Monday, October 1, 2012
If there's a food combination I love most, it's got to be peanut butter and chocolate. (Although pretzels and caramel run a close second.) Which is why it breaks my heart a little that I don't like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. At all. The peanut butter always crumbles weirdly and has the texture of powder, which makes me think of artificial ingredients and preservatives. I've never even dared to look at the ingredient list or the label. So, when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate candy, I tend to err on the side of caution and make my own.
I love Alicia Silverstone's vegan chocolate peanut butter cups that have become a staple in my kitchen, and I've recently added buckeye candies to the rotation. This is one of the simplest recipes in the world to follow and, as a bonus, it gives a nod to college football and all the Ohio State fans out there. The peanut butter mixture is mixed by hand, rolled into balls, and dipped in melted chocolate, leaving just enough filling exposed to make sure that the candies end up resembling the nut of the buckeye, the state tree of Ohio. xo
From Martha's American Food, by Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not the natural variety)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups confectioner's sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment. In a medium bowl, beat peanut butter and butter with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Gradually mix in confectioner's sugar in batches, kneading with your hands to form a smooth dough, about 10 minutes.
Using the palms of your hands, roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and chill in refrigerator, about 2 hours or up to overnight.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth; stir in vanilla. Working with one at a time, insert a toothpick into chilled peanut-butter balls and dip into melted chocolate, leaving the top bare. Return to lined baking sheet until set, about 15 minutes. Smooth tops to cover holes from toothpicks. Buckeyes can be refrigerated in a single layer in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)