Charred apple crumb squares

Few desserts really include a synonym for “burnt” in their name, and sadly, this isn’t one of them.  Foiled by my own hubris, burnt apple crumble. :[

This recipe is the last one that I plan to post from Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which as always is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Good to know before you start: I did this recipe backwards.  You are supposed to cook the apple filling before baking the crust on its own.

It doesn’t matter if the apples brown.

I have read that 4 pounds of apples equals about 8-9 medium sized apples. I used 8 and that was not enough by far.  You’ll see why soon enough.

Time required: 3 hours

Yields: 24 pieces

Cost per square: $1.63

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $39.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 14½” x 10½”
  • tin foil
  • plastic wrap
  • apple peeler & corer
  • pastry blender

Crumb topping:

  • 1 C flour
  • ½ C butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ C dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract

Crust:

  • 3 C flour
  • ⅓ C granulated white sugar
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ¾ C cold butter (one and a half sticks)

Apple filling:

  • 4 lbs of tart apples
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • ¾ C dark seedless raisins
  • ½ C dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP powdered cornstarch
  • 2 lemons (need 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice)

Instructions:

Step 1 – Prepare topping: in a medium bowl combine all the ingredients with your hands.

I added the vanilla after the first 4 were combined.  Just pick it up and squish it through your hands, working all the ingredients into each other.

Ugh I hate touching stuff with my hands. That is why I fail at gardening.

Squash it into a ball-type shape, cover in plastic wrap, and chill.

Step 2 – Preheat oven to 191°C / 375°F.  Line baking pan with tin foil.  Grease foil.

Step 3 – In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and white sugar.  Use pastry blender to cut in butter.

Keep doing this tedious task until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Step 4 – Press mixture into prepared pan by hand and bake 20 min.  It’s normal for crust to crack.  Meanwhile!

Step 5 – Prepare apple filling; peel and core the apples, and cut each slice into thirds.  In a large skillet on Medium heat, cook: apples, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Stir often, this should take 25 min.  It’s done when the apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Step 6 – Mix the cornstarch and lemon juice, and stir that into the apple mix to thicken it up.

Step 7 – “Use spoon to spread the filling over hot crust”. Oh dear. How did the apples burn in the one minute it took to add the lemon juice? Oh my God. This is dreadful.

Step 8 – Why don’t I have enough apples!? I tried spreading it evenly, but it became obvious there wasn’t enough filling. I smoothed it back over to the side, figuring the naked part on the end will be a casualty of this experiment.

Step 9 – Take topping out of fridge, break into crumbs (??) and spread onto filling. Hmmmm. I’m betting it is not supposed to look like this.

Step 10 – Bake 40 minutes until topping is golden.

Cool completely in pan (1-2 hours) on wire rack.

Dear God… what kind of horror is this?

Step 11 – To serve, lift dessert out of pan, peel foil off. Cut lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut crosswise into 6 squares if you are feeling adventurous.

Verdict: The topping is burnt, and the filling is very burnt, in a not-so-subtle flavour I like to call “charred”. Who knew a dessert that smelled so good in the making could go so wrong? I had high hopes for this, you know, until it went to hell and all.

I think this definitely has potential, it would probably be really good if it hadn’t burned and if I understood how to crumble the topping to make it look presentable.

The disappointment of slaving over something that smells like apple pie, and ruining it, reminds me of this passage:

“I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!” said Fili. “My tub was full of it. To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move and are cold and sick with hunger is maddening. I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end – but not an apple.” – The Hobbit

Playlist: Sailor Moon Japanese soundtrack

Gooey cheesecake brownies

A rich chocolate brownie with a cream cheese topping.  #winning.

I made these for spite.  I was planning to avoid cheesecake-type desserts for awhile but my resolve shattered after flipping through my cook book.  I had intended to make these brownies last month but didn’t get around to it, so last night just seemed like as good a time as any.

This recipe is also from Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Mine don’t look quite as nice as the book, but they tasty really good, and that’s mostly what counts!

Time required: (3 hours: 1 hr prep, 1 hr baking, 1 hr cooling)

Yields: 36 pieces

Cost per brownie: $1.05

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: between $27.00 and $38.00 depending on what type of vanilla extract you like, I am using pure Tahitian vanilla extract at the moment.

