Tailgate Cookies: Holiday Gift DIY

Hey Ya'll!

This Holiday Season, Justin asked me to make gifts for his new team in Maine. He was hoping I would come up with something home made and something Southern and/or meaningful to us....I have to admit that I really had to wrack my brain to figure out what to do!

I decide to whip up what we call "Tailgate Cookies": white, milk and semi sweet chocolate covered Oreos and Ritz peanut butter sandwiches.

Side Note: we call them Tailgate Cookies because these cookies are a specialty of one of our Tailgate families...and a highly coveted tailgate item. I think Justin stuffs them in his pocket the second he lays eyes on them.

I didn't have a recipe, so I'm going to share with ya'll what I figured out by trial and error...

Tailgate Cookies
(Chocolate Covered Oreos and Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwiches)

What you'll need:

Wax paper for prep and hardening
Chocolate Chips for melting
(I used one extra large bag of semi sweet chips, two small bags of white chocolate chips -divided- and a small bag of milk chocolate chips)
A box of Ritz Crackers
Smooth Peanut Butter
Optional: red or green food coloring

I used my Triple Dipper Tailgate Crock Pot to melt the chocolate chips.

This particular Crock Pot only has a setting for warm so it's perfect for melting chocolate without burning it. You can melt your chips using your preferred method - just ensure that you melt the chocolate in a vessel that you can dunk the cookies in.

I melted three types of chocolate at once - one large semi sweet, two white chocolate divided. Once the chocolates were melted, I added red food coloring to one of the white chocolate pots.

The chocolate will take a bit of time to melt correctly - keep an eye on it, stirring and adding a teensy bit of water at a time if you think it looks too thick to easily coat the cookies.

Note: I found the milk chocolate to be the easiest to melt to the correct consistency.

While your chips are melting, prep your work space:

Lay out wax paper over a fairly large surface
(I used my stove top)

Prep your Ritz Cracker peanut butter sandwiches.
Don't over stuff with peanut butter.

I was making a fairly large batch of 100 cookies so I used 3 sleeves of Ritz Crackers and almost two packs of Oreos.

If you have time, pop the peanut butter sandwiches in the freezer for a few minutes of the fridge for longer....it will keep the peanut butter from softening when it hits the warm chocolate and will prevent your sandwiches from sliding apart.
(I clearly skipped this step because I am impatient)

Once your chocolate is melted, start dipping those cookies
Use a fork to drag the cookies out and scrape off some of the excess chocolate.

I had to try a few test cookies to get the consistency of the chocolate just right...
But once you get it the way you like it, the rest is just dipping and cooling.

(the bottom left would be the correct consistency...)

Once your cookies are dipped, you can be fancy and use a fork to drizzle the colored chocolate over the white and red ones.

Let those babies cool for at least a couple of hours.
You can easily trim off the excess chocolate around the edges, or, if you're a chocolate lover, leave them on and enjoy the bonus calories.

Pack 'em up using either a ziplock bag or lining your container with wax paper...

Remember that these are home made and don't have to look perfect - they taste amazing and it's the thought that counts!
(Plus mine were all going to men, and they don't care one hoot what something looks like if it tastes delicious!)

I found these cute little boxes for half off at Hobby Lobby (.69 each!), so I stuffed them full and sent them off with Justin for his team.

Note: make sure to leave some extra at home or you'll be harassed by the adult men who live in your house!

Happy Holidays!

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