Bon Bons

These old-fashioned bon bond follow a vintage recipe from my childhood! Two flavors, one of them gluten-free, and the perfect holiday recipe to make with kids! {Brittany's Pantry}I still have the Roasted Shrimp Cocktail recipes from the party to share with you, but I haven’t posted a sweet recipe in nearly a week!  For shame!  This is the holiday season after all!  Not every recipe this month will be rich, indulgent, or a cookie, but…well…some of them need to be, right?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bon bons?  For me, it is mashed potatoes.  Why? you ask.  Because when I was a kid, that was what we made them with!  Let me explain.
A few weeks ago, when my parent’s were in town for Thanksgiving, my Mom made this comment:  “You know Britt, you really have the perfect set up to make bon bons.”

I looked around my kitchen with a critical eye and then turned to her, confused and skeptical.

“Umm…what?”  I asked.

She gestured to our extremely chilly screen porch.  “Look!” she exclaimed.  “You have all this room and it is just like a big fridge.”  She groaned and rolled her eyes.  “When you guys were kids and I used to make trays and trays of bon bons-You know, the ones with the mashed potatoes in them?-and it was always such a pain to haul them back and forth to the car.”

I nodded absent mindedly and went on with making dinner.  Then something she said sparked a memory and I looked up.

“Bon bons.  YES!  I remember those!  With the mashed potatoes!”  I went back to my dinner prep, mumbling to myself, “Man.  I haven’t had those in years…”

So what do you do when it is the holidays, family is visiting, and you know you are going to be peeling a large amount of potatoes in the near future?  You message your Aunt on Facebook because she has the recipe and your mother doesn’t generally carry it around in her purse.  So a big thank you to my Aunt Mary.  I have no idea where this recipe came from or if it is hers personally, or if it has been around for decades.  All I know is that they are crazy simple and crazy good.  Don’t forget that they need a place to chill, so unless you have an empty extra fridge that can accommodate your cookie sheets, plan on using your screen porch or your car to put them in outside so they can chill.  Unless of course you live farther south and it is warm outside, making it a bit more difficult for you to make a full batch of these.  But you live where there is no snow so don’t complain!  *Ahem*  This is also a great recipe for kids to help you with, seeing as how there are so few ingredients and they can be handled as much as needed.  And no raw eggs, so snitching is perfectly permissible.  My memory is a bit hazy, but I am pretty sure snitching was always part of this recipe…These old-fashioned bon bond follow a vintage recipe from my childhood! Two flavors, one of them gluten-free, and the perfect holiday recipe to make with kids! {Brittany's Pantry}These old-fashioned bon bond follow a vintage recipe from my childhood! Two flavors, one of them gluten-free, and the perfect holiday recipe to make with kids! {Brittany's Pantry} Coconut Bon Bons
I know it sounds ridiculous, but the mashed potatoes in here are actually all the liquid you need.  And no, these won’t taste like potatoes when you are done!  They do however make a really big batch, so making them for a large party or cookie swap or plan on gifting them to your neighbors.

3/4 c cold, plain, mashed potato (not the garlic and rosemary kind you may have leftover from dinner last night)
4 c shredded coconut
4 c powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients in  a bowl with a stand or handheld mixer until combined well.  Cover your sheet pans with parchment paper or wax paper and drop mixture in small clumps onto the pan. These should be pretty small, about the size of a grape or fresh cherry.  Remember, you are going to dip these in chocolate so the end result will be bigger.  Let the pans chill for about a half hour to stiffen up the mixture a bit and then go back and roll them into a nice smooth ball.  The mixture is a bit too sticky to do this at the beginning.  Once they are rolled into a smooth ball, let them chill until very cold.

In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt 2 bags of good quality chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is recommended as it melts wonderfully.  DO NOT USE A GENERIC BRAND FOR THIS!  They have stabilizers in them that will keep the chocolate from melting properly) and 3 T of butter.  Melt them on medium heat in 30 second intervals until almost completely melted.  Stir to melt any last bits of chocolate that remain.  DO NOT OVERHEAT!  Gentle is the name of the game here.  If you prefer, you can place the bowl over a pan of simmering water-be sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water-and melt the chocolate that way.  This is called a double boiler and will take longer, but leaves less room for error.  It is up to you!

One by one, drop the bon bons into the chocolate and roll around until coated.  Using a fork, remove them, letting excess chocolate drip off, and place them back on the sheet pan and chill again until chocolate is set.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or two!

Peppermint Variation: If you would like to split up the recipe and do half peppermint bon bons, portion out half of the mixture onto sheet pans and then add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract to the remaining filling.  Mix well.  Give it a taste to see of you want to add more and make it really strong but only add more by drops!  This stuff is potent!  Continue with the recipe!

Note:bon bons and whether or not sticky little fingers were involved!  I recommend sticky fingers.

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

2 c powdered sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter-Jif has great flavor but DO NOT use natural peanut butter here
3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c (1 stick) of softened butter

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Continue making them using the method above.