Monday, April 26, 2010

Chocolate Meatballs

If you are looking for a kid-friendly snack which doubles as a treat, try Chocolate Meatballs.  Bonus:  the kids can help you make them, too.  At two-and a-half years, I wish my son were more kitchen-ready; and darn if I don't keep trying so-called kid recipes with him. We're not quite there yet. He tends to rush through the whole process--and that's when he's not shoveling food into his mouth.  On the other hand, he's not yet three and being in the kitchen with him, in spite of the challenges, is a heck of a lot of fun.  It's fun to see him get into it, even if he might not take his time and appreciate cooking and creating time with mom in the way I'd like him to. There's the lesson for me!

Here's the lowdown on Chocolate Meatballs.  Take a base of peanut butter, powered milk, and a little sweetener, and have at it.  There's lots of different variations you can try.  I made mine with raisins and unsweetened, shredded coconut.  But you could also add virtually any kind of chopped dried fruit, sesame or other seeds, and mini chocolate chips. For an extra decadent treat, we dipped some of the meatballs in melted chocolate. As you might imagine, this version was a huge hit with my son.

Chocolate Meatballs
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2c plus 1T powdered milk
1/4c plus 2T  sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup)
1/4c raisins
1/4c coconut
1/4c (or as much as you need) chocolate milk powder, such as Nesquick - spread into a pile on a small plate 

Combine peanut butter, powdered milk, and sweetener in a bowl.  Mix well. If the mixture feels too wet, add a little more powdered milk, a teaspoon at a time.  But be careful because you still want it wet enough that you can stir in the fruit and coconut and roll into balls with your hands.  Yes, so add raisins and coconut and combine well.  Take tablespoon amount of mix into your palm and roll into a ball.  Roll ball in powdered chocolate milk and set aside.

For the dipping chocolate, melt 1/2 c chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and add 1/2 teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil.  Stir until smooth and glossy. Dip finished balls (rolled in chocolate milk powder) into melted chocolate and place in refrigerator to set.

Store in refrigerator.  Makes approximately 18 pieces -- more or less depending on the size of your meatballs.

Note:  sorry about the weird font and spacing.  I tried playing around to fix it, but it looks like I'm stuck with it this time.

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