Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the warm days and cool nights, the trees lighting up the skies with crimson and gold leaves, whirling in the wind and gently settling on the ground. There is nothing better than curling into a soft chair by a crackling fire with a glass of wine close at hand, snuggling my cheek into a warm sweater and watching football or reading a book. I feel a nap coming on, LOL!
I don’t know about you, but my mind is on Halloween. Every store is packed with miniature candy bars, bags of treats, and Halloween decorations. Instead of succumbing to the marketing blitz, I am going to make my own candies this year. I already conquered Snicker’s Bars and now I am tackling peanut butter cups.
Instead of trying to wrestle the truffle filling into chocolate cups, I decided to go with traditional round balls and dipping. For me it is much easier. I am not a chocolatier. You just melt the chocolate, roll the truffles in it and then set them onto a parchment sheet. I thought I was going to have to melt more chocolate, but there was just enough, maybe there was enough for one more. Whew!
I used half creamy peanut butter and half chunky because that was what I had in the pantry. Yep, I punted! I liked the combination – a little of a nutty chew and a lot of creaminess. The semisweet chocolate was a nice contrast to the sweet peanut butter mixture and I loved the color combination for Halloween! You could even beat a little extra orange food coloring into the peanut butter filling for a dramatic effect.
Because I have made many chocolate desserts over the years, I bought a set of chocolate dipping tools. The pronged fork worked perfectly for these truffles, but you can use a regular dinner fork just as easily. If you are making smaller versions, the round dipping tool would work very well too.
With the unfortunate occurrences of people attempting to injure children through the candy they collect on Halloween, I would not give these homemade treats out unless you know the parents and can assure them that these are safe for their children to consume. It would be such a shame to have them thrown out. Instead, save them for you own parties and gifts for family and friends.
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you will be making these for gift bags during the holidays. You can also make smaller truffles (divide each piece in half), which will automatically double your yield. These are large two-bite treats, quite indulgent. If you made them smaller they would easily fit into candy boxes and would make perfect snacks.
I love how easy these are to make. Simply throw a few ingredients into your stand mixer and beat them together. Portion them and chill. Then coat in melted chocolate and chill again. The hardest part is waiting for them to firm up between steps and not eating them all before you give them away, LOL!
These would be fantastic to make with children who would love getting their hands in the mixture and rolling them into small balls. I would closely supervise the chocolate dipping step, but otherwise anyone can handle them easily.
While these truffles, with their tan and black coloring, are custom made for Halloween, they are perfect any time of the year. In the summer months, you may want to serve them partially frozen for a cooling sweet dessert.
I hope you enjoy making your own peanut butter truffles, which will thrill your children, family members and friends with the best candy they’ve ever eaten!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When you are rolling these into balls in the palms of your hands, work quickly so they don’t start melting. If you have extra hot hands, you can hold them under cold running water and pat dry before you roll the filling.
A reader who made these with SunButter due to her child’s allergies recommended that if you are using anything other than traditional peanut butter, freeze the truffles until firm before trying to dip them in the chocolate. They need to be very cold and hard to stand up to the heat of the melted chocolate!!
Peanut butter is naturally gluten-free, but if you have severe reactions, it is always safest to contact the manufacturer directly and ask them.
Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Truffles
© 2013 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook. All rights reserved.
Yield: about 25 to 30 walnut-sized pieces
If you love Reese’s peanut butter cups, this is a homemade version without all the preservatives and additives.
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups (most of an 18 oz jar) chunky or smooth peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla paste or extract
12 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Chopped nuts, optional
In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla paste. Beat on low until completely blended. Portion the mixture into pieces about the size of a walnut using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to roll each piece into a round ball. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until chilled and very firm.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl). As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, stir with a heatproof flexible spatula to be sure it doesn’t scorch. Keep the chocolate moving with regular stirring. When all the chocolate pieces are melted, stir well until smooth and silky. Keep the bowl over the heat to keep the chocolate thin and easier to work with.
Place one peanut butter truffle in the melted chocolate, rolling it around to completely coat, tap on the edge of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate, scrape off the excess on the bottom of the truffle and transfer back to the covered baking sheet. You can use chocolate dipping tools or a regular fork to do this. Continue until all the truffles are coated.
Sprinkle the tops with chopped nuts if you want and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the chocolate. They should be ready in about 30 minutes.
To keep the chocolate coating from melting, store these treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve them cool.
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