Peanut Butter Cups

The boys making Peanut Butter Cups

The boys making Peanut Butter Cups

What’s better than eating a peanut butter cup? Making them yourself!!  This recipe is so easy the kids made them with very little help from me. Seriously, all I did was set out the ingredients and clean up when they were finished.

I found this recipe on Hoosier Homemade.  It looked simple and yummy.  I love peanut butter and chocolate and I can’t wait to eat one. Right now they’re in the fridge and I can hear them calling me! I did eat a little bit of the peanut butter mixture that was left over, it was so good!  Perfect peanut butter taste with just the right amount of sweetness.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter, divided in half
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips or Milk Chocolate chips
  • 4 Milk Chocolate Candy Bars (1.55 ounces each), coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Fill mini muffin tins with mini paper liners.  I just lined the muffin liners up on a baking sheet and it worked fine.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar and salt until smooth, set aside.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining peanut butter, stir until smooth.
  4. Pour a teaspoonful or so of chocolate mixture into paper liners.
  5. Top each with a teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture.  We rolled it in a little ball and flattened it some then put it in the paper liner.
  6. Spoon chocolate mixture over  to cover the peanut butter mixture.
  7. Refrigerate until set.

You could also use dark chocolate morsels if you wanted.  After we had them all made I thought we should’ve added an Oreo cookie to some of them.  There are so many things you can do with this simple recipe; use crunchy peanut butter, put pretzels in it, add a whole peanut to the top…you get the point.

Now I’m going to peek and see if they’re ready to eat yet!

UPDATE:  We tore into these last night.  These Homemade Peanut Butter Cups are by far better than any store bought brand.  If you are one of my family members, these will be in your goodie bag this Christmas!

Mocha Cupcakes

Last week I whipped up a batch of Mocha Cupcakes with a mocha ganache filling and mocha buttercream icing. YUMMY

They certainly did not last long around here…coffee and chocolate are two things we love! I even took some to my CASA training and gave them out to the ladies I volunteer with. BTW, if you’re interested in volunteering or donating to a wonderful organization that helps children and families involved in the court system check out CASA.

These cupcakes were well received by everyone but be warned…they are very rich!! I will probably leave out the ganache filling when I make them again.

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The chocolate cake recipe is from the Jan/Feb 2012 edition of Food Network Magazine.

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk cocoa powder and 1 1/2 cups of boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.

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Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.

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Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in cocoa mixture in a steady stream until just combined, then finish mixing with rubber spatula.

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Divide the batter between 24 lined cupcake tins. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Ganache Ingredients:              

8 1/2 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp butter, room temp

2 tsp instant coffee granules  (more or less depending on how strong you want it)

Ganache Method: 

Chop the chocolate and place in heatproof bowl and add instant coffee granules. Heat the cream until simmering and pour over chocolate. Let this sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.  Add butter and stir until combined.

Set aside to cool.

While the ganache is cooling, use an apple corer or pairing knife to cut the centers out of the cupcakes.  

Once ganache has cooled, spoon into a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut off the end.  Squeeze the ganache into the holes and fill to the top.

Frosting Ingredients:

6 cups powdered sugar (I know, That’s a lot!!)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1 (about 1 ounce) shot of espresso, cooled (you can also use strong brewed coffee)

Frosting Method:

Whisk butter in bowl of electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add powered sugar a few tablespoons at a time.

Once the frosting looks thick enough, drizzle the espresso in and whip to combine it.

If the frosting is too thin add more powdered sugar.

You do not have to use all of the powdered sugar, just add enough for it to be thick enough to spread. I ended up using all of the powdered sugar and more because I didn’t let my espresso cool enough (Remember I told y’all I’m very impatient at times).

Ice the cupcakes and decorate with a chocolate covered espresso bean!

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter

My son and I love apple butter. I was raised eating it on toast and biscuits and I love it so much I can eat it by the spoonful. I was really surprised to find out that not everyone knows what apple butter is.

Boyfriend: “It’s apples and butter, right?”

Me: “Nooooo…There’s no butter in apple butter!”

Boyfriend: “Then why is it called apple BUTTER?”

Heck if I know,why is a driveway called a driveway when you just park on it? If anyone has the answers, please enlighten me.

It must be a Kentucky thing, says my boyfriend!

Since fall is getting ready to start and it’s apple season (not to mention my grandmother gave me 21 pounds of apples when she found out I was thinking about making apple butter) I decided to try my hand at homemade apple butter. I scoured the internet looking for interesting, but easy, recipes and found one on A Year of Slow Cooking. I cut out some of the sugar after reading about how sweet the apple butter turned out and since I’m somewhat health conscious, I figured we didn’t need all that sugar anyway. It turned out just yummy and my boyfriend has now been educated on all things apple butter!

This is cooked completely in the crock pot and takes a day and a half to two days to cook. apple butter canned

Ingredients:

Apples (I used about 8 lbs of small to medium Washington apples)

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

Directions:

I peeled all the apples first because I didn’t want to pick out the peels after the apples cooked. Believe me, this extra step is worth it.

Core and quarter the apples and place in crock pot.

cut apples

Add vanilla. Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs.

After 8 hrs, mash the apples. I used a potato masher. At this point they are almost mush anyway so this was pretty easy. If you didn’t peel the apples now is the time to pick out all the peels.

mashed apples

Add cinnamon, cloves and sugar and stir.

Cover and cook on low for additional 6 hrs.

Once the apple butter is done, blend with a stick blender (or Immersion blender, if you want to use the fancy name for it). Be careful, it is hot and it will splatter on you, speaking from experience!

That’s it…delish!

finsished apple butter

Now over the hills and through the woods to grandma’s house I go to get her to help me can all of this apple butter!