Chocolate-Pretzel Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Balls

 

I’ve got wonderful Peanut Butter Balls – also known as Buckeyes, depending on where you live – for you today, but first….

Oh my god. If only you all could what is happening in our apartment at this moment. Adarsh is assembling an adorable wooden kitchen set that my mom bought online for Theo baby – it came in many, many numbered pieces. My husband is many, many things – but “handy” is not one of them. I’m dying over here, so funny. This is the real-time narrative:

“Unstuffed” Herb and Apple Turkey Stuffing

Unstuffed Herb and Apple Turkey Stuffing

My favourite way to cook turkey stuffing is outside of the bird – hence “unstuffed”. Why? Mostly for food safety – in order for the dressing to reach a safe temperature (remember, raw turkey juices have been dripping into it as it roasts), you can’t help but overcook the breast meat, it simply takes too long. Baked in a pan, you can be sure you’re not going to send anyone home with food poisoning, and you can take the bird out of the oven before it’s cardboard. Two very compelling reasons, no?

The single downside is that because you don’t have the fat and juices dripping into it as it cooks, “unstuffed” stuffing isn’t usually as moist and rich. My solution is to use tender focaccia bread in place of the typical white loaf – it lends the perfect richness and flavour.

Storebought breads and broths will have varying amounts of sodium, which is why I call for the seasoning to be added and adjusted before adding the eggs. I started with a lesser amount of salt, so you can taste the stuffing and add more as needed until it tastes rich and savoury. (If it’s “flat”, it still needs a bit more.)

I love the addition of apples to turkey stuffing – I find they add a wonderful sweetness and freshness. Feel free to add or substitute fresh cranberries, and/or a big handful of toasted walnuts.

Unstuffed Herbed Apple Turkey Stuffing
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs focaccia bread, cubed*
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, plus more to grease dish if not using parchment
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried sage (or 3 tbsp minced fresh)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tbsp minced fresh)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 quart/litre homemade chicken broth (or low-sodium storebought)
  • ½ tsp coarse salt (1/4 tsp table salt), or to taste
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add onions, celery and apples; cook until soft, about 10 minutes, reducing heat if browning occurs. Stir in bread, herbs, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in eggs.
  2. Transfer stuffing to a buttered or parchment-lined 9x13" baking dish. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until stuffing is golden on top and set in the middle.
Notes
*Note that you need to cube the bread and let it dry out overnight, otherwise the stuffing will be soggy. Alternatively, you can dry it out quickly in the oven at 250ºF for about 20 minutes, flipping once - you don't want it toasted, just dried out.