When I was leaving my office before the holiday I had oh so many aspirations for the blog. I was going to start 2013 off with beauty product reviews, a craft or two, cool stuff lists, music mixes and of course recipes – but alas, it has not been so.
Getting engaged has made me literally spend all my time collecting “inspiration” and trying to narrow down potential venues – which is not easy when you and your fiance are from two different states, met in a third state, and now live in a fourth. ANSWER ME THAT THEKNOT.COM! Plus I have a real job too. We also have not had a single weekend alone since we got engaged. Last weekend was literally the first – so of course we spent it makin’ foods!
Anyway because it’s Valentines week, I give you a tasty chocolate candy treat and a cute, lovey anecdote to go with it.
Michael and I are HUGE HUGE fans of Smitten Kitchen, which is essentially one of the greatest food blogs ever. When we lived in New York with a tiny kitchen, this blog was so special to us as a couple in a little kitchen trying to make delicious food. Deb Perelman makes anything seem possible (food-wise) and is just a wonderful lady who I hope to know personally one day and she will make me soup! Goals! We love this site so much that when her cook book came out I pre-ordered it!
Anyway, so the other day Michael saw these Buckeyeys on the site and drooled all over our iPad, so I told him I would make them asap. I’m not calling them Buckeyes, because I’m a Michigan girl, damnit! So we will call them Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. These are way easy, a little messy and NO BAKE!! That’s what’s up!
My recipe is a combination of Deb’s and the traditional kind. Deb uses Cream Cheese, it apparently gives them a tangy taste. I knew Michael wouldn’t like that so I omitted it. Traditional versions use vanilla, which I’m always down to use, so I added that. We used Graham Crackers, but we both agreed that Rice Crispys could be very delish too, so take these variations into account to make some balls you will love.
What you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 sicks of unsalted butter
- 12 oz dark chocolate (60 %)
Step 1: Crush the Crackers – Smush the Peanut Butter!!!
Using a mortar and pestle (or just a ziplock bag and something heavy to crush with) crush the graham crackers into oblivion! I went a little crazy and made mine into like, almost a powder, but it was fun! Michael thinks that the coarser pieces gave the balls more texture, so if you want something a little more tactile keep your crumbs coarse or use rice crispies!
Did you know that peanut butter is sort of a pain to work with? I love peanut butter but good Lord getting it out of the jar and measured was a pain. You need 1 1/2 cups which is a lot, I tried to pat down the peanut butter to make the measurement as accurate as possible.
Step 2: Mix Your Ingredients
FIRST: Melt your butter in the microwave (slowly, carefully so not to burn) and let it cool.
While your melting, mix the graham crackers and the peanut butter together.
Next add the powdered sugar, divided. Add one cup, mix until incorporated, add another, mix, and so on. It will look very powdery.
Add the butter, vanilla and salt. Now things are starting to look much more malleable!
Step 4: Form Balls
This is fun, easy and messy but very simple. Just roll the dough into balls in your hand. Ours are about 2 inches in diameter but you can make them whatever size you like. We had 32 in the end. Deb made her’s smaller and came out with 64.
Sorry no photos with this part – my hands were so sticky!
Step 3: Chop Chocolate
This was my favorite, favorite part! It’s not every day that you get to chop though a massive amount of chocolate with a huge kitchen knife. It was heavenly, messy and oddly satisfying in a way I’ve never known before.
I’m honestly not even a fan of dark chocolate but look at this!!! So delicious.
Step 4: Melt Chocolate & Dip Balls
Ok so normally, using a double boiler would be the way to go for melting chocolate, but unfortunately we are missing a part of our DB (that’s what we’re calling it now, “DB,” fyi) so we just melted it in the microwave. The trick with using this method is SLOW and STEADY (and stir it – but come on, duh).
I put the chocolate in a regular microwaveable bowl and put it in for 30 seconds – but watch it, folks!, don’t just have it microwavin’ while you’re doing something else. This is unpredictable.
I would microwave for 30-20 seconds and stir it a lot in between. As it gets more melt-y, you will want to microwave in shorter, 10-second intervals until it’s totally melted and wonderful.
Now, the traditional Buckeye has some peanut butter filling peeking through (sort of like an eye I guess?) but I think do what you like! Do what makes you happy! And if that means totally submerging your peanut butter balls in chocolate – then so be it!
Put some parchment paper (or “wax paper,” I always feel so fancy and chef-y when I say “parchment”) down on some cookie sheets!
We used shish kabob skewers and sort of twisted the balls around in a circular motion (HAHAHA!!) to cover them in chocolate. But I recently saw on TV the Pioneer Woman made truffles and dipped them in chocolate and she did NOT do this, instead she used a fork, dipped them and just tapped the excess chocolate off on the side of the bowl! It was so impressive. Maybe try that?
They will look like this kind of….
Step 5: Refrigerate for 30 Minutes – Eat!
These guys are NO BAKE!! Wooohooo!! But that is kind of a lie because you still can’t eat them right away.
Whompwomp : / Sorry, guys.
Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden them up.
When they are done, they will look like this:
Happy eating friends! I’ve got more delish stuff coming up so stay tuned!
Side Note: How cool is this Willy Wonka font?? As you may or may not know, this blog is SUPER DIY, and all the photos are taken on my iPhone and edited with apps. The app Phonto made this image happen and I’m still learning it, hence the odd blue outline on the word “Scrumptious.” Technology!!!!