Well, who doesn’t like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, right? These are so easy to make, and I swear they taste exactly like Reese’s, even though they are a slightly different shape. But with some nuts sprinkled on top, how cute are they?INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter 4 Tablespoon Butter (cut into small chunks) 2 Cups Powder Sugar 8 oz Semisweet or Bittersweet (good quality) Chocolate for melting (chopped) 1 Tablespoon Shortening
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and peanut butter together in the microwave (start with 1 minute on high… you just want the little chunks of butter to melt, but do not want the peanut butter to get too liquidy). Stir together until smooth.
Add powdered sugar a bit at a time, until correct consistency (you want it thick, not too sticky, not too soft – as needed to roll into a ball, like play dough). Note: you may not use all of the powdered sugar.
Form balls with your hands, and place on a baking sheet with a Silpat Mat (what’s a Silpat Mat? Just the best nonstick thing ever invented! AND it’s reusable – you just wash it and let air dry. No more wasting waxed paper or parchment paper!).
Place baking sheet in the freezer until hard (30-45 minutes or so). You can also put in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. This is the semi sweet (semi-dark) chocolate I love to use here in Costa Rica:
Now, I’ve heard about “tempering chocolate” and all that, but you really don’t need to worry about doing that if you melt chocolate my way, because it turns out perfectly. I start by putting the chocolate chunks with the shortening in a small mixing bowl set above a small amount of water in a sauce pan. VERY IMPORTANT – you do not want the water to TOUCH your bowl, the steam from the water will melt the chocolate slowly and perfectly. I set the temperature of the stove to 2, this way the water heats up slowly, and the chocolate melts slow and consistently.
Once it starts melting, stir it every so often, especially towards the end. It will look like this when completely melted:
Dip the balls in the chocolate – to do this I use two forks, sounds odd, but it works. I plop one ball into the chocolate, roll it over, and scoop it out with a fork. Let the chocolate run off a bit, and then scrape the bottom of the fork on the edge of the bowl to let additional chocolate run off.
Then use the other fork to help move the ball onto your baking sheet lined with a Silpat Mat. Immediately have your helper (thank you, honey!) sprinkle some chopped nuts over the ball before the chocolate sets:
Refrigerate until the chocolate has completely set. Store the candies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Ta da! They are rich and creamy inside (JUST LIKE A REESE’S!) with a hard chocolate coating outside, and the chopped nuts sprinkled on top adds the perfect touch!
Enjoy! — Jen