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What a wonderful Independence Day celebration we had at the home of Joe and Sandy Beall in Ghent on Saturday, July 2.
They do this every year and we feel so privileged to be on their guest list. It has become such a tradition that even our grandson, Justin, doesn’t want to miss out on all of the festivities and food. Joe and Sandy plan months ahead for this big event – actually, I can honestly say a year in advance. We have already received our “pre-invite” for July 7, 2012.
This year they had their annual corn-hole contest, Minute-to-Win-It, and a new addition, The Newlywed Game. (If you can roll that cookie from your forehead down and into your mouth in a minute, you are something special in more ways than one.) The decorations are outstanding, and there is every kind of trinket and fireworks for everyone.
Guests start arriving around 5:30 with hands full of their special dishes they had chosen to bring. The food set-up is extraordinary, too. There are warming trays to keep food hot, along with roasters for the pork. All of the cold food is placed in what looks like a rectangular child’s pool, however it is designed especially for food, with ice placed underneath. It keeps things extremely cold. Barbecue sauces are labeled and in warming pots as well. And, oh my, the chocolate fountain for your fruit-dipping pleasure! Frankly, nothing is missed, because they have thought of everything for guests’ comfort and food safety.
The culmination of the evening is the wonderful display of fireworks. We all became children again, with our eyes lighted up in awe and wonder. Every year there is a new and more splendid finale.
This year they added a special tribute to family members presently serving in the military and those veterans who were present, as well. It could not have been a more perfect evening. Thank you Sandy and Joe for all of your hard work.
One of the guests brought a container full of wonderful cookies. Actually, they were so wonderful, they were almost sinful. Retta Lykins and I stood in front of that dish for just a few moments, then we dove in for taste-testing before the meal. Awesome cannot begin to describe them. The lady verbally gave me the recipe, but I did not write it down.
I give to you, from memory, the most wonderful:
To Die For Peanut Butter
1 box Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup ready-to-spread fudge frosting (any brand)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, beat together the brownie mix, melted butter, cream cheese and egg just until well blended. Be sure to scrape bowl to get all ingredients mixed well, because the dough will be very sticky.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart, making sure to have 24 cookies. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter with a spoon or mixer until it forms a ball. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls into 24 balls. Lightly press 1 ball into center of each dropped cookie dough.
Bake 10-14 minutes or until edges are set. Cool cookies for about 30 minutes; drizzle on the fudge frosting. (You may want to warm it in the microwave first.)
This is a great recipe for kids to make. Enjoy!
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a professional caterer living in Ghent, Ky.