it's okay to play with your food

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Nothing says romance like balls. Especially balls in chocolate, cheese or cinnamon/butter coated form. In celebration (mockery) of Valentine's Day, let us take an up close and personal look at balls.

When choosing which balls to include in this post, some were obvious. Amy Sedaris' Lil' Smokey Cheeseball is amazing. It's as big as a baby's head, creamy and delicious. I recently acquired a recipe for Isaac Hayes Salty Chocolate Balls, so that had to come along too, clearly. But what could a third ball be?

Matzoh Balls?
Sesame Balls?
Monkey Balls?

Monkey Balls... another fond memory of my Girl Scout year. For the more refined of taste, you can call it Monkey Bread, but that isn't nearly as hot! Reason #1 your mother said not to play with your food: cut up biscuit dough, coat in cinnamon sugar, drown in caramel, bake in a Bundt pan, pull apart with your fingers, lick your fingers clean. Messy AND sexy!

Please enjoy the following recipes. Make them with the ones you love, share them with the ones you love, eat them off the ones you love.

Happy Valentine's Day from kitchenplay!

Lil' Smokey Cheeseball from "I Like You" by Amy Sedaris
I challenge anyone who doesn't think cheese is romantic to get a burrata on Valentine's Day and NOT be swept off her feet.

2 cups of shredded smoked Gouda cheese (from kp: I used 1 c. smoked Gouda and 1 c. smoked cheddar)
16 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter
2 1/2 tablespoons of milk
2 1/2 teaspoons of Steak Sauce
1 cup of chopped nuts (from kp: roast the nuts first!)

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Combine cheese, cream cheese, butter, milk and steak sauce; beat until completely blended. Chill over night. Mold into a ball the next morning. Roll it in the nut mixture. Serve at room temperature, with crackers or bread.

Isaac Hayes Salty Chocolate Balls from "Cooking with Heart and Soul" by Isaac Hayes
I haven't actually made these but they come recommended from my friend Kate, whose appreciation for both food and kitsch is well-regarded.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup of corn syrup
2 cups of milk chocolate chips
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbl. confectioners sugar

Mix graham cracker crumbs and syrup together. Mold into balls (with spoon, melon ball or using your hands). Melt chocolate in double boiler. Dip balls in melted chocolate until fully coated. Place on wax paper to set. Mix salt and sugar. Once set, roll the balls in the salt and sugar mixture.

Monkey Balls adapted from
I've only eaten these two times -in Girl Scouts and this past weekend. These memories will probably last me forever. Which is good, because I don't know when I can eat them again; they're THAT intense.

3 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 1/2 tbls. cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter Bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Mix cinnamon and sugar in sealable bag, toss biscuit pieces with cinnamon sugar. Layer pieces in Bundt pan. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Pour on top of biscuits. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down to serve.

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