One of the perks to having parents who work in a restaurant (I imagine), is having parents who can throw together delicious buttermilk blueberry pancakes with neither recipe nor measuring device. John put some handfuls of dry ingredients into a bowl, and I poured some liquids together, and then we combined the two and, voila! Pancakes. The super fluffy, ever-so-slightly-sweet kind.
I sprinkled some flax meal on top for good measure and a little bit of nutty flavor. The blueberries around here are enormous orbs these days, and they pop when you bite into them. I tried to place them so there’d be one per bite. These pancakes were so wonderful we didn’t even eat them with butter and syrup. Mmm mmm mmm.
So, as my mom posted about yesterday (click here), I have been–no wait, I am–on a mission to make perfect homemade peanut butter cups.
I’ve come a long way since my first batch, but I haven’t quite nailed it yet. My mom wants the chocolate a little darker, my brother wants the peanut butter a little creamier, and John wants the peanut butter to be a little bit sweeter. I’m not sure I completely agree with them all, but the quest clearly continues. I won’t have made perfect peanut butter cups until somebody agrees with me that I have is the way I’m figuring it.
Anyway, the good news–besides the fact that I can consume pounds of chocolate and peanut butter without any issue (before I made the batch I sent my mom I had already made a few trial batches…I kept telling my friend Shirley I’d share them with her but that never happened…I cannot cohabitate with peanut butter cups for very long, whether they’re perfect or not)–is that these are insanely easy.
Make some peanut butter (or don’t! Just use your favorite kind from the store…I won’t tell). To make a dozen large peanut butter cups, melt 16 ounces of chocolate. I used a 50/50 mix of milk chocolate and bittersweet, ultimately trying to make a sweeter chocolate instead of a sweeter peanut butter because I really like the peanut butter I’ve been making as it is. As the chocolate is melting, line a muffin tin with paper liners. Coat the bottom of each muffin cup with a thin layer of chocolate and place tin in the fridge until chocolate solidifies (this is pretty quick, though varies depending on the thickness of your chocolate layer). When chocolate base layer is hard, form peanut butter into circles that are flat on the top and bottom and slightly smaller than the layer of chocolate they’re resting on (this is key for getting chocolate down all of the sides). I used really generous tablespoons of peanut butter for mine, but the nice thing about making these is you can make them in whatever chocolate to peanut butter ratio suits you. Pour chocolate over the top, doing your best to get it to drip down on all sides. Place in the fridge again until solidified and then taste to make sure all is well (it will be, I promise).
I’ve already got ideas for variations. Cashew butter? Orange zest or sea salt on top? This could clearly become an obsession. I’ll keep you all posted.
Are there any variations that sound good to you? Have you ever tried and tried and tried until you’ve perfected a recipe? Do you have any tips on making peanut butter cups?
Rachel has been talking about, and experimenting with, making her own peanut butter cups ever since she visited around the holidays and had some from the Chocolate Moose, a now-defunct (sadly) chocolatier who once had a store but now only makes her chocolates a couple of times a year. (She also makes the BEST almond crunch in the world, and believe me I consider myself somewhat of an expert having consumed this particular type of confection for years and from all over the place. Suzanne’s is to die-for.)
Anyway Rachel had one of the peanut butter cups and proclaimed that she was going to learn to make them herself. Ever the supportive mother, I encouraged her in this endeavor, figuring I would reap the benefits at some point. Rachel started by making her own peanut butter. From there she began experimenting with the chocolate covering. Dedicated cook that she is, Rachel has apparently made several batches of these babies before finally sending me a few. (She also sent me shortbread because, as regular readers know, I have given up ever being able to make my own after several epic fails. I choose to think her sending me these is because she loves me rather than that she wants to rub my face in my shortbread failure.)
Anyway I am happy to report that Rachel is well on her way to nailing this peanut butter cup recipe. The chocolate is damn close to the right mix of dark and milk chocolate (I would vote for a tad more dark myself), and she’ll be posting about it tomorrow for all to try. In the meantime, this photo will just have to tide you over. I’ll think of you all during my next tasty bite.