I love baking for my children. I love every step and moment of it. It is one of few times that I am completely present and in the moment. I mean, May 29th is my birthday and yet my favorite part of that day for the last eight years has been baking a cake that I know Chase (who shares my birthday) will love. I enjoy it so much, as a matter of fact, that I'm usually somewhat insensitive to others, like my dear mother-in-law, when they offer to do - or even help with - the cake. I feel such a connection to my children when I prepare something special for them, and that feeling is only intensified when I'm making something for Cole. To make something for a child who has to say "no thank you" every single day - to macaroni and cheese, to ice cream, to pastries, to pizza day in the cafeteria, to the beautiful treats a parent might bring to kindergarten for a child's birthday. Yesterday, at a birthday party with the coolest Lego Ninjago cupcakes you've ever seen - he smiled and took the plain chocolate cupcake I brought for him. A child who already does without every day, is told by his mother, "Now I also want you to stop eating gluten and food coloring" and he says "okay" without hesitation. He scrambled under the pinata with every other kid yesterday, then brought me the whole mess of Now and Laters and Snickers and Jolly Ranchers and didn't complain ONCE. I know there are children with worse problems, and every day I thank God that I have healthy children. But the fact is, I wish Cole Seevers could eat every bit of food out there. So when I get to make him something like chocolate covered peanut butter hearts for his Valentine's Day, it's a gift to me. I know it sounds corny but I don't care. The smile on his face when he loves the taste of something is worth so much.
*3 generous cups powdered sugar, sifted
*1 stick melted non-dairy margarine (I used Fleischmann's for this)
*2 cups all natural (no sugar added) peanut butter
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Whole Foods and Wegmans brands are non-dairy)
*1/3 cake paraffin wax
Combine sugar, melted margarine, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Cut into desired shapes or roll into balls and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate one hour. In a double broiler, melt chocolate chips with paraffin wax. Remove from heat. Using a fork, carefully submerge peanut butter shapes one at a time in melted chocolate and remove to wax paper. Cool and store in fridge.