Find a free afternoon and make a couple of these treats with your children this month. Here are a couple ideas taken from the February 2011 edition of Parents magazine.
Peanut Butter Balls
Mix 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 5 Tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla in a large bowl. * Knead mixture until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup more powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. * Roll dough into 1" balls and set on wax paper-lined cookie sheet; chill 1 hour. * Line 2 more cookie sheets with wax paper; set aside. Place assorted sprinkles in shallow bowls. * Microwave 1 1/2 cups light cocoa candy melts, stirring every 15 seconds, until smooth. Drop the balls 5 at a time in the melted chocolate to coat. Remove balls with a fork, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Roll balls in sprinkles to coat. Place on the lined cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining balls, then chill until chocolate is set. Makes about 40 peanut-butter balls.
Cream Cheese Melts
Mix 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbl. butter, 1 Tbl. light corn syrup, and 1/4 tsp. mint extract in a large bowl until smooth. * Gradually beat in 3 cups powdered sugar. When the mixture starts to come together, turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead, adding up to 1/2 cup more powdered sugar as necessary to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth. * Divide dough into three even pieces. Tint one part dark pink and one part light pink with the red food coloring. Leave the third part white. * Roll each portion into a 15"-long rope. Twist the 3 ropes together and roll into a single rope about 3/4" wide; flatten slightly and cut into 3/4" tricolored pieces. * Spread the mints out in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets; cover and chill 4 hours. Makes about 50 pieces.