Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Peanut Butter & Jelly Truffles
I am so excited to write about this little candy-making project! I had seen recipes for homemade Reese's style peanut butter cups, but was never remotely tempted to give them a try. As far as my tastes go, there is no improving on the perfection that is a dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup (and I've got no problem with the classic milk chocolate ones either). If I crave a high end version, I treat myself to Vosges' divine peanut butter bonbons.
These truffles might look like nothing more than a homemade peanut butter cup with some jam. And they sort of are. But the result is soooo much more than the sum of its parts. All the components just work. The flavors and textures together are amazing. The idea came from the December issue of Food and Wine magazine, but I ended up modifying the method and using a simpler and (I think) better peanut butter filling. Shockingly, they are not as much of a pain to make as I thought they'd be. I would absolutely do it again!
Although I'm sure they exist in various other places, the only time I've had a peanut butter and jelly truffle was at the now sadly closed Ethel M chocolate cafe at The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue. Mike and I tried them on our first ever trip to Chicago before moving here, and we loved it. Ethel M makes great candy, but as far as the PB and J truffle goes, I like mine best. Do I have to mention that they'd make a perfect Valentine's gift?
Peanut Butter and Jelly Truffles
Adapted from Food and Wine magazine
I love Merck's dark coco disks for candy making because, unlike pure high-end chocolate, it does not need to be tempered and will set quickly and beautifully--just melt it in the microwave and go. It also tastes great. I've also used Wilton's candy melts, and they're good too. You can get the silver liners--mine were 1 inch high by 1 1/4 inches wide--at Kitchenkrafts.com.
Makes 18 to 30, doubles easily
Equipment: 18 to 22 mini foil cupcake liners (1" by 1 1/4")
Mini muffin pan (optional)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural), preferably Jif
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch fine salt, or to taste
8 oz dark chocolate disks (see recipe head note)
18 to 22 mini foil cupcake liners (1" by 1 1/4")
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
flaky sea salt
Heat the peanut butter in the microwave on medium power for 30 second intervals until warm and soft. Add the sifted (this prevents lumps) powdered sugar, vanilla and salt to taste. Stir well, heating again briefly if desired, in order to thoroughly blend the ingredients. Chill.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave on low to medium power for 30 second intervals, stirring each time. With a small spoon, dab some chocolate into a foil liner and spread it around to coat the sides (I stopped about 1/4" from the top, but you can coat the whole cup if you want). Place in mini muffin pan to set. Repeat with remaining liners (I stopped at 18, but you can do more; just save enough chocolate for covering the fillings.). Chill until well set, about 1 hour.
Fill each chocolate cup with about 1 tsp chilled peanut butter mixture. Top with about 1 tsp jam. Reheat remaining chocolate in the microwave so it is fluid again. Spoon chocolate over each cup to cover filling. Sprinkle with sea salt (do each cup immediately if using candy-making chocolate--it sets quickly). Chill until completely set, at least 2 hours.