Archive for January 19th, 2012

My son’s birthday is this weekend, he turns the big (well to him it’s big) 11 and I’m up to my elbows in chocolate.  Peanut Butter Cups, Coconut Creams and Butter Creams dipped in Dark Chocolate are currently on the plate. This chocolate and goodies rush will last all the way up until Valentine’s Day as per every year and I’m certain I will survive the boys birthday before being thrown into trying to create another fantasy filled day for the little girl in March.  Thankfully there is one thing constant in both their wish lists, they both desire their “special” to be there with them on these special milestones in their lives. The rest of the plans seem to shift like desert sands at times.

The boy has chosen a Star Wars theme and has some pretty big requests he would like filled…glowing drinks, “space” foods and nothing that looks “girly” though I’m not so certain what his idea of “girly” is.  Thankfully we both have a best buddy to help him work through his visions and think outside the box to bring a child’s imagination to life and to hold my “girlish” tendencies at bay.  I swear, I really want to just add a pink flower somewhere in the mix.

So…glowing drinks in neon test tubes, frogs suspended in green jello, (smoke sausage) space slugs stewing in their own (bbq sauce) juices, and MYO Republic or Empire pizza are on the menu.  Now I just hope the Sith is ready for all the questions 10 and 11 years old’s and a few 4 year old’s can think up.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups (or hand-dipped).

Peanut Butter Fondant Filling

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup cream

1 tbsp light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup mini marshmellows

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup peanut butter

12 oz chocolate candy coating

1.) Place sugar, cream, syrup and salt in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves and cook until candy thermometer reads 238 degrees (114 c).  Remove from heat.

2.) Add mini marshmallows but do not stir. Pour onto greased baking sheet and let cool until it feels just warm to touch. (10-20 minutes).

3.) Add vanilla and stir all together with wooden spoon, this process is known as “creaming”.  I suggest using a figure 8 pattern in this process.  Continue creaming as the fondant moves from shiny and translucent to shiny and opaque and begins to thicken.  Once it has lost shine and has a fudge like texture it is ready.  This can take up to 20 minutes of stirring…great for working arm muscles.

4.) Once the fondant is stiff and thick add the peanut butter and work until completely incorporated into the fondant.  Use immediately or store in cling wrap at room temperature for later use at this point.

5.) If using hand dipped method, now is the time to roll into balls and place in freezer to firm up.  you want balls about the size of a large marble for hand dipping.  If you are doing molded chocolates break off smaller pieces suitable to fit in the center of your molds.

6.) For molded chocolates, melt your chocolate and fill your mold cavity 2/3 full of melted chocolates, add your cream center and spread more chocolate over top of mold to seal cream inside.  Tap mold gently to evenly distribute the chocolate.  Place in refrigerator to harden.

7.) For hand dipped, melt chocolate and using either a fork or your fingers dip and roll the fondant ball in chocolate.  Remove and place on piece of wax or parchment paper to harden.  If desired you can sprinkle tops with crushed peanuts prior to setting the chocolate.

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