18 December 2009

Sesame Ball candies and Christmas presents

Well, it's that time of year, isn't it? No, I'm not talking about the Season of Perpetual Hope; I'm talking about the Season of Perpetual Baking! Friends, this has been particularly hard on me this year. Sometime several months ago I decided to give up sugar. My body likes it way too much. When I have a little, I have to have more and more and more. I strive to be beholden to nothing created. So I tell myself I can't have sugar today. Every day. And it's a whole heck of a lot of NO FUN to bake tasty sugary treats for people if you can't taste test them.

But ya know, there are some crafty, crafty people out there. They're always figuring out ways to make tasty things out of really nutritious ingredients. I allow myself limited amounts of fruit juice, raw honey, and maple syrup, so this treat is something I can indulge in.

This is my own version of the "Sesame Seed Candy" recipe found here. (I eventually changed it so much that I needed to just write out a new recipe card, especially since I took them to a cookie exchange last night.)

(This will make 3-4 dozen balls 1-1 1/2 inches across.)

2 c. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 c. maple syrup or honey (agave nectar might not set up properly)
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon carob or cocoa powder

Toast sesame seeds, if necessary. (I do this one cup at a time in a frying pan on med-high heat. Toast them dry and keep stirring!) Allow to cool. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir or mash with hands. Shape into balls (refrigerate briefly if this is not possible). Optional: Roll in powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Refrigerate to solidify.

(Those of you in Norman can get bags of raw sesame seeds at ValuFoods for a very reasonable price. They're on the ethnic foods aisle across from the meat.)

In addition to making these for the cookie exchange, I made a batch for my bulk Christmas presents. Hmm, that sounds crass, doesn't it? But you know, there are people you want to give gifts to, but you don't really have the means/knowledge to buy them all individual presents. So I usually do a couple different handmade things in a bag. I've done Christmas CD mixes, Christmas mugs and hot chocolate mix, peppermint marshmallows, "dream bars" (which unfortunately are full of corn syrup and breakfast cereal, so we won't be doing those anymore), lavender sachets... stuff like that.

So here's approximately what this year's "bulk" presents look like. (I made cinnamon candles, but I forgot to take photos while I was making them.)

(Oh yeah, and all you friends who are getting one of these this weekend, um... Just forget you saw this.)


GrandmaToots said...

I want a family photo!!! Do I get one?

Dorathea said...

Nice tag. Nice photo. Really nice idea. :) :) :)
Jessie, I'm so impressed.

kyle said...

those sesame balls were awesome. we ate them all on the drive home from church.