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 9″ x 13″
  • tin foil
  • KitchenAid mixer!

Brownie ingredients:

  • 1¼ C flour
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¾ C butter (one and a half sticks, room temp)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate (6 squares)
  • 2 C granulated white sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temp

Topping ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (1 block)
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 C icing sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

Instructions:

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 177°C / 350°F.  Line baking pan with tinfoil and grease.

Step 2 – Prepare brownie: whisk together flour and salt.

Step 3 – In a sauce pan melt the baking chocolate, and stir in the butter until smooth.

Step 4 – Remove from heat, stir in sugar and vanilla.

Step 5 – Beat in eggs until just combined.

Step 6 – Stir in flour mixture, then spread into prepared pan.

Step 7 – Prepare topping: beat cream cheese.  Add the eggs, icing sugar, and vanilla.

I wasn’t paying attention at this point because one of my parental units called and I got distracted, so I didn’t blend the cream cheese as well as I should have before adding the rest of the ingredients. Oops.

Step 8 – “Use a metal spatula to spread topping gently over the brownie.”

Hmmm. I didn’t have to use a spatula at all, my topping was very runny and poured easily from the pan onto the brownie.  Hurrah, one less dish to clean!

I tilted the baking pan and it spread out on its own. Hope that is okay…

Step 9 – Bake 55 minutes, a toothpick inserted will come out cleanly when done.  Cool completely in pan, on wire rack. Looks good so far, and smells amazing.

Step 10 – Use tinfoil to lift brownie from pan, and slice lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces.

Verdict: Wow – I’m in heaven. These are pretty good.

I will definitely make this again but will change three things:

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in a big glass bowl instead of on the stove, because stirring dry ingredients into my small sauce pans sucks.

2. Avoid answering the phone while preparing the topping.

3. Lower the baking time by 5 minutes.  My oven runs 2 degrees cold, and you would think that by following recipe times exactly my results would always be good – but not so!

It seems every time I used the exact time listed in a cook book it’s overdone.  The bottom of the brownie was slightly crispy, and the topping was a wee bit overdone.  Still tastes good, but next time will be flawless.

Playlist: Schubert – Der Erlkönig

Pennsylvania-Dutch brownies

More of a spice cake than a brownie, made with molasses and a subtle chocolate flavour. 

This recipe is also from Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Time required: 3 hrs (1 hour prep + 2 hour cooling)

Yields: 30 pieces

Cost per brownie: $1.10

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $33.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 9 x 13″
  • tinfoil

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBSP butter, room temp
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1½ C flour
  • 1 C + 2 TSP granulated white sugar (used in separate stages)
  • 1 TSP + ⅛ TSP ground cinnamon (used in separate stages)
  • 1 TSP ground ginger
  • ½ TSP ground cloves
  • ½TSP baking soda
  • ½ TSP salt

Instructions:

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 190°C / 357°F.  Line the baking pan with foil, and grease foil.

Step 2 – In a sauce pan on Low, melt chocolate and butter.  (Um, I wasn’t really thinking this through and used a small bowl in the microwave instead.  Since you will later add the dry ingredients to the chocolate, you may want to use a larger bowl.)

Step 3 – Stir in molasses, then eggs, one at time.

Step 4 – Combine in a bowl: flour, 1 C sugar, 1 TSP cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt.

Step 5 – Stir the dry mixture into the wet.  I moved the wet mixture into a large bowl, then added the dry mix, one third at a time. (At this point I wondered if the batter consistency was off because of the unorthodox way I prepared it.)

Step 6 – “pour” batter into prepared pan. Humph. More like scoop and smoosh. Slightly concerned now, batter very thick, sitting in pan unevenly, does not reach all sides of the pan.

Step 7 – Bake 15-17 minutes.  Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edges comes out cleanly.

Step 8 – While this is baking, in a small bowl combine 2 TSP white sugar and ⅛ cinnamon.  As soon as pan is removed from oven, sprinkle sugar mix on top, then cool on rack (in pan) 2 hours.

Hmmm.  Is it supposed to look like this?  Is the bottom right corner supposed to be overloaded with sugar?  Will the rest be bitter?  We’ll see!

Step 9 – Peel off tinfoil, slice lengthwise in 3 strips, slice crosswise in 5 strips, then cut each piece diagonally.

