip them into the chocolate bark. Place completely covered cookies onto wax paper to cool. Every 10 or 12 cookies, sprinkle the top with a few flakes of sea salt before the chocolate sets. Enjoy after the chocolate hardens. Repeat the process until you run out of crackers, peanut butter, and/or chocolate. NOTE: You can speed up the setting process by putting the cookies on a cookie sheet and sliding them into the fridge or freezer.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies

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