Recipes from Maria's Kitchen

Christmas Cherry Peanut Butter Balls
Prep Time - 30 mins
24 Servings

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 24 to 26 maraschino cherries with stems
* Additional confectioners' sugar
* 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/4 cup shortening

* In a small bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

* Pat cherries dry with paper towel. Dust hands with additional confectioners' sugar. Wrap each cherry with a rounded tablespoon full of peanut butter mixture; shape into a ball. (Peanut butter mixture may need to be refrigerated occasionally while rolling cherries.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

* In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Editorís Note: Reduced-fat or generic brands of peanut butter are not recommended for this recipe.

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