I made a green tea latte and sampled a brownie.

Verdict: Hmmm.  These weren’t bad, but not what I expected either. Then again, since I’ve never eaten Pennsylvania-Dutch anything, maybe my expectations were skewed. I found that the molasses overpowered the taste of the chocolate though.

I was surprised to see the price of the spices is what pushed the total cost so high, but I suppose that makes sense considering spices have been such a hot commodity (hah, get it?) for thousands of years. Guess some things never change.

Playlist: Final Fantasy soundtracks

Patty’s apple caramel honey cheesecake

The other night I polled my readers, to find out what people thought would taste best with an apple dessert; and honey won. So here is my apple caramel honey cheesecake.

Whew.  Try saying that 3 times fast.  This sweet number is made from a bed of spiced honey graham crackers, covered in fresh tart apples, homemade caramel sauce, and a cream cheese filling made with honey and applesauce.

I was planning to post this the day after the poll, but hit a minor snag.  Well…okay, more of a giant snag. More on that later.

Good to know before you start:

There is a significant time gap between baking the crust, and baking the entire cake, so once the crust is done, shut off the oven, and remember when you turn the oven back on, a lower temperature is used.

Because the crust is chilled before the filling is added, you don’t want to put a cold pan into a hot oven.  You will need to either chill the crust and caramel, then let it sit until it reaches room temperature, or transfer the crust into a new pan already at room temp.

Notice anything new? Or blue? 😀

Time required: 2 days (4 hrs + overnight chilling)

Yields: 40 pieces

Cost per portion: $1.20

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $48.00 (sheesh, glad I just needed apples)

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • electric mixer
  • baking pans: 9″ x 13″ nestled inside a 14.5″ x 10.5″
  • tinfoil & plastic wrap

Crust ingredients:

  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1¾ C honey graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅛ TSP ground nutmeg
  • smidgen of ground cloves
  • 2 tart apples, (peeled, cored, minced) ADD AFTER CRUST IS BAKED

Caramel ingredients:

  • ¾ C dark brown sugar
  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ½ TSP ground cinnamon
  • ½ C heavy cream

Filling ingredients:

  • 4 blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ C granulated white sugar
  • 2 TBSP powdered corn starch
  • ¼ C unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 TBSP Billy Bee honey
  • ¼ C heavy cream
  • 5 eggs, room temp

Crust instructions:

Step 1 – Use centre rack.  Pre-heat oven to 175°C / 350°F.

Step 2 – Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with tinfoil, and grease it.  If you turn the pan upside down and wrap the foil around the outside to get the shape this is easier.

Step 3 – In sauce pan on Low, melt butter.

Step 4 – Combine graham cracker crumbs with nutmeg and cloves, and stir into butter.

Step 5 – remove from heat and press into prepared pan.

Bake 10 min AND TURN OFF THE OVEN.

Step 6 – shred or mince the apples

Step 7 – while crust is cooling, mince 2 apples, and spread this directly over the crust.  Leave on cooling rack.  (There are two different colours here because I did not mince the apples at the same time and one browned a bit.)


CARAMEL INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 8 – in a sauce pan on Medium, melt sugar and butter, whisking often.

Step 9 – When it starts to boil, stir in the cinnamon and remove from heat.

Step 10 – Stir in cream, return to heat until bubbly.

Step 11 – Carefully pour this onto crust, use spoon to spread it to the edges.

Step 12 – Refrigerate at least one hour.  (Before this can go in the oven later with the filling, this pan needs to be room temperature so you’ll need to let it sit or transfer to a new pan.)

FILLING INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 13 – now pre-heat oven to 150°C / 300°F.  Fill kettle and turn on Low, now.

Step 14 – Beat cream cheese on Medium until smooth.

Step 15 – One by one, beat in (and ensure each ingredient is thoroughly blended before adding the next) add: sugar, corn starch, apple sauce honey, and heavy cream.

Go magic mixer, go go go!!!

Step 16 – On Low speed, beat in eggs, one at time, until just blended.

Step 17 – Pour filling onto crust.

Step 18 – Place the pan containing your cake into a larger pan, and fill the large pan with boiling water to form a bain marie.

