Sunday, 2 February 2014


I am the worst.  This poor blog has felt like a misplaced stepchild lately, and I'm the evil stepmother.  The only resolution?  To post something so delectable, it just can't be ignored.  Something that no one in their right mind can resist.

These little goodies are obviously a take on popular, well known treats, but have the extra valour of being crafted by hand and made with luscious dark chocolate.  It's like Halloween for adults.  It's rich and new but still comforting and familiar.  And if I do say so myself, I think they are pretty damn impressive.  I mean, they just scream love.  So be careful who you gift these to, my friends.  Or perhaps give freely and then see how your social calendar fares?

In all honesty I made these in the crush of holiday baking, for a few parties and also for my freezer.  I know that makes me even more horrendous for not sharing earlier.  Maybe I just needed some time alone with them.  To bond and whatnot.  But hey, now that we're all in the dark winter slump, these could be just the pickup you need.  A dark chocolate and peanut buttery (or coconutty) pick me up.

These recipes comes from Food52, one of my favourite foodie sites.  They do a great job of creating recipes for items you would normally buy (like these chocolates) in a way that lets you control what goes in it and customize it to your tastes.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from Food52 Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup salted peanut butter (I used my homemade peanut butter recipe and it was perfect!)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup powdered/icing sugar
32 ounces of chocolate (I used about one third extra dark, and one third milk chocolate just to add a bit of creaminess)
Coarse sea salt if desired
*You'll also want to pick up some mini cupcake wrappers

Mix together the peanut butter, butter, and sugars in a bowl and set aside in the fridge or freezer.  Roughly chop the chocolate, and melt it in a saucepan over low heat until smooth.  Put the mini cupcake wrappers on a baking sheet and pour in just enough chocolate to fill the bottom of the wrapper.  I found that putting a small spoonful of chocolate in a row of wrappers, then lifting and dropping the tray to spread each dollop of chocolate out to the edges of the wrapper worked well.  When the bottoms are all done, refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Take the peanut butter mixture, and start shaping your filling discs.  Use about a heaping teaspoon to measure, then shape into a disc that's not quite as wide as the cupcake wrappers.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and when done put back in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  This will make them easier to handle and get into the cups without sticking to your fingers.

Then start dropping the peanut butter mixture discs into each of the chocolate bottom-filled wrappers.  You may need to warm up the remaining chocolate again to ensure it is smooth and pourable.  Pour another spoonful or two into each wrapper until the peanut butter is completely covered and the tops are flat.  Gently lifting and dropping the tray again as you go will help spread the chocolate to fill all the edges of the wrappers.

If desired, sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sea salt, and place them in the fridge until completely set - about thirty minutes to an hour.  You can serve these cold or let them get soft and melty at room temperature for a few minutes too.  They also freeze amazingly well, so you can stock up your freezer in anticipated of future drop in guests.

Homemade Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars
Adapted from Food52 Almond Joys
1 cup unsweetened medium desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey / maple syrup / agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces dark chocolate

Mix together the shredded coconut, coconut oil, syrup of your choice, vanilla extract and salt.  Once fully combined, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  When cold enough that it is easy to form and sticks together, start making logs about 1 inch in length and a half inch in diameter.  Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and flatten the sides and top with your fingers to create a rectangular shape.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, until firm.

Roughly chop the chocolate and melt in a saucepan over low heat until smooth.  And now for the fun part!  Coat each coconut bar in chocolatey goodness.  This does get a bit messy, I'm not going to lie.  I found it easiest to hold the coconut bar over the chocolate, and using a spoon or spatula pour the chocolate over the bar, letting the excess drip off.  Then I just touched up and bare spots with a spatula when it was back on the baking sheet.  Once you get a rhythm going, it's easy.  I like to go for the "rustic, homemade" look anyways!

Freeze these again until the chocolate has hardened, then you can pack up into a container and store in the fridge or freezer.  Again, it's your choice if you want to serve them cold or at room temperature.

No comments:

Post a Comment