The perfect after-school treat


What a great little "homecoming" treat for the children, after school. Many of you have tried a recipe such as this before, using crushed graham crackers, both powdered sugar and grahams and adding butter or margarine. But I must say, this is not only the easiest preparation, but cuts out the fat from the butter and the grittiness from the graham crackers. With the perfect amount of peanut butter and jelly, and a sprinkling of snow over each, they are the perfect mouthful.

Peanut butter and jelly

1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 cups(12 ounces) white chocolate chips*

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or oil

2-3 tablespoons jelly

1 cup shredded coconut

In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for about a minute or until very smooth.

Form this mixture into balls the size of a quarter using a teaspoon. Place it in the palm of your hand and make an indent in the middle. Scoop a bare 1/4 teaspoon jelly into this indentation and fold over the peanut butter filling, sealing well. Place the filled peanut butter ball on a cookie sheet or plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. You don’t have to cover them.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 60 seconds, lightly stir and continue heating in 15 second intervals until completely melted. Remove balls from refrigerator and grab yourself fork. Plunge the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate, roll around in it with your fork and lift out to gently shake excess chocolate off. Transfer to a plate or pan that has been lined with film wrap and continue with remainder of balls. If there is any chocolate left over, drizzle over the tops. Sprinkle coconut over the top of each while still wet from chocolate and refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

* You can substitute white candy coating without adding the shortening here as well, or use white chocolate squares, still using shortening although.

Makes about 20 small snowballs.

Chef Jim Baley -- The Yankee Chef -- is a noted food columnist, cookbook author and the foremost New England Food Historian. He is a third generation chef and historian and lives in Maine with his wife and four children. He welcomes feedback at


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