Thursday, December 27, 2012

yummy treat #1

unlike my food twin, richie, i am by no means a food blogger. i do love to eat (my girth is proof of that), but way before i got this big, my brother's friends loved me cause i'd cook yummy treats for them. as a matter of fact, there was this time when one friend purposely dropped by our house because he found out i made brownies and he didn't get his share yet. 

talk about presumptuous, hahaha!

ironically, people from my current life think i am totally clueless in the kitchen. i guess they know better now.

recently, i've been cooking stuff i want to eat (dangerous, i know). so i'd get an idea in my head, troll the internet for recipes, and make them over and over again until i "perfect" it ... at least to my mind (or tongue?). one of the most recent was homemade peanut butter cups ... translation: reese's!!!

i've been tweeting about it, and jen has been asking me to post a recipe online. after much trial and error, i've finally settled on one that i liked. so, jen, let this be my christmas gift to you ☺ i hope your son likes this!

Rosa's tweaked version!

{ingredients used on attempt #1}
When I first made my peanut butter cups, i used this recipe but made them to look like the ones here. i've made them a grand total of three times - getting feedback from my "test audience" repeatedly until i think i hit the perfect recipe. well, at least it's perfect for me ☺ 

Ingredients (and notes!)

16 oz. peanut butter - most recipes call for creamy peanut butter. i've learned however that the perfect mix would be 8 oz of creamy and 8 oz of crunchy. my "test audience" likes the crunch and bite. me - as the cook - likes the fact that the crunchy and creamy peanut butter mix "holds together" better. if you're going to use all creamy peanut butter, i suggest adding 2 tbsps of crushed graham crackers.

2 pounds chocolate - the first time i made them, i got two bags of goya easy melt chocolate buttons - one bag of milk chocolate and one bag of dark chocolate. my "test audience" loved this. note, however that one bag each will just give you half of the chocolate requirements, so you'll actually need 4 bags (two of each kind) to make a full recipe. i tried using deutch (or something like it) milk chocolate chips but my "test audience" said it tasted cheap and not really chocolate-y. the one that got the best feedback was callebaut dark chocolate. this one a friend liked so much that he asked for the chocolate without the peanut butter! kainis!

{callebaut dark chocolate ... chopped up!}

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4-6 tablespoons melted butter - i am a huge fan of queensland butter. do you know that now they have them on foil packs, not just in cans anymore? well, i learned that just this year and i love to use it for cooking! btw, 4 tablespoons is roughly 1/4 cup of butter. one bar of butter = 1 cup, therefore, 1/4 of this bar = your butter requirement for this recipe!

{queensland butter ... my favorite cooking butter!}

cooking spray

mini cupcake papers - i use 3/4 or 1. 


1. Prepare your cupcake papers. I discovered that papers alone make for deformed homemade peanut butter cups. that's quite okay if the peanut butter cups are just for personal consumption. however, since i wanted to make these for friends as their christmas gift from me, i got myself some silicone cups to "hold" the paper in. a mini cupcake pan would be better, but i couldn't find them in this size. after putting the paper into the molds, lightly mist with cooking spray. (or you can put a bit of oil in a spray bottle and spray away!)

2. Prepare your chocolate. I can't remember which this one was ... but let's just say that (1) i never tempered the chocolate (2) i never used a double broiler and (3) the microwave was my friend. if you're using chocolate blocks like i did on my third try, make sure to cut up the chocolate into uniform bits so that it melts almost uniformly. knowledge of your microwave helps ... because you don't want to blast the chocolate for too long. in my case, it takes one 30-second zap, then i mix it a bit, and then a 45-second zap to melt it all up. usually, the heat from the chocolate is enough to melt whatever remaining solids there are after the second zap. now, don't be lazy and put it at 1:15 and just hope for the best. you need short bursts + mixing of the chocolate in between bursts.

3.  Now things get sticky ... literally. peanut butter (especially the half creamy, half crunch mix) + powdered sugar is hell to work with. my only consolation is that by the time i was able to thoroughly fold all the sugar + butter into the peanut butter, i would've gotten my arm exercises for the day.

4. The assembly! As i mentioned earlier, i did the "layered" thing over at fifteen spatulas. Sorry but no pictures here ... that peanut butter was CRAZY to work with.

Start with spooning a bit of chocolate onto each cupcake paper. Try to get the same amounts of chocolate on each cup. Once you're done, "hit" the tray against the counter repeatedly so that the chocolate spreads and that it becomes level. Refrigerate the chocolate for a bit. In my case, 5 to 10 minutes in the ref is enough to make the chocolate hard.

If you used creamy peanut butter and your mixture is quite smooth, you may use a piping bag (of a ziplock with a corner cut out) to put the peanut butter mixture into each cup. BUT if you're working with the crunch-creamy mix, expect this to be quite difficult to work with (my ziplock actually "burst" cause of the pressure to get the peanut butter out) and i'd suggest that you just spoon a bit of the mixture into each cup individually. afterwards, flatten out the peanut butter mixture with your fingers (after you've washed your hands, of course!!!)

then put another layer of chocolate on top. you may put enough chocolate so that it reaches the rim of the cupcake paper, or leave some space. in the end, it's all up to you (and how much chocolate you still have, haha!). again tap-tap-tap the tray onto the counter to flatten out the chocolate. make sure no peanut butter is showing (translation, don't follow my example below, haha!!!). throw inside the ref!!!

and afterwards ..


 homemade peanut butter cups ... all ready to be sent off to lucky friends (yes, they're lucky they get to taste my cooking, haha!).


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