Thanksgiving? Pshh. Thanksgiving was so two days ago. Real holiday pros are already laser-focused on the big daddy of them all – Christmas. This week I have what I think is a great (and reeeally easy) holiday treat that could work as a gift, a party dessert, a replacement for vitamins, whatevs.
One thing I really love about what I do as a chef is the opportunity to always, always learn. I think that falls more into the category of things I really love about being human, actually. Finding new recipes is top on the list, and this particular recipe is a new one for me (a special thanks to domestic goddess Libby for this recipe!). Simple as it is, I love the discovery. It couldn’t be easier to make and mimics the concept of Amish peanut butter crumble topping often used on pies.
A recipe this simple doesn’t have too many notes. People will (and I’m sure do) have preferences about the brand of peanut butter, the brand of graham crackers, etc. The original version of this recipe as it’s been given to me calls for margarine, but I’ve chosen to use butter because that’s my baking blood type. I’m using JIF peanut butter because it’s the classic, crappy, not-totally-real peanut butter (sorry JIF) that I grew up with. I’m using Keebler graham cracker crumbs because it’s what was in my pantry. I will mention that all-natural peanut butter should be avoided. I don’t normally suggest something like that but you need the emulsifiers and palm/coconut oil stabilizers in the fake-ish peanut butter to keep the filling firm enough to handle and dip.
Speaking of that, I did a little experimenting in sheeting the peanut butter filling to cut and dip like other slab candies and long story short…uh, no, not so much. Doesn’t work. The filling is too soft to really work with in that way, so your best bet is rolling the filling into balls.
As with any chocolate recipe I share that involves tempering, I suggest checking my tempering blog post on the subject if you aren’t familiar with the process.
Although you don’t need any specific tools to make this recipe happen, having chocolate dipping forks can make this process (and chocolate candy recipes) easier.
chocolate peanut butter candies
180g graham cracker crumbs
260g powdered sugar
485g peanut butter
100g butter unsalted
as needed chocolate, 41% Guittard Eclipse du Soleil
Sift the powdered sugar and bring the butter to room temp.
Combine all the ingredients together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to avoid incorporating too much air.
Chill the filling as you would a dough, pressed into an even block and frozen or stored in the refrigerator. You can shape the filling fresh if you need to, but I find it so soft that it’s easier to take the time to chill it first. To make more uniform peanut butter balls, I cut the dough into squares. For this recipe I pressed the dough into a slab about .5″ thick and then cut the squares about 1×1″.
Shape the filling into balls and chill them again until they are firm enough to handle. I throw them in the freezer again for about 10-15min.
Temper the milk chocolate.
Just like my recipe for bourbon truffles, add a small amount of tempered chocolate to the palm of one hand and then roll the balls in and around the chocolate to give it a thin, even coat.
Let the coated candies set fully before the second and final dip in tempered chocolate.
Temper the chocolate once more if needed, and place it in a deep bowl.
Drop the candies into the chocolate 1-2 at a time and coat them completely by “spooning” tempered chocolate over them. Just like when making bourbon truffles, I used a fork for this step. You can do the same, or use a dipping fork as I mentioned in the recipe notes.
Using the fork, lift the truffles up out of the chocolate. Rapidly lower the truffle to just touch the surface of the chocolate several times. This is known as “pomming” and will create suction that will pull some excess chocolate off of the truffle.
Gently scrape the bottom of the fork along the rim of the bowl to further remove chocolate and immediately place the candy on parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat to set.
I gave the truffles a little random drizzle of chocolate for some rustic decoration. Enjoy!