Step 19 – Bake 65 minutes, it is done when edges are set but centre jiggles.  (Do you see that odd colour in the centre?  That’s what happens when you scrape the bowl of cream cheese and get the pieces that weren’t properly beaten into your cake. Grrrr.)

Step 20 – Cool on rack at least one hour, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight, before using a hot knife to slice into pieces.  (I blotted the top with paper towel as some condensation had developed.)

Verdict:  Surely a piece of cheesecake made with real apples must have some tiny health benefit, yes? Loved this.

You know, I am totally over the idea of making cheesecake in a round springform pan.  Never again. I get consistently better results when I use a rectangular baking pan.

To create my recipe, I planned a small, round cheesecake, and cut out as much of the eggs and cream cheese as I could, reasoning that since the filling is always quite high, I could probably get rid of 50% of it and still have a tasty cheesecake.  Um, no.

The first attempt ended in total disaster.  It literally disintegrated in my hands; cracking, deflating, and sliding apart.

This was particularly disappointing because it was the first dessert I made in my new KitchenAid mixer.  (Which is a cobalt blue Artisan tilt-head beauty!)

I consulted my cheesecake guru, and she thought the problem might be too much liquid, not enough cream cheese, and not enough time in the oven. I want to be clear: the mixer was not to blame!!

So I went back to the drawing board, played around with my ingredient ratios,  tried a different pan, and baked it a little longer. Success, how sweet it is!

I have arrived at a strange point in my life, where kitchen appliances excite me to a level I thought was gone past all recall. Eh.  Excuse me, I have to go stare at my beautiful blue mixer for awhile.

Playlist: Labyrinth soundtrack

Pride goeth before the cake

The dessert I made last night kind of imploded.  You’ll see what I mean by the end of this post. This morning as I stood in the kitchen, surveying the aftermath, and wondering “What the hell is that?”, three irritating platitudes sprang to mind:

  • you learn more from your mistakes than your successes
  • cooks can eat their mistakes
  • too many cooks spoil the broth

The über-annoying thing about platitudes (aside from how often one hears them) is when they turn out to be true. Measure twice, cut once. Ugh, spare me.

Last night I made three separate disasters.  It would probably have been a good idea to stop after the first failure, but I went for the hat trick anyway. Because I am committed. Since the post I was planning for today isn’t coming,  you’ll have to make do with my latest failures.

#1: Let them eat cake!

the incredible collapsing birthday cake ™

This beauty was Boyfriend’s birthday cake.  He loves oatmeal cake, and I had never made one before. He gave me the recipe used by his family and it seemed easy enough. Where did it all go wrong?

Probably my selection of a bundt pan for a cake with a heavy batter. Never doing that again. Ripped apart by its own weight when I removed it from the pan.  This resulted in a panicked call to Older Sister # 3, who suggested “Turn it upside down and frost like a motherfucker, he’ll never notice!” — it’s true, he didn’t.

#2: Oh fudge!

stirring…stirring…. WTF?

Hmm that certainly isn’t normal.  Never seen that before.

Tyler Durden called: “Where’d the fat go??”

I was melting chocolate on low heat to make fudge, and suddenly, this strange oily substance rose to the surface.  “Okay,” I remember thinking, “what’s up with that?  Did it seize?”

Treating it like seized chocolate failed miserably. I think the result speaks for itself. I turned off the stove and came back to observe later.  All of the fat had risen to the surface and congealed. This was a nightmare to clean.

#3: Rage on the marble slab

“Burnt cream” indeed!

This was particularly upsetting, my beautiful crème brûlée, ruined!!

Normally this lovely custard is topped with a thin layer of sugar, like a pane of rich brown glass. But this is what happens when using cane sugar that hasn’t been thoroughly dried, and too much of it.  The glass-like quality turns into a lump of burnt rock.

#4: The invisible mint sauce

mint….sauce??

On a whim I decided one night we just had to eat lamb with freshly made mint sauce, despite the fact that neither of us had ever cooked lamb before, or made mint sauce.  But that was okay, we had a bag of fresh mint picked from a friend’s garden.

I’m still not sure where I went wrong, but all the liquid evaporated, leaving soggy mint leaves (and no sauce) behind.  This was served on undercooked lamb and raw potatoes, attempts to broil Parmesan potatoes… did not work out.

