Peanut Butter Hearts (Cups)

My family never met a piece of chocolate they didn’t like – ever.  My husband and kids are self-diagnosed chocoholics (I would rather have a bag of gummi bears!).  Doesn’t matter if it’s milk, dark or white or if it’s plain or has nuts.  But the one combination that will always be at the top of their list is chocolate and peanut butter.  Peanut butter cups (you know the ones!) are the first candy I buy for Valentine’s Day, Easter baskets, Christmas stockings, Halloween or just as a treat and they never last very long.   With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to make my own and see if it’s as easy as I thought.  How hard could it be? Not hard at all as you only need three ingredients and most people probably have all three in their kitchen right now – chocolate chips, peanut butter and powdered sugar.  That’s it!  They may be easy, and don’t take long, but they can be a little messy until you get a few under your belt but the mess is worth it as they are delish. 

I used a silicone heart shaped mold for the peanut butter cups but you could also use a mini-muffin mold or regular sized cupcake mold.  I highly recommend using silicone as it’s so easy to work with and the peanut butter cups pop right out but if you don’t have one, you can use cupcake liners in a regular tin and the cut the excess off after they are set.  Other than that, you’ll need a glass bowl and spatula to melt the chocolate, a small zip top bag, a small spoon and a brush (I used a small paint brush).  To help cut down on the mess factor, I used a small muffin scoop to get the chocolate into the mold since it releases the chocolate easily.

In terms of chocolate, I went with milk chocolate chips.  I had them on hand and overall chocolate chips are super easy to work with.  You could also use candy melts (meltable disks you can find in the baking ails at craft or baking stores.) I didn’t go with high end chocolate but if you want to, that’s fine too, but would check the package for melting instructions just in case. The candy melts are great for decorating and melt very easily in the microwave (50% power for 20 seconds at a time and stir in between).  I drizzled some white on one batch and pink and white on another. 

Click here for the Wilton mold I used (not an ad) and from this recipe I made 24 peanut butter cups.  Also, to make the mold easier to work with, I cut it in half so I could do 12 peanut butter cups at a time. I highly recommend this.

What chocolate lover wouldn’t like a box of homemade peanut butter cups for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, anniversary or just for fun?

Ingredients

2 10oz bags              Chocolate chips (I’m a Nestle fan; used milk chocolate but semi-sweet or dark work well).

¾ cup                      Peanut butter (I use Skippy smooth. Crunchy PB is fine or even another nut butter)

4 tbs                        Powdered sugar

1 cup                       White, pink or red candy melts for decoration

Directions

Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (I bring the water, about 4 cups depending on your pot, to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer) and stir till melted and smooth.  Be careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate – the kiss of death for chocolate. Working with one mold at a time fill each heart 1/3 of the way with chocolate and give the mold a couple of taps on the counter to release any air bubbles and ensure the chocolate is evenly distributed. 

Working quickly, use the brush to bring the chocolate up the sides of each mold to the edge.  If you don’t have a brush, you can use a small spoon and gently push the chocolate up the side. 

Place in the refrigerator on a flat surface for about 15 minute or until set.  You can keep the remaining chocolate warm on the stove on the lowest temp which will keep it smooth.  You can up the heat if you need to during the process.

While the chocolate sets, mix the peanut butter and powdered sugar together till smooth.  I used a mini food processor to avoid the powdered sugar going all over the kitchen.  A whisk is fine too.   Pour the peanut butter mixture into a small zip-top bag and work it to one corner before sealing.  Snip off the corner of the bag (a small snip).

Remove the set chocolate mold from the refrigerator and pipe peanut butter into each mold, in a heart shape, leaving room for more chocolate. 

Pour melted chocolate into each heart, to the top (if there is excess chocolate, you can use a straight edge knife or spatula to scrap it off and put it back into the chocolate on the stove). Give the mold a gently tap on the counter to release any air bubbles and make sure the chocolate fills in the spaces.

Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set.  Once you remove the peanut butter cups, you can decorate them with candy melts or serve them as is.  They keep for at least a week in an airtight container (and probably longer but they didn’t last that long in my house!).

Enjoy!

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