Sunday, November 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter and chocolate. What could be better. Being on a no sugar diet has gotten easier, that is until someone mentions peanut butter and chocolate. I recently taught a chocolate making class where I made some peanut butter cups. I had made sure to eat something before hand, so I wouldn't be tempted to eat them. I did great. Didn't eat a single one and still haven't. Oh, but it did smell heavenly. For those who'd like to make their own peanut butter cups follow directions below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. If I don't get back to you, then something has gone amiss with blogger. (It's been known to happen, and it seems to be more often on my blog.)

Directions on Melting Chocolate
 First, we should talk about chocolate (who wouldn't). The best and easiest chocolate to work with is Guittard A'Peels. There's variations of flavors, such as milk, dark, vanilla (in red and white), mint (in green and white), lemon (yellow), and orange (colored orange for obvious reasons). I usually use the milk chocolate A'Peels and the vanilla. I'm not a big dark chocolate fan, so I don't make any with it. 
Make sure you buy the A'Peels, for there are different kinds that look the same. A'Peels are easier to melt and I personally think they taste the best. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, then the best place to buy them is at Gygi's.
You can also find small paper candy cups of different colors and sizes at Gygi's, plus tons of other kitchen supplies.

Once you've got your chocolate home you'll need to prepare your kitchen supplies.
What you'll need . . .
One mini muffin pan (as seen below).
One glass bowl (as seen below). 
One pot that the bowl can fit inside of and can hold water without the bowl touching the water.
One pastry bag without a tip.

To begin. Fill pan with enough water without allowing the water to touch the bowl that will sit inside. Be sure to keep the inside of the bowl free of water. Water and chocolate doesn't mix well. :)
On a low temperature set pan of water over heat with the clean dry bowl over the top. It takes a few minute until the bowl begins to warm. At that point add the chocolate. Be patient. This takes a few more minutes to melt. You don't want to melt too fast or your chocolate will turn white later on. Nice and easy is what you want. While you wait for the melting to begin prepare your fillings. Keep an eye on the chocolate. You don't want the water below the bowl to boil. If it does boil, take the bowl off the pan and let the water relax and return to a no boil state. Be sure to stir every couple minutes, but don't whip and stir too much or you'll put air into the chocolate which could cause it to turn it white.
It's finished when it's all smooth. Take bowl off heat (keep the pan with water on heat) and place on hot pad while you spoon it into molds or whatever you might be using it for.
Keep an eye on your chocolate as you use it. If it gets cooled of and begins to thicken put back on pan for a minute then remove.
Once you're done with whatever you might be making and you've got left over chocolate, don't through it out or feel like you need to lick out the entire bowl. Spoon the remaining chocolate onto a plate in one inch circles and place in fridge. When that's cooled you can add it back into the bag of chocolate and can use it for another day.

Now for the peanut butter. :)

Mix around one cup all natural peanut butter and enough powdered sugar to make it thick. I don't measure this recipe because it will depend on how thick you like it. I like it really thick, like a thick cookie dough. I've also made this with crushed graham crackers mix with the sugar and peanut butter. Personally I love the strong taste of peanut butter and that's one reason I use all natural peanut butter vs one that has a bunch of junk mixed into it.
Moving on. 
Mix the PB and sugar together then spoon into a pastry bag. Be sure there is no tip on the end of the bag. Place bag into microwave and warm for thirty second. If it's not warm enough to push out of the bag easily then warm for another 15 seconds.
When your peanut butter and chocolate is ready then spoon a small amount (about a teaspoon size) of chocolate into cups.

Squeeze a small amount of peanut butter mix into center of chocolate. The chocolate should push against the sides, making the peanut butter settle into the center. If the peanut butter sticks up, then use finger to press down.

Spoon a small amount of chocolate over the peanut butter then tap the pan. The chocolate will settle and become flat. The chocolate can cool too quickly before you get the peanut butter in the chocolate, so start by making only two rows at a time. Place in fridge as soon as you can to let cool all the way. If you don't get it into the fridge before it cools then it might turn white.

If you've done all the steps correctly then they should look like this . . .
 Beautiful, isn't it. It makes me want to cry they look so good.
Again, if you have any questions, please, oh, pretty please comment, then watch for my reply.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to have more recipes on chocolates soon so keep an eye out.

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