#5: Pillars of the cake

coming soon to a restaurant near you, Torn Bottom Cake! ™

This was a double layer chocolate cake for my friend M. Both layers were mysteriously missing large chunks of their batter, which was stuck to the pan. That seam along the bottom right is where half of the cake ripped entirely off and got smashed back on.

Now, before baking this cake, I made sure the pans were well greased and dusted with cocoa.  I used my ninja frosting skills and filled all of the holes with buttercream frosting. Birthday Boy didn’t notice. BUT I KNEW. >.<

#6: A square of two gingerbreads

1st attempt: gingerbread top loaf!

As you can see, I did not actually use a square pan, oops. And half the loaf remained in the pan. After a few days I tried again, confident that if I used the correct pan things would go my way.

Certainly not “just like Mom’s.”

2nd attempt: it’s all over but the crumbs now

My first two gingerbreads were disasters.  Dare I try a third?

#7:  The cookies are (not) rising

peanut butter flat breads ™

molasses spice flats ™

What we have here is a failure to rise. The cookies are expanding out but not up. Despite making dough that included two leavening agents, my cookies never rose.

Boyfriend would disagree that these are disasters because they tasted good.  I believe that if it doesn’t look proper, into the disaster pile it goes.

#8: Bread on a wire

Save time on slicing, make “cracked loaf” ™

For the busy household, cracked bread saves precious minutes of the day, who has time to slice a loaf of bread anymore??

#9: So easy a child could make it

1st attempt: never do this on the stove

Confession: I’ve never made Rice Kripsy squares. Awhile ago (okay a long while ago), I picked up some marshmallows, planning to make them. And completely forgot about them until the other day.

I looked up the official Rice Kripsy square recipe, which says to use a stove top. It seemed so easy. Unaware that stale marshmallows do not react like fresh ones, I got to work.  I called up Mom to chat and tell her what I’m making.  She suggests using the microwave instead.

Too late now!!

I glance at the clock, and the sauce pan, wondering why over 25 minutes have passed but the marshmallows have not melted. At all.

Boyfriend walked in the door. “What is the amazing smell?”

I am feeling proud of myself, still unsure if the weird brown mass in the pan is normal.

He walked over to the stove.  “What the hell is that?”

I calmly explain it’s my first batch of Rice Kripsy squares, obviously!

He looked at me, puzzled.  “Why aren’t you using the microwave?”

I explain that the Kellogg’s website said to use the stove.

So he calls up his mother.  We have now consulted two mothers plus the official recipe. It’s a group effort now. There is no way this can fail.

He helps me pry the strange buttery marshmallow mass from the pan, and get started on a new batch, using a glass bowl in the microwave.  Boyfriend was kind enough to microwave and stir, microwave and stir.

I wait, wondering when the marshmallows will finally melt. Then I turn around, and see him pouring the cereal into the unmelted marshmallows.

“What are you doing!?!”

“They’re not melting, they’re just shrinking!”

“And you thought it was a good idea to add the cereal anyway?!”

2nd attempt: “There is only one Lord of the Squares, and he does not share power!”

Now I am confused, sad, and downtrodden, complaining that everything I bake turns to hell.

Boyfriend hugs me and says, “No, no, you can make stuff I can’t even pronounce and it’s delicious, we’ll get fresh marshmallows and try again.”

I am reminded why I care for Boyfriend so much after this pep talk.  Every cook needs a cheering squad.

#10: If a cake implodes in the oven, does it make a sound?

the cheesecake that wasn’t

And finally, here is the result of last night’s poll. After two failed batches of Rice Krispy squares, I was determined to make something, anything, and plus I had just asked my readers to vote in a poll and felt commited at this point.

Because I had a vision. I wanted to make an apple cheesecake, on a bed of honey graham crackers, with a layer of homemade caramel sauce and minced apple, and a cream cheese filling mixed with apple sauce and honey.

Oh, how beautiful it seemed in my head! And you know, it does taste pretty good. But from the moment I took it out of the fridge and began slicing it, two great cracks appeared, and it slid apart. In fact, it seemed liquid.

I consulted Older Sister # 2, who determined it was probably a combination of too much liquid, not enough cream cheese, and not enough cooking time. This makes sense.

This morning I showed the fallen cake to Boyfriend who (if you can believe it) laughed in my face.  He says he didn’t laugh and he doesn’t remember laughing – possibly because he hadn’t drank any coffee yet? Whatever!

I’m going to try again, and it’s going to work, and maybe, if you are really nice to me when you get home, you can have some.

Keeping those silly platitudes in mind, I have realized three important truths:

1. Eating your mistakes when they are raw is foolish.

2. When attempting to make something new that everybody in the world knows how to make but you, do it before anybody else gets home.

3. If you don’t remember when you bought the marshmallows, maybe get fresh ones.

An apple and what?

I’m making something new tonight, in about two and a half hours. I want your opinion on something.

The dessert will have two major components; apples, and either honey, vanilla, or lemons.  I can’t decide! Vote for the option you think would taste best. XD

I’ll check poll results at 10pm EST and you will see the finished product tomorrow morning.

Excuse me, I have to go harass my family into voting now…

UPDATE: 10:02pm – voting over, honey won. Tune in tomorrow!

Belgian chocolate peanut butter cups

Chocolate and peanut butter belong together.  This post is dedicated to Older Sister #3, who is a chocoholic. I’d send you some if they would survive the mail. Maybe we can make these the next time I visit.

When you’re working with chocolate, go big or go home.  I used my favourite Callebaut Belgian chocolate for these, although you could use bakers chocolate squares if you wanted to.

This recipe is also from the Chocolate! book by Good Housekeeping, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Peanut butter is one of those thing I like having around just in case I’ m hard up for a sandwich. This may seem surprising because I hate nuts. Yet the flavour of peanut butter, I love!

I don’t recall a time when I didn’t like peanut butter. I used to take the jar with a spoon downstairs on Saturday morning to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in the simple days when April O’Neil was edgy, Fun House still played at lunch time, and I could hop on my Pogo ball around the block. Of course this was also the age when I thought that a bowl of brown sugar (and just brown sugar) was a suitable breakfast. Ah, childhood!

Good to know before you start:

This recipe is supposed to yield 60 pieces. I got 30, and I didn’t overfill the cups.  YMMV.

Once again, chocolate will seize if it comes into contact with moisture, so melt on low heat, uncovered, using dry pans and utensils.

Time required: 2 days (1.5 hrs + overnight chilling)

Yields: at least 30 portions

Cost per portion:$1.19 using Belgian chocolate, $0.64 using bakers chocolate

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $35.71 using Belgian chocolate, $19.00 using bakers chocolate

Special kitchen implements I used: 

  • kitchen scale
  • mini baking cups

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz white chocolate
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1½ C creamy peanut butter (divided into two ¾C portions)
  • 1⅓ C salted peanuts, crushed

Step 1 – use a serrated blade to chop the chocolates, setting each into a separate container.  (In retrospect I could have placed the chocolate directly into the sauce pans but didn’t think of that. The containers were pre-weighed.)

Step 2 – place the mini baking cups in a container (or three).

Step 3 – in a sauce pan on Low, melt the white chocolate and half of the peanut butter, stirring until smooth.

Step 4 – spoon mixture into baking cups, filling about halfway.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.  Oops, forgot to take a picture of this step. I ended up removing half of the baking cups as I ran out of chocolate.

Step 5 – in a fresh sauce pan, on Low, melt semi-sweet chocolate and half of the peanut butter, again stirring until smooth.

Step 6 – pour the semi-sweet chocolate onto the chilled cups in the fridge.  If desired, sprinkle crushed nuts on the top.   ( I placed some peanuts into a plastic bag and crushed them with my rolling pin.)

Step 7 – chill overnight and enjoy.

Verdict: Purely on taste I think these are great.

Visually I’m annoyed with myself; the top is not smooth. I suspect this happened because I chilled them immediately after pouring the semi-sweet chocolate onto the white, next time I’ll shake the container and let the semi-sweet layer settle and smooth out before chilling. I do like the contrast between layers and the perfect ridges though.

I put nuts on half of them for Boyfriend. This was also a strategy to prevent myself from eating too many. I hate nuts! He’s not home yet so I’ll have to wait to hear his opinion.

The candies themselves are quite small, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to get 60 out of this.

Sorry about the picture quality today, while I was making these my digital camera batteries died, so I took the pictures with my cell phone, but forgot the flash was off.

Playlist: Duran Duran

(Edited May 5 to add price of Belgian chocolate).